The Trump documents show a campaign clouded by legal tangles
A Fulton County District Attorney Who Cannot Make Public Trump’s 2020 Counting Report on Flynn’s Suggestions about the 2020 Election
A prosecutor in Georgia who is leading an investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the 2020 election wants testimony from more people, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The Fulton County District Attorney will have to review the recommendations and make charging decisions after the grand jury is done. In the presidential campaign in 2024, the decisions that Willis made will be a big deal.
During the heated Oval Office meeting, CNN previously reported, Flynn and Powell floated outrageous suggestions about overturning the election, three weeks after Trump pardoned Flynn.
CNN reported last month that the House select committee investigating the January, 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol sent a letter to Gingrich seeking his voluntary cooperation to discuss his role promoting false claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen.
If Willis has ambitions beyond the office of the Fulton County district attorney, she hasn’t spoken publicly about them. Her only political mistake thus far has been helping a man who was running for lieutenant governor in the D.A. The fund-raiser drew a sharp rebuke from Judge Robert McBurney of the Fulton County Superior Court, who was in charge of making public the special grand jury.
CNN previously reported that the district attorney aims to quickly wrap up the grand jury’s work after the midterm elections and could begin issuing indictments as early as December, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Timing a Break in Public Activity in the 2018 Midterm Election Campaign: Response to a Pleading Petition by Flynn, Susan Gingrich, and Christopher E. Powell
Flynn didn’t immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment, and his lawyer also didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment. Gingrich referred his questions to his attorney, who refused to comment. Sheschmann could not be reached immediately.
Willis has said she plans to take a monthlong break from public activity in the case leading up to the November midterm election, which is one month from Saturday.
Each of the petitions filed Friday seeks to have the potential witnesses appear in November after the election. But the process for securing testimony from out-of-state witnesses sometimes takes a while, so it appears Willis is putting the wheels in motion for activity to resume after her self-imposed pause.
The petitions were signed by Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the special grand jury.
He was part of a group that was working on a plan to run commercials on television that made false allegations about the election and encouraged the public to contact state officials to challenge the results.
The petition seeking Flynn’s testimony says he appeared in an interview on conservative cable news channel Newsmax and said Trump “could take military capabilities” and place them in swing states and “basically re-run an election in each of those states.”
He had a meeting with Powell, Trump and other people at the White House on December 18, 2020, in order to discuss topics such as seizing voting machines and appointing Powell as a special counsel to investigate the 2020 election.
She wrote that the House committee also revealed that Herschmann had “multiple conversations” with Eastman, Giuliani, Powell “and others known to be associated with the Trump Campaign, related to their efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 elections in Georgia and elsewhere.” Specifically, he had a “heated conversation” with Eastman “concerning efforts in Georgia,” she added.
She identified Penrose as “a cyber investigations, operations and forensics consultant” who worked with Powell and others known to be associated with the Trump campaign in late 2020 and early 2021.
He was in touch with Powell and others about the agreement to hire data solutions firm SullivanStrickler to copy voting system equipment in Coffee County, about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta, and also in Michigan and Nevada. Penrose did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.
Willis wrote in a petition seeking Lee’s testimony that he was part of an effort to pressure elections worker Ruby Freeman, who was the subject of false claims about election fraud in Fulton County. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The special grand jury has no authority to issue indictments; they are an investigatory body, and the district attorney has to decide if the case can go to a regular grand jury.
Instead, the special grand jury wrote a final report with recommendations for the district attorney’s office about how to proceed, including potential violations of state law — though Willis does not have to follow those suggestions if she decides to seek indictments from a regular grand jury.
The End of Trump’s Trouble in the United States: The Case Against Biden, Black Hole Elections and Other Misdemeanors
The third straight US election will be affected by scandals surrounding Trump that will keep the FBI and Justice Department from doing their jobs, as a result of the unique legal tangle surrounding him. The special counsel is looking into the handling of documents from Biden’s time as vice president, and the Department of Justice is also looking into it. This follows the Hillary Clinton email flap in 2016 and investigations into the Trump campaign’s links with Russia during that White House bid, as well as Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in 2020.
At a time when he’s on a conflict course with the courts and facts, Trump dropped his clearest hint yet that he’s running for president.
Trump’s current prominence on the political scene was already highly unusual. One-term presidents tend to fade into history very quickly. It is a testament to his hold over the Republicans that he is still important in the party nearly two years after losing reelection. While there is debate about whether some GOP primary voters will take Trump at his word, he seems to have plenty of juice.
Controversies that are coming to a head underscore that the nation and its political and legal systems are still far from dealing with and moving on from the shock and awe fallout of Trump’s turbulent single White House term. GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, alluded to that reality when she said on Sunday that the panel wants to avoid Trump turning his potential testimony into a “circus.”
The former President’s claims of political persecution, as well as the open legal and political loops involved, could cause even more upheaval than his four years in office.
And while fierce differences are emerging between Democrats and Republicans over policy on the economy, abortion, foreign policy and crime in the 2022 midterms – while concerns about democracy often rank lower for voters – there is every chance the coming political period revolves mostly around the ex-President’s past and future.
The Mueller investigation of a pro-Trump Candidate who has been charged with voter fraud and an ex-President Joe Biden
The special counsel is in possession of a large amount of evidence which it needs to comb through, including evidence recently turned over by the House, subpoena documents provided by local officials in important states, and discovery collected from lawyers for Trump allies late last year.
In Arizona, one of the ex-President’s favorite candidates, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake – a serial spreader of voter fraud falsehoods – is again raising doubts about the election system. Lake is afraid that it is not going to be fair.
One of the most powerful pro-Trump Republicans, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the party’s number three leader in the House, told the New York Post last week that impeachment of Biden was “on the table.” South Carolina GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, however, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday she did not want to see tit-for-tat impeachment proceedings after Trump was twice impeached. She said she was against the process being “weaponized.” But when asked whether Biden had committed impeachable offenses, she said: “That is something that would have to be investigated.”
An already pro-Trump Republican presence in Washington is likely to expand after the midterms. If the dozens of Trump-endorsed candidates win just two weeks after the election, there will be questions about whether they will accept the results.
The trial of the Trump Organization in New York starts on Monday. The ex President hasn’t been charged but the trial could impact his business empire and cause him to say he is being unfairly targeted because of his political beliefs, an accusation that could inject yet another contentious element into election season. In a separate case, New York’s Attorney General has filed a $250 million civil suit against Trump, three of his adult children and the Trump Organization, accusing them of running fraud schemes to enrich themselves for years.
Democrats have made their own attempts to return Trump to the political spotlight. Some campaign groups have tried to scare voters by warning that pro-Trump candidates are a danger to the democracy, despite President Joe Biden’s comparison ofMAGA followers with fascists.
Why an Ex-President Should Not Run Away from the January 6 Committee: The Case for a Political Hacking and Thugs Whose Job is to Disrupt America
It could hurt the party in power in Washington if the voters head to the polls with inflation and gasoline prices high.
The ex- President told supporters at a rally on Saturday that he would probably have to run for president again.
“It may take multiple days, and it will be done with a level of rigor and discipline and seriousness that it deserves,” Cheney told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The first debate against Joe Biden won’t be like the food fight that went down. This is a far too serious set of issues.”
Trump offered a glimpse of how he might use an appearance before the committee to create a political extravaganza after the panel announced it would send out the subpoena. In a 14-page letter, he made multiple false and debunked claims about election fraud, and lashed out at the panel itself, branding members “highly partisan political Hacks and Thugs whose sole function is to destroy the lives of many hard-working American Patriots, whose records in life have been unblemished until this point of attempted ruination.”
The committee has taken most depositions behind closed doors and on video and used testimony throughout its highly produced presentations. Only its most sympathetic witnesses have appeared in person. While this has helped create a powerful narrative that has painted a picture of shocking derelictions of duty by Trump on January 6, it has also deprived viewers of seeing witnesses under cross examination. This has made it difficult to assess whether the committee’s case would stand up to more rigorous evidentiary requirements in a court of law.
It would be harder for the former President to dictate the terms of the exchanges and control how his testimony might be used because of the intense time it is likely to take for video testimony.
This could all become academic anyway. The issue could drag on for months and become meaningless since a new Republican House majority would likely sweep away the January 6 committee and make it impossible for it to continue.
If there is evidence a crime was committed, Garland would face a dilemma over whether the national interest lay in implementing the law to its full extent or whether the consequences of prosecuting a former commander in chief in a fractious political atmosphere could tear the country apart.
The politically charged act of investigating an ex-president was bound to create a political furor. The fact that Trump is running for the White House again multiplies the stakes and means profound decisions are ahead for Attorney General Merrick Garland if evidence suggests Trump should be charged.
In a statement, Mr. Graham’s office said that he is partly shielded by the speech or debate clause and that he “may return” to the federal courts “if the district attorney tries to ask questions about his constitutionally protected activities.”
The risks for the senator are that the grand jury will be able to see both the topics it is exploring and his reluctance to answer such questions, and that he may have to have his objectionshed out in open court.
Kash Patel: Defend the Fifth Amendment Charges in the Mar-a-Lago Correlating with the 2016 Midterm Referendum
“All I want to do is this. The transcript of a call that took place on January 2, 2021, shows that Trump said he would need to find more votes because he had won the state.
Some of Mr. Trump’s allies argued that they shouldn’t have to participate in court battles. Their record has been mixed so far.
The Justice Department secured a court order for Trump adviser Kash Patel to answer questions under oath in the Mar-a-Lago investigation. The Fifth amendment protects people from incriminating themselves and when asked about it before the grand jury, he initially declined to answer. Then prosecutors fought for more answers by immunizing his testimony from prosecution, CNN previously reported.
Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court has granted Patel immunity from prosecution on any information he provides to the investigation, the people said.
The court’s decision is under seal, coming after a confidential proceeding where the Justice Department subpoenaed Patel to the grand jury in October. He wouldn’t answer questions if he said that his Fifth Amendment protections were self-incriminating.
As CNN has previously reported, Patel is one of a handful of advisers around Trump after his presidency who could have legal risk related to the Mar-a-Lago situation, according to court records and sources, though it’s unclear if he is a target of the Justice Department probe.
He served as a national security and defense official during the Trump administration, and this summer he became one of the Trump appointees to the National Archives and the Justice Department, which are trying to get back Trump’s classified records. He has claimed in conservative media interviews he personally witnessed Trump declassifying records before he left the presidency, and has argued Trump should be able to release classified information.
Taken together, the investigative moves underscore that there is continued grand jury activity in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, at a time when the Justice Department has newer inquiries into unsecured national security records underway involving President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence.
The congressional committee referred a case of criminal insurrection to the president because he couldn’t accept that he’d lost the election.
The divided populace and millions not paying attention to the evidence presented by the committee are just two weeks ahead of the anniversary of the riot.
The Jan. 6 committee has no more time left. Republicans are set to take control of the House, and the committee is expected to dissolve. The political ball will be decided by the voters, while the legal one will be decided by the Justice Department.
The criminal justice system is the best place for accountability, the committee chairman said. “We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice and that the agencies and institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information we’ve provided to aid in their work.”
The members of the committee were convinced that there was enough evidence to charge the former president on four different things, the big news out of the final hearing.
It is not clear what role, if any, Trump himself will play in the report or in potential indictments. The former president was not asked to voluntarily testify before the special purpose grand jury nor issued a subpoena, and his Georgia-based attorneys issued a statement before the hearing suggesting that the lack of those requests made them assume the grand jury found no wrongdoing.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith once Trump announced he was running for president again as a way to show independence from the investigation.
What does an ex-president really believed about the Georgia election fraud? A testimony from the committee on the ethics of the presidential campaign for 2020
The committee member said that the system of justice isn’t where foot soldiers go to jail and the masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass.
Their resistance in the face of the rules has been seen as a representation of the style of U.S. politics that was growing before Trump arrived.
Whether anything happens to them, though, is unclear since Republicans will control the iteration of the ethics committee in the next Congress and McCarthy is in line to be the next speaker.
That’s been evident to those of us who’ve covered Trump for a while, but it was affirmed by Hope Hicks, a former communications adviser in the Trump White House, someone who was very close to Trump.
In testimony that was played for the first time on Monday, she said that she had told Trump she was concerned about false claims of fraud damaging his legacy.
“He said something along the lines of, ‘You know nobody will care about my legacy if I lose,’ ” Hicks said, ” ‘So that won’t matter, the only thing that matters is winning.’ “
One potential defense if Trump is charged is that the ex-president fully believed there was election fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, and that he was seeking to protect the integrity of an election. Still, an election audit in Georgia that confirmed Biden’s win and the actions of Republican election officials who also said there was insufficient fraud to overturn the result contribute to considerable reasonable doubt that Trump can genuinely have believed he won. The special grand jury’s conclusions added to that impression.
“He was—he had—usually he had pretty clear eyes,” said Bill Stepien, the Trump 2020 campaign manager, according to written testimony released in a report by the committee. I think he was realistic with us about the forecast and the uphill climb, in agreement with our viewpoint of where the race was supposed to be.
Stepien added: “We’d have to, you know, relay the news that, yeah, that tip that someone told you about those votes or that fraud or, you know, nothing came of it. It’s easier for us to tell the president about wild allegations than it is for us to tell the truth. It’s a harder job to be telling him on the back end that, yeah, that wasn’t true.”
The Committee on Investigating Voter Fraud and Election Investigations. Response to Mr. Cannon’s Telegram Communication with Mark Meadows
Cannon, one of the lawyers for the Trump campaign, made a late-November phone call to MarkMeadows, who used to be Trump’s Chief of Staff, and said that he found no need to change the results in any of the key States.
A federal judge noted that Trump was told by email “that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and in public.” He swore under oath that the numbers are “true and correct” to the best of his knowledge and belief.
These are people that the former president doesn’t like to say were either Trump Haters or aligned with Democrats. In fact, the opposite is true in most of the testimony that’s been aired by the committee.
It’s no secret that the country is divided politically and partisanship, particularly among Republicans, has become entrenched. So despite the primary evidence — with testimony from Republicans who were aligned with Trump — people have been watching selectively.
“Although the Committee’s hearings were viewed live by tens of millions of Americans and widely publicized in nearly every major news source, the Committee also recognizes that other news outlets and commentators have actively discouraged viewers from watching, and that millions of other Americans have not yet seen the actual evidence addressed by this Report.”
The committee said that it was releasing video summaries of each piece of evidence. And it’s likely why the beginning of the hearing included so many clips of previously seen testimony from past hearings, almost like the recap of a prior season of a series on Netflix.
There is evidence to suggest those who watched were moved. Before the hearings, just 48% of independents in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll said they thought Trump was to blame a “great deal” or “good amount” for what happened that day. After several hearings, the July survey found that the percentage blaming Trump spiked to 57%.
Progressives have been irritated with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s methodical (read: slow) pace of pursuing charges against Trump. It is up to the special counsel if they bring charges or not.
They do not have to act on what the Jan. 6 committee recommends, though investigators are paying close attention to the details of its findings. But don’t expect to hear much about the special counsel’s progress, as the DOJ tends to stay pretty quiet, if not wholly silent, on the details of ongoing investigations until they present them in court.
It’s going to be up to voters to decide. Trump will likely retain support with his base. As we noted, Republicans have been the least likely to be paying close attention to these hearings. In a multi-candidate primary, Trump remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination.
But he’s in legal trouble in multiple states, not just federally, and many of his preferred candidates — and election deniers — lost in swing states. So whether it’s because of the chaos that often surrounds him, the threat he presents to U.S. democracy and faith in its elections, or simply because his brand is not a winner in competitive states where Republicans likely need to win to take over the White House and Congress, Trump is at his most vulnerable point since winning the presidency six years ago.
The Jan. 6, 2020, riot: Justice Department Jack Smith’s investigation of the alleged guilty-state-prose riot
And the members of this committee — some of whom won’t be returning to Congress because of the wrath, or potential wrath, of Trump’s base — certainly hope voters respond.
The person familiar with the matter said that he was adding two associates who specialized in public corruption cases, one of which was the former chief of the DOJ’s public integrity section.
The expansion under Smith shores up the office’s ability to examine broad conspiracy cases and determine the avenues of the investigation, another source said. They join a team of more than 20 prosecutors from DOJ, as well as senior advisers brought into the department in recent months, who were already investigating Trump and his allies.
Setting up his office is going to take a long time, despite Attorney General Garland assurances that Smith will not slow down the probes. Smith and his team are still looking for a permanent physical office location but have begun changing the email addresses of staffers who used to use their Justice Department accounts.
Harbach was seen by CNN getting his bearings in the courthouse in DC, talking to a special counsel prosecutor about cases of racist groups, and then sitting in on a trial of Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy.
According to the Justice Department, more than 950 defendants have been arrested for their alleged participation in the January 6, 2021, riot, with more than 500 being found guilty. The four people who died in the attack are a rioter and two members of the crowd who suffered heart attacks. DOJ says 140 officers were injured that day and five officers died in the months after the riot – one of strokes and four by suicide.
The investigation of the fake election campaign: the case of Donald Trump and his alleged proximite, Scott Shirkey (D-Michigan), the legislative assistant to the House Select Committee
The DOJ will have certain tools to break down the brick walls of the House select committee’s probe, which included witnesses who claimed privileges or refused to cooperate, and which ended with the congressman bailing out mid-way through. They include ongoing proceedings regarding piercing the shield of confidentiality surrounding a president.
Smith sent subpoenas to election officials in seven states and got a lot of information. The email from the county official who reported the two voicemails was included in the response from Michigan’s secretary of state. One call claimed to be from a member of Trump’s legal team.
Trump and his allies could face additional criminal exposure, beyond the DOJ probe as prosecutors in Georgia are also investigating efforts to overturn the presidential election results there. The Atlanta-area district attorney leading that probe, Fani Willis, has labeled the individuals who served as pro-Trump electors from Georgia are “targets” in her investigation, along with some notable Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani.
The testimony from the House January 6 committee showed that Trump tried to replace the acting attorney general with someone who would embrace election fraud claims and pushed for an alternate slate of electors in the run up to the election.
The rally organizers told them they should have something intimate and call on everyone to march to the capitol.
“My father doesn’t use text messaging or email,” Donald Trump Jr. told congressional investigators during his interview. As for other messaging apps, “I’m not sure he’d even know what they were,” Trump Jr. said.
As Trump pressed state officials to upend the election results, his style of asking was also on display. “One thing I do remember is that he never, ever, to the best of my recollection, ever made a specific ask,” said Michigan’s former Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. “It was always just general topics.”
The evidence the committee has gathered shows that a group of Trump legal advisers, including an ex-Wisconsin judge and a lawyer, were considering Congress’s certification when they put the fake electors plan in motion.
The campaign staff testified that Trump was behind the drive to carry out the maneuver and the panel collected other evidence that Trump knew about it.
According to the evidence collected by the committee, many of the state-based operatives and fraudulent electors themselves were largely in the dark about what the endgame of the gambit was. The alternate electors were supposed to be a contingency plan if the legal challenge changed the outcome of the election in their state.
The last prominent election challenge ended in December 2020, and top Trump campaign officials distanced themselves from the effort.
The Mueller Committee Against Fake Electors: Report on Mark Meadows, a White House Chief of Staff and former DOJ Attorney Ryan Goodman
Ryan Goodman, a New York University School of Law professor and former Department of Defense general counsel, said that the DOJ would have an easier case to prove if the scheme continued after congress certified it.
The plan outlined in the memo was that the alternate electors were important even if a court reversed Trump’s electoral loss.
While the committee made the historic move of referring Trump to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, it also named several Trump allies as potential co-conspirators in its final report. One of them was former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Meadows repeatedly comes up in the committee’s investigation, with evidence showing his involvement on some level in every gambit to overturn the election. A lot of the evidence came from the text messages he sent to the committee before he stopped cooperating with the investigation.
The texts show that beginning on Election Day, Meadows was connecting activists pushing conspiracy theories and strategizing with GOP lawmakers and rally organizers preparing for January 6. Two days after the election, Trump Jr. was texting Meadows with ideas for keeping his father in power that he thought were “the most sophisticated” and “sounded plausible.”
According to testimony that a former White House aide gave the committee, Donald Trump and his one-time lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were involved in discussions about putting forward fake slates of electors.
Hutchinson testified before the committee that Meadows frequently burned documents in his fireplace between December and January of 2020, according to transcripts.
After producing the texts to congressional investigators, Meadows changed gears and did not show up for subpoenaed testimony before the House. The lawsuit he filed to challenge the subpoena was unsuccessful and no criminal charges were brought for his lack of cooperation.
The committee noted in their report’s summary that criminal prosecutors may have access to materials that lawmakers didn’t have, pointing to Meadows specifically.
Investigating the Investigation of Trump During a June 2022 Subpoena: Howell, Parlatore and Two Other Hired Personnel Investigated
“When it comes to the President, he committed no crime so there should absolutely be no prosecutions related to him,” said Timothy Parlatore, one of Trump’s attorneys.
Parlatore insisted Trump and his team “were not looking to overturn the will of the people, only to ensure that the will of the people was accurately counted,” adding that Trump was “absolutely opposed” to the violence that took place at the US Capitol.
The Justice Department’s long-running effort to enforce a May 2022 subpoena for all classified records in Trump’s possession. After a sealed December hearing, Howell gave Smith’s investigators an avenue to ask more questions of two people hired to search Trump’s properties in December and found more documents with classified markings. The people testified to the grand jury. Sixteen national media outlets, including CNN, have asked Howell to make public transcripts of hearings and other records in the case.
The two individuals, who were hired to search four of Trump’s properties last fall months after the FBI executed a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort over the summer, were each interviewed for about three hours in separate appearances last week. The extent of information they offered the grand jury remains unclear, though they didn’t decline to answer any questions, one of the sources familiar with the investigation said.
They were hired to search Trump’s Bedminster golf club, Trump Tower in New York, an office location in Florida and a storage unit in Florida last October, months after the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. The extent of information they offered the grand jury remains unclear, though they didn’t decline to answer any questions, one of the sources said.
The development comes at the same time federal prosecutors are pushing to look at files on a laptop of at least one staff member around Trump at Mar-a-Lago, according to multiple sources. At times, the special counsel’s office has been unwilling to negotiate with defense attorneys over recent subpoenas, leading to tense conversations.
By pushing for access to computers, investigators are trying to determine if there is an electronic paper trail regarding the classified documents, another source said.
The Biden and Pence situations have been markedly different. While they also highlight sloppiness around the tracking of classified papers, both Biden’s and Pence’s teams have readily handed them back to intelligence officials.
Even if the cases have significant differences, those discoveries allowed Trump to argue that he was being unfairly discriminated against. Any Trump attempt to argue that he, like Biden and Pence, inadvertently took documents to his home will be undermined by the fact that he claimed the material belonged to him, and not the government, and what appears to be repeated refusals to give it back.
The Grand Jury of the Mar-a-Lago Insurrection: What Happens when the Justice System is in a Legal Bubble?
The grand jury has been used by Jack Smith and his prosecutors to question witnesses about the Mar-a-Lago investigation.
The man who was twice impeached and is accused of fomenting an insurrection, started his first two-state campaign swing on Saturday in hopes of a political comeback.
Then on Monday, Trump’s potential exposure – in two of his multiple strands of legal peril – appeared to grow, foreshadowing a campaign likely to be repeatedly punctuated by distractions from criminal investigations.
There is going to be a stop to the weaponization of our justice system. This is the first justice system like this that has existed. On the trail over the weekend, an ex-president said: “It’s all investigation.”
This is a message that may be attractive to some of Trump’s base voters who themselves feel alienated from the federal government and previously bought into his claims about a “deep state” conspiracy against him. It’s also a technique, in which a strongman leader argues that he is taking the heat so his followers don’t have to, that is a familiar page in the authority playbooks of demagogues throughout history.
The latest development could be indicative of an advanced special counsel investigation and Smith could be facing indictments, says a former special counsel at the Department of Defense.
He seems to be trying to lock in their testimony in order to understand how they would testify, whether that’s evidence against Trump or exonerating evidence.
The investigation into the Trump haul of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago is happening inside a legal bubble, according to the report about the grand jury.
There are fresh indications that the Trump documents special counsel probe is gaining steam, and that House Republicans are ignoring the controversy over classified material in order to give Trump a free pass.
The two special counsel investigations probing Trump and Biden’s retention of secret documents are unfolding independently. In a legal sense, there is no overlap between them. But they will both be subject to the same political inferno if findings are made public.
Birchum, Jackson, and the State Senate: Putting the State on a Pedestrian’s Grassmann
The country got a reminder of how treatment can occur when secrets are taken home when the furor deepened on Monday.
Robert Birchum was in the Air Force for over 30 years and held top secret clearance. According to his plea agreement, he stored hundreds of files that contained information marked as top secret, secret or confidential classified outside of authorized locations. A plea agreement stated that “the defendant’s residence was not a location authorized to store classified information, and the defendant knew as much.”
She could be facing a bigger case due to the potential prosecution of a former president. Considering the known facts and Willis’s demonstrated skill at presenting juries with sprawling conspiracy cases, a lengthy RICO trial is a distinct possibility. It would require both a huge investment for her office and a political appetite for backlash and spectacle in order for her to choose that approach.
Nearly two years into Willis’s term, “I give her all the positive marks for going after President Trump,” Jackson told me. I think it is acourageous move. And I think it’s the right move.” She paused. That is my praise. And her criticism? Jackson said that the State Senate was going to hear about public safety and gangs. Jackson found a more complicated picture of local crime statistics when he studied them during the Pandemic. As Jackson said, he looked at the statistics in front of him. “So I just struggled with that,” she said. “I mean, I understand what it is to be a politician. I know that we have to respond to public pressure. But I don’t think we have to add fuel to the fire. And there have been times — I’m trying to be very careful here, because I respect her — but there have been times in which I felt like she added fuel to a fire that we could have easily put out.”
I sat in the back of the courtroom where a judge was holding preliminary hearings for inmates who had been jailed since July. One of the men accused of stealing equipment from the landscaping truck was locked up for 112 days, and the other man was locked up for 116. It turned out that the initial police report had overestimated the amount of damage, presenting the crime as a felony rather than what it actually was, a misdemeanor.
When the 2019 Georgia Presidential Election is overturned: The Grand Jury’s Report on Investigating Verified Witnesses Illusions Revisited
Mark Binelli is a contributing writer for the magazine. He last wrote about the opera director Yuval Sharon, and before that about the tangled legal aftermath of a deadly Waco, Texas, biker brawl. Nydia Blas is an Atlanta-based visual artist who is interested in storytelling through a Black female perspective. She was named one of The British Journal of Photography’s Ones to Watch in 2019.
There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 Georgia presidential election, which could result in the election being overturned.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered the limited release earlier this week, writing in his order that the report’s introduction and conclusion, as well as concerns the grand jury panel had about witnesses lying under oath, will be made public.
McBurney was clear that the findings by the grand jury won’t be made public yet, especially the parts where it makes recommendations about potential charges. That’s because some of the people named in those recommendations may not have appeared in grand jury proceedings so far.
The decision was made after a January hearing in which the district attorney’s office had argued against publishing the report.
McBurney’s order is a slight compromise, writing that certain parts of the report should be shared with the public while others merit secrecy until further action by prosecutors.
The grand jury met for about seven months in Atlanta and heard testimony from 75 witnesses, including some of Trump’s closest advisers from his final weeks in the White House.
Jurors voted to have that report made public, but the judge had questions about the applicability of prior precedents that have generally barred such reports from outlining alleged crimes without an indictment.
It would not be fair to have that exploration made public outside of a court setting if and McBurney’s decision, which he found to be unique, left him with a decision that was not that simple.
We have to be aware of protecting future defendants’ rights. “We want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly, and we think for future defendants to be treated fairly, it’s not appropriate at this time to have this report released.”
Investigations that implicate government officials often beget sealed court proceedings, because confidential grand jury witnesses become more likely to assert privileges that prompt prosecutors to ask judges to compel more answers, criminal law experts say.
Willis so far has remained tight-lipped about potential indictments, other than telling the court that “decisions are imminent.” At least 17 people were informed that they may be targets of the investigation, and the district attorney was disqualified from probing the new lieutenant-governor because of a conflict of interest.
The outcome of the disputes could have far-reaching implications, as they involve a Presidential Candidate in the future, and could lead to the separation of powers in the courts.
Both the scope of the special counsels investigation and Trump’s ultra- combative style are responsible for the sheer number of grand jury challenges from potential witnesses.
By comparison, Robert Mueller’s grand jury investigation into Trump had a smattering of sealed proceedings where investigators used the court to pry for more answers, and independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s Whitewater investigation ultimately totaled seven similar sealed cases.
About half a dozen cases are still ongoing in court, either before Chief Judge Beryl Howell or in the appeals court above her, the DC Circuit. Most seem to follow the typical arcs of cases that come from grand jury investigations, when prosecutors often use the court to enforce subpoenas.
More challenges from subpoenaed witnesses – including former Vice President Mike Pence – are expected to be filed in the coming days, likely under seal as well. Pence may raise novel questions about the protections around the vice presidency.
I believe we’re in extraordinary times. Neil Eggleston, a White House counsel who argued for executive privilege during the Whitewater investigation, thinks that part of it is President Trump continues to assert these theories even after they have been rejected by the court.
In Whitewater, after the court in DC ruled that privilege claims wouldn’t hold up when a federal grand jury needed information, other witnesses shied away from trying to refuse to testify, Eggleston recalled. In the investigations, witnesses are still questioning whether he still has confidentiality protections.
An appeal was brought over whether the former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin could decline to answer certain questions from the end of the president’s presidency. Both men cited various privileges when they testified to the grand jury in September, but were forced to appear a second time and give more answers after court rulings in November and December, CNN previously confirmed. Though they have already testified twice, Trump’s team filed an appeal.
Following the seizure of Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry’s cell phone in August in the January 6 investigation, lawyers for the congressman challenged the Justice Department’s ability to access data taken from the phone, citing protection around Congress under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. Howell refused to keep the records from investigators, but an appeals court panel has blocked the DOJ from seeing the records so far, according to indications in the court record. The case is going to be argued in Washington on February 23. The circuit court also has a request from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to unseal documents in the case.
The two attorney confidentiality decisions she made last year giving prosecutors access to emails between Perry and three lawyers were blacked out.
Clark tried to keep investigators from seeing a draft of his autobiography that discussed his efforts at the Justice Department on behalf of Trump. Clark wanted to mark a draft outline about his life as an attorney.
The grand jury investigations are not being made public by the Justice Department.
The public interest in the cases should lead to more secrecy than when the court releases other records, they argued on Monday.
“To advance the policy goals underlying grand jury secrecy, it may well be necessary for a court to more frequently decline to release judicial opinions ancillary to grand jury investigations that are the subject of intense press attention as opposed to matters that have attracted little public attention,” lawyers from the DOJ’s civil division wrote.
The big question is whether the portions will include any bits of information that shed new light on what Trump himself did two years ago and whether the special grand jury concluded that the former president committed any crimes.
The investigation of the 2020 midterm election in Georgia by Trump and his ally, Willis, Kunningham, and the Special Grand Jury
Trump lost to Joe Biden in Georgia by nearly 12,000 votes in 2020. The former president has insisted that there was nothing problematic about his activities contesting the election.
Cunningham told CNN that the report is certain to say either that conduct was done by Donald Trump or that it was done for him.
“That would tell us that this cross section of citizens, having spent nine months working hard at this, has concluded that at least some of what was done on behalf of the former president to overturn the election results was a crime,” he said. “I think that’s terrifically significant.”
It was not the perfect call for Trump to make to the Georgia Secretary of State, but it was what he had to do to get the votes he needed to win the election.
The grand jury, which is barred from indicting anybody, put out their final report after interviewing 75 people, including Rudy Giuliani, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Lindsey Graham.
Its final report will likely include summaries of the panel’s investigative work, as well as any recommendations that led the panel to its conclusions.
No one has been charged in the case yet, and another grand jury in Fulton County would make those decisions now that the special grand jury has presented its findings to Willis.
This time, the conclusion of the grand jury is crucial since it shows that Trump was attempting to overturn the results of a legitimate election. That could factor into charging decisions by state prosecutors, who are weighing whether to indict Trump and his allies with crimes related to 2020.
Will Donald Trump be Indicted? A Grand Jury Report on Mueller’s Investigation in Fulton County (Georgia)
The pages that were released Thursday did not provide any information regarding witness testimony that was heard by the grand jury.
Will Donald Trump be indicted? is a pressing question stemming from the Fulton County investigation. The excerpts of the report didn’t move the ball forward in answering the question. The name of the subject of the investigation or witness was not mentioned.
The consequences of the decisions made by the man could not be greater. The 2024 presidential campaign is already kicking into gear, and Willis’ decision on charging Trump could potentially scramble the Republican primary field.
Trump did not testify before the panel. His campaign insisted that he did nothing wrong, in a statement Thursday.
The grand jury also reviewed physical and digital evidence, as well as the testimony from investigators and the input of team of assistant district attorneys who outlined for the grand jury the applicable statutes and procedures.
“The majority of this Grand Jury used their collective best efforts, however, to attend every session, listen to every witness, and attempt to understand the facts as presented and the laws as explained,” the excerpts said.
An Analysis of the CNN Investigative Report on a Murdering Candidate Whose Voting Party Was Formed in Fulton County
Totaling just nine pages – three of which contained no substantive information – the portions released Thursday were short and didn’t provide extensive information on the investigation’s findings.
A journalist and author of the book “OK Boomer, let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind” is located in New York. You can follow her on a social networking site. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. View more opinion on CNN.
It’s time for former President Donald Trump and his associates to face the consequences of creating and perpetuating the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. For his supporters to see the truth, they have to re-enter the reality-based community.
He continued, “And you can’t let it happen and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is focus on this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”
Trump campaign officials and other allies also cooked up a seven-state scheme to create fake groups of Electoral College delegates who would circumvent the real election results and instead cast their votes for Trump.
This conclusion is unlikely to sway any of Trumps hardcore base, who have shown themselves to be very unpalatable. But it could influence a Republican Party in turmoil, divided over everything from their anti-abortion strategy to who should lead their party’s ticket in 2024. Many Republicans want to move past Trump because of his constant drama and hucksters. But many of those same Republicans fear the stubborn and loud Trump base.
They should emulate the work of this special grand jury. It seems highly unlikely that every member of this jury was a liberal Democrat. In Fulton County, where Biden won 76.2% of the vote, Trump supporters and Republican jurors usually vote for the GOP. The voters who voted for them were able to set aside their partisan interests, know the task they were assigned and behave accordingly. They gave the evidence a fair read; they made recommendations that were, hopefully, based on the information before them and not on partisan interests. They weren’t tasked with determining guilt or innocence but assessing whether the evidence supported bringing any criminal charges
They were asked to assess whether it’s possible that a former president and his allies had leveraged an attack on American democracy, or whether that president was telling the truth when he said the election was stolen.
They found that there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the elections, and that there should have been criminal charges against the people who committed the fraud.
That conclusion is no better than the one that members of the GOP have come up with, which is mostly opposed to attempts to determine responsibility for election-fraud lies.
Even after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol shocked the nation and left several dead, Republicans have mostly opposed efforts to determine what exactly happened and how.
If average people selected for a special grand jury can complete this task with honesty and integrity, surely it’s not asking too much for Republican officeholders to approach their roles with similar gravity: To declare that the election was free and fair, and to ask that those who may have broken the law or lied be held accountable.
Any criminal charges are now in the hands of prosecutors. But the future of the Republican Party — its fealty to democracy, to the country, and to truth itself — is in the party’s own hands. They can move forward by telling the truth, seeking accountability, and trying to regain some integrity. Or they can move on and not worry about how President Trump will react.
The grand jury heard from notable figures including Trump’s lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, told CNN’s Manu Raju on Thursday that he had confidence in his testimony.
Some legal analysts have found that the atmospherics of the case show that some indictments are likely, though charges do not necessarily mean that someone will be convicted at trial.
“I am convinced there will be indictments, either for perjury or for other crimes,” Thomas Dupree, a former deputy assistant attorney general in ex-President George W. Bush’s administration, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
Norm Eisen, a former diplomat and legal and ethics expert, told CNN on Thursday that the conclusion was a possibly important building block in any case against Trump. The finding “goes right to the core of what Donald Trump has been claiming happened in Georgia. It repudiates him,” Eisen said on CNN “Newsroom”
You couldn’t bring charges without this kind of conclusion on solicitation of election fraud, and it also established a basis for bringing charges. The nail is in the coffin that was already full of them.
It is not a good idea to get excited by Thursday’s events in Georgia or to over- interpret them, warned the former attorney general, who served in the Bush administration.
Trump, who has launched his 2024 campaign for the White House, denies any criminal wrongdoing. He has said that Willis, a Democrat, is politically biased and still promotes a false claim that he won the election.
The foreperson of the Atlanta-based grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election told CNN on Tuesday that the panel is recommending multiple indictments and suggested “the big name” may be on the list.
Emily Kohrs told CNN that she couldn’t imagine doing it for eight months and not getting a whole list of recommended indictments. It is more than a short list. It’s not.”
Some names on the list you wouldn’t expect are on that list. But the big name that everyone keeps asking me about – I don’t think you will be shocked.”
She is a proud woman: How many indictments did the special grand jury recommend? And what did she learn from the call by Donald Trump?
Kohrs declined later Tuesday to disclose exactly how many indictments the special grand jury recommended be brought as part of the investigation, saying only that she believes it is more than 12.
I believe that there was more than a dozen people, said Kohrs when asked if the number was more than 12. That’s probably a good assumption.”
“Yes, I am positive I have heard the president on the phone more than once,” she said. CNN previously reported that at least one additional call by Trump to a Georgia state official was part of the investigation.
She said she believed that the prosecutors acted in a nonpartisan way and tried to keep the proceedings fair even though she disagreed with Trump.
She told CNN that she did not think there was bias on the part of the team. They were always very worried about accidentally coloring their opinions one way or the other. They told us that their opinions did not affect our opinions or our knowledge.
“Personally, I hope to see her take almost any kind of decisive action, to actually do something,” Kohrs said. It appears that too many times in recent history someone got called out for something they had a problem with and no one did anything about it.
“How often does something actually happen? I would love to see something actually happen. He said not to make him take back his faith in the system. “The only thing I would be disappointed in, at this point, is if this whole thing just disappears. That’s the only thing that would make me sad.”
The Meeting and Conversation of Michael Flynn in Washington, D.C., February 21, 1993, at the Hilton Inn, California, Office of the Vice President, A.D. Kohrs
Some witnesses, including former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, were very friendly and cooperative, even though he did not want to answer some questions, according to the foreperson.
“Some of those people fought not to be there, but once they were there, they were willing to have a conversation, and I respect the hell out of that,” Kohrs said. “Flynn was honestly very nice in person. He was a very nice man. He was interesting. But I don’t recall him saying anything earth-shattering.”