Elections Justice Department

DOJ Turns Up The Heat On Election Coup Plotters: 40 New Subpoenas Issued

The Justice Department turned the heat up considerably today, issuing 40 new subpoenas and seizing dozens of cell phones as part of the ongoing investigation into efforts by former president Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The New York Times reports that two of Trump’s senior advisers — Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman — had their phones taken by the FBI. Epshteyn, who is Russian-American, served as a strategic adviser to Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. Roman worked in the field of opposition research from 2017 to 2018, and after the 2020 election he was the person who handed the list of fake electors that were to be given to then-vice president Mike Pence. The Trump team had hoped Pence would submit the fake electors to a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021 in an effort to hold up certification of the electoral vote count.

Trump’s former social media director, Dan Scavino, was also served with a subpoena on Monday, as was ex-New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who set up a “war room” with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Jan. 6 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department is reportedly focusing in on the activities of Trump’s Save America PAC, which has provided millions of dollars to the ex-president since he left the White House. That would suggest that investigators suspect financial crimes, an alleged specialty of Trump’s that has led to legal problems for him in the past.

Trump is also facing indictment for illegally removing classified documents from the White House and storing them at his Mar-a-Lago resort. That investigation is also gaining momentum as the DOJ now believes Trump still has top secret files in his possession and could be attempting to move them from one location to another to prevent them from being discovered by authorities.


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DOJ Believes Trump May Still Have Classified Documents: Court Filing

A new court filing from the Department of Justice reveals that investigators believe there’s a very real possibility that failed, one-term, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump still has classified documents in his possession.

The filing was made in response to a federal judge’s ruling to appoint a special master who would review the documents the DOJ has managed to retrieve from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. However, that same judge also put a hold on the government’s case proceeding until the special master can rule on any documents that might be protected by attorney-client privilege.

Reuters reports:

“This motion is limited to … the seized classified records because those aspects of the order will cause the most immediate and serious harms to the government and the public,” the department said in its court filing.

And then came the mention of other documents still potentially being held by Trump in violation of federal law and possibly endangering U.S. national security:

The Justice Department on Thursday suggested there could be more classified records that were removed from the Trump White House that investigators have not yet located. This revelation comes about a week after the Justice Department released a detailed list of property seized from Trump’s home which showed the FBI located 48 empty folders labeled as classified and another 42 which indicated they should be returned to a staff secretary or military aide.

If U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon refuses to agree with the DOJ, the agency has made it clear it will go over her head and appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Atlanta.

Legal experts said that the Justice Department is handling the matter of Cannon’s ruling perfectly and suspect that she will eventually either back away from her previous order halting the investigation or be overturned on appeal.

“I think the government has embarked on a shrewd tactical strategy,” said David Laufman, an attorney who previously served as chief of the department’s counterintelligence section.

“They are focusing on what is most critical and most time-sensitive, both with respect to protecting the national security interests of the United States and with conducting follow-up investigative action.”

Judge Cannon has until Monday to modify or withdraw her order.

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Former Trump Attorney Predicts DOJ Will Indict Donald ‘Relatively Soon’

Now that we know failed, one-term, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump had some of the most sensitive nuclear documents the U.S. government possesses, there are new calls for Trump to be indicted by the Justice Department if only to send a message to others that no one is above the law and highlight the seriousness of such actions.

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said Wednesday on MSNBC that he’s convinced his former client will indeed be indicted “relatively soon.”

Host Joy Reid predicted that “No one will stop him. He’s untouchable.”

Cohen disagreed:

“I’m not so sure I would agree with that statement. Yes, he’s gotten away with so much already from obstruction of justice, witness tampering, tax fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and misrepresentations. He’s gotten away with a litany of things and however, and this makes me scratch my head. The taking of classified documents, I mean, nuclear top secret documents should no longer be a Republican versus a Democratic issue, and I listened to all of the pundits on television whether, you know, it’s this station, CNN, Fox, listen to them all. This is an American issue, and I don’t understand what we’re doing. It’s not a question of whether the law is being applied equally to all. It is not. For God’s sake. The DOJ, they are tiptoeing around Donald as if he was the king, right? The supreme leader or a monarch…”

Cohen added that Trump cannot be above the law:

“I do think there’s going to be an indictment and relatively soon. I believe there will also be congressional hearings with Donald in the hot seat where, you know, either he’ll come in willingly which I don’t think he will or via subpoena. I mean, the real questions that they have to be asking right now is, you know, where are the documents that were in the empty top secret files that were found at Mar-a-Lago? I mean, that’s really the big question, and who did Donald give them to or show them to.”

Let’s hope Cohen is right. It’s way past time for Donald Trump to face the bar of justice.


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Latest DOJ Court Filing Lays Waste To Trump’s Claims Of Innocence 

The Justice Department made clear in a Tuesday evening court filing that they believe they have all the evidence they need to charge former president Donald Trump with multiple crimes, including the mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of justice.

The filing, according to the Washington Post, suggests that the DOJ does indeed plan to seek criminal charges against Trump:

The filing traces the extraordinary saga of government officials’ repeated efforts to recover sensitive national security papers from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club, centered on a storage room where prosecutors came to suspect that “government records were likely concealed and removed … and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”

For the first time, investigators with the DOJ included a redacted photograph showing some of Trump took with him when he left the White House in January of 2021:

Among the most incriminating details in the government filing is a photograph, showing a number of files labeled “Top Secret” with bright red or yellow cover sheets, spread out over a carpet. Those files were found inside a container in Trump’s office, according to the court filing. A close examination of one of the cover sheets in the photo shows a marking for “HCS,” a government acronym for systems used to protect intelligence gathered from secret human sources.

The filing also mentions other instances of what can best be called obstruction:

“The former president’s counsel explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room, giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification markings remained.”

MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann noted Wednesday morning that the Justice Department filing means Attorney General Merrick Garland will indeed seek to indict and others who may have assisted him:

“What we’ve seen now, having crossed the Rubicon and having sent the FBI agents down there to do that search and seizure, having come back and now know how many documents were there, how long Trump resisted. How high the level was, and now DOJ here laying it on the floor and putting the photographs out, they’re not just spiking the ball on all of Trump’s legal team, bad legal interpretations and maneuvers, but they’re implicitly or explicitly kind of single-handedly tipping their hand, too. I don’t understand a world in which Merrick Garland could not indict Donald Trump. I think that’s where we’re heading.”

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Unsealed Filing Reveals A ‘Significant Number Of Witnesses’ Reported Trump To DOJ

Donald Trump is going to have trouble sleeping tonight, especially since the Justice Department has just made it clear that there are numerous people at Mar-a-Lago who turned him over to the DOJ for hoarding classified documents.

The heavily redacted affidavit used to justify a search warrant of Trump’s Palm Beach resort reveals that prosecutors are worried witnesses could face threats or other harm in order to obstruct the ongoing investigation.

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance focused in on the mention of multiple witnesses during an appearance on MSNBC:

“One very interesting tidbit we get from the legal memo that DOJ submitted to unseal the redacted version of the affidavit is what I think is the first effort to quantify the number of cooperating witnesses that DOJ had when they obtained this search warrant. They’re talking about the need to protect their witnesses from any sort of potential harm, and they say that there are a significant number of civilian witnesses. So we don’t know — is that five? Is that 10?”

Vance continued:

“But I think it’s important to realize here that DOJ was not just relying on one or two witnesses. Likely this is, as they say, a significant number of civilian witnesses as well as people in law enforcement who need to be protected as this investigation moves forward, and that puts into context what we’re looking at here.”

Additionally, Vance noted the unprecedented nature of what the country currently finds itself in the middle of:

“We’re talking about a former president of the United States who’s clearly taken with him when he left office materials, whether they’re classified or not, that could do grave damage to our national security if they’re disclosed in an inappropriate fashion, and not only is that former president resistant to returning those documents, also DOJ has legitimate reasons to believe that there are risk to witnesses who are helping complete this investigation. That should be a sobering moment for us to realize we’re in this situation with former President Trump.”