How Donald Trump’s Problems All Converged at Once in One Hellish Week
With FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago This week, former President Donald Trump is in one of the lowest points since he left office.
After fighting subpoenas for half a year, Trump was finally forced to testify on Wednesday at a closed-door meeting with New York Attorney General Letitia James about bank and insurance fraud charges at his family company — a civil case that could force the company to shut down. row.
He pleaded with the Fifth, still a self-incriminating ploy against a man, during the 2016 presidential campaign, claiming, “If you’re innocent, why would you make the Amendment? Fifth sentence?” While this move may exempt him from criminal liability, it will only strengthen AG’s case in civil court, where remaining legally silent can be considered credible evidence. own curse.
The prospect of another lengthy and damaging trial also hangs over the Trump Organization and the former president’s right-hand man, Allen Weisselberg. According to Duncan Levin, an attorney representing a witness in that case, prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office are currently preparing witness testimony for an upcoming criminal trial about the plan to escape. corporate taxes on personal privileges.
Weisselberg will appear in court on Friday.
The Fulton District Attorney is also stepping up Her investigation into Trump’s threatening phone call for the top election official in Georgia last year, with special jury It’s a pull witnesses behind closed doors to prepare a formal report that could pave the way for a criminal indictment violate state law.
Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani will be there next Wednesday, according to a source close to the matter.
The House of Representatives January 6 Committee is also continue its investigationafter having document recording how Trump tries to overthrow the American democratic system and still in power. The committee shot Trump himself for engaging in what could be described as witness tampering, threatening to refer him to the Justice Department because he allegedly had contact with at least one former employee. before congressional testimony. And members are professionally publicizing that Trump has obstructed a formal Congressional proceeding.
The widely watched hearings will continue next month.
On Tuesday, after losing a bitter legal battle with an exasperated employee, Trump’s 2016 campaign disclosed in court documents that it was Notify former employees that they have been released from their one-time non-disclosure agreements.
They are now free to mention any Trump misconduct.
An appellate court also rule on Tuesday that the House Ways and Means Committee is authorized to review Trump’s tax returns — the crown Democrats have sought for half a decade to prove that the billionaire always lie about his wealth, property and how much he has to pay taxes.
Trump’s taxes will likely receive congressional hearings of their own soon.
And then came the most threatening development: the surprise appearance of FBI agents at Trump’s Palm Beach mansion. More than two days later, the raid is still shrouded in mystery, mainly because Trump won’t disclose the details of the order his attorneys were given.
To be fair, what little is known about the visit comes mostly from breathlessness statement Trump did on his internet social media network, TruthSocial.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently besieged, raided and occupied by a large group of special forces. FBI,” his account posted Monday night. “After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, an unannounced raid on my home was unnecessary or appropriate… they even broke into my safe!”
Several legal scholars told The Daily Beast it was unlikely that anyone outside of a small DOJ team had seen the affidavit of the top FBI agent supporting the search warrant application, which would detailing exactly why the authorities were there. But the subpoena itself should at least provide some clues as to why the FBI is knocking on the door — as well as what potential crimes Trump could be charged with.
Anonymous sources told several news outlets that the raid was part of an ongoing investigation into Trump’s unauthorized removal of classified documents from the White House and moving them to his home in South Florida – a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act. The law itself was introduced after former President Richard Nixon, who was impeached and resigned, improperly kept tons of records that could further damage an already miserable reputation. your.
Even a local law enforcement agency was kept under wraps about the Mar-a-Lago raid. The Palm Beach Police Department said in a statement that it was “not aware of the existence of a search warrant nor is [it] assisting the FBI in the execution. “
“The Palm Beach Police Department continues to maintain a good relationship with the FBI; however, we are very disappointed that they have had a lack of communication regarding this incident,” Major John Scanlan wrote for The Daily Beast.
Another agency in the area, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, told The Daily Beast it was “not involved”.
According to three sources, one of the top defense attorneys to represent Trump in the criminal investigation that led to the FBI raid is Evan Corcoran, an attorney who recently represented the winged media personality. Steve Bannon at his trial for defying a congressional subpoena and remaining loyal to Trump. An attorney briefed on the matter said Corcoran negotiated with the DOJ at least two months prior to the raid, discussing the location of classified and sensitive material still at Mar-a-Lago. — at one point in a locked basement storage room. .
Three lawyers told The Daily Beast that the FBI’s unannounced raid on Corcoran’s target because any unexpected knock on the door by federal agents reflected a breakdown in negotiations between the companies. prosecutors and defense attorneys.
“That’s what the Department of Justice will use it to: remove an attorney, create mistrust between clients and their attorneys,” said Alan Dershowitz, a legal scholar who served on the defense team. of Trump during his first impeachment trial.
A person’s attorneys try to convince prosecutors not to prosecute and will hand over documents and evidence to make the process easy and not start a fire. But when those talks seem to go nowhere — or when there’s a risk that the evidence will be destroyed — law enforcement takes action.
“It’s not uncommon for the DOJ to try to be as outreach and dialogue as possible,” said Kendall Coffey, a Miami attorney who served as the region’s top federal prosecutor in the 1990s. “But if the DOJ to some extent decides there’s going to be a search, they won’t tell the attorney about the subject of the search.”
“A search warrant — while you’re discussing it — signals significant adversity,” he said. “Prosecutors can be friendly and polite, even if they intend to prosecute your client.”
Dershowitz, who has criticized the FBI’s historic move as “hard to justify,” said Trump’s criminal defense attorneys should have been more combative and tried to loudly and publicly block the search.
“He has to be very aggressive, and he has to go to court, and he doesn’t trust negotiations with the Justice Department. He must search for commands. He had to find a way to get a specially appointed master to look at the documents,” Dershowitz told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “There should have been a lawyer before the judge at 10 a.m. yesterday.”
The danger to Trump personally is very serious. Violating the Presidential Records Act, a little-known and rarely cited law, comes with an unforeseen risk of jail time but the real threat of Forbid him from being re-elected.
Anyone who knowingly conceals, deletes, or destroys any presidential records — or even attempts to do so — is “ineligible to hold any office of the United States.”
John W. Carlin, who lead the National Archives In a decade under Clinton and Bush II, the Justice Department was right to become “much more aggressive.”
“I would be shocked if they were unrelated classified records. There’s a reason why those boxes were taken away,” he said of the Mar-a-Lago raid.
“We are talking about national security. We are talking about protecting records that are not routinely made available to the public. Stage = Stage. Ad profiles are managed very strictly. As Archivist, even I can’t walk in and see the classified files for a moment,” he said.
Carlin said that even at the White House, presidents are required to handle documents with sensitive information carefully.
“Just because you sit in the back [Resolute] desk doesn’t mean you can randomly have classified files sitting around the Oval Office. That’s not how they handle it,” he said.
Much less when you’re a former president sitting in the back Resolutely fake desk at a private club.
“Arbitrarily taking two or three boxes from the White House without permission… there is no right way,” Carlin said.
The next stage of Trump’s troubles depends entirely on what he does next.
His reluctance to immediately release a copy of the search warrant received by his team may have saved him from embarrassing details in the short term, but it did New York Times arrive conditions for access with it. If that case succeeds in convincing a South Florida federal judge to rescind the subpoena, Trump will be pressured to publicly explain what he did in possession of sensitive government documents.
Meanwhile, his relentless attacks on those who authorized and conducted the FBI’s search on Monday are agitating his most ardent supporters, who have begin to openly discuss the act of violence against, among others, the magistrate judge said to have signed the subpoena application.
Based on Evil behavior, a right-wing forum dedicated to Trump — formerly hosted on Reddit and now on an independent website — has become a hub for Trumpists to publicly post contact information and personal details. magistrate judge. The threat was real enough that Florida’s Southern District Court took down Judge Bruce E. Reinhart’s official website.