Former President Donald Trump needs a small army of attorneys to assist him in his fight to fend off a multitude of investigations into his conduct and affairs.
Brandi Buchman ·
BREAKING developments unfolded on Thursday afternoon after the publication of this story.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he did review the search warrant issued for Trump’s property and wants it to be unsealed with portions redacted. Trump has an opportunity to object and Garland amply left him that chance.
Trump spent huge amounts of time after the search decrying it as a “witch hunt,” and further political persecution. Simultaneously, he has refused to release details of the warrant which he could use, potentially, to support these claims.
The bluff is now called by Garland. Along with the redacted portion of the warrant the department wants public, the DOJ has also requested that two attachments are included. One of those attachments could potentially be an affidavit stating reasons for probable cause. This would potentially be the more valuable document informationally since a warrant itself is typically vaguely itemized. However, an affidavit for probable cause would not be made public unless charges there is an indictment.
Link to the DOJ’s motion available here:
United States’ Motion to Un... by Daily Kos
Read more here via Daily Kos staff writer Laura Clawson.
The former president is under scrutiny from nearly every angle, from the search of Mar-a-Lago for White House records to the Justice Department’s ongoing probe of Jan. 6 to the civil and criminal investigations of his taxes and real estate dealings under the Trump Organization banner,
There’s also Georgia, where state district attorney Fani Willis has a probe running full swing into whether Trump broke the law when he tried to overturn that state’s election results in 2020 by calling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and asking him to “find” votes that would help him overturn Trump’s defeat.
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Meanwhile, after a summer of blockbuster hearings, the Jan. 6 committee is still quietly at work.
A batch of some 20 witness transcripts was teed up for the Justice Department last month and committee investigators continue to take interviews, collect evidence, and assess “loose ends,” as committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin told Daily Kos last month.
Those loose ends vary widely, from Trump’s alleged bilking of donors who handed over their cash for “The Big Rip-Off” to the extremist elements once swirling in and around White House walls.
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The committee has been mum of late and historically split on whether it will issue a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, but by rights, the panel could do so at any time. A committee spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.
The Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has charged nearly 1,000 people for crimes connected to Jan. 6, and the department’s review of the role Trump and others in his orbit played to overturn the 2020 election has quickened in recent weeks as details about various grand juries investigating Trump’s fake elector bid have emerged.
To help him meet this moment, Trump has spent time assembling a band of attorneys, many of whom have represented or currently represent his allies and cohorts wading in a sea of legal trouble all their own like Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon, and Rep. Scott Perry, to name a few.
Trump’s final showdown with the Justice Department is expected, in large part, to revolve around executive privilege. He has retained attorneys John Rowley and Evan Corcoran to assist on this front.
There are also reports that Trump is weighing whether to bring on Tim Parlatore, an attorney who currently represents Doug Mastriano, the Republican state senator who bussed Trump supporters into D.C. on Jan. 6. Parlatore has previously represented Bernie Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who carved out a spot on Trump’s campaign team and coordinated several meetings in Trump’s “war room” at the Willard Hotel ahead of Jan. 6. Kerik ended up cooperating with the select committee voluntarily.
Rolling Stone reported this week that conversations between Trump and Parlatore have been “sporadic.” The former president is allegedly a big fan of him, however, and has referred to Parlatore endearingly as a “killer” behind closed doors. Parlatore previously represented Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes.
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution reported first on Thursday that Trump has now too retained Drew Findling to represent him in the Fulton County investigation led by Fani Willis. Findling is known for representing celebrity rap musicians like Cardi B and Gucci Mane and has, as notably pointed out by The New York Times on Thursday, openly criticized Trump in the past.
For the New York attorney general’s investigations of Trump and the Trump Organization, the former president is represented by Alina Habba. Habba was recently sued by a former co-worker who claimed Habba had racist outbursts at work, including calling New York Attorney General Letitia James a “Black bitch.”
Habba represents Trump in another matter as well: the defamation suit brought against him by author E. Jean Carroll. Carroll alleges that Trump defamed her in 2019 after she wrote an article that stated he once sexually assaulted her. Trump accused her of lying and Carroll sued. That trial begins in February 2023.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation of the Trump Organization for tax fraud is still open, though two of its leading prosecutors resigned, citing complaints with District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his slow-walking of the probe.
Related to both of the civil and criminal probes in New York is that the House Ways and Means just this week secured its hard-fought victory to access Trump’s tax returns. Trump can still appeal. A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.