The January 6th Commission has ended, but the investigation into Donald Trump is far from over.
Trump is now in more danger of being prosecuted than at any time since he entered politics. The newly appointed special counsel is overseeing not one but two lawsuits against him that have been ongoing for months. The first concerns Trump’s efforts to reverse Joe Biden’s election victory, and the second concerns Trump’s handling of classified information. Separately, a state investigation into his campaigning and his business practices is ongoing, and Trump has lost immunity from prosecution for a sitting president (per Justice Department policy). opined that Trump’s efforts to steal the election amounted to criminal violations of the law.
Even if you are prosecuted, that’s not the end of the story. As with many legal challenges from Trump’s team, one or more trials will follow (some in front of presumably sympathetic judges). Only voters can stop him, but Trump continues to lead all polls in the Republican field, where he has many candidates, despite talk of his recent political woes. . There may be many more twists and turns ahead.
But for now, all attention is on its new special adviser, Jack Smith.
Smith, a Justice Department career prosecutor who resigned to serve in The Hague to prosecute war crimes in Kosovo, took over two investigations that have been running for months.
The investigation into Trump’s attempt to stay in power seems very substantial in substance, but the strength of the lawsuit, and the evidence against him personally, is less clear.
Meanwhile, while an investigation into his handling of classified documents appears legally clear with the strong evidence behind it, investigators are skeptical about whether the crime was serious enough to warrant prosecution. Tensions are reportedly high.
So will the Special Counsel try to indict the President in a significant but possibly more difficult case? Or both?
State of investigation into Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 election
The Justice Department’s larger investigation into the Jan. 6 attacks has been ongoing since it happened, initially focusing on those who actually stormed the Capitol. Initially, there was no real consensus in political circles as to whether Trump was actually guilty of a web of lies about the election. As such, an investigation into him does not appear to have begun immediately.
We now know that the prosecution team began scrutinizing Trump and his associates more intensely in the fall of 2021. About a year ago, the team “was given permission by the Department of Justice to take cases all the way up to Mr. Trump, if the evidence leads them there,” according to his recent CNN article.
The investigation proceeded quietly at first. In January 2022, The Washington Post reported that “so far, the department does not appear to be directly investigating Trump.” But just a week and a half after that article, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed his one aspect of Trump’s plan: an investigation into fake electors. This would nominate Trump supporters as electors in key battleground states Biden won, have their alleged electoral votes submitted to Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, and have the actual electors vote. It was an effort by Trump allies to effectively dissent.
“Our prosecutors are looking into them and cannot say more about the ongoing investigation,” Monaco said.
By May, the probe had subpoenaed many of Trump’s aides to turn in documents, specifically seeking information about lawyers who tried to help him overturn the election. Searched by investigators. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is involved in Clark’s investigation because he was a DOJ employee at the time. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who put Trump in contact with Clark, is also a key subject in this investigation.
By late July, the Washington Post reported that prosecutors had been asking “hours and hours of detailed questioning” about Trump’s behavior. Recently, new subpoenas were issued to state officials Trump tried to pressure.
In recent months, a growing number of Trump aides have testified before one of the grand juries in Washington, DC. He filed a covert case to try to block testimony from an aide like Philbin, but he lost the case and they testified last month.
At this point, the investigation certainly seems very vast and serious. Importantly, however, visibility is still lacking for some key questions.
First, how strong is the evidence against Trump personally? Did they “turn over” members of his inner circle who could testify that he was willfully corrupt? Can he escape prosecution by claiming that (some of) his attorneys advised him that whatever he was doing was legally permissible?
Second, what is the DOJ’s view on the legal issues at the heart of the lawsuit? claimed. obstructing official proceedings, conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to make false statements, and supporting riots. And federal judge David Carter has already ruled months ago that evidence suggests Trump committed some of these crimes.
Still, Justice Department investigators are clearly taking the investigation very seriously, but they’re not entirely sure if they agree with Judge Carter’s analysis of the law, or what they think about it. One of Trump’s allegations in his defense is that he was not involved in criminal conspiracies, but was involved in political activities and political speeches. will be If he is indicted, the debate will eventually reach the Supreme Court.
This is all fairly new territory and it’s hard to point out a case similar to this. This topic is very important, but Trump’s actions were unprecedented, so what the Special Counsel will do? There are few roadmaps for way to proceed.
Confidential document investigation
In contrast, the sensitive document case looks simple from both a legal and evidential standpoint, but has its own potential problems.
When the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago for classified documents in August, the political community was left speculating about what could have justified such extraordinary behavior and what Trump was planning to do. I was full. Was he selling classified material to the highest bidder? Was he trying to blackmail the Deep State? A Washington Post report looking for “documents” suggested that this was indeed monumental.
According to a more recent report on the investigation, DOJ prosecutors and FBI agents working on it are not entirely in agreement on the strength of the case.
According to a Washington Post report in December, the FBI didn’t want to take up the case at first. The National Archives wanted them involved because Trump had belatedly discovered classified material in a box and thought more material was missing. Even after Trump appeared to ignore a grand jury subpoena and return the documents, some of his FBI agents working on the case questioned whether the investigation was well-founded. I wasn’t sure,” reports the Washington Post.
The search took place in August, and prosecutors claim to have found dozens of classified documents, but exactly what was found remains a mystery. contains “highly sensitive information about Iran and China,” including statements about Iran’s missile program. The government has expressed concern that this information may endanger human sources. However, these claims are difficult to assess. Because the information is confidential.
Meanwhile, the split between the DOJ and FBI reportedly continues. Bloomberg News reported in October that some DOJ prosecutors thought there was enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice for failing to comply with a subpoena, but some “including the FBI” Inside Critics reportedly questioned why Trump was indicted when Hillary Clinton was president. She’s not her own classified intelligence investigation. (Clinton had emailed some sensitive information on her chain to the personal email account she used for her job. (The paper documents were kept in
Moreover, another Washington Post article suggests that, in investigators’ eyes, the more sinister and speculative theories about Trump’s motives for keeping classified documents are unfounded. Instead, they came to believe that his motives were “mainly his ego and desire to keep the materials as trophies and keepsakes”. I can’t, but Less than There may be a clearer threat to national security than, for example, an attempted sale of documents.
So there’s clearly tension among reporter sources over whether Trump’s crimes here (when Clinton wasn’t charged) were serious enough to merit prosecution, and Justice Department prosecutors said Preferring a more aggressive push, FBI agents are more suspicious.
Special Counsel Smith needs to sort out his own views on all of this, not just the 2020 investigation. But his opinion will be crucial in determining whether Trump will finally be indicted next year.