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The Story Of Lon And Jim: Torn Apart After 34 Years By The Hidden Evils Of Marriage Inequality



In this exclusive interview, Sarah Beach tells the story of Lon Watts and Jim Heath, who met at church in 1979. It was love at first sight. They went on a date that lasted four days, moved in together on day five, and were torn apart by an unscrupulous relative and the law because they couldn’t marry.


In 2005, citizens in Texas lined up in record numbers to vote on Proposition 2, a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage –- and banning the creation or recognition of any legal status identical or similar to marriage. Supported by obscene amounts of money from conservative right-wing Christian groups, and by such local luminaries as Governor Rick Perry, Focus on the Family, and the Ku Klux Klan, Prop 2 passed by a huge — more three-to-one — margin.

2005 was also the year Lon Watts, a native Texan, noticed that his longtime partner, Jim Heath, was starting to have strange foggy spells. Jim would stare off into the middle distance, looking preoccupied and confused. At first Lon thought Jim was upset with him. But when Lon tried to talk to Jim about it, Jim would mention things from the past as if they were happening right then. Lon’s heart sank; something was terribly wrong with the man Lon had loved and committed his life to for over 30 years.

These two events — the passing of Proposition 2, and Jim Heath’s diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s — combined to devastate the lives of both Lon and Jim, among many other gay couples in Texas. It’s the same in every state that does not recognize, or outright bans, same-sex marriage. The prejudice of some voters, and perhaps the cynical hopelessness of others, does not simply rob gay couples of a wedding — it makes people like Lon and Jim helplessly vulnerable, denying them the legal benefits bestowed by marriage. Because of Texas’ anti-gay law, Lon and Jim were unable to stop the horrifically cruel events that would play out over the next eight years. Lon and Jim’s story points out with stark clarity why marriage equality is vitally important, not just state-by-state but on a national level.

In 1979, Lon Watts, a shy, tall, self-described “loner” from Pecos, Texas was living in Houston. Growing up with an old-style Southern Baptist mother who listened to Andrew Womack rage about the evil homosexuals on the radio every day, Lon kept to himself. He was a big guy, and strong, but that didn’t stop the bullies and the gossip. Houston was much better — he even found a gay-friendly place of worship, the Metropolitan Community Church. He started coming out of his shell, a little bit, but mostly he was still pretty shy.

Which is why Lon surprised himself by what he said one evening to a total stranger, one Sunday after church service. “I was standing there, and I looked across the room, and I saw this man,” Lon said, his voice sounding amazed and happy even over the phone with me, 34 years later. “He looked like a cross between Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds. And I thought to myself, ‘Whoa, daddy!'” Lon laughs. “And believe it or not, I walked right up to him and I said, ‘Hello, gorgeous!'” And Jim smiled at me, and, well, that was it.”

I asked Lon, “What happened next?”

“He whisked me away on a four-day whirlwind date, in his slick little Cadillac El Dorado.”

“So, when did you finally decide to commit to each other and move in together?” I asked. “Oh, day five,” says Lon, nonchalantly. “That was it, you see.”

And that was it. Love at first sight, for both of them. An instant, strong, profound connection between two people, both smart enough to know what they’d found, and eager to start a life together. And oh, boy, what a life they had.

Jim was the outgoing one, the older one, the successful businessman who was good at social gatherings. Lon was younger, more introverted, but a born caretaker and an excellent gardener. Jim made the best coffee Lon had ever tasted, and they both loved decorating the house every year for Christmas, Jim’s favorite holiday. They got to know each others’ families. Family was one of their most central values — plus love, commitment, helping others, and giving back to the community. They had great parties, they participated in community events, and they volunteered. Neither one of them strayed — they never wanted to.

Still, they didn’t have the freedoms taken for granted by straight couples. Jim was a vice president at Prudential Reinsurance, working on huge cases like the MGM Grand hotel fire. He had seven offices, managed over 300 people, and traveled quite a bit, pulling down a comfortable six figures. He got Lon into the insurance business, and Lon worked for American General Fire and Casualty. They lived together and were with each other all the time, but (except to a small number of friends and relations), they were not out. They couldn’t be, in those days, especially in Texas. But life, together, was, “perfect” Lon sighs now. “The dream before the nightmare.”

When they decided to buy a house together in 2000, Jim’s sister, Carolyn Heath Franks, offered to help them out. Jim and Carolyn weren’t particularly close, and both she and Jim had been adopted, so they weren’t related by blood. But Jim and Lon were fond of Carolyn, and especially of her children. Jim had a credit issue due to an identity theft problem, so Carolyn offered to put the house in her name. She’d take out the loan, and they’d pay her over time until the mortgage was paid off; then the house would be put in their names and they’d own it free and clear.

A lawyer friend of Jim’s heard about this one evening, and took Jim and Lon aside. “Jim, whatever you do, get a contract with that woman,” the friend advised. “No,” said Jim, “My sister would never do anything bad to me.” Jim and Lon were like second fathers to Carolyn’s children, and despite a certain distance between Jim and his sister, Jim couldn’t imagine Carolyn would screw him over. Again, the friend pushed. “No, Jim, I’m serious — get a contract with that woman.” Again, Jim just smiled: “No, Carolyn would never do anything bad to me. It’s fine.”

So Jim and Lon found their dream house — a 2500 square-foot home, built in 1910, with a big front porch and lots of vintage charm. Jim gave Carolyn the $5000 down payment, and Lon and Jim moved in.

By 2005, Lon and Jim had been paying off the house for five years, with another eight years left before the house became officially theirs. Life was good. But Lon was also getting a little worried. Something was wrong with Jim. He was having those foggy spells, and was beginning to talk about things from the past as if they were happening currently.

In 2006, the dreaded diagnosis landed: early-onset Alzheimer’s. Without a second thought, Lon took a hiatus from work and became Jim’s primary caregiver. Jim’s decline was slow at first, but before long, he needed more and more care. Lon fed him, kept him occupied, filed for Jim’s disability, and made sure his retirement was processed correctly. Jim — being the heartbreaker he had always been – Lon kept Jim’s hair and mustache neatly groomed — Jim being the heartbreaker he had always been –- and gave him manicures and pedicures. Jim was still happy, and always knew who Lon was. And Lon was happy. He and Jim were together. It was enough.

Because Texas decided that gay couples had no rights to the protections straight couples take for granted, Jim’s semi-estranged adoptive sister could walk into that courtroom, and in one stroke, legally destroy Jim and Lon’s 34 years of committed love and partnership. Had Lon and Jim been allowed to marry, none of this would have happened.


When Carolyn’s elderly mother-in-law, Georgia Franks, became ill, Carolyn and her husband put her in the local Pittsburg Nursing Center. It was expensive — $3000 per month – and had low ratings for patient safety and health conditions. Insurance only covered a few months of care, so Lon and Jim offered to take Georgia in when coverage ran out. Carolyn jumped at the offer, and Lon and Jim fixed up the house so they could care for Georgia properly.

skitched-20130706-000042Lon resigned from his job to take care of two people at once. He replaced the dining-room table with a hospital bed. He drove Georgia to physical therapy sessions, fed her, read to her, made sure she was always groomed and looking her best. He gave her her meds, made sure that her needs were met — for physical maintenance, but also for companionship and love. Carolyn didn’t visit very often, “about three or four times,” Lon says. “She didn’t stay long.” She never even volunteered to come in and give Lon a night off. Well, some people aren’t so good with illness. But Lon had that natural knack for caregiving. For nearly a year, he cared for both Georgia Franks and Jim at the same time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. When Georgia passed, Lon held her hand, easing her way.

Some people with Alzheimer’s wander out of the house and get lost, but Jim was just the opposite. “He never wanted to leave the house,” says Lon. “So we stayed home. We lived for nearly a year on $890, Jim’s disability, which kicked in in 2008,” Lon says, “And we were still paying Carolyn the $400 toward the house, so we didn’t drink, party, or socialize. We just squeaked along.”

In 2011, Jim started retaining fluids, getting puffy. He became bowel-incontinent. He’d let Lon do just about anything else for his care, but would not allow Lon to wash him or clean up after incontinence accidents. They hired a helper, who came every other day to do those things.

Then came the awful day in early July. Jim was more out of it than ever. He was on the floor, not aware of his surroundings. Lon noticed that in addition to the swelling, Jim had a blister on his foot. It broke Lon’s heart to do it, but Jim had to go to the hospital. It was going to be rough — Jim, at this point, absolutely never left the house.

The EMTs came, but Jim, as expected, refused to go with them. Lon desperately texted Carolyn, who had Jim and Lon’s wills and Powers of Attorney naming each other guardian. “I need those documents,” Lon said, “Particularly Jim’s POA.” Carolyn said she had it, and she’d put it on Lon’s back porch. Lon checked – she’d left the wrong documents. He got back in touch with Carolyn. She said she couldn’t find them, says Lon, but would keep looking; maybe they were in the safe; maybe they should go to the County Clerk’s office and look. Strange.

The next day, Jim was clearly worse. Lon was frantic to get Jim to the hospital, but Jim just refused to go. Lon got the EMTs back to the house, and suddenly had a brainstorm.

“Jim,” Lon said, “You have a big meeting at Prudential. They’re all waiting for you.” Jim nodded. “Okay, boys, put me on the gurney,” he said. “Let’s go.” Jim was loaded up and the ambulance zipped away.

Lon got some things Jim might need for his stay, then made his way to the hospital. When he arrived, he saw that Carolyn had beaten him there. The nurses, he noticed, were looking at him suspiciously. They pulled him aside. “How much have you given him to drink?” they kept asking. Lon was baffled. Why were they asking such a question? “Nothing,” he said. He saw Carolyn talking to some nurses, looking at him. He approached Carolyn, but she refused to speak to Lon. Then, Lon says, she started yelling for security. “Get this man away from my brother,” she screamed. “He has abused and neglected him. Look at the blisters on his legs. Look how swollen he is.”

Lon was dumbfounded. He’d been telling Carolyn about Jim’s swelling, and only yesterday, he’d tried to get her to find Jim’s POA so that he could get the EMTs to take Jim to the hospital. He’d been taking care of this woman’s brother for years, he’d nursed Carolyn’s mother-in-law on her deathbed, and Carolyn was accusing Lon of abuse and neglect? What was she thinking? He tried again to talk to Carolyn, but Lon says she just kept screaming. Lon was crazy, Lon was abusing her brother, Lon was feeding Jim booze (a test was done and found no alcohol in Jim’s system). She demanded that Lon be thrown out. With tears in his eyes, confused and baffled and angry, Lon was physically dragged away from Jim by security guards, and thrown outside.

The next day, after a terrible night of no sleep, Lon went back to the hospital. He told the nurse “I have Power of Attorney. I have been in a relationship with that man for 34 years. I demand to see him.” The nurse told Lon he was trespassing, and once again, Lon was thrown out of the hospital by security.

And then, Lon was served with a No Trespassing order. Barred from visiting or contacting Jim. Though he tried to contact Carolyn to figure out what was going on, she would not speak to him.

A few days later, Carolyn Heath Franks filed for, and was awarded, full guardianship of her brother. During the proceedings, Lon says, she never even mentioned Jim’s Power of Attorney naming Lon as guardian. And, because Lon was not even notified that the guardianship proceedings were happening, he had no chance.

skitched-20130706-000439Because Texas decided that gay couples had no rights to the protections straight couples take for granted, Jim’s semi-estranged adoptive sister could walk into that courtroom, and in one stroke, legally destroy Jim and Lon’s 34 years of committed love and partnership. Had Lon and Jim been allowed to marry, none of this would have happened.

After Jim’s hospital stay, Carolyn sent him to Pittsburg Nursing Center – the same nursing facility from which Lon and Jim had spared Carolyn’s mother-in-law. At first, Lon was able to visit Jim a few times in the nursing home. Every time he saw Lon, Jim would brighten, and say “Lon, where you been? Are you here to take me home? I want to go home.” And Lon would have to say “No, Jim, you have to stay here just a little while longer.”

On one visit, Lon saw that Jim’s mustache had grown below his lip; his hair was shaggy; his nails were very long. He asked Jim’s nurse why she wasn’t grooming Jim. Lon says the nurse told him that Jim wouldn’t let anybody touch him. “That’s nonsense,” Lon said, and went home to get his clippers and grooming kit. As he had done so many times over almost 40 years, he carefully groomed Jim’s handsome mustache, his hair, and nails. Meanwhile, the nurse kept up a steady stream of complaints about Jim, and about other residents of the center, Lon says. Her attitude was so callous that Lon reported the nurse to the State board. The staff at the nursing home told Lon he was no longer allowed to visit, Lon says. The State board cleared the nurse, but two weeks later, the home fired her for abusing a patient. Lon, however, was still not allowed to visit Jim. When he appealed to the State board, pointing out that he’d been right about the abusive nurse, they told him that it was up to Jim’s guardian — Carolyn — and if she didn’t want Lon there, she had the right to ban him. From that day to this, Lon has not been able to see or contact Jim.

Carolyn was rarely there herself, Lon says. She said, “Why bother visiting, when he’s not even going to remember I was there?” Jim’s isolation continued. Next, Carolyn got the nurses to put up a “No Calls” order on Jim –- he is unable to receive calls from anyone. Any doctor will tell you that this is a terrible way to treat someone with Alzheimer’s — they need familiarity and security above all else. To isolate an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home with abysmal ratings, separate him abruptly and completely from his life partner of 34 years, and ban him from any contact with his former life and its inhabitants, seems incomprehensibly cruel.

Still, Carolyn Heath Franks wasn’t done. Lon was soon served with an eviction order. Carolyn owned the house, it said, and she wanted Lon out. He had two weeks to pack up and vacate the home he and Jim had been buying through Carolyn for 12 years, along with paying for property taxes and maintenance. They had only two more years of payments to make, and it would have been theirs free and clear – but in court, Carolyn was now claiming that the $5,000 down payment Jim had made to her had been a “gift.” The house was hers, she said, and she wanted it empty, now. The judge — with whom it is rumored Carolyn Heath Franks is friendly — granted her the right to evict Lon.

Lon contested the eviction, but lost, on Valentine’s Day 2012. He had hired a lawyer to fight Carolyn, and sold most everything Lon and Jim had owned to get up the $10,000 the first lawyer charged. The first lawyer did little good, Lon says, and after all the legal wrangling, Lon was left with nothing – except a growing sense of dread, depression, and a non-stop yearning to go to Jim and get him out of “that hell hole” and take him home.

Carolyn Heath Franks is an organist at St. William Laud Episcopal Church, and is very well-respected in the town of Pittsburg, Lon says. So when his friends began to turn their backs on him, when he began to hear gossip about himself, when he was banned from attending St. William Laud, he knew that it had to be Carolyn’s influence. She was not only isolating Jim, says Lon, she was also doing her best to make Lon’s life as miserable as possible. He didn’t understand how someone he’d done so much for could be so cruel — especially not a family member. The sense of betrayal was overwhelming. His depression worsened. Kicked out of the house he’d shared with Jim, Lon was forced to move back to his mother’s house, in Stroud, Oklahoma. He didn’t even have enough money left for gas to drive there, so – and Lon’s voice shuddered and broke as he told me this — he had to sell the rings he and Jim had given each other. He drove to his mother’s house in a fog of tears and frustration and longing for Jim.

“And here I am,” Lon finished.

I stopped taking notes for the interview and just held the phone, crying, unable to believe such cruelty could be inflicted by a family member. But then, any family member in a state banning gay marriage, who is greedy enough and mean-spirited enough, has the apparent legal blessing of the state to take whatever they want from a same-sex couple. After all, the relationship of a same-sex couple doesn’t count, doesn’t exist. So there’s no need to treat them as equal human beings. They have no civil right to their own relationship.

“I know he’s sick, and I know what kind of life he has ahead of him, and what I’ll need to sacrifice and do to take care of him… but…look. It’s like this. Mom raised me, but Jim made me the man I am. I owe my life to him. It is my duty to take care of him. And we promised each other not to let each other die in nursing homes; we swore it to each other. I will not let him die in that hell hole, all alone. I won’t. I don’t care about the house; I don’t care about the money; all I want is Jim back where I can take care of him.”


Laws like Prop 2 don’t just mean gays can’t have weddings, as some dismissively suggest. Marriage grants over 1100 specific legal rights, which straight spouses like me can take for granted. We are protected in many ways because we were born heterosexual. We are protected, for example, from the malevolent greed of relatives. This is not simply “a gay rights issue” — this is a civil rights issue, and laws abrogating the civil rights of a class of people have terrible consequences, far beyond a couple’s desire for a wedding celebration.

Lon and Jim’s story is, sadly, not rare. This kind of criminal scam is just one of the horrors being perpetrated in every state in the country that adopts prejudicial, antiquated laws, like Prop 2 in Texas. In many states, when one half of a gay couple gets sick or dies, their spouse may not have the right to visit them in the hospital — or that right may not be recognized.  Their spouse may not be allowed to make decisions for their health care, or even to attend their spouse’s funeral. The states that do not recognize same-sex marriage simply deny the existence of that couple’s relationship. You were never in love, says the state — you never cared for each other, you never lived together. And you have no rights, you will get no death benefits, and even if you sacrificed your career to further your spouse’s, when they die, you will not collect benefits.


This is partly why the death of DOMA, while important, is not enough – because all that SCOTUS decision does is toss the marriage equality question, like a hot potato, back into the laps of the states, where it will be at the mercy and whim of the prejudices and fears and religious strictures of each state’s citizenry.

As I’m sitting in silence with Lon on the phone, his deep Texas drawl halted for the moment in tears, it suddenly occurs to me: “Did it ever occur to you to just give up and leave? Taking care of a partner with Alzheimer’s is no picnic. And you have lost everything trying to do something that would terrify most people.”

Lon laughs, surprised. “You know what?” he says. “That has literally never crossed my mind. I’ve never even thought of it. I mean, yeah, I have lost everything and then some, but if I can just see Jim again…” Lon’s voice softens. “And I know he’s sick, and I know what kind of life he has ahead of him, and what I’ll need to sacrifice and do to take care of him… but…look. It’s like this. Mom raised me, but Jim made me the man I am. I owe my life to him. It is my duty to take care of him. And we promised each other not to let each other die in nursing homes; we swore it to each other. I will not let him die in that hell hole, all alone. I won’t. I don’t care about the house; I don’t care about the money; all I want is Jim back where I can take care of him.”

skitched-20130705-235031I think of a picture Lon sent me recently, of him and Jim at their first Christmas together. It’s an insanely adorable photo, taken in 1979. Jim and Lon are standing in front of a Christmas tree, surrounded by piles of gifts — some open, some waiting to be opened. Lon and Jim are holding flutes of champagne. Jim does, indeed, look like a cross between Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, with maybe a dash of Richard Burton. Lon is so young in this picture — adorably handsome. He stands with his head tucked down, his left arm sort of placed shyly on Jim’s back. Jim has one arm draped on Lon’s nearest shoulder, in a casual but sweet gesture that speaks of love, and also of ambivalence about appearing “out” in public. But there’s no escaping the pure joy on these two men’s faces. I mention the picture to Lon. “Oh,” he laughs, “That was such a great Christmas… you know why I’m looking down like that? When that picture was taken, I had just noticed a big box with my name on it. I knew what it was. A cowboy hat. Lon wanted us to have matching cowboy hats. He’s this big, important business-guy, but the truth is, he’s a kid at heart.. he just wanted me to have the best possible Christmas.”

Lon and Jim will never have that kind of Christmas again; never be young and at the beginning again. But think about this: The best Christmas gift Lon can imagine right now, is to take full responsibility for nursing his very ill, entirely beloved Jim, for as long as fate gives them. To sacrifice his social life and riches for the tenderness of feeding, grooming, cleaning, and cuddling his man. What Lon is praying for is something most people would run screaming from- – a few years of exhausting responsibility for the well-being of another human who isn’t your child. Lon wants nothing more than to take up that burden and shoulder it, for Jim, with love, compassion, and grace.

There is a possible light at the end of this darkness: Dax Garvin, a Houston lawyer, saw Lon’s story and has offered his services. He is working with Lambda Legal to get Jim and Lon reunited. Mr. Garvin is working pro bono, but Lon still has to pay for things like court filings, service fees, and travel expenses from his mother’s house in Stroud, Oklahoma to Texas and back.

Lon has a GoFundMe account, and he is very grateful for any amount people are willing to donate. Every dollar donated will go toward righting this terrible situation — every donation brings Lon and Jim closer to the day Lon dreams about.

“What’s your dream for that day?” I ask Lon.


I can hear his smile over the phone. “When Jim was in the hospital, the few times I got to see him before Carolyn had me thrown out, every time I saw Jim he’d say, “Hi, Lon – where you been? I want to go home. Are you here to get me? He doesn’t recognize everyone, but he always knows me.

“So my dream is that we win. And I go to pick Jim up. I walk in and say, “Jim, are you ready to go home?”

And Jim will smile and say, “Yes, Lon, where you been? Let’s go home.”

Editor’s note: Please read Sarah Beach’s latest on Lon and Jim, published July 13: “Lon And Jim: Together 34 Years, Separated By Family And The Law. An Update.”

In April 2013 The New Civil Rights Movement was the first news organization to report on the story of Lon Watts and Jim Heath, after their story appeared on the Gay Marriage USA Facebook page. You can read our original story: “TX Man: After 34 Years My Partner’s Sister Forced Us Apart, Took Our Home Because We Weren’t Married.”

skitched-20130706-103052Sarah Laidlaw Beach is an artist and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a straight ally who works as a graphic designer, and lives with her partner and dog.

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‘Indictment Anytime’: Experts Explain Significance of Trump’s Attorneys Meeting With DOJ – Warn Plea Deal Possible



Legal experts responding to news Donald Trump‘s legal team Monday morning walked into the U.S. Dept. of Justice agree it likely means Special Counsel Jack Smith is nearing a charging decision, but warn it could also mean the ex-president, under criminal investigation for unlawful handling of classified documents, among other possibly unlawful acts, might be offered a plea deal to avoid serving time in prison.

Trump’s attorneys being at DOJ “suggests indictment anytime. This would be the last step, and if neither side offers something worth thinking about, then DOJ would pull the trigger,” says former Dept. of Justice official Harry Litman.

“Plenty of possible angles they might choose to play including guilty plea for noncustodial sentence,” he adds, referring to any possible plea bargain with no sentence behind bars. “But unless Trump side leaks, discussions will stay confidential.”

READ MORE: ‘No Longer the Lord’s Chicken’: ‘Christian Woman’ Says She’s ‘Grieving’ Over ‘Woke’ Chick-fil-A Hiring a Diversity Officer

CBS News’ Robert Costa and Rob Legare broke the news that Trump’s attorneys had gone into DOJ. Responding to that, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance offers up a few possible scenarios.

“The smart move here for Trump is a guilty plea to a misdemeanor if DOJ will offer one & a felony with no jail time if they won’t,” she says, pointing to her Substack newsletter where she discussed this very subject Sunday night.

“For those who dislike these possible outcomes (I would number myself in that group), it’s nonetheless important to understand the prior precedent that will shape DOJ’s charging decisions & any plea offers in this matter. This is Trump’s best possible outcome, not the country’s,” says Vance.

READ MORE: Classified Pentagon ‘War Plans’ Document Trump Bragged About in Audio Recording Is Missing: Report

She adds, “Trump seems incapable of saying he’s done anything wrong. To plead, he’d have to say under oath in open court that he was guilty. It’ll be interesting to see if he can do that, or would rather run the risk of being convicted of felonies that carry up to 20 years in custody.”

“Good sign,” says former federal prosecutor of 30 years, Glenn Kirschner, observing, “if Jack Smith had decided against charging Trump, there would be no need for this meeting. The last federal prosecutors often do before indicting is meet with the target’s defense team & give them an opportunity to present any evidence or arguments they want to offer.”

Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County, Florida state’s attorney on MSNBC Monday morning said he believes Trump will be indicted this week.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Attorneys Just Walked Into DOJ – Special Counsel Expected to Reach Charging Decision Soon: Report



Attorneys for Donald Trump Monday morning entered the U.S. Dept. of Justice, as expectations grow the ex-president could soon be charged in his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return hundreds of classified and top secret documents.

CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa reports sources say Special Counsel Jack Smith is expected to reach a decision on charging Trump in the case soon.

“Trump’s lawyers just spotted by @CBSNews entering the Justice Department, per @RobLegare who is on site,” Costa tweeted at 10:09 AM ET. He says that “comes as sources tell me the special counsel is moving toward a charging decision in the classified documents case.”

Citing sources, Costa adds, “Trump’s lawyers are expected to raise concerns about how prosecutors have handled atty-client questions during the grand jury but there is no sign the special counsel is going to waver from how he and his team have handled the crime-fraud exception…”

READ MORE: Former DOJ Official Says Audio of Trump Admitting to Keeping ‘War Plans’ Makes it ‘Inconceivable’ He Will Not Be Charged

Trump’s attorneys being at DOJ is a possible sign the Special Counsel could be close to asking a grand jury to bring charges against the one-term, twice impeached ex-president who is currently facing 34 felonies in an unrelated New York case.

“Often defense attorneys are given the opportunity to ‘pitch’ the DOJ before a charging decision is made,” former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti notes. “Trump’s team visiting DOJ likely means that we won’t see charges in the next few days—as their pitch is considered—but could potentially see charges in the next 5 to 15 days.”

The Special Counsel’s grand jury is reportedly reconvening this week.

Legal experts and Trump watchers have been expecting the ex-president to be charged as soon as this week, after CNN reported Special Counsel Jack Smith had an audio recording of Trump admitting to holding on to a classified document, described by some as “war plans” against Iran. In that audio Trump reportedly also said he knew the document was classified, and said he wished he could share it, which destroys multiple claims he has made in his defense of retaining the documents.

That document is still missing, and the Pentagon appears greatly concerned about the document.

On Sunday night Trump lashed out at Smith, calling him, the DOJ, and the FBI all “Marxist,” and described the investigation into his possibly illegal handling of classified documents as the “boxes hoax.”


This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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Right-Wingers’ Latest Chick-fil-A Meltdown Proves They Have ‘Officially Jumped the Shark’: Morning Joe Panel



MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch mocked conservatives for running the “woke” hysteria into the ground.

Ron DeSantis and other Republicans have screeched about the so-called “woke agenda,” which they warn will undermine American values and put children at risk from all manner of threats, but the “Morning Joe” host said most voters simply don’t care about that manufactured issue.

“Joe Biden, 350 pieces of bipartisan legislation signed, and Ron DeSantis and everybody else is talking ‘woke, woke, woke, woke, woke,'” Scarborough said. “Again, something that I said on this show and I heard a lot about from liberals, even, in 2021. You’re not hearing it, again, in part because there have been some corrections. You have the head of Berkley Law School, Yale Law School, Stanford Law School going, ‘Hold on, hold on, we’re not going to let these woke mobs get in the way of free speech.’ They’re saying it at the most elite law schools in America, so common-sense Americans are going, ‘Okay, there may still be a problem, but they’re working on it,’ and yet these Republicans are all acting like it’s 2019, 2020 and they just keep freaking out. Well, Joe Biden is talking about job training and signing bipartisan bills.”

Conservatives have turned against Chick-fil-A for hiring a vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion — which actually happened over a year ago but largely escaped notice until recently — and Deutsche said that was a nadir for “woke” hysteria.

READ MORE: ‘Cowards’: Soledad O’Brien rips former CNN colleagues for silence as Chris Licht wrecks the network

“The ‘woke’ movement officially jumped the shark,” he said. “Joe, you touched on this earlier with the Chick-fil-A move. Right-wing company, I don’t say that negatively, very family values, closed on Sundays, the head of the — [company chairman] Dan Cathy came out against same-sex marriages. They’re very conservative. Now, all of a sudden — you’re right, very conservative, obviously a great company, and they came under fire they have a DEI initiative, diversity, coming under fire from right-wing groups. That’s the official moment that ‘woke’ officially jumped the shark and put Fonzie on skis in Honolulu.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

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