Andrew Weissmann, the former counsel of the FBI and prosecutor for Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, said that recent reports that the FBI is questioning more and more people suggests that the investigation into the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago is moving much quicker than previously understood.
On a panel with former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, Weissmann explained that the fact that the Justice Department is seeking information from Trump’s personal valet, Walt Nauta and the Presidential Records Act appointed aide Kash Patel “is a real sign that the investigation is way past the beginning stages.”
“I’m particularly intrigued by the fact that the government appears to be seeking an order from the chief judge of the D.C. District Court compelling Mr. Patel to testify,” Weissmann continued. “That is — that’s a very bold step to be taking at this point. It makes it clear that the government is not looking to bring a criminal case against Mr. Patel, but is willing to immunize him and put him in the grand jury, because they want to know the inside story of what he has to say, particularly, I would think, about the alleged declassification of documents. And the same with Mr. Nauta.”
He explained that the “strong grand jury process” gives the government the ability to compel testimony from those aides closest to Trump.
“Obviously, if you’re the target of an investigation, that is a difficult situation to be in because you’re constantly guessing about what the government knows,” Weissmann continued. “And I think in Donald Trump’s case, trying to think how to thwart that — can be a form of obstruction if he engages in it.”
Over the past several months since the document scandal began, Kash Patel has been all over the map when it comes to his defense of Donald Trump. At one point he falsely claimed that the former president can declassify documents by simply standing over them and saying “they’re declassified.” In another interview, he claimed that Trump will never get in trouble because the General Services Administration (GSA) packed up Trump’s boxes and they were the ones who somehow forced Trump to steal the documents.
It isn’t true, as Figliuzzi explained, noting that the GSA asked the White House to sign a form saying that they packed the boxes “and that whatever is in there is necessary for you when you move out of the office.” It’s unknown who signed that document from the White House, but it is likely available via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Figliuzzi also said that Patel can get out of trouble by saying he simply didn’t know, despite his legal education, that Trump had no right to the documents and couldn’t magically declassify them.
“But the key to Patel is whether he had direct conversations with Trump or those immediately around Trump about obstructing, by saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to do this for you, boss. I’m going to say, you declassified these. And I’m going to make that argument that I somehow knew about that.’ Maybe he’s clairvoyant. I don’t know. You and I talked about this before. There has to be a tangible process. There has to be a defensible process around the declassification of documents. And there’s no evidence here. And Trump knows that, and Kash Patel knows that.”
Figliuzzi also said that Patel might be someone, like many of those around Trump, who wants to take the fall and save Trump, regardless of what that means.
“Let’s remember something, Trump was thinking about making Patel either the deputy director of the CIA or the deputy director of the FBI,” he also recalled. “By the way, those are career positions. You just don’t grab somebody off the street for those. But that is the influence that Patel had with Trump, and vice versa. So, he’s the fascinating piece of this.”
Watch video below or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately
Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”
McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.
“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”
Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”
‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
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