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‘Going for the Jugular’: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Subpoenaed by ‘Tenacious’ Special Counsel – Legal Experts Respond

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The Dept. of Justice’s special counsel investigating Donald Trump’s role in the attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified and top secret documents has issued subpoenas to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

“The decision by the special counsel, Jack Smith, to subpoena Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner underscores how deeply into Mr. Trump’s inner circle Mr. Smith is reaching, and is the latest sign that no potential high-level witness is off limits,” The New York Times reports.

The Times notes that the then-president’s daughter was with her father during his speech at the Ellipse on January 6, 2021, and with him in the Oval Office that day when he called his vice president, pressuring Mike Pence to unlawfully reject the electors in an effort to keep him in office.

Ivanka Trump officially served as White House Advisor to the President and the Director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship. Kushner was a White House Senior Advisor and the Director of the Office of American Innovation.

Former U.S. Attorney and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, who was already on MSNBC as the news broke, observed Smith was “going for the jugular.”

READ MORE: Attorneys For Those Possibly Facing Indictment in Trump Georgia Probe Move to Kill Any Legal Action: Report

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, responding to the news, observed: “Pence. Meadows. Jared. Ivanka. One of these people has an *interesting* constitutional defense; the others will likely find themselves in the grand jury at least once—and maybe, depending on the scope of their invocations of executive privilege, twice.”

Former top DOJ official Andrew Weissman, also an MSNBC legal analyst and on the air at the time, called Special Counsel Jack Smith “tenacious” for subpoenaing Mr. and Mrs. Kushner, noting they were not being asked to appear for an interview, but for sworn grand jury testimony.

“There’s a wealth of information they could have about the fake elector scheme, about putting pressure on DOJ. Obviously, the pressure on Mike Pence,” Weissman told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “Indeed, it could even go into Mar-a-Lago because he couldn’t deal with what was it that they were told about how to retain or not retain documents.”

“This isn’t just about asking for them to come in for an interview, This is about asking them to come in and be in the grand jury,” Weissman stressed. “It shows that Jack Smith is really being tenacious. Usually there are all sorts of accommodations that are made for people like this to be interviewed, to have their counsel present, but this is saying, ‘No, like everyone in America, I’m entitled to everyone’s testimony in the grand jury,’ and they’re being treated just like everyone else.”

READ MORE: Watch: Alaska GOP Lawmaker Says It’s a ‘Benefit to Society’ When ‘Child Abuse Is Fatal’ Because There’s a ‘Cost Savings’

“The former president is now the former president, the Attorney General is not Attorney General Barr, and those kinds of accommodations don’t need to be made, or Jack Smith is going to be fired, and you see him really taking advantage of that, and making sure he can get their testimony under oath in the grand jury which is what you really need to do to set up a case going forward if you are going to bring charges.”

Weissman, asked if he thinks Bill Barr would also be subpoenaed, he said the former Trump Attorney General likely either has or will be subpoenaed before the grand jury. Litman countered that Barr may have already appeared voluntarily.

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BREAKING NEWS

Mark Meadows Reportedly Agrees to Plea Deal – Attorney Denies

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Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House Chief of Staff and former North Carolina Republican Congressman, reportedly has accepted a plea deal from the Dept. of Justice in exchange for pleading guilty to federal charges.

According to The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg, Meadows has also been co-operating with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigators, which several legal experts have recently suggested was likely happening.

“Over the course of the last year, grand jurors have heard testimony from numerous associates of the ex-president, including nearly every employee of Mar-a-Lago, former administration officials who worked in Mr Trump’s post-presidential office and for his political operation, and former high-ranking administration officials such as his final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows,” Feinberg reports at The Independent.

“Mr Meadows has already given evidence before the grand jury and is said to be cooperating with the investigation into his former boss,” the article, published Wednesday afternoon, states. “It is understood that the former North Carolina congressman will plead guilty to several federal charges as part of a deal for which he has already received limited immunity in exchange for his testimony.”

In an update to its reporting, The Independent adds Meadows’ attorney denies he would ever enter any guilty plea:

“A source who was briefed on the agreement claimed that the alleged agreement will involve the ex-chief of staff entering pleas of guilty to unspecified federal crimes but an attorney for Mr Meadows, George Terwilliger, denied that to The Independent. Mr Terwilliger said that the idea that his client would enter any guilty pleas was ‘complete bulls***’ but did not address the matter of immunity in a brief telephone conversation with this reporter.”

READ MORE: Pence Presidential Launch Mocked for Suggesting Drag Queens Are Assaulting ‘American Values’ – With No Mention of Trump

But in addition to breaking news that Meadows allegedly has accepted a plea deal, The Independent reports Trump is expected to be indicted under a portion of the Espionage Act. NCRM has not verified either of these reports.

“The Department of Justice is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice as soon as Thursday.”

“The Independent has learned that prosecutors are ready to ask grand jurors to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a portion of the US criminal code known as Section 793, which prohibits ‘gathering, transmitting or losing’ any ‘information respecting the national defence,'” The Independent adds.

In early June, former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean remarked, “Meadows has a really good lawyer, a former deputy AG, who could guide him through cooperation and a minimal plea deal of some sort.”

That attorney, George Terwilliger, played coy when asked about his client’s possible grand jury testimony. Terwilliger told The New York Times in an article published late Tuesday, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

Former Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman on Tuesday said, “I’ve already observed Terwilliger’s skill in representing Meadows. But if he got him an immunity deal–as opposed to a guilty plea + promise to cooperate deal–he is a wizard. [Would] think that Meadows is way too culpable to merit a pass, but if Smith [couldn’t] make case w/o him…”

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a former JAG attorney, tweeted on Tuesday:

“Mark Meadows had three options: 1. Take the Fifth Amendment. 2. Voluntarily cooperate. 3. Cooperate because he was given immunity or a plea deal. Based on the public reporting, it appears he did 2 or 3 above. This makes it more likely Donald Trump will be indicted, again.”

Meadows is a former chair of the far right House Freedom Caucus, and former chair of the House Oversight Committee.

NYU Law professor of law Ryan Goodman, a former U.S. Dept. of Defense Special Counsel, Wednesday morning said it is “NOT a big if” if Meadows has been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.

 

This article has been updated to include remarks from Ryan Goodman, and The Independent’s additional reporting with comment from Meadows’ attorney.

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

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BREAKING NEWS

Will Santos Choose Jail? Judge Rules Names of Persons Who Provided His Half-Million Dollar Bond Must Be Made Public

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A district magistrate judge Tuesday afternoon ruled the names of the three people who put up the $500,000 bond for U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) must be made public. Santos, under indictment on 13 federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress, has said he would rather go to jail than allow the names to be released to the public.

Santos pleaded not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond on May 10. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Law & Crime News’ Adam Klasfeld reports, “The identities of Rep. George Santos’s bond co-signers must be UNSEALED, a magistrate judge ruled. Santos has a brisk schedule for an appeal.”

Santos has until Friday at noon to appeal, or the documents and bond will be unsealed.

READ MORE: ‘Isn’t There a Beach in Mexico Waiting for You?’: Cruz Mocked for Claiming Garland Will Indict Trump Over SCOTUS Seat Loss

The embattled New York Republican Congressman’s legal team has argued “the three people who helped provide Santos’ bond ‘are likely to suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury,'” CBS News reported Monday evening.

“There is little doubt that the suretors will suffer some unnecessary form of retaliation if their identities and employment are revealed,” the motion also says.

“My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come,” Santos’ attorney said in the filing.

CBS News adds that the House Ethics Committee is also requesting the names of the three people who helped the Congressman make bail be made public.

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BREAKING NEWS

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

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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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