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.”
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.
If the Special Counsel has given Mark Meadows immunity to testify (NOT a big if), here’s why that’s enormously significant about the likelihood of an indictment of former President Trump in January 6th investigation.
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) June 7, 2023
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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Peter Navarro, Former Top Trump White House Advisor, Guilty of Criminal Contempt
Peter Navarro, the controversial economist and former top Trump White House advisor, was found guilty by a jury on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress Thursday afternoon after a short trial that began on Tuesday.
Navarro refused to comply with a congressional subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Legal experts had predicted a “quick conviction” after Navarro, called a “conspiracy theorist” who promotes “fringe” economic theories, had called no witnesses. The jury deliberated for under five hours. He faces up to two years in prison.
“The defendant chose allegiance to former President Trump over compliance with a subpoena,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi told the jury Thursday, as Politico reported. “The defendant chose defiance.”
“Our government only works when people play by the rules and it only works when people are held accountable when they do not,” Aloi also said, during closing arguments. “When a person intentionally and deliberately chooses to defy a congressional subpoena, that is a crime.”
Politico reported earlier that “ Navarro has long claimed that Trump told him to defy the committee’s Feb. 9, 2022 subpoena and assert executive privilege, a demand he said conferred immunity from having to cooperate with Congress’ investigation.”
“There’s no mistake, no accident,” prosecutor John Crabb told jurors, NBC News adds.
“That man thinks he’s above the law,” Crabb said. “In this country, nobody is above the law.”
‘Look for a Quick Conviction Here’: Navarro Jury Could Reach a Verdict ‘Early This Afternoon’
Peter Navarro‘s criminal contempt of Congress trial is moving quickly and the jury may come to a verdict as early as this afternoon, court watchers say.
Navarro, who has been called a “conspiracy theorist” who holds “fringe” and “oddball” economic views, is a former top Trump White House aide. He advanced “Big Lie” election fraud claims and refused to comply with a February, 2022 subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. He was criminally indicted in June of 2022 by a federal grand jury.
The trial began Tuesday in D.C. federal court.
Just before 11 AM Thursday the case was handed to the jury, Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports.
“Given the brevity of the case, a verdict is highly likely in the next few hours,” Cheney adds, noting: “If convicted, he faces up to one year on each of two counts — one for refusing to testify, one for refusing to provide docs.”
“Navarro has long claimed that Trump told him to defy the committee’s Feb. 9, 2022 subpoena and assert executive privilege, a demand he said conferred immunity from having to cooperate with Congress’ investigation,” Politico reports. “For months, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta wrestled with intricate questions about how executive privilege might apply to a former adviser to a former president, whether Navarro’s belief that Trump had invoked the privilege constituted a defense to the charges and how the Justice Department’s decision to charge him compares with its longstanding views of immunity for some senior executive branch officials from compelled congressional testimony.”
Wednesday evening, former top DOJ official Harry Litman noted, “Peter Navarro evidence already done, closing arguments tomorrow. Basically, it’s an incredibly simple case — he knew he had to comply with the subpoena, and he still thumbed his nose at it.”
Adding the the government called three witness but “Navarro called nobody,” Litman predicted: “Look for a quick conviction here.”
‘How Much the Former President Should Pay Her’: Judge Hands Trump Big Loss in E. Jean Carroll Case
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan handed journalist E. Jean Carroll a win on Wednesday in her remaining case against Donald Trump, after the journalist’s attorneys hit hard against the ex-president’s request for a stay of her original civil trial against him for defamation, which was slated for January.
Judge Kaplan on Wednesday ruled Trump is liable for defamation over remarks he made against Carroll in 2019, after she publicly accused him of rape years prior, CNBC reports. A jury in May award Carroll $5 million in a separate civil trial, finding the ex-president liable for sexual abuse and defamation.
Handing Carroll “partial summary judgment,” Judge Kaplan “said the upcoming trial for Carroll’s civil lawsuit against Trump will only deal with the question of how much the former president should pay her in monetary damages.”
That closely aligns with remarks last month made by Carroll’s attorney, Robbie Kaplan, who said, “the January 15th jury trial will be limited to a narrow set of issues and shouldn’t take very long to complete.”
“E. Jean Carroll looks forward to obtaining additional compensatory and punitive damages based on the original defamatory statements Donald Trump made in 2019,” Kaplan said, as NPR reported.
On Wednesday in a motion Carroll’s attorneys had warned the judge that Carroll “faces continuing defamatory attacks from Trump,” while requesting the judge not grant the ex-president’s motion for a stay of the upcoming January trial.
After her May win at trial, speaking to CNN about the verdict, Carroll said Trump indeed had raped her: “Oh, yes he did.”
Trump filed a counter defamation lawsuit, but the judge denied his claim, agreeing with Carroll, and saying, “Mr. Trump ‘raped her,’ albeit digitally rather than with his penis.”
“In fact, both acts constitute ‘rape’ in common parlance, its definition in some dictionaries, in some federal and state criminal statutes, and elsewhere.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a professor of law and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst on Wednesday posted the motion from Carroll’s attorneys and wrote: “lawyers for @ejeancarroll have filed a motion opposing Trump’s efforts to stay his January defamation trial (only damages are left to be determined) pending appeal. Knives out, but Trump deserves it for trying to abuse the legal process to avoid accountability.”
Carroll’s attorneys wrote that Trump’s “motion for a stay ignores virtually the entire factual and procedural history of this four-year-old case and barely responds to Judge Kaplan’s decision denying such relief. That is no coincidence,” they said.
They accused Trump of “procedural gamesmanship,” called his points “meritless,” and said that when tested, “Trump’s position collapses.” They later called Trump’s position “frivolous.”
Trump would not “face substantial injury if he were denied a stay,” they said, and called the “harms that he describes … mainly self-inflicted.”
They also claimed “his objections to a short trial in January 2024 ring hollow based on his own litigation conduct. Indeed, Trump expressly requested an expedited trial in this case less than six months ago, and changed his mind only after an adverse verdict in a related matter.”
“In contrast, Plaintiff-Appellee E. Jean Carroll, who is 79 years old and faces continuing defamatory attacks from Trump, would suffer significant harm from a stay and such an order would also undermine core public interests,” they wrote. “This Court should therefore deny Trump’s motion for a stay.”
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