First, the DOJ is seeking to find that Trump, his allies, and supporters intended to stage a coup to hold power after he lost the 2020 presidential election. They have various theories and hunches, and have been casting an ever-widening net to ensure those who they believe may have had a hand in this alleged and unproven plot.
This prong of the investigation is also taking aim at a political action committee that Trump and his supporters founded after the 2020 election loss, alleging that the Save America PAC was the fundraising arm of the alleged attempted coup. The DOJ is seeking to find that this PAC raised money on the basis of "fighting election fraud," reports The New York Times. Fighting election fraud, or state lawmakers' efforts to propose election integrity or voting rights laws, is not an illegal activity.
Their second effort is to investigate whether or not Trump stored documents in an inappropriate way at his Mar-a-Lago home. As part of this undertaking, Attorney General Merrick Garland authorized an FBI raid of Trump's residence on August 8, taking away file boxes containing thousands of documents, some of which were classified. The DOJ, or perhaps the FBI, then leaked some of the contents of those documents to the Washington Post.
The Justice Department appears to hope that one of these far-reaching investigations will result in an indictment for Trump, as well as for anyone close enough to be caught by their legal shrapnel.
In the past week, as part of the investigation to find that Trump was staging a coup—it should be noted that Trump left the White House at the end of his term without incident, as has every other American president before him—the Department of Justice has issued 40 subpoenas. These subpoenas, the Times reports, ask "for any records or communications from people who organized, spoke at or provided security for Mr. Trump’s rally at the Ellipse." The January 6, 2021 rally at Washington, DC's Ellipse was not an illegal act, nor was the planning of that rally.
The DOJ is seeking to find information that the people who planned that rally also intended to create a riot at the Capitol Building to obstruct the electoral college's certification of Joe Biden as president. The DOJ also wants any documents about the rally, or the alternate electors, that were submitted to the congressional January 6 Committee, turned over to them.
The January 6 Committee has been doing its own digging to try to prove that Trump and his supporters intentionally staged a riot at the Capitol on January 6 for the purpose of obstructing the certification of Joe Biden for president. The riot did result in a delay of that vote, which took place after Congress had been secured. The January 6 Committee has not proved their case, despite having been intent on that task since 2021. They have staged public hearings, issued broad subpoenas, and entertained hearsay testimony, but they have not shown that the riot was anything other than a spontaneous effort by bad actors to cause mayhem. The FBI had conducted its own investigation, and found that there was "scant evidence" of pre-planning.
Those subpoenas, obtained by Tucker Carlson Tonight, seek information on "any claim that the Vice President and/or the President of the Senate had the authority to reject or choose not to count presidential electors." The subpoenas are not looking for official communications, memos, or directives, but are seeking personal communications. Subpoenas went to Trump's attorneys, as well, and in that they are seeking personal communications, they are looking for communications that are covered under attorney-client privilege.
Under the second investigation, the one that resulted in the seizure of documents from Trump's home under the contention that he wasn't storing them properly, the DOJ and the FBI has also uncovered documents that are covered by attorney-client privilege. Because of this, Trump's attorneys demanded that a "special master" be appointed to review the seized documents and make determinations as to what should be turned over under the search warrant and what should not.
Though a judge ordered the appointment of a special master, the DOJ has appealed, saying that the FBI already reviewed the documents and was able to differentiate those that are privileged from those that are not. The DOJ does not appear at all concerned that they may be violating long-standing precedent in the United States, as well as Trump's constitutional rights, by digging into documents that they have no legal standing to review.
"At no time in American history has it been okay to grab the personal communications of someone's lawyer, because those are privileged. Not anymore," Carlson said on Monday night. He then read off nearly two dozen names from the list of those who have been served with subpoenas by the DOJ in just the past week. The 40 subpoenas issued in the past week include those who served in the Trump administration, along with current Trump attorneys, supporters and friends.
This is in addition to subpoenas issued by the DOJ to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, an indictment against former Trump advisor Steve Bannon for contempt of congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena demanding personal communications between himself and Trump, stating that Trump has invoked executive privilege. Trump later cleared Bannon to testify, revoking that privilege, but the charges were pursued in court. The FBI also raided former Trump official Jeffrey Clark. Subpoenas were issued previously to a GOP official in Georgia, Brad Carver, along with Thomas Lane, a Trump campaign official who served in Arizona and New Mexico, and David Shafer, Georgia GOP chair.
All of this is part of an attempt to prove that Trump and his supporters had attempted to stage a coup in order to keep him in the White House after his 2020 election loss. The DOJ alleges that Trump's legal team instructed supporters in battleground states, where they had contested and brought legal challenges against the results of the general election, to create slates of electors that would be seated in the Electoral College to cast their votes for Trump should those legal challenges prove out.
The legal challenges in Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia were not successful. As such, where alternate electors had been selected, they were not seated. These electors would only have been seated had it been found, through a recount of votes, that Biden had not taken as many ballots as had been reported. This practice of having a "just in case" slate of alternate electors was also undertaken in 1960 in Hawaii.
As a recount embroiled the state, Hawaii ended up with two slates of electors in the presidential election between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. While initial indicators saw Nixon taking the state, and its three electoral votes, a recount ordered showed Kennedy taking the lead. This ended up creating two sets of electors, and when the recount was finished, those who were set to vote for Kennedy were appointed, and carried out their duty.
The Biden White House, for its part, has repeatedly said that the DOJ is acting independently. However, the DOJ, FBI, and IRS are federal agencies that have made it their intention to take down the former president, his allies and supporters, through whatever legal means they can.
The DOJ has not looked into the contents of a laptop left behind at a Delaware repair shop by Biden's youngest son Hunter Biden, the contents of which paint a picture of corruption and influence peddling within the family during Biden's time as vice president under former President Barack Obama. In fact, it appears that the FBI intentionally suppressed an investigation. The DOJ has not investigated those Democrats who, in 2016, claimed that Trump had stolen the election, or that tried to stop him from being certified as president. One of those who claimed Trump stole the election is currently Biden's Press Secretary.
Looking at these ongoing investigations, the raid and seizure of Mar-a-Lago, and the near endless subpoenas demanding personal communications about legal events and undertakings, it is hard not to believe that the federal agencies under the Biden administration are intentionally targeting Biden's main political opponent and anyone who supports him.
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