Trump’s criminal gang of thugs in Congress are demanding that the FBI disclose the name of the informant(s) who turned in their “Orange Mafia” Boss for stealing and concealing highly classified documents at his home in exile in Mar-A-Lago, so that they can dox the informant(s) and have Trump’s unhinged MAGA/QAnon cult members threaten the informant(s) and their family members, as they have done to the FBI agents who executed the search warrant, and the federal judge who issued the seach warrant.
18 Republican Members of Congress just sent a letter to Merrick Garland demanding that he disclose info relating to the confidential informant, and other info surrounding the search warrant. (The usual suspects). pic.twitter.com/ZM4vEhVQFE
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 15, 2022
The Justice Department objected on Monday to making public the affidavit used to justify the search of former President Donald J. Trump’s home in Florida, saying its release would “compromise future investigative steps” and “likely chill” cooperation with witnesses.
The prosecutors acknowledged interviewing witnesses in connection with the investigation of Mr. Trump’s retention of the material. They also wrote that releasing the document could compromise the continuing investigation.
“Disclosure of the government’s affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses,” prosecutors wrote. They added that releasing the affidavit could harm “other high-profile investigations” as well.
It would be like giving Trump’s criminal gang of thugs in Congress a roadmap to the DOJ’s investigations.
One of the reasons proposed by the government for not releasing the affidavit was to protect the identities of witnesses against death threats.
The magistrate judge who signed the search warrant, Bruce E. Reinhart, will ultimately decide whether the affidavit should be released.
Trump’s criminal gang of thugs in Congress can start with former White House Counsels Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, who were Trump’s representatives to deal with the National Archives.
The New York Times reports, F.B.I. Interviewed Top White House Lawyers About Missing Trump Documents:
Pat A. Cipollone and Patrick F. Philbin, the White House counsel and his deputy under President Donald J. Trump, were interviewed by the F.B.I. in connection with boxes of sensitive documents that were stored at Mr. Trump’s residence in Florida after he left office, three people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Philbin are the most senior people who worked for Mr. Trump who are known to have been interviewed by investigators after the National Archives referred the matter to the Justice Department this year.
Mr. Philbin was interviewed in the spring, according to two of the people familiar with the matter, as investigators reached out to members of Mr. Trump’s circle to find out how 15 boxes of material — some of it marked as classified — made its way to Mar-a-Lago. It was unclear when Mr. Cipollone was interviewed.
Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Philbin were two of Mr. Trump’s representatives to deal with the National Archives; they were named to the positions shortly before the president’s term ended, in January 2021. Another was Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff.
At some point after National Archives officials realized they did not have Trump White House documents, which are required to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act, they contacted Mr. Philbin for help returning them.
Mr. Philbin tried to help the National Archives retrieve the material, two of the people familiar with the discussions said. But the former president repeatedly resisted entreaties from his advisers.
“It’s not theirs, it’s mine!,” several advisers say Mr. Trump told them.
Note: This is an admission by Trump that he knowingly possessed the classified documents, and he was knowingly refusing to return them as requested by the National Archives. The DOJ has a slam-dunk case.
Among the items in the boxes packed up from the White House residence as Mr. Trump was departing was Mr. Trump’s “love letters” with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, as well as a letter to Mr. Trump from former President Barack Obama when Mr. Obama departed the White House.
But there were also a variety of other documents that traveled to Mar-a-Lago.
The former president returned 15 boxes of material to the National Archives in January, but the Justice Department issued a subpoena in May for documents that it believed were still at his club. On June 3, counterintelligence officials with the Justice Department’s national security division went to Mar-a-Lago to collect remaining documents with classified markings.
Evan Corcoran, a lawyer for Mr. Trump who was said to have suggested that the former president resolve the matter with the Justice Department, went through the material, which was kept in boxes in a storage area in the basement, before that meeting, according to people familiar with the move. It was unclear if he was the only one to do so.
At that point, at least one Trump lawyer signed a statement saying material with the classified markings had been returned, according to four people familiar with the document, although it was not clear specifically what the statement attested to. The two lawyers on site for the meeting who worked with Mr. Trump were Mr. Corcoran and Christina Bobb.
But officials then used a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage of the hallway outside a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and saw something that alarmed them. They also received information from at least one witness who indicated that more material might remain at the residence, people familiar with the investigation said.
Mr. Philbin is among eight people who work or used to work for Mr. Trump who have been contacted by the F.B.I. since a grand jury was formed this year. Investigators also interviewed Derek Lyons, a former White House staff secretary.
Mr. Lyons’s last day at the White House was Dec. 18, 2020, meaning he did not know how the last boxes were packed as Mr. Trump prepared to leave. But he had information about paper flow in the White House and how the former president handled material.
The F.B.I. has reached out to about a half-dozen people who currently work for Mr. Trump and who might know what documents he may still have in his possession.
I can’t predict how long it will take the DOJ to sort through all the evidence and to present it to the grand jury sitting in this case. The DOJ may also want to combine any charges in this case with the other grand juries sitting on Trump’s failed coup d’état, looking at seditious conspiracy, incitement to insurrection, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the United Sates, among other potential charges.