A legal expert criticized the United States Department of Justice for a number of disclosures to the media regarding cases involving former President Donald Trump, stating that they “further reinforce” Republican claims that the investigations are politically motivated.
The criticism follows the disclosure of a judge’s confidential opinion alleging that Trump intentionally misled his counsel regarding classified documents discovered at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
In a filing sealed last week, a former federal judge stated that prosecutors presented “compelling preliminary evidence” implying that Trump “knowingly and deliberately misled his own attorneys about his retention of classified materials after leaving office.”
U.S. Judge Beryl Howell, who recently resigned as the chief judge of the D.C. district court, stated in a filing that prosecutors in the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith had presented sufficient evidence indicating that the former president had committed criminal offenses.
According to the report, the attorney-client privileges asserted by two of his attorneys could be overridden.
Howell mandated in an undisclosed filing that Trump attorney Evan Corcoran comply with a grand jury subpoena to testify on six distinct lines of investigation that he had previously protected under attorney-client privilege.
Howell concluded that prosecutors met the prima facie requirement for overriding Corcoran’s privilege by presenting initial evidence that Trump committed offenses. However, the judge emphasized that prosecutors must satisfy a higher standard of evidence to pursue charges against Trump and even more evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the report.
Jonathan Turley, a constitutional expert and law professor at Georgetown University, argued that the release of the sealed filing was “deeply troubling” and part of a “pattern of selective leaks designed to influence public opinion.”
“This is a continuation of a pattern of leaks related to Trump investigations that extend seven years, through the Russian collusion investigation,” Turley said.
“These leaks make a mockery of the system,” Turley added, noting that they “further reinforce the narrative of Donald Trump that the Department of Justice is engaging in unethical or improper means to target him in election year.”
“These leaks have one overriding common denominator: they all tend to undermine Donald Trump and to implicate him in the alleged crime,” Turley said, adding that Garland has expressed “no interest in investigating his own department.”
Monday, Trump’s attorneys conferred with Justice Department officials regarding the federal investigation into his handling of classified documents.
August’s unprecedented FBI search on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which was widely criticized at the time, marked the conclusion of the investigation.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
Last month, some Republicans suggested that the Republican-led House jump-start new investigations into Clinton after special counsel John Durham’s report cited her campaign as being responsible for the phony ‘Russian collusion’ allegations against her rival, Donald Trump. CONTINUE READING…