January 29, 2023

DEEPER DIVE: Jack Smith’s Trump probe widens

DEEPER DIVE: Jack Smith's Trump probe widens

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Recently revealed subpoenas from last month show that special counsel Jack Smith has sent requests to Trump campaign figures to furnish responses to more than twenty different areas of inquiry, one of which involves the potential pressuring of witnesses.

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The subpoenas seem to have been issued a couple weeks before reports filtered out in the media that former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson had informed the January 6 Committee that she had been pressured by her first attorney, Stefan Passantino, to lie or omit material facts about Donald Trump’s actions in the lead-up to the Capitol attack.

Hutchinson testified that Passantino told her to claim she did not remember certain things, even if she did, and pressured her not to offer any further information if not subpoenaed.

“‘Trump world will not continue paying your legal bills if you don’t have that second subpoena,’” she says he told her.

Evidently, this alarmed the special counsel, Jack Smith, and so his team is requesting that any subpoena recipients show who is paying for their legal representation.

If Trump is the source behind it, or if attorneys did not reveal to clients that they were being paid by a Trump-aligned organization, this could raise serious ethical concerns – or worse.

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One Trump ally and attorney is already under intense scrutiny: Red-Faced Rudy Giuliani, who also received the new subpoena, is currently facing possible disbarment.

Last month, the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility ruled that the former mayor and Trump sycophant transgressed at least one ethics standard when he filed a baseless lawsuit claiming fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

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As first reported by Reuters, board member Phil Fox accused Giuliani of purposely “ignor[ing] the will of the voters” in attempt to subvert the Constitution.

This accurate description made Red-Faced Rudy really, really red-faced, and he lashed out.

The board is yet to make an official recommendation.

Once it does, it will have to be approved by the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, Trump and Co. appear to be going to be going to great lengths to do everything they can to obstruct Smith’s investigation and the various other investigations the former president and lackluster businessman is facing – pressuring witnesses, issuing deranged proclamations (see here), and certainly stonewalling as much as possible.

This appears in great contrast, of course, to how Joe Biden has behaved, even while Republicans continue to attack him with little merit to their cases.

Practically the moment classified documents that had been in Biden’s possession from his time as VP in the Obama administration were found in unsecured locations, the president sought to be as transparent as possible and we already have a new special prosecutor, Robert Hur – a former Trump appointee – who has been chosen by Merrick Garland to investigate.

Compare this to Trump’s eighteen-month obstruction effort and attempt to hide stolen documents at Mar-a-Lago.

It’s called intent, and it matters.

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As I’ve stated before, Trump will let the entire country burn before he’ll ever admit guilt or sacrifice anything of himself.

There is now a mountain of evidence against him, not just regarding his crimes of January 6, but also regarding his theft of classified documents, his obstruction of justice, his tax fraud, his past violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and his money-laundering.

If Jack Smith is the hammer he’s supposed to be, let’s nail the bastard.

Oooooh, Red-Faced Rudy is sure gonna be ticked now!

But you can join in the fun by clicking on @RossRosenfeld and following Ross on Twitter!

Ross Rosenfeld

is a news analysis and opinion writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Daily News and Newsweek. He lives in New York.

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