The Eight Trump Associates Whom DOJ Is Investigating

Exactly a month ago, I did a post noting that the TV lawyers claiming there was no proof that DOJ was investigating anyone close to Trump were either ignorant of or ignoring six Trump associates who were being investigated. I wanted to update that post with developments from the last month, because (in addition to the contempt prosecution for Steve Bannon), we’ve learned of investigations into at least two more Trump associates.

Note that four of these — Sidney Powell, Alex Jones, Roger Stone, and Mark Meadows — definitely relate to January 6 and a fifth — the investigation into Rudy Giuliani — is scoped such that that it might include January 6 without anyone knowing about it.

Tom Barrack

Last week, Trump’s top donor, Tom Barrack, filed a motion to dismiss his indictment for serving as an unregistered agent of the Emirates.

As he did in a prior status hearing, that motion complained that Billy Barr’s efforts to undermine this investigation failed.

[T]he government’s unjustified two-year delay in charging Mr. Barrack also warrants dismissal of the indictment. The government had all the evidence on which the indictment was based in 2019. The indictment pleads the conspiracy terminated in April 2018, and the alleged false statements occurred in June 2019. Why the government waited more than two years, and until after a change in administration, is a question only it can answer, but it should answer it especially given the paramount First Amendment interests at stake. Had the government brought this case when its investigation was complete in 2019, recollections regarding Mr. Barrack’s June 2019 interview would have been fresh and the harm from the government’s failure to make a contemporaneous record might have been mitigated. The lengthy delay has also prejudiced Mr. Barrack’s ability to identify, preserve, and secure documentary evidence and obtain evidence from witnesses whose memories have faded. The government has provided no explanation for its delay, and the specter that the government intentionally delayed bringing this case for political reasons or tactical advantage hangs heavily over this case. Because Mr. Barrack has been deprived of a fair opportunity to defend himself, the indictment should be dismissed. [my emphasis]

Barrack and DOJ are also fighting over whether Barrack can unseal discovery in an attempt to discredit this investigation.

Barrack filed the specified materials in connection with pretextual arguments in his motion to dismiss, and he all but acknowledges that he seeks their unsealing in a bid to improperly influence public opinion.

As noted before, according to reporting from 2019, this investigation was a Mueller referral, so it’s proof that Garland’s DOJ will pursue such referrals. According to CNN reporting, the indictment was all ready to go in July 2020, a year before it was actually charged. That provides a measure of how long it took an investigation that was deemed complete at a time when Barr seemingly prohibited filing it to be resuscitated under Garland: at least four months.

Barrack’s prosecution proves that DOJ can indict a top Trump associate without leaks in advance. But it will also be an early test about a Trumpster’s ability to discredit the notion that any of them can be held accountable.

Jury selection for Barrack’s trial is now scheduled to start on September 7.

Rudy Giuliani

Since my last post on this topic, Special Master Barbara Jones reported on the progress of the privilege review of 16 devices seized from Rudy Giuliani on April 28, 2021.

Here’s a summary of what that review and the earlier known seizures of Rudy’s communications in the Ukraine-related investigation into Rudy:

The known warrants for Rudy’s phones pertain to whether, in the lead-up to Trump’s impeachment for trying to coerce Ukraine’s assistance in the 2020 election, Rudy was acting as an unregistered agent of Ukraine.

There’s good reason to believe DOJ could show probable cause to access Rudy’s phones from April 2018 (before he formally became Trump’s lawyer), because during that period he was attempting to buy Michael Cohen’s silence with a pardon. There’s equally good reason to believe that act of obstruction is one of the referrals still redacted in the Mueller Report.

On or about April l 7, 20 l 8, Cohen began speaking with an attorney, Robert Costello, who had a close relationship with Rudolph Giuliani, one of the President’s personal lawyers. 1022 Costello told Cohen that he had a “back channel of communication” to Giuliani, and that Giuliani had said the “channel” was “crucial” and “must be maintained.” 1023 On April 20, 2018, the New York Times published an article about the President’s relationship with and treatment of Cohen. 1024 The President responded with a series of tweets predicting that Cohen would not ” flip” :

The New York Times and a third rate reporter . . . are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip. ‘ They use nonexistent ‘sources’ and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media! 1025

In an email that day to Cohen, Costello wrote that he had spoken with Giuliani. 1026 Costello told Cohen the conversation was “Very Very Positive[.] You are ‘loved’ … they are in our corner … . Sleep well tonight[], you have friends in high places.”1027

Similarly, there’s good reason to believe DOJ could show probable cause to access Rudy’s phone for his involvement in Trump’s attempted coup, not least because Rudy himself tweeted out some texts he exchanged with a Proud Boy associate discussing specific insurrectionists in the aftermath of the attack.

We wouldn’t know if DOJ had obtained warrants for those separate periods, because those periods will be covered by Jones’ review one way or another.

But because of the temporal scope Judge Paul Oetken approved last year, Jones has completed a privilege review of all communications that date between January 1, 2018 through April 28, 2021 on 8 of the devices seized from Rudy (April 28 was the day the devices were seized). We can’t know what dates during which Rudy was using those 8 devices. It could well be that they were older phones with nothing recent.

But we know that of the communications on the phone with the most texts and chats — the phone designated 1B05 — the government received 99.8% of any communications dated between January 1, 2018 and April 28, 2021 and they received those communications no later than January 21.

Of particular note, Rudy at first tried to claim privilege over 56 items from phone 1B05. He thought better of those claims in 19 cases. And then, after Jones deemed 37 of them not to be privileged, he backed off that claim as well. During a period when Jones and Rudy’s team would have been discussing those 37 items, Judge Oetken issued a ruling saying that the basis for any privilege claims (but not the substance of the communications) would have to be public. After precisely the same kind of ruling in the Michael Cohen Special Master review, Trump backed off his claim of privilege for Cohen’s recording about the hush payments. That may be what persuaded Rudy to withdraw his claim of privilege over those materials here, as well.

And whether or not DOJ has already accessed the communications Rudy conducted during 2020 and 2021 on any of the 16 devices seized from him, we know all the phones Rudy was using in April 2021 are in DOJ’s possession and that Judge Oetken has already approved a privilege review to cover those communications.

In any case, the details of the Rudy investigation show, at a minimum, that Barr went to extraordinary lengths to attempt to kill this investigation (and may have even ordered that FBI not review the materials seized in 2019). It took mere weeks after Garland took over, however, for the investigation to take very aggressive steps.

It also shows that SDNY managed to renew this investigation without major leaks.

Robert Costello

Last Friday, Steve Bannon revealed that DOJ had seized the toll records of his lawyer, Robert Costello, the same guy that would be at the center of any predication for any investigation into Rudy’s attempts to obstruct the Mueller investigation. Some outlets are claiming that this was just part of the investigation into Bannon, but that cannot be right, for several reasons. First, DOJ didn’t ask for the most intrusive set of those records — email metadata from between March 5 and November 12, 2021 — until the day they indicted Bannon. The returns on those requests could not have been presented to the grand jury, because DOJ didn’t receive them until December 7. Plus, scope of that request not only dates back to before the September 23 subpoena that is the basis for the Bannon contempt prosecution, it dates back before the January 6 Committee that issued the subpoena in the first place. DOJ obtained those Internet toll records for a reason that extends beyond the subpoena fight; they cannot pertain (just) to the known prosecution of Bannon.

It may well be they relate to obstruction related to Rudy though. Here’s DOJ’s letter responding to Bannon’s complaints about this seizure, which given some confusion bears further discussion.

We write in response to your January 6, 2022, letter requesting information about internal deliberations and investigative steps relating to Mr. Costello and any other attorneys who have represented Mr. Bannon. As you are aware, and as we discussed in a phone call with Mr. Corcoran and Mr. Schoen on December 2, 2021, Mr. Costello represented Mr. Bannon before the January 6th Select Committee (“the Committee”) in relation to the subpoena it issued to Mr. Bannon and is, therefore, a witness to the conduct charged in the Indictment. We understand that attorney Adam Katz also represented Mr. Bannon with respect to the Committee and, therefore, also is a potential witness. We are not aware of any other attorneys who represented Mr. Bannon with respect to the Committee.

Aside from the information that Mr. Costello voluntarily disclosed on behalf of Mr. Bannon during the investigation of this matter, the Government has not taken any steps to obtain any attorney work product relating to any attorney’s representation of Mr. Bannon or to obtain any confidential communications between Mr. Bannon, Mr. Costello, and Mr. Katz, or between Mr. Bannon and any other attorneys.

We have provided all discoverable material in the prosecution team’s possession, custody, or control relating to Mr. Costello’s and Mr. Katz’s involvement in the conduct charged in the Indictment.

The first paragraph explains a warning DOJ gave when Costello first raised noticing an appearance in the contempt prosecution for Bannon (it’s likely Costello had been tipped off by his firm that DOJ had obtained his toll records by that point). DOJ makes clear that, by voluntarily sitting for two meetings at which FBI agents were present, Costello made himself a witness about the basis for which Bannon gave for blowing off the Committee subpoena. As I have noted, Costello gave materially inconsistent answers at that meeting, likely giving the FBI probable cause to investigate whether he had made false statements; the easiest and least intrusive way to test whether his claims were true was to test whether his claims about the existence and timing of communications with Trump’s lawyers were true or not — thus the toll record seizure.

The remaining two paragraphs disclaim any impact on Bannon. Call records are not work product and, while sensitive, are not treated as privileged (and in any case, date to a period in which Costello was not representing Bannon criminally). The interviews were work-product, claims about the advice Costello gave Bannon (including the email Costello described in which he told Bannon to be BEWARE because he was likely to be referred to DOJ for prosecution). But Costello shared that work-product voluntarily. DOJ has not otherwise obtained the work-product or confidential content of Costello pertaining to Bannon.

That paragraph says nothing about Costello’s representation of Rudy, though.

And the following paragraph makes it more likely this statement intentionally stops short of covering all of Costello’s work product. It limits the statement about materials in its possession to the prosecution team (excluding, for example, SDNY prosecution teams). It doesn’t address confidential communications between Rudy and Costello. And for good measure, it limits its statements to Costello’s involvement in the January 6 subpoena, not other matters.

Costello may not count as a Trump associate directly. But this is all about Trump’s extended effort to obstruct investigations into his conduct. And because of the way Costello has, on at least two occasions, been the weak link that pierced privilege covering such cover-ups, may be a key investigative target.

Sidney Powell

Sidney Powell may be another key lawyer who pierced privilege.

Several different outlets have reported that there is a grand jury investigation into Sidney Powell’s grifting off lies about election fraud.

Since my last post on investigations into Trump’s associates, Sidney Powell’s lawyer revealed she is “cooperating” in that investigation, though in contemplating “cooperation” with the January 6 committee, she is reserving privilege claims about “advice” to Donald Trump.

A lawyer for Sidney Powell, a well-known, Trump-connected attorney, acknowledged that her organization’s fundraising connected to the 2020 election is subject to an ongoing federal criminal investigation.

Powell’s lawyer, Howard Kleinhendler, told CNN that his client “is cooperating” with the investigation into her organization, Defending the Republic, by the US Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia. That cooperation includes “rolling productions” of documents.


Still, when the committee asks Powell about communications she had with Trump, that is “going to get a little hairy,” Kleinhendler told CNN.

He said Powell believes that the times Trump called her to ask for legal advice may be covered by attorney-client privilege — even if he never paid her to be his or his campaign’s lawyer. Powell never worked as a lawyer for the former President personally or for the Trump campaign, Kleinhendler said.

“We’ll have to deal with that, and we’ll have to try to discuss with the committee to see how” to handle privilege issues, Kleinhendler said.

But Powell can’t claim privilege for the bulk of the period during which she was helping Trump steal the election. After Trump claimed Powell represented him on November 15, 2020, Rudy stated as clearly as he can manage on November 22 that, “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”

With that statement, Rudy effectively waived privilege for any communications implicating both of them from that date forward, long in advance of a December 18 meeting at which Powell purportedly told him about all the communications she sent him in the interim.

Similarly, most of these events post-date the time, November 25, when Powell can credibly claim to be representing Mike Flynn in an effort to nullify the consequences of his lies and foreign agent work, because that’s when Trump pardoned Flynn. Certainly, Powell’s claim to be criminally representing Flynn ended no later than December 8, when Emmet Sullivan dismissed the case. So she may want to claim privilege, but well before the critical meeting between Rudy, Powell, Flynn, and Patrick Byrne on December 18, all visible basis for that claim was affirmatively gone, and for anything seized from her email provider, she’s likely not going to be involved in making that claim anyway.

Mark Meadows

In a number of posts, I have argued that DOJ would be better off treating the January 6 contempt referral as, instead, a referral into obstruction of justice for the way Mark Meadows withheld or deleted evidence pertaining to the coup attempt.

I can’t prove that has happened.

What is certain, however, is that Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed that DOJ is investigating the fake electors.

“We’ve received those referrals. Our prosecutors are looking at those and I can’t say anything more on ongoing investigations,” Monaco said in an exclusive interview.

And the January 6 contempt referral made clear that communications in Meadows possession show that he was at the center of that effort.

Mr. Meadows received text messages and emails regarding apparent efforts to encourage Republican legislators in certain States to send alternate slates of electors to Congress, a plan which one Member of Congress acknowledged was ‘‘highly controversial’’ and to which Mr. Meadows responded, ‘‘I love it.’’ Mr. Meadows responded to a similar message by saying ‘‘[w]e are’’ and another such message by saying ‘‘Yes. Have a team on it.’’34

34Documents on file with the Select Committee (Meadows production).

Meadows has been frantically trying to ensure whichever of these communications occurred on his personal accounts get shared with the Archives. Which means DOJ now knows they can learn details of the fake elector conspiracy by obtaining those records from the Archives.

Alex Jones

Over the last year, DOJ has collected a great deal of evidence that the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and an alarming number of former Marines worked together to open a second breach on the Capitol via the East doors. Instrumental to the success of this breach were a large number of MAGA tourists who joined in the breach. DOJ has proof that at least some of them were there because Alex Jones had lured them there by lying about a second Trump speech on the East side of the building.

DOJ has already arrested two of Jones’ employees: videographer Sam Montoya in April and on-air personality Owen Shroyer in August.

In a November DOJ response in the Shroyer case, Alex Jones was referred to as Person One, as numerous others believed to be under active investigation have been described. That filing debunked the cover story that Shroyer and Jones have used to excuse their actions on January 6. Judge Tim Kelly, who is also presiding over the most important Proud Boys cases, is currently reviewing Shroyer’s First Amendment challenge to his arrest.

This strand of the investigation has likely necessarily lagged the exploitation of former Alex Jones’ employee Joe Biggs’ iCloud and phone, which were made available to Biggs’ co-travelers in August. This post has more on the developments in the Montoya and Shroyer cases, including that a different prosecutor recently took over Monotya’s case.

Roger Stone

Roger Stone, who has close ties to both the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who coordinated the attack on the Capitol, has shown up repeatedly in the Oath Keeper conspiracy. In March, DOJ debunked Connie Meggs’ claim not to know her co-conspirators by including a picture of an event she did with Roger Stone and Graydon Young (this was close to the time that Connie’s husband Kelly organized an alliance between Florida militias).

In a May 25 FBI interview, Mike Simmons, the field commander for the Oath Keepers on January 6, appears to have been specifically asked why Simmons had so many conversations with Joshua James, who was providing security for Roger Stone at the Willard the morning of the insurrection. Simmons appears to have explained that James called him every time Stone moved.

In June, Graydon Young, the Floridian who attended that Stone event with Connie, entered a cooperation agreement. Also in June, Mark Grods, one of the Oath Keepers who had been at the Willard that morning, entered a cooperation agreement. In September, Jason Dolan, a former Marine from Florida who also interacted with Stone in advance of the insurrection and who was waiting there on January 6 as the other Oath Keepers, a number of Proud Boys (including former Alex Jones employee Joe Biggs) and Alex Jones himself all converged at the top of the East steps just as the doors were opened from inside, entered a cooperation agreement.

Erik Prince

In my last post, I described a grand jury investigation into a powerful Trump associate that had subpoenaed witnesses in the investigation in the second half of last year. NYT just disclosed that investigation, which is into Erik Prince.

Mr. Prince is separately under investigation by the Justice Department on unrelated matters, according to people familiar with the case. The scope of that investigation is unclear.

The investigation reflects a reopening of an investigation Billy Barr shut down in 2019-2020. What’s interesting about it is the scope seems somewhat different and the investigating District is different than the earlier investigation. That may suggest that, for investigations that Barr shut down, DOJ would need to have a new evidence to reopen it. But the existence of this investigation shows, again, that Garland’s DOJ will go after powerful Trump associates.

In any case, I keep laying all this out, and TV lawyers keep angrily insisting that this public evidence does not exist.

I can’t guarantee that any of these investigations will lead to charges (or, in the case of Bannon and Barrack, convictions). Investigations alone will not save democracy.

But there is abundant evidence that DOJ is not shying away from aggressively investigating the suspect criminal conduct of Trump flunkies.

94 replies
  1. greenbird says:

    you are wonderful, marcy.
    i would give both my arms
    for a microscopic part of
    your brain power. you have
    a good team of sturdy

  2. RWood says:

    This is excellent.

    One thing I’d like to see broken down (for those of us with little time to dig ourselves) is what state charges the people on this list are facing. I know Meadows participated in the call to Raffensperger, and both Powell and Rudy are facing a number of state-level investigations, but what about the rest? I’m looking for pardon-proof convictions.

    I’ve also noticed that George Conway has been pretty vocal lately, but there’s little mention of his wife, who was certainly complicit in a slew of trump crimes. Makes me wonder how many of the names that have disappeared will reappear when indictments start happening?

    • Rayne says:

      George Conway wasn’t a member of the administration or the Trump campaign; he can only offer hearsay. His comments may be limited by certain restrictions because he still has four minor children at home, for whom New Jersey CPS had to get involved two years ago. Focus on Kellyanne Conway instead, keeping in mind she resigned from the administration on August 31, 2020.

      • Leoghann says:

        As the only founding member of the Lincoln Project who neither resigned in protest or shit in the punchbowl during the summer of 2020, George has continued to be active on op-ed pages and in his Twitter account, keeping the public-opinion pressure on the Trump campaign. Kellyanne resigned from the administration to take a position in the KAG-SAG-GAG campaign, and is still working there. In fact, she was one of the first Insurrection Deniers.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m fully aware of that. George isn’t where the heat should be focused unless somebody produces evidence he had any role in Trump’s campaigns or administration or insurrection.

  3. OldTulsaDude says:

    King Lear describes my feelings about so many ex-marines in service to Trump: (Semper) fie, fie, fie, pah, pah!

  4. BobCon says:

    I agree that investigations alone won’t save democracy. I think the right formulation is they are necessary but not sufficient.

    I do think they are pretty critical to shaking the political press out of their seduction by the right. The press has swallowed whole the right’s narrative that only spin is real, and good investigations help take away oxygen from that perspective, even if they aren’t sufficient by themselves.

  5. Bernard R Cuzzillo says:

    Typo in the Rudy spreadsheet chart: “Balance released 1/19/21” should be 1/19/22. And the same error in the row below that one.

  6. jeco says:

    Awesome, what a murderers row. Lots of lawyers and a mercenary. You can’t make this stuff up.

    I miss VicToe, her name is music to my ears, maybe she’ll make the second tier, conspiracy is a pretty broad net, she can still make it.

      • Rugger9 says:

        There is no way Erik Prince is not involved in some significant way, at least from the Seychelles meeting onward (if not before). Individual-1 is his kind of guy between the persona, free-spending habits for cronies and the “anything goes” standards for conduct. As the process continues I would not be surprised to see revelations where we’ll all say “him again?!?”.

        As it is, the spying on the Ds is his thing, and FWIW, the Trump campaign probably had one of their allies (the Saudis or Putin, for example) pay for the service to minimize fingerprints.

        I’m much more surprised that Rove seems to have stayed out of this administration because the lack of scruples is also right up Rove’s alley.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Because Susan Gore, heiress to the Gore-tex fortune underwrote a good portion of Erik Prince’s espionage against the Democrats. You know, Erik Prince, brother of Betsy DeVos ?

        • MB says:

          I was confused because David Gorsuch, Neil’s father, started Gorsuch Clothing, a high-end outdoor clothing company in Colorado. I thought I had heard they had something to do with the invention of Gore-Tex, but I was wrong. However, Goresuch does sell Gore-Tex (and it ain’t cheap):

          As to Erik Prince…a vile son of privilege who operates above the law and so far, has gotten away with it…

        • earthworm says:

          The Gorsuch clothing line breathes nostalgia for Hitler’s alpine lifestyle in trachten clothing at the Berghof in Berchtesgaden.

        • Leoghann says:

          I hadn’t noticed anything from him until recently. Within the past two weeks, Rove released a statement, tut-tutting the Insurrection-Denier and GQP branches of his party. But we already knew he was a hypocrite.

        • Knox Bronson says:

          While I believe that Rove is capable of anything, I think he took one look at Trump and his crew and was smart enough to know that, ultimately, everybody would end up going down with him. As in, “Everything Trump touches dies.”
          Also, W was completely malleable, whereas Trump listens to no one. This would not work for Karl.

  7. Thomas says:

    Dr Wheeler
    Your ability to pull information from credible sources and analyze the connections between court cases and other reporting is remarkable and a valuable public service.
    I had hopes that the prosecutions of Parnas and Fruman, and the indictments of Benton and Wead, the Giffords lawsuit seeking to expose the NRA’S shell companies’ connection to Russian mafia money laundering to the Republican Party 2015-2018, the Senate Intelligence Report on Russian Interference’s conclusions that the NRA acted as a Russian intelligence asset in 2016, and the exposure of Trump’s Russian money laundering schemes with his shell companies and their connections to the Bank of Cyprus and Deutsche Bank and their Russian money laundering

    Would at last be connected in a narrative revealing how Trump compromised the Republican Party with bribery, blackmail, extortion, and “loyalty tests” to induce Republicans to commit crimes for Trump.

    This, I believe, is the THING, the racket, that was being shielded from discovery by the OMERTA, built by Trump’s lawyers with “joint defense agreements” and non disclosure agreements and dangled pardons and subornation of perjury, and more blackmail, bribery and extortion.
    I see Mueller’s outlined obstruction charges as only a few visible points in a much larger obstruction racket.
    Without the intervention of Bill Barr, much of this infrastructure might have been exposed, and with the current SDNY case against Giuliani, it still might be. I check daily to find out anything that I can about Judge Jones’s review, but I only find your work.
    Though the prosecutor in Manhattan and AG James are widely known to be investigating what seems to be Trump’s “bread and butter crimes” of every kind of fraud known, I cannot believe that Trump’s records contain no information about his shell companies and their connection to money laundering.
    The entire mystery of Trump’s repeated payoffs to Putin can be explained, I believe, with this original central crime: The Russian money laundering and it’s role in compromising the Republican Party.
    The firings in the State Dept. The attempt to abolish the sanctions office. Trump’s international stab in the back of the intelligence community, standing right beside Putin, just days before Mueller indicted the Russians. The aluminum plant payoff to Deripaska. The party in the Oval office with the Russians after Comey was fired. The still unknown “intelligence cooperation agreement” with the Russian Spy Chiefs at Langley. The undermining of NATO. The cession of the Syrian conflict to the Russians. The extortion of Ukraine. And more.

  8. Spencer Dawkins says:

    I’m commenting after only reading the Barrack section, but that part alone was enough to warp my mind.

    Honest question – if the statute of limitations for Barrack’s potential charges for being an Emirate agent had not passed, is there anything Barr could have done to protect Barrack from prosecution by the next administration? His filings sound really upset that he wasn’t … what? charged during the Trump administration, so he could have lobbied for a pardon, maybe?

  9. Spencer Dawkins says:

    Another honest question about this:

    “With that statement, Rudy effectively waived privilege for any communications implicating both of them from that date forward, long in advance of a December 18 meeting at which Powell purportedly told him about all the communications she sent him in the interim.”

    My question is, can Rudy DO that? Do lawyers often say who else is, and who is not, working for their client? What if Trump says Rudy was wrong?

    Can Trump say “oh, of course she was working for me” later? This feels like Schrödinger’s Legal Team, where you can’t ever know who is on it, and who’s not.

    • Rugger9 says:

      There has to be some sort of documentation that the client gives the lawyer to permit the lawyer to speak for the client. I don’t think an “ex post facto” claim would fly in any court, but perhaps our legal team has heard of ones that worked.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      We’ve discussed this before. Normally, lawyers have signed retention agreements with clients, which detail the scope of work, the payment of fees and expenses, and so on. It’s routine, it’s basic ethical and good business practice, and malpractice insurers often insist on it. Oral agreements are still sometimes used, which can be “memorialized” (documented) later, but practically only before a disagreement with a client arises.

      As for whether Powell was ever Trump’s lawyer, for what period of time and for what purposes, who knows. Rudy denied it and Trump did not correct him, which might create a reasonable reliance on that denial. But because only the principal can determine who his agents are, it’s not clear. That creates the chaos and ambiguity which Trump relies on for everything.

      If past practice is any guide, Trump will accept or deny that Powell was his agent, depending on what he can get from doing so. Truth is irrelevant. Not having a clear answer adds time and cost to the resolution of any dispute, also standard tools in Trump’s defensive toolbox.

      I think Marcy’s comment assumes that Rudy’s denial and Trump’s failure to disavow it, combined with Rudy and Powell’s later conduct, creates a presumption that Powell was not his lawyer. Her conclusions about how that pierces or fails to create A-C privilege, which I agree with, follow.

      • P J Evans says:

        I suspect that if the former guy could be pinned down on any given thing, he’d vanish in a cloud of toxic smoke.

      • Leoghann says:

        She has made statements during the past year indicating that, as far as she’s concerned, every time she gave him any sort of advice, publicly or privately, it was covered by attorney-client privilege. But she has also started to talk about sending lots of tests and making lots of calls to Giuliani, which she complains he ignored. I can see her trying to lay a foundation that even those were covered.

  10. BROUX says:

    Was there some kind of coordination between Roger Stone and TFG, and if so, what would be the sign that the investigation is turning toward this?

    • Rugger9 says:

      I think that Sean Hannity gets in as well as the ones Giuliani called on J6 (Lee and Tuberville, etc.), Hawley and Cruz, Gosar, et al in the House. It’s all tied together…

  11. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    This is a bit off topic, but anyone who is interested in reading a brand new court opinion where conspiracy and RICO charges were brought, the defendant was convicted of both, and both convictions were thrown out on appeal, can look at this opinion: (USA v. Mendoza). There is no such thing as a “simple” conspiracy case. It may look “simple” when viewed through a rear-view mirror, but it only appears that way because the prosecution team and investigators collectively put in thousands of hours of work and knew how to properly: a) charge the case, and b) present the case to a jury.

  12. JMC says:

    Thank you for this. I understand (from reading articles here) that Trump’s (and a Congressman’s) activity on January 6th was considered election activity, so Trump wouldn’t be represented by the DOJ in any criminal charges based on his activity related to the attack on the Capitol or overturning the election. If this is the case, I am not sure why Mark Meadows would have to turn over information related to these issues to the National Archive. Wouldn’t his activity be considered election activity unrelated to his job? Any help explaining this to me would be appreciated.

    • punaise says:

      I, too, was puzzled by “Meadows has been frantically trying to ensure whichever of these communications occurred on his personal accounts get shared with the Archives. “

      • timbo says:

        I think that the default assumption is that if the USG is paying you to do a job at the White House is that any communications having to do with the President and the White House are, in fact, Presidential records and owned by the USG. Basically, Meadows (and many the others no doubt) have been trying to cut the difference waaay beyond what is legally acceptable when it comes to campaigning and the Hatch Act, etc.

      • Leoghann says:

        Considering what Meadows put Hillary Clinton through, on the floor of the House, I suspect he fails to see the humor in the possibility that he may be prosecuted for obstruction for “but his emails (and texts)!”

  13. HW3 says:

    It’s not like Barrack has been in jail without bond for 3 years while waiting for charges like some kid picked up in Harlem for jaywalking would have been.

    • bmaz says:

      These kind of analogies are a dime a dozen and stupid. Federal crimes have nothing whatsoever in common with amorphous state and local crimes.

  14. christopher rocco says:

    Regarding just the actors involved in J6 and the attempts to overturn the election by other means: conspiracy of dunces or a single mastermind? Or was it something in-between, like multiple and sometimes overlapping (and not always coordinated, ie. Rudy and Powell) conspiracies?

    • Termagant says:

      A favorite Trump MO is pitting lieutenants against each other to achieve his goals. Plus he doesn’t plan beyond the current emergency. The chaos is built-in, along with some plausible deniability.

      • Christopher Rocco says:

        Right, of course, but I am wondering if there was someone on the outside giving this plot direction (since none of the known actors seem competent) or was it a case of “who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” where individual-1 floats his obvious wish and the lieutenants scramble to fulfill it. Still trying to wrap my head around it all.

  15. Lisa T says:

    I appreciate this description of current events:
    “Exactly a month ago, I did a post noting that the TV lawyers claiming there was no proof that DOJ was investigating anyone close to Trump were either ignorant of or ignoring six Trump associates who were being investigated.”

    It has been my experience that the TV lawyers invariably are described as “former assistant US Attorneys” a/k/a DOJ lawyers. When their title is announced the moderator says it in such a way that the audience will understand that this guest has gravitas given his former employment at DOJ. I think it is important to note that Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani are former assistant US Attorneys.

  16. Maureen A Donnelly says:

    will they ever investigate the perversion of justice Bill Barr enabled during his two short years? ever?

  17. Honeybee says:

    How long have Prince and his type been doxxing and smearing those who would expose their shenanigans. Back in the FDL days, when I made a fairly innocent blog post referring to a Vanity Fair article about Prince and greymailing, I noted a user called “staff” on my computer that mapped to a Halliburton server IP. Took a screenshot of it. My life was pretty much over after that, though. Really wish someone here would talk about the data and computer expertise of some of these January 6 people. Thx

    • Valley girl says:

      This comment makes no sense to me, given what I know (a lot) about FDL. Is that you, Mona, or whatever your name is?

        • Valley girl says:

          TY. I am well, all things considered. I just haven’t felt like commenting, for various reasons. I always enjoy your comments, and get a wry smile when you phrase certain things a certain way, if you know what I mean ;) . Hope you are well also.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Well, I sometimes manage to avoid saying Lie-sester-shire sauce. And All Things Considered happens to be my favorite show on NPR – notwithstanding its smarmy reporters – after Car Talk and Science Friday.

        • Valley girl says:

          Personally, I prefer Worst-ter-shire sauce. But that’s how I was brought up.

          Car Talk- I haven’t listened in quite a while, not since the Click and Clack days. Loved that show.

        • xy xy says:

          If you liked Car Talk then you would have loved Boston’s Sports Huddle.
          Listening to Car Talk it feels like it’s an imitation of Sports Huddle which started in the late 60’s.
          Eddie Andelman, the ringmaster of the Sunday night Sports Huddle, Marc Witkin and Jim McCarthy brought joy to the sports fans of New England who wanted to talk sports, but also have fun in the process. From the “big top” circus music leading into the trio announcing phony sports news with bad puns and jokes to the sign off with Gene Autry singing “Happy Trails,” and Donald Duck giving the station identification, the Sports Huddle quickly became a household name by appealing to all members of the household. Dads loved the lively sports talk and kids enjoyed the child-like enthusiasm of Eddie and the gang. Mom liked the good clean fun and noticeable absence of loud rock music.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Worse-ester-shire? Never heard of it. And I know where Bisster is. Might come from too many years of pouring HP brown sauce on my sausage, bacon, eggs, chips, and beans.

          Car Talk is still Click & Clack, the Tappet Bros. Their shows and humour are still available on their web site.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Fucking brilliant. And a good description of global fascists:

          Eton = Hogwarts for Wankers.

          Entitled arseholes with a Bentley and a nanny….

          Allowing the country to rot so they can sell it for scrap to the highest bidder.

        • Valley girl says:

          Having lived in England for 10 years, parts of it made me guffaw. Like the part about shagging round behind the pub… and then on to Scotch eggs…

          But, what you noted was serious truth told, brilliantly.

        • Valley girl says:

          Also, it took me a few watchings for this to register (~3:09…) I don’t think it was a random use of words… not that this small bit was important to the telling, but I was impressed.

          “M&S- Marks and Spencer, it’s like a British upscale Walmart except you can buy butter instead of military-grade assault rifles…”

          Hermann Goering 1893–1946
          German Nazi leader–“We have no butter…but I ask you—would you rather have butter or guns?…preparedness makes us powerful. Butter merely makes us fat.” speech at Hamburg, 1936

        • Rayne says:

          That is a particularly nice catch, VG. I’ve watched that video several times, amazed at how NYT will let a Brit call BoJo a liar so directly, but NYT can’t be arsed to use the words lie or liar about Trump.

          Lovely to see you, btw. :-)

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          John Oliver’s long lost brother ? That was brilliant.

          I swear BoJo combs his hair with a hand mixer.

        • mospeck says:

          VG, he’s just too good.

          Learn to pronounce

          noun: diatribe; plural noun: diatribes
          1. a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.
          “a diatribe against the Roman Catholic Church”
          Right now need I for a smoke and a GnT since there’s monsters afoot and depression swirling and circulating all about. But like the Brits we just got to soldier our way on through.


      • Honeybee says:

        Hello, Valley Girl. No, my name isn’t Mona haha. Back in those days I think my FDL username was Virtual Nought or Naut or something like that. As now, I posted infrequently had my own tiny blog which (like most everything else of mine on the net) had its admin passwords stolen. A sad time indeed. I had to take it down. Staff (like wheel, or root, just for two examples) was an internal computer user name, whose permissions became quite interesting to observe. The point I was making is that I would like to know more about the way plotters communicated – radios and the like. Because after that unpleasant time I often found myself surrounded or hassled by folks in camo caps, sporting rebel flags, skull insignias and so on. Sorry if you would rather I never post again but your site has been such a lifeline. So Thx?

  18. Honeybee says:

    Addendum: Of course, it’s only fair to say that I had written some negative things about the old Angler in that blog, too. Especially about secrecy.

  19. Frank says:

    Another person who was referred for prosecution, was Trump himself.

    Ten counts of obstruction of justice, tied to the Russia investigation. And the statute of limitations runs out, as of Feb. 14th. Although, Glenn Kirschner says it’s possible for there already to exist a sealed indictment against Trump, which would make the statute of limitations point moot.

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