The Day After Paul Sperry Claimed Trump Had Been Hiding January 6 Documents, DOJ Subpoenaed the Archives Again

CNN reported today that Thomas Windom, the lead AUSA on January 6 investigations targeting Trump and his cronies, sent a second subpoena to NARA.

The Justice Department has issued a new grand jury subpoena to the National Archives for more documents as part of its investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, two sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN.

This latest subpoena, issued on August 17, is in addition to a subpoena the Department of Justice sent to the Archives earlier this year, requesting the same documents and information that the Archives had previously handed over to the House select committee investigating January 6.

This new subpoena, which has not been previously reported, is understood to request additional documents and data from the Archives, pertaining to a period of time both before and after January 6.

Thomas Windom, an Assistant US Attorney, who is leading the criminal probe into the effort to impede the transfer of power after the 2020 election, including the potential role played by former President Donald Trump and allies to organize a group of fake electors who could keep Trump in power despite losing the election.

As a reminder, NYT reported that Windom subpoeaned all the stuff that the Archives had turned over to the January 6 Committee, for which the J6C had gone through the tedious process of getting an Executive Privilege waiver.

Federal prosecutors investigating the role that former President Donald J. Trump and his allies played in the events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol have issued a grand jury subpoena to the National Archives for all the documents the agency provided to a parallel House select committee inquiry, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by The New York Times.

The subpoena, issued to the National Archives in May, made a sweeping demand for “all materials, in whatever form” that the archives had given to the Jan. 6 House committee. Those materials included records from the files of Mr. Trump’s top aides, his daily schedule and phone logs and a draft text of the president’s speech that preceded the riot.

There are, to be sure, a number of possible explanations for this: Perhaps Windom believes he’ll get information on the Secret Service or DHS that eluded the deletion effort shortly after Joe Biden’s inauguration. Perhaps Windom knows of someone else covered by the Archives that the January 6 Committee hasn’t yet identified, one not covered by Executive Privilege.

But I can’t help but notice that Windom obtained the subpoena the day after Paul Sperry claimed the Trump had been hoarding documents at Mar-a-Lago with the intent of thwarting the January 6 Committee. (h/t Ron Filipkowski)

Anything seized in the raid would, by definition, be evidence of a crime (the obstruction already under investigation). And Windom might have been able to craft the subpoena to obtain everything January 6 related that Trump had withheld, without the privilege waiver from Biden.

And if Windom issued this subpoena in response to Sperry’s comment, then it’ll increase the likelihood that responsive materials will be turned over before any further legal stalling happens.

In other words, by hoarding the documents he most wanted to withhold from the Committee, he may have made it easier for prosecutors to get the materials.

40 replies
  1. Tim Tuttle says:

    It really does feel like the walls are finally caving in. Trump successfully maneuvered himself through many legal quagmires over the decades. He got lucky. He was timely. He stalled the courts. He duped his lawyers.

    This may be the end. No criminal enterprise lasts forever.

    • Rwood says:

      We’ll, the man-boy is 76 years old, so I’d say the end of his criminal enterprise is long overdue. But that’s a whole other discussion.

  2. Paulka says:

    Can someone explain this to me?

    The letter was sent to Trump’s lawyers by NARA, and confirms that the former president took highly classified materials with him to Mar-a-Lago.

    “As you are no doubt aware, NARA had ongoing communications with the former President’s representatives throughout 2021 about what appeared to be missing Presidential records, which resulted in the transfer of 15 boxes of records to NARA in January 2022,” the letter reads. “In its initial review of materials within those boxes, NARA identified items marked as classified national security information, up to the level of Top Secret and including Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Program materials. NARA informed the Department of Justice about that discovery, which prompted the Department to ask the President to request that NARA provide the FBI with access to the boxes at issue so that the FBI and others in the Intelligence Community could examine them.”

    Why would Trump release this?

    [FYI, link edited to remove tracking. /~Rayne]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The reasons would start with that he’s not very bright. His lawyers aren’t either, or he doesn’t listen to them, he works around them through people like Patel and Solomon, and they’re dumb enough to keep working for him.

      Trump thinks he’s still selling bogus real estate and that the more publicity he has, regardless of how bad it is, it’s always “good” for him. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.

      As an aside, when pasting a URL, please delete everything from the question mark on back. It’s usually invasive tracking data.

    • Peterr says:

      In a simplistic way, Team Trump probably thinks that this will make the search look worse. “Look – we’ve been in conversations with NARA to resolve all this, going back a long time. Why did they have to get a search warrant and just grab all this stuff when we’ve been cooperating?”

      And to be scrupulously fair, a non-trivial portion of his base *will* think this way, and send him money for his defense.

      To everyone else, it looks like a massive own goal, setting up the DOJ lawyers in so, so, so many ways.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        His believers do treat the Don like Ramses II, and follow his commandment: “So let it be written. So let it be done.”

        • LeeNLP says:

          For all the base’s apparent loyalty, I’m pretty sure they’d drop TFG in a heartbeat if he began to appear weak. The “loyalty” of a mob isn’t anything like the loyalty between, say, friends. More like the devotion of a wolf pack to the alpha male until another alpha male emerges.

          It brings to mind the words of the devil Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood in the last chapter of CS Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, after Wormwood’s major fail: “How mistakenly now that all is lost you come whimpering to ask me whether the terms of affection in which I address
          you meant nothing from the beginning…. I think they will give you to me now, or a bit of you. Love you? Why, yes. As dainty a morsel as ever I grew fat on.”

          • Peterr says:

            True, but Trump will not allow himself to look weak. Instead, he will paint himself as a Martyr, put upon by the Woke Mob of Evil Deep State Leftists. “Today they come for me,” Trump will tell them, “but tomorrow they will come for you. Keep the faith! (Also, send money.)”

            Martyrs may get beaten, but they are not weak. That, the base will eat up.

            • ernesto1581 says:

              ah, Trump in a tableau vivant as The Matrydom of St. Sebastian by Sodoma, tied to a pillar wearing only a loincloth, pierc-ed by arrows, and swooning with eyes cast above.
              “Is that one of my judges I see en banc before me?”

              more like:
              “Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?”

              • Rayne says:

                My mind desperately seeks reprieve from all things Trump, and you’ve provided the perfect offramp with St. Sebastian’s martyrdom. As if that pudgy be-diapered and be-wigged cockwomble could ever make martyrdom marketable. ~dry heaves~

                • Molly Pitcher says:

                  I have far too vivid an imagination for this. I will never be able to get the vision of Trump as St Sebastian out of my head now. Damn, it is like a visual ear worm. My brain wants to vomit.

        • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

          “So let it be written, or anyway let there be at least one hack who will claim I meant to write it.”

    • Bugboy says:

      See also: Flooding the Zone. The more they keep talking about document classification, the more they can distract from the fact the statutes cited by FBI for the warrant do not necessarily require document classification to charge. It’s “no collusion” all over again.

  3. bbleh says:

    “In other words, by hoarding the documents he most wanted to withhold from the Committee, he may have made it easier for prosecutors to get the materials.”

    Now wait a minute! Are you actually saying, or implying, that Trump didn’t think things through? That he acted impulsively? And/or that he’s ignorant of even the basics of the law and unwilling to ask advice?


  4. timbo says:

    Unfortunately, this speculation begs the question of precisely what it was the DOJ was doing before it issued these subpoenas more than a year after Jan 6, 2021. You’d think they’d have gotten around to actually, you know, looking into this info long before them…like before the second or third Congressional Committee actually looking into Jan 6 and impeaching Twitler, etc had gotten to it? But, nope, taking their time again, DOJ didn’t think it was important until NARA complained and then someone else on the Internet mentioned, “Gee, Trump’s hiding documents about Jan 6 from NARA!” Of course, maybe they’re also now looking into how it was that phone records (et al?) weren’t preserved by Defense and USSS…after the DHS IG failed to inform Congress in a timely fashion about that minor detail?

    • timbo says:

      Okay, okay, maybe it was that NARA didn’t even know what records it was they didn’t have…but almost certainly someone somewhere in the government knew that there were TS/SCI documents missing, right? Or was that dropped too from the radar for some unknown reason?

    • bmaz says:

      DOJ does not give a shit about the stupid J6 Committee. In fact, the J6 Committee has shat repeatedly on DOJ’s job and purpose.

      • Gatorbaiter says:

        And cried the blues about DOJ needing to “do their job” while withholding evidence which might have sped things up in their investigation.

        • timbo says:

          Lol. You mean the looking into what happened to the missing TS/SCI documents that supposedly DOJ wasn’t aware of until Congress started poking around?

          Again, it seems that at least a year elapsed between the time some of these TS/SCI (and allegedly DNI) documents went missing from the USG and when DOJ became aware of that. Or is someone arguing here that that was not the case, that sundry USG counter-intelligence directorates were actively investigating what had happened to these missing documents…before they started popping up in returned boxes from Mar-a-Lago…but hadn’t informed DOJ of the fact that such an potentially explosive investigation was underway since early on in the early Biden term?

          Now, I know many of you will advocate for being patient, continually being patient with DOJ, etc, and no doubt other parts of the USG too. But at what point are the nations most important secrets just let go willy-nilly? And at what point do those directorates that are responsible for keeping lock and key on those documents going to notice that, gee, they no longer have those actual documents where they’re supposed to be?

      • Peterr says:

        The last sentence in the post:

        In other words, by hoarding the documents he [Trump] most wanted to withhold from the Committee, he may have made it easier for prosecutors to get the materials.

        Seems to me that Marcy’s point in this post is that the DOJ used the interplay between the J6 committee and Trump for their own purposes, which suggests that the DOJ *does* give a shit about the J6 committee and its work — at least insofar as they can use Trump’s ranting about the J6 committee to their own advantage.

        • timbo says:

          Hopefully the DOJ now gives a crap about what Congress is doing now…as the DOJ is now aware that there are missing highly classified government documents, something that is not clear at all they were aware of prior to the Congress prodding NARA with subpoenas for Presidential records.

          • notjonathon says:

            How many times have Mar-A-Lago visitor cell phones taken souvenir photos of these sensitive secret/top secret documents?

      • timbo says:

        They must care something in that they indicted at least two people for refusing to honor Congressional subpoenas… but not a couple of others for the DOJ’s own reasons. So, basically, they care…as long as it doesn’t mess up whatever it is that DOJ thinks will be messed up. Or, to put it another way, DOJ appears to be using contempt of Congress referrals to its own ends. If those ends coincide with holding seditionists and grifters accountable then I guess we should all be glad of it.

  5. skua says:

    Been researching the historical linguistic/cultural context of The Colony by Audrey Magee, and slowly reading The Law of Dreams.
    Has me hearing “There are, to be sure, a number of possible explanations ….” with Irish accenting.

    Anyone reading got contacts with access to RTE (Irish national broadcaster)?
    RTE and everyone else, need Marcy’s research based analysis to replace Trump spin/propaganda.

  6. Tom-1812 says:

    I’ve heard some Republicans–e.g., Representative Mike Turner of Ohio–try to minimize the seriousness of Trump having a basement hoard of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago by suggesting that the information may not be all that sensitive, could easily be found on the internet, or may even be out-of-date. Yet the Ultra Secret of WWII wasn’t widely known until the 1970s and you don’t have to do a very extensive online search to learn that there is still a lot of information regarding Allied intelligence operations in WWII that are still classified for diplomatic or other reasons. For example, we won’t know the full story of Rudolf Hess’s flight to Scotland in 1941 until certain British government files are scheduled to be opened in 2041.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I wonder if that is to cover-up a meeting between Hess and Edward Vll ? Several generations of Royals would be dead by then and not forced to face that he was a Nazi sympathizer.

      • Tom-1812 says:

        I think there was an element of the British upper crust who thought, at least before the war, that “Hitler had some good ideas.” (Yes, like killing himself.) I’ve read speculation that Hess hoped to broker peace between Britain and Germany and perhaps even persuade the British to join the Germans in their invasion of Russia in June ’41

  7. klynn says:

    OT but related.

    I am disappointed in the leaking of the warrant re Trump search. Really disappointed in WSJ.

    • bmaz says:

      Why? The warrant itself does not mean squat. Trump could have put it on the internet the first hour after service. The affidavit matters, not the warrant itself.

  8. Yorkville Kangaroo says:

    The other thing I’m trying to piece together about these searches, both at MaL and at NARA, is whether the DoJ are actually just attempting to find out what is already known. That is to say, if they ask NARA for Box 2A and it’s not there, they then have probable cause to search for it at The Donald’s house. This would mean there doesn’t need to be ANY mole inside The Donald’s coven of sycophantic miscreants at all.

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