DOJ Fatigue: Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room?

Below is my column in the Hill on the difficult schedule facing Special Counsel Jack Smith in the prosecution of former President Donald Trump. He is also facing a greater problem of public perception. While critics often speak hopefully of “Trump fatigue” among voters, prosecutors are dealing with a Justice fatigue. A new poll shows that less than a majority of citizens believe Trump was correctly charged. An ABC/Ipsos poll found that 48% of Americans think Trump was rightfully charged while 35% do not think he should have been indicted. Another 17% was unsure. Prosecutors were likely hoping for more than a plurality given the details of the indictment. Worse yet, according to the poll, 47% of Americans think the charges against Trump are politically motivated. These polls indicate that Smith is not exactly singing to an empty room . . . but it is far from full.

Here is the column:

In his public statement following the release of the  44-page indictment against former President Donald Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith gave the rote declaration of ethical and nonpolitical conduct by his team. But one line stood out: “My office will seek a speedy trial on this matter.”

Smith is not just a man on a mission; he’s also a man on a deadline. Every criminal defendant is entitled to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment. Under the federal law, a speedy trial would start within roughly two months.

There is a reason Smith would love to see an August trial. If the litigation pushed the trial within a few months of the election, most judges would delay it until after Nov. 5, 2024. That would mean that Trump could avoid a conviction and, if elected, he could give himself a prospective pardon. That would mean that there would be no judgment against him.

Smith knows that the Sixth Amendment is designed to help defendants, not prosecutors. Moreover, defendants routinely waive their right to a speedy trial because they need time.

Trump needs time in a bad way, and his lawyers would be insane not to waive. In fact, Trump just lost two more lawyers on the day of the indictment’s release.

More importantly, this indictment is a heart attack on a plate. The team has much to do after the hyperventilation passes.

The problem for the defense is that it must run the table on all 37 counts. The government clearly count-stacked to maximize the chances of a conviction. With a 76-year-old client, the defense attorneys have to play a perfect game. Even one conviction on these counts could bring a sentence of 10 to 12 years.

Moreover, the indictment is full of legal jump-scares in the form of pictures and transcripts. Like most people, jurors are visual creatures. Pictures of potentially classified documents being stored next to the commode will leave a lasting impression.

Most damaging is the audiotape that is transcribed in the indictment. On the tape, Trump tells two individuals interviewing him for a book that he has a classified Department of Defense document regarding an attack on Iran. Trump admits that it is secret and “as president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”

This is damaging on various levels. For one thing, it contradicts his prior claims to have declassified all of the documents. It also suggests that the government has a motive for trial.

Although many pundits bizarrely claimed that Trump was intending to sell classified material, the government suggests a more straightforward motive: The documents were trophies for Trump. The indictment portrays him as bragging about his possession of the attack plan.

For almost two years, I have written that the most serious threat against Trump would come out of Mar-a-Lago. That torpedo has now hit. Trump’s team is fooling itself if it does not recognize that this has caused damage below the waterline.

All indictments tend to diminish with time and adversarial process. As of this writing, we have not heard yet from the defense on these allegations. However, the indictment is full of quotes from lawyers and others made under oath or to federal investigators. If false, either would be grounds for criminal charges.

It could also get worse. Trump’s aide, Walt Nauta, has also been charged. According to reports, the Justice Department pressured Nauta and his lawyer for him to flip as a government witness. Indeed, the defense has charged that prosecutor Jay Bratt suggested that the Justice Department might sink Nauta attorney Stanley Woodward’s application for a federal judgeship unless his client cooperates and changes his testimony.

This indictment is clearly designed to concentrate Nauta’s mind on cooperation. If he were to flip (as the person who allegedly moved or concealed these documents), Trump would face a potentially insurmountable case.

The problem for the Justice Department is that it has made itself unbelievable in the eyes of many in the public. After years of overt bias and targeting of Trump, polls show that the majority of Americans view the FBI as a politically compromised organization.

The use of this type of speaking or “talking” indictment is clearly directed more at the public than at the court or the defendant. The Justice Department usually prefers a bare-bones indictment, to withhold a full account of its evidence before it has to turn it over to the defense. Smith wanted to show the public that it can trust the government, despite its behavior over the last seven years, as shown most recently by the report of Special Counsel John Durham.

This is also the reason Smith turned this indictment into a virtual picture book for public consumption. The Justice Department has left little room for trust among many citizens, and Smith is hoping that these images can change that perspective.

But this indictment is likely to do better in the court of law than it does in the court of public opinion. Just as many have Trump fatigue, many also have DOJ fatigue. This is the third consecutive election in which Trump is being hounded by allegations of crimes. It was immediately preceded by a clear political prosecution in New York State. In other words, the DOJ may have long ago lost the room for this production.

That does not mean that Trump can face this deluge of 37 counts and come out dry. The odds favor the government in this type of case.

Yet the question is whether there will be a case to prosecute after November 2024. Indeed, whatever the merits of a self-pardon, Republican candidates are already indicating that they would also consider pardoning Trump themselves if they are elected.

That is why Trump may have a better chance running on this case than defending against it.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

298 thoughts on “DOJ Fatigue: Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room?”

  1. Changing the subject quite a bit. This is a clip of the looney Dylan Mulvany when he was on The Price is Right, back when he was still a “male.” He was a nutcase back then (as he is today) and thrived on attention and was wound up tighter than an 8 day clock. This is the man (woman?) that corporate American has chosen to represent their products. This is worth a 90 second watch. This country has gone off its rockers. Lord help us all!

    1. He’s still a man. Dressing in girly clothes and acting ditzy doesn’t change that. He’s a gay man, but a man nonetheless.

      Not only corporate America has chosen him, but the President of the United States has chosen him to pay homage to. Off our rocker indeed!

  2. It appears Bill Clinton might exonerate Donald Trump from Hillary Clinton’s phony FBI/DOJ charges.
    Thank liberal, partisan hack Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson

    5 🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥 for AG Merrick Garland

    Trump’s Boxes and Clinton’s Sock Drawer:
    A president chooses what records to return or keep and the National Archives can’t do anything about it.

    Amy Berman Jackson agreed: “Since the President is completely entrusted with the management and even the disposal of Presidential records during his time in office,” she held, “it would be difficult for this Court to conclude that Congress intended that he would have less authority to do what he pleases with what he considers to be his personal records.” Judge Berman added that “the PRA contains no provision obligating or even permitting the Archivist to assume control over records that the President ‘categorized’ and ‘filed separately’ as personal records. At the conclusion of the President’s term, the Archivist only ‘assumes responsibility for the Presidential records.’ . . . PRA does not confer any mandatory or even discretionary authority on the Archivist to classify records. Under the statute, this responsibility is left solely to the President.”

    Wall Street Journal

    1. These are agency records (falling under the Federal Records Act), not Presidential Records or personal documents. Moreover, ABJ’s district court ruling has no precedential effect, especially not on other districts.


        Article II, Section 1

        The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

        The President alone wields the executive branch power of classification, declassification and archiving of materials.

        The legislative branch has no legal basis to usurp any aspect, facet or degree of the power of the executive branch.

        No legislation usurping the power of the executive branch is constitutional.

        No legislation usurping the power of the executive branch to classify, declassify and archive material is constitutional.

        Archiving occurs in perpetuity after the President with the power designates a modality, for example, “I will keep my materials next to my Corvette in my garage.”

      2. The Supreme Court of 2022 finally struck down the corrupt, erroneous and unconstitutional Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

        The PRA is unconstitutional.


      3. It wouldn’t be a mandatory precedent but it can serve as a persuasive precedent. Was her opinion published in the Federal Supplement? It is also a political precedent and that can have influence.

        1. its greek to me. Perhaps you can translate in a few sentences

          United States Court of Appeals

          Argued September 22, 2017 Decided December 1, 2017 No. 16-5366


          Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

          1. @ Estovir – precedents

            A number of years ago a psychologist in California was treating a student who clearly was plotting the murder of an identified young woman. The psychologist was concerned but thought his options were limited by strict statutory rules of patient confidentiality. The woman was murdered, the psychologist was sued and when the case got to the California Supreme Court it was held that in such a case the psychologist’s duty to prevent the murder outweighed any duty of confidentiality that existed. That, roughly, is the Tarasoff case.

            That holding became a mandatory precedent in the state of California. All lower courts are required to follow it. The legislature passed a statute weakening the ruling a little and when I read it I thought that the court would negate that as well, and I believe it did. If a civil case on the same issue were heard in federal court because of diversity jurisdiction [plaintiff and defendant from different states] the federal court would also follow the precedent laid down by the California Supreme Court which is supreme on issues of state law. In such a case the federal court only provides a forum but state law applies.

            However, if the same issue were to arise in another state then the Tarasoff decision would not bind the courts of that state. However, you can be sure that the court would review the facts and reasoning in the California case and may, or may not, elect to follow the same principles laid down in Tarasoff. So Tarasoff would be a binding precedent in the courts of California but a persuasive precedent in other jurisdictions.

            In our common law system of law, courts do create law although they are sometimes said to be only extending existing principles of law to relatively new situations. The law grows like a tree, one branch extending from another. In the Civil Law system common to Europe and Latin America the courts are said to only apply the law rather than interpret it, though they do interpret to a degree, and new law comes only crafted from a body with legislative authority. Common law grows like a tree and Civil Law is engineered and built like a bridge.

            Once engaged a court can look pretty much anywhere for authority. It is not unusual to see a court opinion cite Blackstone or Bracton, both of whom wrote before the United States was even created. Most states [all except Louisiana–civil law] I think have statutes or state constitutions [New York] that make pretty much all of English common law dating at least back to Edward I [think Braveheart] and before as part of the state’s law. There is learned argument over when common law even began. Hume, in his history of England, points to Alfred the Great.

            Article I
            [Common law and acts of the colonial and state legislatures]
            §14. Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the legislature of the
            colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony, on the
            nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred seventy-five, and the
            resolutions of the congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the
            State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven
            hundred seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or
            altered; and such acts of the legislature of this state as are now in force, shall
            be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations as the
            legislature shall make concerning the same.

            In other words, the common law prior to April 19, 1775, is a substantive part of the law of New York.

            That said, it is possible to make an argument to the court based on ancient common law or cases from other common law jurisdictions like England or Canada. One can also draw on cases in federal courts, including the trial courts. The Canterbury case in the DC District Court has had an important influence as a persuasive precedent on the law of informed consent in medicine.

            Put simply, legally one cannot so readily ignore the example of the Clinton case. And politically it is already creating embarrassing problems for the corrupt DOJ.

            It’s been a long time since I have thought of this history and if anyone more current cares to correct me, I welcome it.

        2. Young – Furthermore, there is an issue of what position the DOJ espoused in that case. If the DOJ accepted Clinton’s position that the documents were “personal” because HE decided that they were personal when he took them with him upon leaving office (which is what Tom Fitton says), then it will be hard for the DOJ to make a contrary argument in Trump’s case.

          1. The DOJ wasn’t a party to the other case.

            And the two cases aren’t similar. This case is about classified national defense information, involving documents created by government employees, many of which are agency records subject to the Federal Records Act rather than the Presidential Records Act. The other case was about unclassified discussions with a historian who was not employed by the government, where the matter was wholly within the Presidential Records Act.

            1. ATS,

              Is the DOJ so incompetent that it never even occurred to them to inquire about records that Clinton, Obama or Biden took and kept in unsecure locations or is it just that, as I have been saying, DOJ = EVIL?

              By the way didn’t the Clintons also leave with boxes of White House furnishings that they had to return. Isn’t looting federal property a crime?

              1. Heh heh heh.
                As if the dem mafia cares one whit about law or anything else except their insane TDS, power mongering misplaced vengeance, and looting the treasury and nations worldwide.
                Watching the lefty fascist tyranny evolve into a rabid bleeding street demon covered in horns with personal felonies oozing from every pore is disgusting.
                The FBI is the one that sets up bribes, as Patrick Byrne, who bribed Hillary for 15 million under their direction publicly testified.
                It’s all lies and scams, as is ever more obvious. Believing a single word from criminal skum agent smith means a traitorous cowardly matrix dumb dumb decided sucking down the fake steak was bliss and the way to go. That dumb dumb still knows it’s all a lie.

      4. No. (1) Agencies are subordinate to the president, the sole constitutional representative of the executive branch. (2) Congress is a “co-equal” branch of government and cannot arrogate to itself that authority and then give it to an “agency” by passing legislation. (3) The real Grand Jury proceedings were held in D.C. (inappropriately) for rubber-stamping in Florida.

  3. Every day, more and more Black and Hispanic voters give their support to Trump, the first president in many decades to help working-class and middle-class Americans of all races get better jobs with higher real wages to provide for their families.

    By contrast. the Democrat Party has become the party of destroyed families, failing schools, persistent poverty, high crime, and high prices.

    Go Trump.

  4. ☢️ 𝐊𝐲𝐢𝐯 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧: 𝐍𝐮𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐞?
    Zaporizhzhya “now relies entirely on its sole remaining 750kV power line.”
    by Mason Stauffer ~ June 12, 2023

    ☢️ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐮𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐡 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤
    Is it all just saber rattling, buffoonery, the last braggadocious mutterings of a failed regime? Cheap efforts to obtain deterrence that arms have lost? Perhaps. And then again, perhaps not.
    By Victor Davis Hanson ~ June 11, 2023

    1. ☢️ 𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐒𝐞𝐭 𝐓𝐨 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐔𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐮𝐦 𝐌𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞
      The Biden administration is set to transfer depleted uranium shells to Ukraine for the first time since the Russian invasion began The Wall Street Journal reports
      by Tyler Durden ~ Jun 13, 2023

      😃 𝐖𝐎𝐖! 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐈𝐓’𝐒 𝐎𝐍𝐋𝐘 𝐓𝐔𝐄𝐒𝐃𝐀𝐘 the 13th of June, 2023
      And now some Easy-Listening Music for your Aural pleasure,
      It’s gonna be a long Week ahead ~ Stay Tuned

    2. ☢️ 𝐈𝐬𝐫𝐚𝐞𝐥 ‘𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝’ 𝐛𝐲 𝐩𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐧-𝐔𝐒 𝐧𝐮𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐥
      The prime minister claimed that over 90 percent of Israel’s security concerns ‘stem from Iran’
      By News Desk – June 13 2023

      ☢️ 𝐋𝐮𝐤𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐧𝐤𝐨’𝐬 𝐋𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐍𝐮𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝐔𝐒 𝐒𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐃𝐞𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐔𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐮𝐦 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐊𝐢𝐞𝐯
      President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday he won’t hesitate to use Russian tactical nuclear weapons which are soon to be stationed on Belarusian soil if his country faces “an aggression”.
      “𝙂𝙤𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙗𝙞𝙙 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙖 𝙙𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙬𝙚𝙖𝙥𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙩𝙤𝙙𝙖𝙮, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙣𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙞𝙛 𝙬𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙜𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣,” he said.
      by Tyler Durden – Tuesday, Jun 13, 2023

  5. I believe it would be wise to zoom out from the melee and ask some basic questions.

    – Would we be in this situation if we truly had equal justice under the law?
    – Would we be in this situation if the FBI and DOJ operated independent of any political party?
    – Would we be in this situation if the media investigated and reported independent of any political party?

    It’s difficult to know where we would be today if we’d had all 3 functioning properly, because we haven’t had all 3 for a long, long time. So let’s start with this century.

    The Bush and Obama eras seem to be where things really went off the rails with those 3 bullet points. I don’t believe we get two Bush terms without those 3 being politicized. We don’t get Obama at all without those 3 being even more politicized. There’s absolutely no way we get Clinton nominated without those 3 blatantly being politicized. And we don’t get Trump if the American people didn’t realize those 3 weren’t all stealing our country away from them. And Biden and Clinton would have been locked up long before even running for office had those 3 not been politicized and weaponized against anyone that opposed them. So yes, we get Trump.

    But since we’ve lost all 3, we spend the entirety of his presidency watching them try to take him out. With their efforts, we get Biden. With their efforts, we get the leading opposition candidate indicted twice with perhaps more to come.

    There is no indictment of a former president or even a leading candidate for president if we had equal justice under the law, an independent DOJ/FBI and an independent media. Not because Trump did not do what he’s alleged to have done. But because someone like Trump would have remained a private citizen and not entered the political arena. The entire insanity taking place in all areas of public life is directly linked to the loss of those 3 areas.

    So go ahead and zoom back in to the melee. It’s what’s expected of you. You’re supposed to get worked up over your perceived boogeyman, because God knows they don’t want you to pay any attention to the boogeyman no longer hiding behind the curtain.

          1. “It’s the [law], stupid.”

            – James Carville

            Slavery did not involve U.S. Citizens.

            The legal status of slaves was “property.”

            Immigrants in 1863 must have been “…free white person(s)…” and any person other than that could not be “admitted to become a citizen….”

            The most fervent desire of abductees is to be compassionately repatriated; to go home.

            The Israelite slaves were out of Egypt before the ink was dry on their release papers.

            Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802

            United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

            Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

    1. So your claim is there wouldn’t be an indictment regardless of the content of the alleged crime?

      Let’s test that. Would we have “equal justice under the law” if we didn’t prosecute a fmr president who shot someone in the middle of Times Sq?

      1. So your claim is there wouldn’t be an indictment regardless of the content of the alleged crime?

        You really don’t process more than one small paragraph very well.

        Try rereading the entire comment again. Take it one paragraph at a time. Process that and then move to the next. Repeat this process until you’ve read the entire comment.

        Then, you should have the answer to your idiotic question.

  6. 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐥𝐞𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐄𝐱𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐎𝐟 𝐁𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐓𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐓𝐨 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬
    By Harold Hutchison ~ June 12, 2023


    1. 𝐇𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐩𝐨𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐁𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐫
      By Victor Nava ~ June 12, 2023

      𝐇𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐅𝐁𝐈 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐁𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐬
      Two Republican members of Congress announced Monday that they were broadening a House inquiry into collusion between large banks and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
      Jack Moore ~ June 12, 2023 4:35 PM ET

  7. Jonathan: Donald Trump is having trouble getting any reputable law firm in Florida to represent him in the federal criminal case brought by Jack Smith. Multiple well-known Miami law firms were approached by Trump to represent him. All declined because their reputations are more important than representing a guy who is toxic.

    John Rowley and Jim Trusty, who represented Trump in the meeting with Smith’s team last week, have “resigned”. More likely they were fired by Boris Epshteyn, Trump’s personal lawyer and the “Rasputin” of Mar-a-Lago, because they were unable to convince the DOJ to back off. Evan Corcoran and Tim Parlatore are also gone because they testified against Trump before the grand jury.

    It now looks like Todd Blanche, who is not authorized to practice in federal court in Miami, and Chris Kise, who had to leave his law firm because of his representing Trump, will be in charge of the defense. Not exactly the “dream team” of lawyers you would expect would want to defend a former president.

    1. Marcy Wheeler notes that Trump’s lawyers will also have to get security clearances, which is a significant process, and Kise “was a registered agent for Venezuela in recent years [and] may not be able to get cleared.”

    2. What is a ‘dream team’ of lawyers? I can understand ‘high priced lawyers’ or ‘well-connected lawyers’ , but I’ve never quite got a grip on dream team lawyers.

      Perhaps all those ‘well known’ lawyers in Miami who declined to represent Mr. Trump are fearful of Special Counsel Smith’s proven ability to penetrate attorney-client privileges in this matter. And not just any attorney-client privilege – a president’s attorney-client privilege.

    3. Where is Alan Dershowitz when you need him?! The indictment is not the injustice, it’s the investigation. This issue should have been negotiated with respect to the fact that Trump is a former president. His intent was to use this info for his legacy not to betray our country. It appears to me that Trump messed up and handed the Left this indictment. Sad, sad, sad.

      1. Pasquale DeCicco: Sorry Pasquale. Dershowitz was approached and asked if he would represent Trump. Dershowitz politely declined. So now no reputable law firm will represent the Trumpster. That’s how bad it is for Trump. And the Trumpster didn’t hold onto the top secret to protect his “legacy”. He could have done what Obama did. He could have allowed NARA to keep control of all his administration’s records and used them to record the history of his administration. But Trump didn’t do that. That’s why he is in so much legal trouble!


        1. Are you deliberately spread propaganda, or just ignorant of the facts? NARA refused to assist Trump, unlike all previous presidents for 40 years. So GSA just boxed up everything willy-nilly and dumped the boxes on the White House driveway for pickup.

        2. Dennis – you state: “He could have allowed NARA to keep control of all his administration’s records and used them to record the history of his administration.” That is not what happened. Obama took the records to a warehouse in Chicago that is controlled by the Obama Foundation. Obame refused to turn over the actual Presidential Records to NARA, and told NARA that he would digitize the records and give NARA the digitized images. He then hired the firm that is doing the digitization. Initally, tNARA meekly protested the refusal of Obama to turn over the actual records (which is required by the PRA), but then loyally accepted Obama’s fiat. NARA understands that it, like the FBI, and like the MSM, works for the Democrats.

          1. Here’s the truth, according to Snopes: “Both classified and unclassified records from the Obama presidency were temporarily located in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago, in a building that used to be an old furniture store. However, while the Obama Foundation provided funds to move and store those records, it had neither possession nor control of them, given that they were in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from the day Obama left office.” Please stop lying about this.

    4. No actually the fbi is ruining the lives of anyone who tries to help Trump, which is why they indicted his valet for moving a few boxes. That’s why the attorneys resigned. I mean, attorneys who represent literally the scum of the earth, according to you turn up their noses at all that lovely money for a documents case because Trump is “toxic?” What are the rest of their clients, nice people?

    5. The lawyers were conflicted out. They did not “resign”. They were not “fired”. Stop spreading nonsense.

      1. “Stop spreading nonsense.”

        If Dennis stopped spreading nonsense he would have nothing to say.

  8. Special Court Jester, Jack Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland et al. must be prosecuted, as was District Attorney Mike Nifong, for abuse of power, corruption, intentional prosecutorial misconduct and criminal malicious prosecution.

    1. Special Court Jester George should be prosecuted for spewing garbage day in, day out.

  9. Professor Turley Writes:

    In fact, Trump just lost two more lawyers on the day of the indictment’s release.

    This is true, lawyers James Trusty and John Rowley quit Trump’s legal team late last week. This has left Trump having to interview Florida-based lawyers to answer these charges.

    Yet it appears that name lawyers are not that eager to take Trump as a client. Because the ex-president has a well-earned reputation as being ‘difficult’ to represent. He also has a big mouth, ignores advice and doesn’t always pay.

    1. They didn’t “quit”. They were conflicted out because SC breached (arguably illegally) attorney-client privilege, called them as witnesses.

      1. No, you’re confusing various of Trump’s lawyers.

        Corcoran and Bobb were witnesses, and there was a crime-fraud exception for some of Corcoran’s evidence. Trusty and Rowley were not.

  10. If you look at the counts, you’ll see that the documents are daily briefings Trump received. The Iran map is allegedly of a plan one of the Pentagon idiots cooked up that Trump disapproved. Prior to 1978, all of these documents, classified or otherwise, would have been considered the presidents private property and his to do with as he wished. Anyone with half a brain knows this will go to the Supreme Court if its not stopped in a lower court and any conviction will be overturned, just as Smith’s previous convictions have been.

    1. No, they don’t look like the daily briefs, and they’re not Presidential records, per 44 U.S. Code § 2201 (2)(B)(i)

      1. What determines whether a document prepared for the President, such as the daily brief, is a presidential record or a government record?

        1. NARA notes
          The PRA applies to records created by components of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) that solely advise and assist the President. These components are not covered by the Federal Records Act. Even within the EOP, some components generate Federal records, while others generate Presidential records.
          Among the components of the Executive Office of the President that create Presidential records are:
          . The White House Office
          . The Office of the Vice President
          . The Office of Policy Development
          . The Council of Economic Advisors
          . The National Security Council
          . The President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
          . The President’s Intelligence Oversight Board
          . The National Economic Council
          . The Office of Administration
          Other EOP components generate Federal records that are governed by the Federal Records Act. Among the EOP offices that generate Federal records are:
          . The Office of Management and Budget
          . The Office of the United States Trade Representative
          . The Council on Environmental Quality
          . The Office of Science and Technology Policy
          . The Office of National Drug Control Policy

          Does that help?

          1. Thanks. It’s very helpful. But it doesn’t answer the question. Does the WH or an agency prepare the daily brief? My guess is that it’s the responsibility of the NSC, which would make it a presidential record. More generally, if the NSC takes input from agencies and packages it into a document for the president, is that NSC-packaged document a presidential record? I would think so.

            So far as I can tell from the indictment, it is unclear whether the documents in question were prepared by the WH or an agency. So it is unclear whether they are presidential records.

            Even if they are presidential records, that does not mean Trump has a defense under 18 USC 793(e), because they clearly are not personal records. And the sock drawer case does not hold that the president has unreviewable authority to designate any document whatsoever as personal. That case was decided on the question of redressability, not court reviewability.

            But if they are presidential records it certainly raises the question whether recovery of Trump’s documents should have been a matter of civil law under the PRA or criminal law under 18 USC 793(e).

            1. An page says “The PDB is coordinated and delivered by the ODNI with contributions from the CIA as well as other IC elements.” So not the responsibility of the NSC. The ODNI is an agency (created after 9/11); it’s not within the Executive Office of the President.

              Re: the additional IC elements, Wikipedia says that “The PDB is produced by the Director of National Intelligence, and involves fusing intelligence from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Defense Department, Homeland Security and other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

              The indictment also notes that the documents include “classified documents and national defense information gathered and owned by the United States government, including information from the agencies that comprise the United States Intelligence Community [USIC] and the United States Department of Defense” (italics added), and the subset in italics clearly aren’t Presidential records. Also “Trump retained classified documents originated by, or implicating the equities of, multiple USIC members and other executive branch departments and agencies,” including agencies listed on p. 8. Those that originated with the agencies aren’t Presidential records. But I’ll temper my earlier claim, as maybe there are some Presidential records mixed in. Still, they clearly aren’t all Presidential records, and I’d bet that the majority are not.

                1. Though I would note that “implicating the equities of” is a crafty obfuscating phrase suggesting that where that term applies the documents are not agency documents. And it is impossible to know at this point how many originated with agencies and how many merely “implicated” their “equities.” Until each document is revealed specifically we will not know if it is a presidential record or not.

      2. No, they don’t look like the daily briefs, and they’re not Presidential records, per 44

        You refuse to answer, who has the constitutional power to overrule the ex Presidents claim of personal property.

        1. ATS lacks the ability to respond. His understanding of the law stops whenever the question of law turns away from the simplistic. He lives in a world where the only answers permitted are those that agree with him.

        2. I haven’t seen any of Trump’s lawyers claim that they were personal property, but if they do, that will be settled in court, with attention to relevant laws like the Federal Records Act and the Presidential Records Act.

            1. If the documents fall under the Federal Records Act, obviously yes. And again: where have Trump’s lawyers ever claimed that they were personal documents?

              1. “And again: where have Trump’s lawyers ever claimed that they were personal documents?”

                And again,until know, Trump has never been accused of anything. Stupid lawyers would be the ones mounting a defense before charges.

                I have a hard time understanding how records are the property of the agency, and the President is the head of agency, what crime transpired.

                1. Your failure to understand has no bearing on the fact that this will be resolved in court.

                  1. Let us assume that you, ATS, have a legitimate point ( I think your arguments and desires are wrong.) Does that mean the points contrary to yours have no legitimacy? No. It means the law is unclear, and lawyers must battle in the courts.

                    Should a former President of the United States and front-runner for the Presidency be indicted under such unclear circumstances? That answer is NO!!! Those are the actions of third-world nations and any nation whose government is Stalinist.

                    But, let us assume again that you ATS are correct, and somehow, somewhere, Trump did things poorly. That is no reason to take a civil offense and turn it into a criminal offense. Again such actions are based on Stalinist thinking.

                    You can keep quoting the laws, but you cannot justify what you desire.

            2. Justices of the Supreme Court swore an oath to support the clear and evident, meaning and intent, the “manifest tenor” and the literal words of the Constitution.

              Read them here: The executive POWER shall be vested in a President.


              Article II, Section 1

              The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

              The President alone wields the executive branch power of classification, declassification and archiving of materials.

              The legislative branch has no legal basis to usurp any aspect, facet or degree of the power of the executive branch.

              No legislation usurping the power of the executive branch is constitutional.

              No legislation usurping the power of the executive branch to classify, declassify and archive material is constitutional.

              Archiving occurs in perpetuity after the President with the power designates a modality, for example, “I will keep my materials next to my Corvette in my garage.”

      3. Congress doesn’t get to usurp the authority of the executive branch of government (that’s the president) by passing a vague statute with vague definitions..

  11. I don’t care, come November 5th 2024 Donald Trump will be the 1st Convict elected President of the United States.
    Kinda has a nice ring to it.

    1. He’ll lose again. He’ll be the first former President to lose twice. And if he’s convicted, so much the better.

    2. Like the criminal Lincoln, he’ll rewrite the history books to include the truth this time.


    Marbury v. Madison

    Feb 24, 1803

    Marshall reasoned that the Judiciary Act of 1789 conflicted with the Constitution.

    Congress did not have power to modify the Constitution through regular legislation because Supremacy Clause places the Constitution before the laws.

    In so holding, Marshall established the principle of judicial review, i.e., the power to declare a law unconstitutional.

    – Oyez

    “Judicial Review in the United States”

    The legitimacy of judicial review and the judge’s approach to judicial review are discussed.

    The doctrine of judicial review holds that the courts are vested with the authority to determine the legitimacy of the acts of the executive and the legislative branches of government.

    – Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

    The PRA unconstitutionally usurped the power of the executive branch and provided that power to the legislative branch, modifying the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court must have immediately exercised its power of Judicial Review to strike down the PRA.


    Article II, Section 1

    The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

    The President alone wields the executive branch power of classification, declassification and archiving of materials.

    The legislative branch has no legal basis to usurp any aspect, facet or degree of the power of the executive branch.

    No legislation usurping the power of the executive branch is constitutional.

    No legislation usurping the power of the executive branch to classify, declassify and archive material is constitutional.

    Archiving occurs in perpetuity after the President with the power designates a modality, for example, “I will keep my materials next to my Corvette in my garage.”

    Joe Biden and Merrick Garland may charge and prove that President Trump engaged in “…levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    They cannot do so.

    1. The Executive branch gets the vast majority of it’s authority from laws Congress passes. The main job of the Executive branch is to implement the laws. Of course Congress can make laws that the President must follow.

      1. the Executive under Obama and Biden executed the vast majority of their orders by pulling it out of their asses. It took Federal Courts to clean up their messes where they could but their stink has permeated our country since then.


        Article 2, Section 1

        The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

        The legislative branch cannot usurp the power vested in a President that allows the President, exclusively, to classify, declassify and archive materials.

        “Congress did not have power to modify the Constitution through regular legislation because Supremacy Clause places the Constitution before the laws.”

        Unanimous decision for Marbury

        Majority opinion by John Marshall

        – Oyez

        Next question.

        1. That is a radical interpretation of the text. An “executive” is the person or branch of a government responsible for putting policies or laws into effect. Not a king, not above the law, does not make the laws.

          1. Mine is not an interpretation, it is a verbatim iteration.

            When you become the Constitution, we will all read and adhere to your misreading and misinterpretation.

            In the meantime, the “…executive Power shall be vested in a President.”

            Do notice that no other entity enjoys any aspect, facet or degree of POWER being vested in it.

            Every last scintilla of POWER is vested in a President.

            No POWER is vested in either the legislative or judicial branch.

            The EXECUTIVE POWER, the WHOLE EXECUTIVE POWER and nothing but the EXECUTIVE POWER, so help you God, is vested in the President.

            Next question.

      3. Sammy
        ALL POWER originates from the People.
        Article II is where the People delegate their power to the Executive Branch.

  13. Mitt Romney today: “I’m angry. The country is going to go through tumult as a result of one thing. President Trump didn’t turn over military documents when he was asked to do so.”

    1. Does anyone take the Supreme Milquetoast RINO, Mittens Romney, seriously?

      Does anyone take the frightened and dastardly Aninny (attribution, Mespo) seriously?

      Aninny is afraid of his own shadow and, worse, afraid of his own name.

      You go, boy!

      1. Nonsense. He acts like a traditional conservative Republican. Same with Liz Cheney. You apparently can’t even admit that there’s a non-Trumpist wing of the Republican Party.

  14. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865.

    The conspirators were hanged on July 7, 1865, after a seven-week trial.

    Two months and 24 days from crime to execution.

  15. So we are hearing that Jack Smith obtained useful information as a result of his interviews with attorneys who had represented former President Trump. Can anyone enlighten me as to an exception to the attorney/client privilege that might have been relied upon in this context? I not seeing any justification for relying on the crime-fraud exception.

    1. Let me say up front that I am not a lawyer. But, I think if the communications between the client and the client’s attorney were used in the furtherance of a crime the communications are not privileged.

    2. Catherine: Yeah, it’s the crime-fraud exception. Discussions, documents, etc, involved in furtherance of a crime or to promote fraud are not privileged.. From NBC News when the Order was issued back in March:

      “Corcoran had instructed another Trump lawyer, Christina Bobb, to sign a written statement in June asserting to Justice Department officials that a diligent search for classified documents had turned up no additional material. That was in response to a grand jury subpoena. The assertion, however, was not true, as the FBI discovered in August when it found around 100 classified documents in its search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.”

    1. Testosterone vials in the hands of FTM Trans is a mighty “affirming hormone”, which is why the manifesto of the chick with a rifle in Nashville killed Christians. DOJ doesnt want Americans to know that she was shooting up testosterone. Of course when men shoot up testosterone, the Left calls it “steroid abuse” and “roid rage”. When women who have gender dysphoria want it, they call it “gender affirming hormones”. because the Left would have no standards if not for double standards

      1. Anon–

        Those are good points. I have to wonder if F to M transition with testosterone can lead to aggressive behaviour. ‘Roid Rage’ is a possible issue.

        I have also wondered how many of these folks are being treated for depression with SSRIs. With changes like this depression might be in the mix somewhere. An awful lot of the mass killers have been or SSRI medication. A known and admitted side effect is an impulse to commit suicide. It isn’t much of a stretch to imagine a mixed up kid thinking of suicide deciding to take out everyone who annoys him as well. A number of specialists have written about this danger but if they are profitable drugs we have come to recognize with the Covid vaxx that there can be strong push back from pharma, media and the government. A lot of organizations and institutions have destroyed their credibility during the Covid epidemic.

        1. We can only go on FDA rulings when it comes to passing definitive judgments on prescription drugs. I am aware of many articles questioning SSRIs. I have never believed in the efficacy of SSRIs but that is neither here nor there. SSRIs are first or second line for physician diagnosed depression-anxiety.

          The facts are etched in marble in the FDA published literature re: testosterone utilization. Doses for adult men with diagnosed hypogonadism must be minimal (0.5 – 0.8 ml) and at fixed intervals (2 – 4 weeks) when administered via injections / vials. Frequent blood labs must be drawn to monitor for polycythemia, elevated hemoglobin and elevated hematocrit which may lead to stroke and/or cardiac event, per the National Endocrine Society guidelines. I spend significant time counseling adult men on this important issue. I am adamantly against men under age 55 yrs of age using testosterone because of the many harmful changes in mood including violence and suicidality, unless if they have congenital hypogonadism

          In my mind, I would like to know, as a non-treating TRANS physician: what are the FDA guidelines for female children and young adults who identify as Trans WTM? Im guessing that Hale, who purchased multiple weapons without her parents knowing, was possibly abusing testosterone given her psychological belief that she was a male, as well as ease of access for Trans patients like her. I could be wrong. However her rage was not driven by the testosterone produced by her adrenal glands. All women produce testosterone but minimal amounts. However men produce far more because of both adrenal glands and testicles. Exogenous testosterone is dangerous as hell when not properly monitored.

          What was Hale’s testosterone level?

          the autopsy report for Hale did not reflect testosterone blood tests.

          An autopsy and toxicology examination completed in the days following the Covenant school shooting showed no evidence of significant toxic substances in the shooter’s blood, according to the toxicology report released this week…..The report did not describe any testing to indicate whether the shooter’s blood contained testosterone or other drugs used in gender-affirming care, a theory posited by some to account for the shooter’s behavior.

          a “theory”. how frickin dishonest. access to hormones is all the rage (pun intended) with this illness by the Left.

  16. I think charging President Trump with espionage is absurd. DOJ want us to believe the allegations in the Trump indictment are the equivalent of Daniel Ellsberg’s leaking of classified DOD documents about the Viet Nam War strategy to NY Times, Julius & Ethel Rosenberg’s assembling of an espionage ring of engineers, scientists and machinists to disclose info to USSR, Benedict Arnald’s giving Revolutionary War strategy to the Brits, and Edward Snowden leaking NSA documents and info to Russia.
    I don’t see how it is even possible for the charge to withstand an appeal

    1. Please read a summary of the Espionage Act. Sharing if government secrets is not necessary to charged under the act.

  17. Trump continues to have trouble getting talented attorneys to defend him, which is shameful on the part of those attorneys, who don’t hesitate to defend kidnappers, mass murderers, and 911 terrorists. America may as well shred the Constitution and use it for mulch outside government agencies and universities that routinely shut down freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to due process, the right to equal protection under the law. and the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

    1. Are you insinuating that lawyers are not representing Trump because of ideological reasons? Is this the only reason? How about wanting to get paid for their work? How about taking on a client that appears to not listen to sound legal advise? Not that any questions I have proposed are the only ones. There could be a myriad of reasons why lawyers are reluctant to take on Trump as a client.l It appears Trump has solid support from perhaps 10-20 million U.S Citizens. Out of those numbers surely there must be a number of lawyers that align ideologically with trump. So perhaps there is something seriously wrong with trump as a person and as a client that makes lawyers reluctant to take him on as a client.

      1. Among self-anointed elites on the left in 2023, it is more socially acceptable to come to the defense of thieves, arsonists, cop killers, and meth dealers, as long as they are also on the left, than to come to the defense of Americans who oppose illegal immigration, anti-Asian bigotry by colleges, the intentional killing of unborn human beings, mandated vaccines that are harmful and only marginally effective, or the sexual mutilation of children. Fortunately for Trump, although it is difficult to find talented attorneys in America, it is far from impossible.

    2. They may not want to have to go through the long process to obtain the security clearances necessary to represent him in this case. They may be wary because of Trump’s history of lying to his lawyers, getting them involved in situations where the lawyer then has to hire his own legal representation, not paying people, etc. This is largely self-inflicted.

      1. Before Trump ran for president and gained the power to act on his anti-illegal immigration, anti-NAFTA, anti-Wall Street, anti-CCP, pro-tariff, pro-fossil fuel, anti-abortion populism, which caused him to be hated by Democrats and the Bush/McCain/McConnell/Ryan/Romney wing of the Republican party, he had no problem finding attorneys.

      1. it states they can be kept in the Executive’s wife’s brasserie which is why FBI men and FTM trans looked in Melanie’s dresser

        1. This one-liner would work so much better if it went “looked through Melania’s drawers”, but you wouldn’t know a brassiere from a brasserie.

      2. If you have guaranteed unlimited access of 44 USC 2205, location is the former President’s choice. There is no limitation in the statute on location. Another section of the PRA merely says custody is with the archivist, not location.
        In a lease, the owner has custody but not possession. The lessee is free to drive a leased car wherever he wants.
        The lessee is free to move leased furniture wherever he wants. A father with child visitation is free to take a child wherever he wants during visitation.

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