It’s apparent to everyone on the right that Biden’s DOJ is throwing absolutely everything they can against Trump to see what sticks. The question is, have they crossed the line in doing so?
That’s exactly what is being alleged by the lawyer of Trump’s co-defendant, Walt Nauta. Nauta served as Trump’s valet at Mer-A-Lago.
If true, this news could not only trigger the dismissal of the entire case against them both, but could lead to criminal charges against people connected to the prosecution.
It is worth noting that, long before any charges related to the Mer-A-Lago raid were announced, the prosecutor leading the investigation had a checkered history. This includes a unanimous vote by the Supreme court to overturn his conviction owing to what a contemporary news report described as ‘skepticism about the rationale behind the conviction’.
Recap of prosecutor John Smith’s dubious record
No less a source than shamelessly partisan Politico reported at the time about the over-reach behind the overturned conviction:
“There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute,” Roberts wrote. “A more limited interpretation of the term ‘official act’ leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court.”
The justices set forth a straightforward rule: “Setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an ‘official act.’”
In an interview Monday, a lawyer for McDonnell hailed the court’s unanimous decision as a blunt rebuke of the prosecution.
“The court squarely rejected the entire theory this prosecution was based on from the beginning and embraced the theory we’ve been articulating literally from day one on this case,” said Noel Francisco, the attorney who argued for McDonnell at the Supreme court. “We think it’s a vindication for the governor.” –Politico
Note the phrase ‘rejected the entire theory this prosecution was based on’. And consider the fact that the case against Trump is based on what both sides can agree is entirely novel and untested applications of the law — in the middle of a Presidential run.
Other examples described just this week in the Washington Times detail other past examples of overturned convictions as well as aggressive piercing of attorney-client privilege and in one case, an act of wiretapping in which a judge ruled the prosecution had ‘acted unreasonably’ to ‘exceed its authority’.
With these thoughts in mind, let’s turn our attention to what is being alleged by Nauta’s legal counsel.
What Nauta’s counsel is alleging…
Here’s the crux of the claim.
Several weeks ago, Nauta’s lawyer, a distinguished, highly-regarded Washington attorney named Stanley Woodward, leveled accusations against senior members of the Department of Justice, including DOJ Counterintelligence Chief Jay Bratt, who is now a part of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team of prosecutors. According to news reports, Woodward claimed in a sealed letter to D.C. District Chief Judge James Boasberg that, in a meeting to discuss Nauta’s case, Bratt indicated that Woodward’s application to be a D.C. Superior Court judge could be impacted if he could not get Nauta to testify against Trump.
If true, and I see no reason why Woodward would make such a threat up — and especially no reason why Woodward would risk his career by making such a representation to a federal judge — Bratt’s alleged misconduct could result in heavy sanctions, and is a potential ground for dismissal of the entire case against Nauta and Trump. Depending on what exactly was said, Bratt could even face criminal prosecution himself. –The Federalist
How could it provoke a dismissal?
From that same piece:
At the very least, Trump and Nauta deserve answers. Courts routinely allow discovery by the defense in cases of alleged prosecutorial misconduct — including depositions and requests for documents and communications — in order to determine the scope, breadth, and effects of any misconduct that occurred. The defense team in this case should seek testimony from Bratt to get to the bottom of what he said and why.
As importantly, defense counsel should also seek to subpoena any communications between Bratt and others in DOJ and the White House relating to Woodward’s judgeship application and Bratt’s approach to Woodward more generally. My assumption is that these communications will be eye-opening, and may reveal even more misconduct on the part of the DOJ, the special counsel’s team, and their political masters. — The Federalist
This isn’t just a question of overstepping. If these accusations hold up, they could trigger several different criminal federal statutes.
And if the Trump and Nauta legal teams are granted discovery into the communications between the DOJ and the Prosecution?
Seeing the Biden Administration’s fingerprints micromanaging so many other political issues, including the fact that Biden’s authority was required for the FBI’s involvement in the showdown between Trump and the National Archives, it would be interesting to see what those disclosures would reveal about how true Biden’s claims of letting this case run independently REALLY are.
Imagine the implications if the breadcrumbs from this case were to vindicate Trump’s allegation that the DOJ’s go-for-broke prosecution of Trump from a zillion angles really IS nothing more than an attempt by Biden to rig the results of 2024?
All of these are interesting considerations.
But for any of them to become relevant, the judge must first accept the merit of the allegation.
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