You really could do a blog that just covers Donald Trump-related legal news. There's so much material every day. Just yesterday, there were three different pretty big stories.
Starting in New York, AG Tish James suspects that her various actions and investigations related to the Trump Organization could lead to some financial shenanigans. So, she wants a neutral third-party to keep an eye on... well, everything. And now, she's gotten her wish. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered that a third-party expert be appointed to oversee all dealings with banks and any sales of major assets. Not only does this yet-to-be-named overseer have to sign off on things, but the Trump Organization also has to give the court 14 days' notice, allowing Engoron to step in if he doesn't like what he sees. The Trump Organization's lawyers are furious, but they are outta luck on this one.
Moving on to federal matters, Trump advisor Kash Patel testified before the Mar-a-Lago grand jury about the classified materials that were taken home by Trump in violation of federal law. Patel was specifically called in to address the question of whether or not the former president tried to declassify the materials, and he was granted immunity by the Department of Justice. Usually, when someone receives immunity, it means they have adverse information to share, and they plan to share it.
And finally, as it conducts its two investigations of Trump (1/6 insurrection and Mar-A-Lago), the DoJ is expecting that Trump will declare his candidacy for president and will thus make things much more complicated. And so, AG Merrick Garland and his top lieutenants are considering the possibility of appointing a special counsel to oversee both investigations if and when Trump declares.
The point, of course, would be to depoliticize things as much as is possible. To us, that seems a lost cause. People who were unhappy with Robert Mueller's investigation did not see him as a neutral party just trying to get at the truth. The same is true of people who were unhappy with John Durham's investigation. And any actions taken against Trump, like an indictment, are going to infuriate the MAGA crowd, whether they are instigated by Garland, a special counsel, a federal judge, or Jesus Christ himself.
This story would seem to suggest that the DoJ just isn't ready to make a move, and that Trump is going to beat them to the punch by declaring before they can indict. On the other hand, if Garland and his team decide that the special counsel option is not much use, it might light a fire under them to file some charges more quickly than they would otherwise prefer.
And that's the latest from the Trump legal blotter. (Z)