Legal Experts Confirm Special Counsel Jack Smith Has Put Trump On Notice; There Will Be “No Stone Unturned”

Jack Smith is coming for Donald Trump.

599 points

That’s to a bizarre combination of confirmation and excuses from one of Donald Trump’s attorneys in the cases lodged against him by the DOJ, it has been confirmed that the office of special counsel Jack Smith, working under the Biden Department of Justice after Smith’s appointment to the cases by Attorney General Merrick Garland, was recently forced to issue a subpoena against former President Donald Trump, in an effort to force the ex-president and his legal team to turn over even more classified documents that were found to be in Trump’s possession, in the private residential area of his Mar-a-Lago estate turned post-White House home.

One of those pieces of material ultimately turned over to the Justice Department by Trump’s legal team was an empty manilla folder with the marking, “Classified Evening Briefing.” Trump attorney Timothy Parlatore spoke with CNN yesterday in an effort to offer up a public excuse for his clients’ possession of these materials after the news of the subpoena began to spread. Parlatore confirmed both the subpoena and the fact that the ex-president’s legal team had turned over additional material to the DOJ before going on to claim that Trump had been using an empty classified briefing folder in his private bedroom to cover a blue light on his landline phone that he found irritating, and made it difficult for him to fall asleep.

While the whole thing is just extremely bizarre, to say the very least, legal experts are pointing out that this whole ordeal likely has a far deeper meaning — Jack Smith’s issuance of this subpoena has served to put Donald Trump on notice.

Attorney and legal expert Dennis Aftergut, writing for The Bulwark, said if Trump and his legal team know what’s good for them, they will take this extremely aggressive subpoena from Jack Smith with the utmost seriousness, as it’s a clear indicator that the special counsel is not playing around when it comes to his role in these bombshell investigations against the ex-president. According to Aftergut, this is a clear sign from Jack Smith that no detail is too small when it comes to proving Donald Trump’s laundry list of crimes.

“When zealous prosecutors are intent on bringing a case, they leave no stone unturned,” the legal expert writes. “When the crucial issue triggering a potential prosecution is obstruction, serious prosecutors do not put up with even a hint of it continuing. Trump’s team was evidently slow to give back the empty folder, even as they turned over other materials with classified markings (not to mention a junior associate’s laptop). In light of his history of resistance, the special counsel apparently lost patience and had a subpoena issued for the folder.”

Aftergut further noted that the aggressive subpoena for the folder and other materials was merely one of many indications that Smith has employed a “take no prisoners” approach to the DOJ investigations against Donald Trump, citing the bombshell subpoena that Smith issued against Donald’s former Vice President Mike Pence last week, in which Pence has been compelled to appear and testify under oath before a special grand jury. It’s expected that this subpoena will ultimately serve as the catalyst that officially turns Pence against Trump, as the former VP enjoys no privileges that could possibly protect him from very real, very serious charges of contempt should he refuse to comply. Aftergut writes that the Pence subpoena is yet another sign “that the special counsel is proceeding full speed ahead on that front, too.”

Read Aftergut’s full piece in The Bulwark here.

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