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White House met with prosecutor, FBI agent before Trump was indicted

 August 27, 2023

The White House counsel's office held a meeting with a top aide to Special Counsel Jack Smith and an FBI agent around two months before former President Donald Trump was charged for allegedly mishandling classified documents.

The meeting included Jay Bratt, Smith's top aide, Caroline Seba, deputy chief of staff for the White House counsel’s office, and Danielle Ray, an FBI agent from the Washington, D.C., field office.

The meeting took place on March 31, according to White House visitor logs, the Daily Wire reported.

Trump was indicted on June 8 in a case overseen by Smith as special counsel.

The visitor logs do not provide any information on the topics discussed during the meeting.

Giuliani's concerns

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani expressed concerns that this meeting indicated a coordinated prosecution of the former president, who is also President Biden’s chief political rival. Giuliani said:

There is no legitimate purpose for a line [DOJ] guy to be meeting with the White House except if it’s coordinated by the highest levels.

Giuliani added that ethical rules have been trashed and a state police has been created, referring to it as a "Biden state prosecutor and a Biden state police".

Charges against Trump

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 40 counts related to the handling of classified documents.

The documents were seized during an FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Bratt reportedly visited the estate in June 2022, two months before the raid, and interacted with Trump.

He then pushed for a warrant for the unannounced raid on Trump’s property, according to the Washington Post.

The report also mentioned that Bratt’s temper flared during a meeting when he told FBI agents that they could no longer trust the former president or his lawyers.

Additional felony charges

Smith also indicted Trump on additional felony charges for his alleged role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

He pointed to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot as an "unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy".

Smith was appointed special counsel in both the classified documents case and the 2020 election case by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Law professor raises concerns

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told the New York Post that the meeting between Bratt, the White House, and the FBI “raises obvious concerns about visits to the White House after [Bratt] began his work with the special counsel.” Turley stated:

There is no reason why the Justice Department should not be able to confirm whether this meeting was related to the ongoing investigation or concerns some other matter.

A spokesman for the special counsel told the Post that Bratt was at the White House for a “case-related interview,” and the FBI declined to comment on the meeting.

Conclusion

  • The White House counsel's office held a meeting with Jay Bratt, a top aide to Special Counsel Jack Smith, and an FBI agent approximately two months before Trump was indicted for allegedly mishandling classified documents.
  • Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani expressed concerns that this meeting indicated a coordinated prosecution of the former president.
  • Trump pleaded not guilty to 40 counts related to the handling of classified documents and was also indicted on additional felony charges for his alleged role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
  • George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley raised concerns about the meeting and called for confirmation from the Justice Department on whether the meeting was related to the ongoing investigation.