Special counsel Jack Smith and federal prosecutors have been trying to lay crimes at the feet of former President Donald Trump for more than a year. Before Smith, the House committee investigating the events of Jan 6, 2021, was unable to charge Trump with any crimes although it drug out its investigation for years.
Now Smith and his team, after over a year of attempts to smear the former president, seem to be losing ground, and new developments signal a closing door on the attempts.
Smith’s team had issued subpoenas to Donald J. Trump for President Inc. and Save America in trying to prove that Trump’s political operation violated laws by using election fraud claims to raise funds.
For more than a year, Smith was focused on whether Trump and his advisers violated federal wire fraud statutes in their fund-raising, following a path initially followed by the House select committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021.
Last week the Washington Post reported that Smith’s office retracted the subpoena for Save America, and now the New York Times has reported that Smith’s team has quietly withdrawn the subpoena seeking records from former President Trump’s 2020 campaign.
Special Counsel Smith’s office this week decided to effectively kill the subpoena to the Trump campaign followed the withdrawal of a similar subpoena to Save America, the political action committee formed by Trump’s aides shortly after the dismissal of his 2020 election challenges.
The withdrawing of the subpoenas signals that Smith’s campaign is at an end, and he has nowhere else to look without looking foolish himself.
The former president’s team raised nearly $250 million with persistent claims that the election was ‘rigged.’
Even though since at least November of last year, prosecutors had been investigating Save America and the Trump campaign, issuing grand jury subpoenas and examining volumes of documents. However, the financial aspect of Smith’s investigation was not mentioned in the August indictment filed in Washington, which accused Trump of conspiring to remain in office by subverting the election process.
The Times reports that Trump’s legal team has long maintained that Smith’s financial investigation would be unlikely to result in charges. Political fund-raising materials often engage in bombast or exaggeration, and a fine line exists between criminal behavior and solicitations protected by the First Amendment.
The route Smith was travelling with his case would have cast blame on virtually every political candidate and it seems that Smith has hit that wall with his suppositions.
Donald Trump filed numerous legal challenges in the aftermath of the 2020 election, and although many were dismissed in blue states, mostly due to procedural grounds, evidence is still appearing to support Trump’s claims in swing states like Georgia and Arizona. Some cases were in fact found in the favor of Trump and/or the Republican Party.
Since the day after the election when Trump stated his position that there was clearly voting irregularities and fraud in multiple states, he has continued to climb in polls and raised nearly $250 million for his reelection, showing that Americans are on the Trump Train with him.
With primaries looming and Trump’s numbers in the polls continuing to climb, those who seek to discredit him may be thinking twice.
Former VP Mike Pence has just stepped out of the primary race for the Republican nomination, saying “its not my time.”
A recent Five Thirty Eight poll posted Saturday shows Trump with 56.9% with DeSantis trailing with 14.1%. Other hopefuls are in the single didgits.
The gag orders that seem to be federal judges’ attempts to keep Trump from stating his thoughts are abounding, with Smith urging the judge to reimpose a gag order on Trump and that the court should weigh stricter sanctions, including sending him to jail, if he keeps talking about witnesses in the case, the Washington Post reports.
Trump has openly posted about prosecuters, court personnel and judges on social media, but his detractors have riased far-reaching alarms that the posts “might inspire someone to commit violence” against those Trump mentions. In other words, the truth might hurt.
Trump for instance posted on Saturday, “This grossly incompetant ‘Judge’ who is overturned on Appeal more than almost any Judge in New York State, is a partisan political hack who totally disregards the Court of Appeals decisions against him, and won’t allow a Jury to get anywhere near my “CASE”…The New York State legal system has broken down completely, and everyone who is watching this Witch Hunt so agrees.”
In Georgia, charges against Trump are based on an obscure racketeering statute, and in New York, the charges are related to business activities in 2016 and the question of “hush money” payments.
The Post reports that Trump has denied all charges and accused law enforcement officials of pursuing him in the courts to keep him out of the 2024 presidential race where he has a commanding lead over all his Republican rivals.
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