Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Friday, it was revealed that a federal judge had ruled that several of former President Donald Trump’s key subordinates, including former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, would be required to answer questions before the federal grand jury convened to hear evidence into allegations that Trump sought to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
As first reported by ABC News, Judge Beryl Howell denied a request from Trump to prevent Meadows and others from being forced to comply with a subpoena from Special Counsel Jack Smith, the man tabbed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the investigation.
Trump has argued that his former aides should be exempt from testifying on the grounds of executive privilege, but Howell ruled that Meadows, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, and former aides Stephen Miller, Nick Luna, and John McEntee were all required to participate.
“The DOJ is continuously stepping far outside the standard norms in attempting to destroy the long-accepted, long-held, Constitutionally based standards of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege,” ABC quoted a Trump spokesperson as saying. “There is no factual or legal basis or substance to any case against President Trump. The deranged Democrats and their comrades in the mainstream media are corrupting the legal process and weaponizing the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion because they are clearly losing the political battle.”
This is the second time this week that Howell has made national headlines. As previously covered by FISM, Howell ruled on Tuesday that Smith had presented sufficient prima facie evidence to suggest Trump had committed a crime.
Prima facie evidence is not conclusive, nor does it equate to a finding of guilt. Rather, it is a legal term courts use to describe evidence as believable on first impression.
The earlier ruling effectively stripped former Trump attorney Eric Corcoran of his ability to avoid questioning based on attorney-client privilege.
At the time, a Trump spokesperson referred to news about the ruling as “ILLEGALLY LEAKED false allegations from a Never Trump, now former chief judge, against the Trump legal team.”
As reported by Reuters, Corcoran made a three-and-a-half-hour appearance before the grand jury on Friday. The meeting occurred behind closed doors and the substance of his remarks is not yet known.
Howell issued both rulings prior to stepping down as chief judge of the D.C. district court. It is widely believed that Trump will appeal this ruling.
THREATENING LETTER, WHITE POWDER SENT TO MANHATTAN DA
An as-yet-unidentified nefarious actor or actors have intensified the types of harassment received by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been investigating allegations of Trump paying an adult film actress to keep quiet about a sexual encounter between the two.
Friday morning, as reported by the New York Daily News, someone sent an envelope to Bragg’s office that contained a threatening letter and a suspicious substance. This came after a leaked email from Bragg contained allegations of numerous threatening calls and emails being directed to the D.A.’s office.
Authorities determined that the white powdery substance was not dangerous, and it is not yet known who sent the letter or why.
Many Democrats say this was an act caused by and in support of Trump.
The former president, who has vehemently denied any relationship with Stormy Daniels, has spent much of his week accusing Bragg of engaging in a witch hunt and has called for protests if the Manhattan D.A. were to have Trump arrested.
Trump drew immense criticism for a series of posts on Truth Social. In one post, Trump shared an image in which a photo of him holding a bat was placed next to a photo of Bragg. In another, Trump referred to Bragg as a “Soros-backed animal.”
Friday, Trump again received a wave of criticism for posting, “What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country? Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that [truly] hates the USA!”
A collection of prominent New York City leaders – among them the Rev. Al Sharpton and Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Adriano Espaillat – said there was a direct correlation between, postings and the letter as well as email and phone threats that have been received by Bragg’s office.
“This disgraceful attack is not a dog-whistle but a bullhorn of incendiary racist and anti-Semitic bile, spewed out for the sole purpose of intimidating and sabotaging a lawful, legitimate, fact-based investigation,” a joint statement from the group reads.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries called Trump’s remarks, “reckless, reprehensible and irresponsible. It’s dangerous. And if he keeps it up, he’s going to get someone killed.”
As of this writing, no charges have been filed and the Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence into the case has, at least temporarily, ceased to meet.
Earlier in the week, the investigation seemed to take a hit when a recently discovered letter from 2018 showed some inconsistencies in the story being told by the likely star witness for the prosecution.
Trump has also produced a 2018 letter from Daniels in which the adult film actress denies receiving “hush money” or having had an affair with Trump. However, Daniels has also stated she signed the letter in question because she felt pressured to do so by her attorney and maintains that she engaged in an affair with Trump in 2006.