For weeks we’ve known that Special Counsel Jack Smith is in charge of the the DOJ’s Trump classified documents probe and the DOJ’s Trump 1/6 probe. Over the weekend, new reporting revealed that Smith is now in charge of a long running DOJ criminal probe into Trump’s campaign finances.
On Monday, we all learned that Smith has subpoenaed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for his 2020 election communications with Trump, making Georgia the fifth state this past week where the DOJ has subpoenaed Trump communications from election officials.
This has led to a number of questions along the lines of, “Why is this just now finally happening?” What’s being missed here is that this isn’t the beginning of something. This is endgame stuff. Election officials like Raffensperger, who refused to go along with Trump’s criminal pressure, are friendly witnesses. They’ve done nothing wrong, they have no reason to fight the system, they’ve preserved this kind of evidence in case the DOJ subpoenaed it, and they’re no doubt dutifully turning it over as we speak, because why wouldn’t they?
It’s not a coincidence that right after the DOJ went into Trump’s home and seized classified documents, the DOJ grand jury process in the separate Trump 1/6 probe suddenly ramped up. It was as if the DOJ had been waiting to kick its Trump 1/6 probe into high gear until after it had confirmation that Trump had indeed stolen classified secrets, and now that it’s about to charge him for espionage, it’s preparing to also charge him with everything else.
I still suspect the DOJ may have been waiting to go into Trump’s home until it was able to covertly recover classified documents that Trump had already given to other bad actors, and didn’t want to set off anyone in a panic first. Let’s say you’re an international spy and you’re trafficking in classified intel that Trump gave you. If Trump gets indicted for election crimes, you’re suddenly concerned he’s going to take everyone down with him in all his criminal scandals, and so you go deep underground. Perhaps, in the name of national security, the federal government felt it couldn’t indict Trump on anything until it finished carrying out whatever clandestine operations it was pulling off with regard to the classified intel that Trump stole and no doubt distributed.
We may never fully learn what’s been going on behind the scenes all this time, even as outside observers have ludicrously claimed the DOJ was doing “nothing.” But now that the DOJ has finally managed to dispense with the special master stunt and is indeed just about ready to indict Trump for espionage, suddenly the DOJ is lining up the evidence trail to indict Trump for his other crimes as well. In other words, once Merrick Garland concluded that the DOJ was ready to move against Donald Trump, he brought in Jack Smith to be the closer.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report