The DOJ’s other big criminal case against Donald Trump

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I said it back before anyone knew how the judge would rule, I said it again yesterday, and I still firmly believe it: this ruling in favor of a special master is not going to help Donald Trump at all, and might not even delay the DOJ’s criminal case against him by more than a few days. It’s the kind of laugh out loud lower court ruling that’s made to be immediately overturned on appeal.

Even as we watch for the special master nonsense to be dispensed with, it’s worth keeping in mind that the DOJ is also pursuing another, entirely different criminal case against Donald Trump. Back before the Feds carried out a search and seizure warrant at Trump’s home, there was very little public focus on the DOJ’s classified documents probe into Trump. There was public confirmation back in April that the probe existed, and further publicly confirmation in May that it had reached the grand jury stage, but then the probe went really quiet until the day the Feds went into Trump’s home. During that time, the public’s focus was almost entirely on the DOJ’s probe into Trump’s election overthrow plot.

At this point it’s easy to forget that we spent the month of July seeing headline after headline about how the DOJ was putting various Trump associates in front of a grand jury, and was carrying out search and seizure warrants against various Trump co-conspirators. But while that probe hasn’t been getting the big headlines for the past month, it’s still very much moving forward. For instance the DOJ is reportedly putting key Trump White House players in front of the grand jury this week, making clear that the election overthrow probe is continuing to zero in on Trump.

Now comes reporting from The Guardian, which reveals that former DOJ attorney Ken Klukowski is cooperating with the DOJ against former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark. Notably, this comes after CNN reported all the way back in July that Klukowski was cooperating with the DOJ against Clark. So why is this story being reported again? That’s unclear. But someone wants us to know that Klukowski is still cooperating against Clark.

The reason this matters is that if Klukowski’s ongoing cooperating backs Jeffrey Clark into a corner to where he feels he has to cut a cooperation deal, Clark will be flipping on Donald Trump. When the Feds take on a criminal plot with a hierarchy, they usually try to take the kingpin down by flipping his top people against him. So if the Feds are able to flip Clark, a Trump indictment in the election overthrow plot could come sooner rather than later.

Keep in mind that this is all in addition to, and separate from, the DOJ’s criminal probe into Trump for stealing classified documents. We don’t know if the DOJ is planning to indict Trump separately in each of those probes once the respective criminal charges are ready, or whether the DOJ is planning to wait until all charges across all probes are ready before bringing any of them. But either way, it’s worth keeping in mind that both these DOJ probes against Trump are alive and kicking.

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