Jim Jordan Demands Interview With Mar-a-Lago Prosecutor Jay Bratt

Right now, it’s just a formal invitation via letter, not a subpoena, but House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) has demanded that Jay Bratt, a top prosecutor on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team regarding the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case against former President Donald Trump, produce documents and appear for a transcribed interview before the committee. 

Here’s how The Hill frames it:

A Thursday letter to Jay Bratt accused the prosecutor of raising the specter of impropriety by taking meetings at the White House.
The inquiry gets at the heart of a favored but unsubstantiated GOP claim: that there may have been coordination between the Biden White House and those working on Trump’s prosecution.

(Given how those “favored by unsubstantiated GOP claims” have played out repeatedly, you’ll pardon my skepticism as to The Hill’s skepticism.)

As with his recent letters to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his top prosecutor in the falsified business records case, Matthew Colangelo (on loan from the Department of Justice?), Jordan laid out, in detail, the bases for his requests. 


Dear Alvin Bragg: Jim Jordan and the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization Would Like a Word

Below are some of the key points from the five-page letter:

As Counselor to Special Counsel Jack Smith, you have been closely involved with the investigation and prosecution of President Trump. As indicated by defense lawyers and unsealed documents, you have engaged in a series of improper actions and unethical conduct that violate the Department’s duty to impartial justice. We have raised these concerns with the Department of Justice, Special Counsel Jack Smith, and the Office of Professional Responsibility to no avail. Accordingly, we are compelled to write to you directly to request your voluntary cooperation with our Constitutional oversight. 
On August 8, 2022, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents conducted an unprecedented raid on the private residence of President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Despite numerous presidents and vice presidents leaving the White House with documents that have been marked classified, including then-Vice President Biden, no Justice Department attorney or law enforcement agent had ever previously authorized a search of a former president’s or vice president’s home. Information obtained by the Committee suggests that this raid departed from the standard Department practices. Former Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Steven D’Antuono informed the Committee in a transcribed interview last year that he had serious reservations with the Department’s pursuit of the raid and observed several unusual features in the Department’s handling of the case. Specifically, D’Antuono was concerned that (1) the FBI’s Miami Field Office did not conduct the search of the president’s home, which had jurisdiction by policy and practice over Mar-a-Lago; (2) the Department did not assign a U.S. Attorney’s Office to the investigation, but, rather, assigned you as “the lead prosecutor on the case”; (3) the FBI never sought President Trump’s consent to search his residence; and (4) the FBI did not wait for President Trump’s attorney to be present before searching the president’s home. As the then-lead prosecutor, you were responsible for the unprecedented and unusual features associated with the raid on President Trump’s home.
According to other reports, you also met with Biden White House officials numerous times before the Special Counsel’s Office indicted President Trump. In September 2021, you reportedly met with an advisor to the White House Chief of Staff. In November 2021, you again went to the White House to meet with Administration officials. Finally, on March 31, 2023, only nine weeks prior to Special Counsel Smith’s indictment of President Trump, you met with the White House Counsel’s Office Deputy Chief of Staff Caroline Saba for a “case-related interview.” The timing and circumstances of these meetings raises, at the least, a perception of improper coordination between you and the Biden White House to investigate and prosecute President Trump.
In addition, Stanley Woodward, a lawyer representing Walt Nauta, a co-defendant in your classified documents case against President Trump, accused you of improperly pressuring him by implying that the Biden Administration would look more favorably on Mr. Woodward’s candidacy for a judgeship if his client cooperated with the Office of the Special Counsel. According to Mr. Woodward, you advised him that you “wouldn’t want [him] to do anything to mess that up,” in reference to Mr. Woodward’s judgeship application, and your desire to turn his client into a government cooperator.

The letter goes on to describe apparent retaliation against Woodward in the case, the recent acknowledgment that some of the evidence was altered or manipulated after the FBI seized it from Mar-a-Lago, and the request for a gag order against Trump without first properly conferring with his attorneys, none of which reflect well on Bratt or the prosecution.


Judge Aileen Cannon Is Concerned, Disappointed in Jack Smith’s Treatment of Sealed Materials

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Team Confirms It Tampered With Evidence, Admits to Misleading Court

WHOA: Judge Indefinitely Postpones Trump’s Classified Docs Case Because DOJ Mishandled Evidence

Jordan’s letter closes by requesting a broad swath of documents pertaining to the case against Trump, including communication between Bratt, the DOJ, and the White House, communications pertaining to and drafts of the motion to modify the conditions of Trump’s release, and communications with the Office of Professional Responsibility. 

Additionally, the letter requests Bratt contact committee staff by June 20 to arrange a time to sit for an interview. The interview may eventually happen, but I wouldn’t advise anyone holding their breath over it. 


NEW: Unsealed Docs in Trump Mar-a-Lago Case Further Reveal Just How Ludicrous the Raid Was

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