Trump Lawyer Betrays MAGA & Cooperates With Justice Department

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Trump lawyer Justin Clark recently spoke to the Justice Department in connection to the federal case against longtime Trump goon Steve Bannon, who’s set to soon stand trial on contempt of Congress charges over his refusal to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.

For a personal lawyer to Trump to have spoken to the Justice Department certainly represents a dramatic level of access for investigators. Clark’s interactions with the Justice Department were limited to certain points relevant to Bannon’s case. Direct conversations with Trump were not covered in the interview.

Bannon has tied his previous refusal to cooperate with the riot panel to ostensible claims of executive privilege on the former president’s part, but there’s no clear indication Trump actually made such claims — and according to the Justice Department, Clark provided a strong refutation to the notion that Trump did so. According to POLITICO, Bannon’s team pointed specifically to communications with Clark in making their case that Trump invoked executive privilege, so for Clark to have shut down the executive privilege claims constitutes an apparently dramatic set-back for Bannon’s defense.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn said Clark informed the Justice Department “that the former President never invoked executive privilege over any particular information or materials; that the former President’s counsel never asked or was asked to attend the Defendant’s deposition before the Select Committee; that the Defendant’s attorney misrepresented to the Committee what the former President’s counsel had told the Defendant’s attorney; and that the former President’s counsel made clear to the Defendant’s attorney that the letter provided no basis for total noncompliance.” Defendant refers to Bannon. In that same filing, the government also pushed back on the sudden willingness from Bannon to finally testify to the riot panel, with whom he’s now struck an agreement to answer questions.

In conjunction with Bannon’s sudden willingness, Trump issued a letter indicating he’d waive executive privilege claims — as if implicitly trying to boost the notion he originally invoked privilege. “The Defendant’s timing suggests that the only thing that has really changed since he refused to comply with the subpoena in October 2021 is that he is finally about to face the consequences of his decision to default,” Vaughn wrote in a court filing. “All of the above-described circumstances suggest the Defendant’s sudden wish to testify is not a genuine effort to meet his obligations but a last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability.”

Bannon and the Justice Department are also continuing to metaphorically duke it out over the timing of his trial, which Bannon wants delayed. Bannon’s side has, at this point, tried to use a remarkably broad range of arguments in support of their push to delay the trial to October. Despite the fact Bannon’s not a main focus of the public hearings, the publicity associated with recent riot committee hearings was one of Bannon’s arguments, as was the fact there remained unresolved court motions related to his case. Bannon’s side has now also pointed to the fact prosecutor Molly Gaston once worked with Kristin Amerling — a riot committee staffer — and was in a book club with her. However, the work alongside each other took place over a decade ago, and Gaston hasn’t attended that social gathering in almost two years.