News WaPo: DoJ investigating Trump in January 6 criminal probe

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
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Not confirmed, but WaPo has 4 sources—at this point Garland may have to show his cards.



Prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury — including two top aides to Vice President Mike Pence — have asked in recent days about conversations with Trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute Trump allies for certified electors from some states Joe Biden won, according to two people familiar with the matter. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings Trump led in December 2020 and January 2021; his pressure campaign on Pence to overturn the election; and what instructions Trump gave his lawyers and advisers about fake electors and sending electors back to the states, the people said. Some of the questions focused directly on the extent of Trump’s involvement in the fake-elector effort led by his outside lawyers, including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, these people said.

 
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pete6032

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Dec 3, 2010
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Needs to happen before Trump announces his intent to run in 2024. I don't want to hear the right piss an moan for years about the investigation being a political hit job more than they already are.
 

eelw

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 1999
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I’m being optimistic, when they arrest the orange monkey, I’d assume the FBI has to contact his SS detail first. Are they loyal enough that they’d try to whisk him away as a fugitive?
 

Commodus

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Oct 9, 2004
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I’m being optimistic, when they arrest the orange monkey, I’d assume the FBI has to contact his SS detail first. Are they loyal enough that they’d try to whisk him away as a fugitive?
The Secret Service is officially committed to the presidential system, not the person. Case in point: a service member refusing Trump's request to drive to the Capitol during the January 6th attack.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Trump's detail having a sympathizer or two. However, it would be career hara kiri to help a former President avoid arrest for well-supported criminal charges.
 
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eelw

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The Secret Service is officially committed to the presidential system, not the person. Case in point: a service member refusing Trump's request to drive to the Capitol during the January 6th attack.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Trump's detail having a sympathizer or two. However, it would be career hara kiri to help a former President avoid arrest for well-supported criminal charges.
His detail far smaller. So easier to find like minded and I'm assuming he got to choose who would serve under his detail.

And as for igoring the Jan 6 order, it's because they were taking their duty seriously to protect him. Not blind loyalty and follow every order. Again the ones in the car were yes men. They'd protect his orange ass when police come knocking
 
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fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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The Secret Service is officially committed to the presidential system, not the person. Case in point: a service member refusing Trump's request to drive to the Capitol during the January 6th attack.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Trump's detail having a sympathizer or two. However, it would be career hara kiri to help a former President avoid arrest for well-supported criminal charges.
His detail may like him but I would be surprised if they were willing to become international fugitives for him.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
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His detail far smaller. So easier to find like minded and I'm assuming he got to choose who would serve under his detail.

And as for igoring the Jan 6 order, it's because they were taking their duty seriously to protect him. Not blind loyalty and follow every order. Again the ones in the car were yes men. They'd protect his orange ass when police come knocking
Eh, that's speculation. Secret Service agents are permanently assigned to Presidents and Vice Presidents, and those leaders don't have much say even though the Service's director is appointed by the President. After the 2020 election, the Service replaced some of Biden's agents with people who were familiar with him, but that was more about the agency making sure that Biden's protection was both reassuring and acquainted with how he operates. Biden wasn't asking to have some of his buddies back.

That does mean that Trump might have agents who were more likely to favor him, but again: a Secret Service agent who refuses to comply with a lawful arrest warrant is pretty much ending their career. And I don't think they're going to have much of a second life as a Mar-a-Lago staffer or Fox News commentator.
 

Commodus

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Oct 9, 2004
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Not a stretch. They deleted text messages for Trump
We don't actually know that, at least not yet. Trump's circle was clearly up to some shady things, but there really was a device migration going on at the time; we don't know whether those who didn't back up their messages were malicious or just careless.

I want to bust Trump's ass as much as you do, but I also want to be sure any action stands on rock-solid ground.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
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We don't actually know that, at least not yet. Trump's circle was clearly up to some shady things, but there really was a device migration going on at the time; we don't know whether those who didn't back up their messages were malicious or just careless.

I want to bust Trump's ass as much as you do, but I also want to be sure any action stands on rock-solid ground.
They handed over one, 1, ONE text ... guess nothing else was being texted that day.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
31,533
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We don't actually know that, at least not yet. Trump's circle was clearly up to some shady things, but there really was a device migration going on at the time; we don't know whether those who didn't back up their messages were malicious or just careless.

I want to bust Trump's ass as much as you do, but I also want to be sure any action stands on rock-solid ground.
Maybe not definitive proof but if you are telling us...

only messages from Jan 6 and Jan 7 are missing.
Messages went "missing" after multiple memos ordering them to retain all messages
They performed this "migration" after getting the memo
Iphones have an active backup feature. It's already required in law to retain. It would have been simple to do before "migration"

was an accident?

I'll take that bet and give you 2-1 odds.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
24,066
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We don't actually know that, at least not yet. Trump's circle was clearly up to some shady things, but there really was a device migration going on at the time; we don't know whether those who didn't back up their messages were malicious or just careless.

I want to bust Trump's ass as much as you do, but I also want to be sure any action stands on rock-solid ground.
So…I have a bit of experience (from prior work at Verizon) in how some of the secure text message systems were handled for the White House. I have no idea if SS was on a similar system or completely different—but I don’t think they’re on the same contract as White House Comms Office.

Obviously they aren’t using straight SMS, so in this case Verizon would not have access to the text message records at the carrier level, since these are encrypted phones.

HOWEVER, all messaging solutions sold to Fed Gov had to be CALEA compliant, by order of Congress. Text messaging wasn’t covered under the original CALEA statute, but by mid to late 2000s, all fed contracting vehicles had riders/requirements outlined for how to handle encrypted messages. In other words, Uncle Sam required a back door for law enforcement, and carriers + software providers would be made to comply. Usually, for messages that meant access to a secured server, not actual “back door” access to the handset. So there were retention policies in place for all encrypted comms to allow law enforcement access.

Now that said, I’m not sure if a subpoena from Congress carried the same weight as a subpoena from DOJ. But even if the phones were wiped, those messages would still exist. The SS IG is claiming they had a planned migration at the same time and the server was wiped, but those records are somewhere, because not retaining records for a planned migration is ludicrous. The odds are greater it was a criminal action to wipe the server vs. botched migration/accidental deletion after a subpoena was served.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
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Maybe not definitive proof but if you are telling us...

only messages from Jan 6 and Jan 7 are missing.
Messages went "missing" after multiple memos ordering them to retain all messages
They performed this "migration" after getting the memo
Iphones have an active backup feature. It's already required in law to retain. It would have been simple to do before "migration"

was an accident?

I'll take that bet and give you 2-1 odds.
There were messages missing from January 5th, too.

And I'm not ruling out anything dodgy, but I'd say it's wise to apply Hanlon's Razor: never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. Unless we have stronger evidence that this wasn't a screw-up, we shouldn't make any assumptions.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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There were messages missing from January 5th, too.

And I'm not ruling out anything dodgy, but I'd say it's wise to apply Hanlon's Razor: never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. Unless we have stronger evidence that this wasn't a screw-up, we shouldn't make any assumptions.
If it were one or two phones I would be pretty open to the idea of it being a screwup but it seems to be virtually all of them and after they were repeatedly warned not to do it. It COULD be incompetence but this stinks like hell.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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The conservative supreme court and state supreme courts will end up doing the job when they finally all allow the GOP controlled states to select or dismiss whatever electors they want. Nothing will come of this as usual.
 
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Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
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If it were one or two phones I would be pretty open to the idea of it being a screwup but it seems to be virtually all of them and after they were repeatedly warned not to do it. It COULD be incompetence but this stinks like hell.
That's accurate. It's certainly odd enough to warrant close scrutiny; I just don't want to leap to conclusions knowing that a procedural screw-up is still a real possibility.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
15,078
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The DoJ is kind of a black box to the American public and the press right now. Unlike the Mueller investigation which leaked like a sieve, Garland's people seem to be pretty disciplined about not leaking information about what they're doing. Hence, we get some things which can be verified by third parties, like potential witnesses being asked about Trump, and DoJ acquiring Meadow's phone records, but not much else. Garland said in the Holt interview last night that they are keeping their activities away from public view because that is longstanding DoJ policy.

That said, the question is, why are we seeing these tidbits just now when we weren't getting them before? A friend of mine has a theory which is as plausible as any. That initially, they devoted the bulk of their investigatory resources to the rioters because they were the low hanging fruit. Because their criminal acts could easily be proven with videographic evidence. But there are a lot them, and it is still ongoing.

Then the committee hearings started, and that pressured them to ramp up their investigation of Trump and the other higher ups, which is more complicated and difficult to prove. I would also add to that theory that DoJ was likely relying on the committee to gather significant evidence which would give them a head start. Which it has.

What all that amounts to in terms of when they charge Trump, assuming they prosecute him at all, I do not know. Garland said last night that Trump's status as a candidate for 2024 will not influence his decision. I'm willing to take him at face value on that. Still, any charges they file need to happen this year, not next.

We also do not know Garland's tolerance for uncertainly of outcome. Does he need to be like 80%+ certain of a conviction, or is he willing to roll the dice on something more like 50/50? One thing I hope he is considering is that DC is 45% black, and has the most dem leaning jury pool in the country. That is a huge factor in favor of conviction. The Arbury case demonstrated that they could get a conviction of all 3 defendants on the top count with 11 southern white jurors, in a racially charged case. Surely that suggests that DoJ has a decent shot at Trump in DC.
 
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