Biden Staffer Met With Member of Jack Smith’s Team Before Trump Indictment

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
August 27, 2023Politics
Biden Staffer Met With Member of Jack Smith’s Team Before Trump Indictment
Special counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment against former President Donald Trump, in Washington on June 9, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

White House visitor logs show that an aide for special counsel Jack Smith quietly met with the White House Counsel’s office just weeks before President Donald Trump’s indictment on classified documents charges.

Visitor logs reviewed by The Epoch Times show that Jay Bratt, a prosecutor on Mr. Smith’s team, met with Caroline Saba, deputy chief of staff for President Joe Biden’s White House Counsel’s office, on March 31.

While the logs provide no details as to the subject of the meeting or what was discussed, questions have been raised about why a member of Mr. Smith’s team would be meeting with the White House Counsel’s office while in the midst of an investigation into President Trump, who is President Biden’s chief rival in the 2024 presidential race.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Justice (DOJ) returned a request from The Epoch Times for more details about the meeting, in particular about what was discussed.

Rudy Giuliani, who once served as a federal prosecutor, told the New York Post that “there is no legitimate purpose for a line [DOJ] guy to be meeting with the White House except if it’s coordinated by the highest levels.”

Mr. Giuliani added that he believes the meeting was about coordinating the prosecution of Mr. Trump, who was indicted about nine weeks later on criminal charges that include unlawfully retaining national defense secrets at his Mar-a-Lago home.

Mystery Meeting

While the subject of the meeting remains a mystery, it took place several days after an Obama-appointed judge ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before a grand jury in Mr. Smith’s investigation into documents held by the former president at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

Mr. Smith’s team had prevailed in its push to squeeze more testimony from Mr. Corcoran after Chief Judge Beryl Howell rejected attorney-client privilege claims that Mr. Corcoran raised during an appearance before a grand jury in Washington in January.

About nine weeks after Mr. Bratt met with Ms. Saba in the West Wing, Mr. Smith indicted the 45th president on 37 counts, including wilful retention of classified documents, obstruction of justice, and making false statements.

donald trump
Former President Donald Trump arrives to depart at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after being booked at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta on Aug. 24, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On June 13, President Trump pleaded not guilty to the 37 charges, including alleged violations of the Espionage Act, which criminalizes unauthorized possession of defense information.

Mr. Giuliani remarked further on the March 31 meeting between Mr. Bratt and Ms. Saba, saying that he believes it shows that the Justice Department has become politically weaponized by President Biden.

“It is a Biden state prosecutor and a Biden state police,” Mr. Giuliani said.

Neither the DOJ nor the White House responded to a request for comment on Mr. Giuliani’s remarks.

For his part, President Trump took to Truth Social on Saturday to post a video that portrays the various indictments against him as part of a political hit job and “witch hunt.”

The video then suggests that the various indictments are having the opposite effect than presumably intended, namely boosting President Trump’s popularity in the polls.

In a follow-up post, President Trump cited a Reuters/IPSOS poll that shows him leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by nearly 40 percentage points for the Republican presidential nomination and 6 points ahead of President Biden in a hypothetical matchup.

“Oh no, I’m leading by 6, 7, and 8 in various Polls over Crooked Joe Biden. That almost guarantees another Indictment!” President Trump joked in a Saturday post on Truth Social.

Classified Documents Case

Initially, Mr. Smith indicted President Trump on June 8 on dozens of counts in connection with allegations that he kept national defense secrets at his Florida residence.

Later, on July 27, Mr. Smith’s team accused President Trump in an updated indictment (pdf) of conspiring with his staff to delete some security footage so that the grand jury in the case would not see all the evidence.

Mar-a-Lago staffer Carlos De Oliveira was named as a third defendant in the superseding indictment, along with Trump aide Walt Nauta and the former commander-in-chief.

President Trump has said he used his presidential authority to declassify all the relevant documents in the case against him and has denied that he hid any materials from the government.

After the new charges were announced, the former president took to his social media platform to deny the new charges, calling Mr. Smith’s new allegation a “lie” that is tantamount to election interference ahead of the 2024 contest.

“The security tapes being deleted was a made up lie by deranged Jack Smith! Election interference,” President Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social on Aug. 1.

From The Epoch Times

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