Trump attacks special counsel over report that an investigator had a meeting at the White House – NBC News

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump criticized special counsel Jack Smith’s office after a report that a member of Smith’s team had a pre-indictment meeting at the White House earlier this year — but a source told NBC News the meeting was with a career White House staffer and not, as Trump claimed, a sitdown to get Biden administration approval for criminal charges.

“It has just been reported that aides to TRUMP prosecutor, Deranged Jack Smith, met with high officials at the White House just prior to these political SleazeBags Indicating me OVER NOTHING,” Trump wrote Monday on his social media platform Truth Social.

“If this is so, which it is, that means that Biden and his Fascist Thugs knew and APPROVED of this Country dividing Form of Election Interference, despite their insisting that they ‘knew nothing,’” he added.

Trump was referring to a New York Post article on Saturday that said Jay Bratt, the Justice Department’s top counterintelligence official, had a meeting at the White House on March 31 with Caroline Saba, who was then deputy chief of staff for the White House Counsel’s office. They were also joined by an FBI field agent, the article said.

The Post connected the meeting to Trump’s subsequent indictment on charges that he mishandled a trove of national secrets he took with him from the White House, writing, “Nine weeks later, Trump was indicted by Smith’s office.”

A source directly familiar with the meeting told NBC News that Saba had facilitated a meeting between Bratt — a key investigator in the documents case — and a career White House official who was in the same position in the Trump administration as well.

White House visitor logs recorded the meeting on March 31, but it is shown just as a meeting between Saba and Bratt.

According to the source, the White House Counsel’s office would attend such a meeting because it represents the institution of the White House and the employees under that umbrella, not just the president.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, told NBC News on Monday that the office “declines to comment on any case-related interviews.”

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bratt was one of the original investigators in the documents case and remained involved after Smith was named special counsel in November. Trump was indicted in the case in June on 37 federal felony counts, including willful retention of national defense information, making false statements and representations, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

He was hit with additional charges including trying to tamper with evidence in a superseding indictment last month. Trump has pleaded not guilty and maintains the case is politically motivated.

Saba no longer works at the White House.

In his post, Trump said the meeting shows that claims by the Biden administration that it hasn’t been involved with the Smith probes was a “big lie.” “Dismiss case!” he wrote in all capital letters.

The documents case is scheduled to go to trial in May.

In a separate investigation by Smith’s office, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday set a March 4 trial date in the election interference case.

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *