Trump Lawyers and the Circular Firing Squad

So on Friday Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb told the Justice Department that the reason she certified back in June that she knew for a fact all the sensitive government documents at Mar-a-Lago had been returned, when they hadn’t … is that another lawyer told her to do it.

The other lawyer was Evan Corcoran, Bobb says. It was Corcoran who drafted the certification, she says. And she was not bright enough to insist that if he thought the certification was accurate, why didn’t he sign the bleeping thing? Live and learn.

Rolling Stone:

The news that Bobb is dishing to the feds, reported initially by NBC News, comes just over two months after the FBI searched Trump’s Palm Beach estate, where they found scores of sensitive, classified documents. This means Bobb’s statement was false, of course. She claims it’s not her fault, though, reportedly telling investigators that one of Trump’s other lawyers, Evan Corcoran, told her to sign it.

NBC News adds that Bobb insisted a disclaimer be added to the letter that it was based on “information that has been provided to me.” The person who provided said information, she told investigators, was Corcoran. “She had to insist on that disclaimer twice before she signed it,” a source told the outlet. “She is not criminally liable. She is not going to be charged. She is not pointing fingers. She is simply a witness for the truth.”

How noble. Just for fun, let’s look at what Marcy Wheeler wrote back on September 4:

There’s something weird about the argument that Trump’s lawyers — each time with the participation of Evan Corcoran — are making about the search of Mar-a-Lago. What they claim they’re up to is all over the map, and has evolved (for example, their first filing focused on Executive Privilege, but in last week’s hearing, Judge Aileen Cannon had to remind Trump lawyer Jim Trusty that’s what he was supposed to be arguing).

But their true goal, it seems, is to learn enough about what was taken so they can attempt to claw back certain materials that would incriminate Trump for reasons other than the sheafs of highly classified information that were stored in an insecure storage closet. It’s a two step process: Learn what was taken, so they can then argue that its seizure was a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment under what’s called a Rule 41(g) motion.

And to that end, the first filing argued that they need a more detailed inventory, describing what was seized and from where, so Donald Trump can make a Rule 41 motion claiming it was improperly seized.

They’re all kind of making it up as they go along, I suspect.

In related news — Yesterday Trump had a rally in which he claimed that all the other presidents took classified documents, too, except they didn’t. See Aaron Blake, Trump’s nonsensical riff on past presidents and classified documents at the Washington Post.

7 thoughts on “Trump Lawyers and the Circular Firing Squad

  1. On the one hand, Bobb seems like an idiot, who doesn't realize that the entire point of signing an affidavit / certification, is to establish / proclaim / testify beyond all doubt that whatever the certification is saying is in fact true. The need to add disclaimers of any kind invalidates its purpose. I get that she may have been low person on the totem pole, and more experienced people were perfectly willing to sacrifice her reputation instead of theirs, if she was so weak or stupid to accept this.

    Have read that the Jan 6 committee has been bandying about the names Mike Flynn and Roger Stone so often, they refer to them as the "Flynnstones". "Yabba Dabba Coup" wrote one commenter. Hoping these guys will be addressed at the next and last hearing.

    • Nothing says there are more documents to be found than a disclaimer attached to a certification that all documents have been given over. That is on par with presenting somebody with a closed fist facing down and an open palm facing up and asking them…which hand holds the marble?

  2. (g) Motion to Return Property. A person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure of property or by the deprivation of property may move for the property's return. The motion must be filed in the district where the property was seized. The court must receive evidence on any factual issue necessary to decide the motion. If it grants the motion, the court must return the property to the movant, but may impose reasonable conditions to protect access to the property and its use in later proceedings.


    OK. This is the Rule 41(g) that Trump thinks Judge Loose Cannon will decide in his favor. It may also be that the matter before the USSC is central to Trump's scheme – namely that Judge Cannon has the final word, that the ruling under 41(g) is procedural and not subject to review in an appeal. 

    Trump is delusional. He's replacing any lawyer who isn't going along with the fantasy that:

    a) the documents belong to Trump.

    b) the documents will be returned to Trump.

    c) once returned to Trump (the owner) he can dispose of them as he wishes.

    d) if the documents are gone, they can't be used as evidence against Trump.

    e) with no evidence, DOJ can't charge him. 

    All of this "works" in Trump's mind because he 'knows' he can take the GOP nomination in the primary and thinks he'll have people in place to steal the election in two years regardless of the vote. If Trump is convicted and sentenced (or it looks possible) DeSantis can run as the alternative to Trump with less baggage. 

    I don't think it will play out as Trump intends – he's gonna be charged and in serious jeopardy, multiplied if/when GA and NY also charge Trump and company with crimes. Trump's calls to militias for violence will become less subtle.  (I think the GOP-run House will shut down government in 2023. This tactic did not work before and I think after a lengthy shutdown, the House insurrectionists will be defeated but not until they've done huge damage to the Republican party going into the 2024 election.)  Add Trump calling for judges to be dragged out of the courthouse and hung, and the stress will be too much. But we're in for a couple of interesting years.

  3. I guess that if Christina Bobb sings loud enough for the DOJ she might be able to save her law license and avoid prosecution. If she's the victim like she's claiming to be, that would mean she'd be in a position to provide incriminating testimony against Trump for obstruction.

    • It would be so awesome if she would sing. But she sure sounds like she's a True Believer, up till this point. I'll play $200 on "Mighty Confused Right Now, Alex" (rest in peace).

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