Politics - News Analysis

Trump Legal Team Will NOT Try to Block Testimony by Every DOJ Official: But Do Not Be Fooled

From Politico:

Donald Trump’s legal team signaled Monday that it will not immediately try to block testimony from former Justice Department officials who have been called before Congress, potentially clearing a roadblock from multiple investigations touching on the former president’s tenure.

From the man who initially believed, he could have everyone in the government sign NDAs and told people not to testify to Congress, then fired them if they did (and their brother). One would think that Trump would try a blanket attempt right from the beginning.

But here is a key for us to keep in mind. They did not say that they would never block testimony. In fact, if one wanted to delay things as much as possible – and perhaps they do – it would be strategically advantageous to allow a person to sit there and give name rank and serial number, but then when an attorney for the committee says, “And where did Trump ask you to put the body…? the lawyers jump in and assert executive privilege. Additionally, the assertion comes three to six months down the road from now.

In a letter to one of six Trump-era DOJ officials whose cooperation is being sought in congressional oversight efforts, former Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), a member of Trump’s legal team, suggested that it would not try to block testimony by those six. The letter’s unusual verbiage makes Trump’s position slightly opaque, but Collins also indicated that the former president’s team would try to contest all attempts to secure testimony from ex-DOJ officials if Congress sought cooperation from more than those six.

Not for one second is anyone on this staff as talented a lawyer as those working on these cases at this level, but this one doesn’t really require a lot of sophistication. Just now on television Jonathan Chait interviewed people discussing a letter that Trump wanted Rosen to sign about finding fraud in Georgia. It appears acting Attorney-General Rosen was one of the half dozen people responsible for maintaining democracy in this country. Is Trump going to let that guy testify?

No chance.

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This is a play by a player. Do not be fooled. They don’t want to seek a blanket privilege that encompasses everyone at DOJ because they might get one blanket ruling they don’t like. Much better to sit there and wait until someone very important is called, find out whether that person plans on taking the 5th (If so, then no worry about it) and the problematic ones, then take those up and down the litigation ladder.

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[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.

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