DOJ’s dilemma: Indicting Trump could force release of damning Russiagate documents

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, September 4, 2022

President Donald Trump has already declassified most of the documents related to the Russiagate investigation and 60 percent are already in public view.

The other 40 percent of the documents are believed by many to have been a main focus of the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.

What is contained in the those documents, analysts say, terrifies the Department of Justice and is what prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to order the Aug. 8 raid on Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago. It is also why the DOJ may think twice about indicting Trump as it would force the former president’s hand and lead him to release a torrent of information that would be devastating to the deep state and the Democrat administration it is propping up.

The Russiagate documents reportedly include transcripts of FBI intercepts of Trump aides; a declassified copy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to collect the electronic communications of Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page; and reports regarding Christopher Steele and Stefan Halper, the two main confidential human sources used by the FBI to spy on Trump’s campaign and administration.

Kash Patel, who served in a variety of Pentagon roles and as a principal deputy in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration, told Breitbart News in a May 5 report that “Trump declassified whole sets of materials. The president has unilateral authority to declassify documents. He exercised it here in full.”

The documents contain “information that Trump felt spoke to matters regarding everything from Russiagate to the Ukraine impeachment fiasco to major national security matters of great public importance, anything the president felt the American people had a right to know is in there and more,” Patel told Breitbart.

Less than a week after the Breitbart story, the DOJ obtained a grand jury subpoena to search Mar-a-Lago, but before initiating the raid they “made a “preliminary review” of the 15 boxes of NARA material that they’d ignored for four months,” Lee Smith wrote in a Sept. 1 analysis for Tablet magazine.

According to the affidavit, between May 16 and 18, a team of FBI agents poured through the documents.

“But they couldn’t have found any of the Russiagate documents Patel had referred to in the Breitbart article, because, according to a July 2022 article by reporter John Solomon, the archives did not have the declassified documents,” Smith wrote.

Did Trump have them? It seems the Justice Department was determined to find out. On June 3, a DOJ official and three FBI agents visited Mar-a-Lago on official business. Trump hailed them cheerfully. “I appreciate the job you’re doing,” he said to the law enforcement officials. “Anything you need, let us know.”

“The agents asked to see the storage locker where Trump kept mementos from his term in office,” Smith noted. “Shortly after the visit, DOJ sent a letter to his aides instructing them to further secure the facility. Trump’s staff complied by adding a second lock. With DOJ trying to flush Trump out by showing up at his door, they wanted to find out who went into the facility after they officially warned that the facility wasn’t secure. It seems they were looking for someone in particular.”

RelatedKash Patel — Same DOJ officials who concocted Russiagate ran Trump raid in possible coverup, August 16, 2022

On June 21, Patel announced that he and Solomon had been appointed by Trump to obtain the declassified Russiagate documents from the archives: Patel said he was going to post them on his website. DOJ, however, already knew what Patel and Solomon would only discover a month later: The archives didn’t have the declassified documents. So if Patel said he would post them, law enforcement may have wondered, where would he get them from?

“The answer must have seemed clear: Mar-a-Lago,” Smith wrote. “On June 22, the Justice Department subpoenaed surveillance video footage of the storage locker. According to a New York Times story, sourced to ‘people familiar with the tapes,’ ‘video showed boxes being moved out of the storage room sometime around the contact from the Justice Department.’ ” The video “also showed boxes being slipped into different containers.”

With this, the FBI was ready to move on Trump’s home.

Garland “deliberated for weeks about whether to raid a a former president’s home,” Smith noted. “It had never been done before. Was it his destiny to be the man who ushered the United States into such dangerous territory? But the pressure to get Trump was building. It likely came from below (Monaco) and above: [Joe] Biden told aides he wanted his top law enforcement officer to target Trump. Garland finally resolved to pull the trigger. On Aug. 5, the FBI got the warrant for the raid.”

An Aug. 26 New York Times story confirmed that the FBI was “spurred” to act after discovering Trump had retained “documents related to the use of ‘clandestine human sources,’ ” and other documents related to “foreign intercepts collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

Smith added: “Yet if what the FBI was after were the Russiagate documents that it imagined were hidden somewhere at Mar-a-Lago, it’s not clear if the agents found them.”

According to the Times story, the safe in Trump’s closet “did not contain the materials investigators sought.”

Smith noted: “Maybe the materials were somewhere else. Perhaps Trump never had them. Trump allies I’ve spoken with don’t think he has the documents.

“Garland’s dilemma now is whether to risk finding out the truth. Press reports suggest that he is undecided about indicting Trump. That makes sense — it would likely sow chaos across the country and, Garland must worry, perhaps force Trump’s hand. For if the former president does have the documents, in whatever form, and posts them, it might bring the house down on the U.S. national security apparatus and the Democratic administration that it shields.”

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