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Investigations

Donald Trump

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Behind closed doors, former President Donald Trump's advisors are reportedly expressing concerns about the pace of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) investigation, according to a new report published by The Guardian.

The newspaper reports that the former president's advisors are beginning to panic because the DOJ's classified documents probe is moving faster than they'd anticipated.

The latest development comes just days after special master Raymond Dearie raised questions about Trump's claim that he'd declassified the documents. Dearie also put the former president and his legal team on the spot regarding his unfounded claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had "planted" evidence during the Mar-a-Lago search.

The Guardian's Hugo Lowell also noted that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision complicates the legal team's efforts as they attempt to slow the investigation.

Lowell writes that is one of the reasons for the mood of panic.

"The 29-page decision amounted to a sharp rebuke of the rulings by US District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case in Florida, but it also brought an end to Trump’s attempt to slow down the investigation that his advisers feared was moving perilously fast," the Guardian report states.

It adds, "Being allowed to examine the roughly 100 documents marked classified means Justice Department investigators can now resume the investigation into the most serious lines of inquiry – the willful retention of national defense information and obstruction – with the primary evidence itself."

Since Trump's legal team is not allowed to review the documents themselves, Lowell believes that may be more concerning for them.

"Trump’s goal in requesting a special master was multi-pronged from the start, according to sources familiar with the matter, and the principal – though publicly unstated – aim was to apply the brakes on the criminal investigation, after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago took Trump’s lawyers by surprise," Lowell wrote. "A second major aim, the sources said, was to use the special master motion as a vehicle to get more insight into what documents the FBI retrieved from the property because they were initially in the dark about the extent of Trump’s, as well as their own, potential exposure."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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Sidney Powell, right

Sidney Powell, one of the attorneys who led former President Donald Trump's post-election legal battle in 2020, did not appear to testify before a special purpose grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia.

According to WSB-TV, Powell was set to appear on Thursday, September 22 as part of the county's investigation of potential criminal interference following the state's 2020 election.

Per the news outlet, court records indicate that Powell was asked about "her involvement in an incident that happened in South Georgia in January 2021."

At the time, footage captured several individuals gaining access to the County Elections Office to "download elections data from voting machines and an elections server."

According to state investigators, the act is being purported as “criminal behavior.” Powell is accused of covering the cost for the effort.

Powell was thrust into the public eye as one of Trump's allies following his 2020 presidential election loss. Like many of his other allies, Powell echoed the former president's unfounded conspiracy theories of widespread voter fraud as she and his legal team filed numerous of lawsuits in battleground states where he lost.

Following the 2020 election, Powell made headlines when she appeared for Republican National Committee (RNC) news conference. “President Trump won by a landslide,” she said. “We are going to prove it.”

I’m going to release the Kraken,” she said around the same time.

At this point, it remains unclear if Powell will face legal consequences for her failure to appear at the recent hearing. As of Friday, September 23, it is also unclear whether or not the hearing will be rescheduled.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.