Ex-DOJ prosecutor reacts to bombshell report, says Trump is definitely a target of the government

A former U.S. attorney said bluntly on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump is the “target” of the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

“I will tell you … it is no laughing matter here that Donald Trump is the target of this investigation,” Daniel Goldman, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said during an appearance on MSNBC.

While this may sound like an obvious fact, the catch is that the word “target” has a specific meaning within the DOJ.

According to the DOJ’s manual, “A ‘target’ is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.”

Goldman offered the blunt assessment on MSNBC while responding to a bombshell report from The Washington Post about Trump’s classified documents scandal.

Published earlier that afternoon, the report documented how at least one of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago employees has ratted him out to the FBI.

“A Trump employee has told federal agents about moving boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago at the specific direction of the former president, according to people familiar with the investigation, who say the witness account — combined with security-camera footage — offers key evidence of Donald Trump’s behavior as investigators sought the return of classified material,” the report reads.

The implication is that Trump told said employee to hide the documents from federal agents. This matters because it contradicts what his attorneys told the feds.

In June, his attorney’s reportedly claimed that all government documents, including classified ones, had been returned to the National Archives and Records Administration. Yet when the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in August, they reportedly found thousands of documents, some of which were classified.

The Post’s findings, which have gone uber viral among leftists on Twitter, purport to explain this discrepancy.

“The people familiar with the investigation said agents have gathered witness accounts indicating that, after Trump advisers received a subpoena in May for any classified documents that remained at Mar-a-Lago, Trump told people to move boxes to his residence at the property,” the Post’s report reads.

“That description of events was corroborated by the security-camera footage, which showed people moving the boxes, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation,” it continues.

Continuing his remarks on MSNBC, Goldman speculated on how the FBI managed to get at least one of Trump’s employees to rat him out.

“What probably happened in this case is that that witness was questioned, lied because he was afraid of Donald Trump, then the FBI gets the surveillance tapes and they see this individual moving boxes after the subpoena,” he said.

“They then go back to the guy or woman, and they say, ‘Here’s a video of you moving the boxes when you said you didn’t. So it’s time for you to come clean.’ That’s often how this sort of thing happens,” Goldman added.

He also speculated that others were unwilling to rat the president out because of fear of retaliation. He would know because he himself faced this retaliation when he served as lead counsel against Trump during his first impeachment trial in early 2020.

“When I led the impeachment investigation, I received threats from Donald Trump supporters. I prosecuted mob offices, violent Russian organized criminals, and the most threats, the most fear I ever had was doing the impeachment investigation. So it is real, these threats,” Goldman said.

Incidentally, the Department of Justice is reportedly jumping through hoops to hide the name of the employee who ratted Trump out, lest this person also face threats.

“Within the Justice Department and FBI, the witness’s account has been a closely held secret as agents continue to gather evidence in the high-stakes investigation. In addition to wanting to keep the information they have gathered so far under wraps, people familiar with the situation said, authorities are also concerned that if or when the witness’s identity eventually becomes public, that person could face harassment or threats from Trump supporters,” according to the Post.

The Post’s report concludes by mentioning all the advisers and lawyers who’d tried to convince Trump to hand over the documents instead of hoarding them.

“Trump grew angry this spring after a House Oversight Committee investigation was launched, telling aides they’d ‘screwed up’ the situation, according to people who heard his comments. ‘They’re my documents,’ Trump said, according to an aide who spoke to him,” the report reads.

It sounds like Trump genuinely believed the documents were his. That would certainly explain his stubborn refusal to give them up. Whether this is a strong enough excuse to justify acquitting him — assuming he’s eventually charged — remains to be seen.

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