The decade's most triggering comedy
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan demanded on Tuesday that the Biden Administration disclose details about its meeting with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office and an FBI agent two months before Smith indicted former President Donald Trump in the classified documents case.
“This new information raises serious concerns regarding the potential for a coordinated effort between the Department and the White House to investigate and prosecute President Biden’s political opponents,” Jordan wrote in a duplicated letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients.
Smith indicted Trump on June 8 in the classified documents case that the Justice Department had appointed him to oversee as special counsel. The visitor logs don’t provide details about the meeting between Smith’s aide, the White House counsel’s office, and the FBI. Trump pleaded not guilty to 40 counts relating to his handling of classified documents seized during the FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on August 8, 2022.
Smith’s top aide, Jay Bratt, met with Caroline Seba, deputy chief of staff for the White House counsel’s office, on March 31, according to White House visitor logs — as first reported by The New York Post. Danielle Ray, an FBI agent in the Washington, D.C., field office, also joined Bratt and Seba at the meeting.
A spokesman for the special counsel told the Post that Bratt was at the White House for a “case-related interview,” and the FBI declined to comment on the meeting.
Bratt also reportedly met with an advisor to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain in September 2021 and a second time two months later with other Biden officials related to “national security,” according to Jordan’s letter.
Jordan requested federal authorities disclose all relevant documents on Bratt’s three known meetings or other visits to the White House or the Executive Office of the President” and those “between the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Justice referring or relating to the investigation and/or prosecutions of Special Counsel Jack Smith.”
Two months before the August FBI raid on Trump’s Florida compound, Bratt reportedly visited and interacted with the former president.
According to The Washington Post, Bratt then pushed for a warrant for the unannounced raid on Trump’s property. Bratt’s temper flared during the meeting when he told FBI agents they could no longer trust the former president or his lawyers.
Bratt allegedly also “improperly pressured” a lawyer representing a Trump employee “to induce the lawyer’s client to cooperate with the Department’s prosecution” of the former president, according to the letter.
The letter claims Bratt told the lawyer believed the lawyer “would do the right thing” because he wasn’t a “Trump guy” and appeared to bribe him by saying his application for a D.C. judgeship would be received more favorably if he cooperated with the prosecution.
“These facts reinforce the serious concern that Mr. Smith is not running an impartial and unprejudiced investigation and prosecution,” Jordan’s letter reads.
Smith also indicted Trump on additional felony charges for his alleged role in seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election, pointing to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot as an “unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy.” Smith was appointed special counsel in both the classified documents case and the 2020 election case by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Zach Jewell contributed to this report.