Giuliani team that tried to find evidence of 2020 fraud hands over hundreds of documents to January 6 probe

Ex-NYPD boss pardoned by Trump agrees to turn over documents sought by federal prosecutors

Alex Woodward
Tuesday 25 July 2023 13:07 BST
Related video: Pelosi slams McCarthy for floating the idea of expunging Trump’s impeachments

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The former New York City Police Department commissioner who collected spurious evidence of alleged voter fraud and manipulation for Donald Trump’s campaign has agreed to turn over hundreds of documents, according to court filings.

US Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith had sought those documents as part of a sweeping investigation into the former president’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

But attorneys for Bernie Kerik had refused to share them, citing attorney-client privilege, as Mr Kerik was working for Trump-connected lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The former president’s campaign has now withdrawn that claim of privilege, and Mr Kerik’s legal team has handed over thousands of documents to prosecutors investigating Mr Trump’s mindset and decision making as he baselessly stated that the 2020 election was “stolen” and “rigged” against him despite a lack of evidence.

Mr Kerik’s attorney Timothy Parlatore had indicated he will meet with the special counsel team in the coming days.

A bogus narrative of widespread voter fraud fuelled a wave of failed lawsuits, attempts to swap electoral votes in states that Mr Trump lost, and a riot at the US Capitol to overturn the outcome.

Mr Trump – who has stated that he received a “target letter” indicating that he is under investigation and could be charged with a crime – has meanwhile continued to lash out at the multiple investigations against him as a politically motivated “hoax” and an attempt to “rig” or “interfere” with the 2024 election as he seeks the Republican nomination for president.

The agreement to turn over documents appeared first in a separate case involving Mr Kerik and Mr Giuliani: the ongoing defamation lawsuit from two Georgia election workers who were the subject of relentless attacks after false claims that they manipulated votes.

Attorneys for Mr Kerik and Mr Giuliani had refused to turn over documents, citing attorney-client privilege with the Trump campaign. US District Just Beryl A Howell already ordered Mr Giuliani to pay nearly $90,000 in the workers’ legal fees over his obstruction.

On 13 July, Mr Kerik was directed to provide “a document-by-document privilege log of any withheld record that provides sufficient information to ‘enable other parties to assess the claim’ that ‘the information is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation material.’”

He also was ordered to show why those records and other statements should be withheld.

But a joint filing on 24 July from attorneys for Mr Kerik and the two election workers reveals that the parties have reached an agreement to receive those documents.

Mr Kerik also agreed to sit for another deposition. That deposition will be no later than 24 August, according to the filing.

The Independent has requested comment from Mr Parlatore.

Documents that Mr Kerik provided to the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack included an outline of a strategy to overturn election results and the so-called “war room” at a nearby hotel. He also presented a “strategic communications plan” for the “GIULIANI PRESIDENTIAL LEGAL DEFENSE TEAM” to persuade elected officials to object to 2020 results and promote a bogus narrative of fraud.

He also was in possession of documents and messages from Giuliani-linked associates, including threads on 4chan messages boards and a forwarded plan from QAnon conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins involving Dominion Voting Systems, which later settled a historic lawsuit with Fox News over similar false claims about the company.

Mr Kerik – who pleaded guilty to multiple ethics violations and tax fraud charges before he worked for the Trump campaign – served as NYPD commissioner under then-Mayor Giuliani in 2000 and 2001. In 2003, he briefly served as a minister in Iraq’s transition government following the US-led invasion.

In 2010, he was sentenced to four years in federal prison with three years’ supervised release after he pleaded guilty to eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials.

Mr Trump granted him a presidential pardon in 2020.

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