The Department of Justice is prepared to seek indictments against multiple figures in former president Donald Trump’s orbit and may yet bring additional charges against the ex-president in the coming weeks, The Independent has learned.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the department has made preparations to bring what is known as a “superseding indictment” — a second set of charges against an already-indicted defendant that could include more serious crimes — against the ex-president in the Southern District of Florida.
But prosecutors may also choose to bring additional charges against Mr Trump in a different venue, depending on how they feel the case they have brought against him in is proceeding.
The Independent understands that prosecutors’ decision on whether to seek additional charges from a grand jury — and where to seek them — will depend in part on whether they feel the Trump-appointed district judge overseeing the case against him in the Southern District of Florida, Aileen Cannon, is giving undue deference to the twice-impeached, now twice-indicted former president.
The team of federal prosecutors working under Special Counsel Jack Smith is currently prepared to add an “additional 30 to 45 charges” in addition to the 37-count indictment brought against Mr Trump on 8 June, either in a superseding indictment in the same Florida court or in a different federal judicial district. In either case, they would do so using evidence against the ex-president that has not yet been publicly acknowledged by the department, including other recordings prosecutors have obtained which reveal Mr Trump making incriminating statements.
Additionally, it is understood that Mr Smith’s team is ready to bring charges against several of the attorneys who have worked for Mr Trump, including those who aided the ex-president in his push to ignore the will of voters and remain in the White House despite having lost the 2020 election.
One of those figures is Mr Trump’s erstwhile personal attorney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Mr Giuliani, whose law license was suspended in New York and Washington as a result of his allegedly making multiple false representations while seeking to help Mr Trump overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden, reportedly participated in a voluntary interview with prosecutors working under the supervision of Mr Smith, the Justice Department special counsel whose office brought charges against Mr Trump earlier this month.
It is further understood that Mr Giuliani’s cooperation with prosecutors was undertaken as part of what is known as a “queen for a day” deal, under which the ex-mayor can avoid indictment for anything he tells prosecutors about during the interview.
This will allow the disgraced former federal prosecutor to avoid some charges, but a source familiar with the matter has said Mr Smith’s office will “most definitely” bring some charges against Mr Giuliani for his work on Mr Trump’s behalf in the weeks between the November 2020 election and the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol.
The Independent has also learned that Mr Giuliani’s “proffer” session with prosecutors dealt mainly with Mr Trump’s machinations during that time period as he sought to find a way to remain in the White House for a second term, even against the will of the voters who’d handed Mr Biden the keys to the White House by way of majorities in key swing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.
In a statement to The Independent, Mr Giuliani’s political adviser Ted Goodman said the ex-Trump attorney’s meeting with prosecutors “was entirely voluntary and conducted in a professional manner” but declined to elaborate further on the current status of Mr Giuliani’s dealings with the justice department.
“There's nothing more to say on this matter,” he added.
The ex-president and the ex-New York City mayor are also understood to be among the numerous targets in a state-level investigation in Georgia focusing on Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure Peach State officials to unlawfully overturn Mr Biden’s shock victory there.
That probe, which is being conducted by Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis, is expected to result in multiple indictments which could be unveiled as early as next month. Ms Willis, who last year oversaw a special purpose grand jury probe into efforts by Mr Trump and his allies to reverse his loss to Mr Biden in Georgia, is reportedly considering indictments against the ex-president, his former attorney, top Republican figures in the state, as well as Mr Trump’s final White House chief of staff, ex-North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows.
Mr Meadows, who testified before the Georgia special grand jury last year, is also cooperating in the Justice Department probe into Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.
Earlier this month, The Independent reported that Mr Meadows had given evidence before a Washington DC grand jury under Mr Smith’s supervision as part of an agreement that would see him eventually plead guilty to lesser federal charges in exchange for his testimony against Mr Trump and other figures.
Although Mr Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, previously vehemently denied that Mr Meadows had entered any pleas of guilty to any crimes in response to that previous report, it is understood that the ex-congressman has signed an agreement with the Department of Justice which memorialises his obligations to cooperate with any prosecution against Mr Trump or others in the ex-president’s orbit in exchange for consideration that will spare him considerable legal jeopardy.
Representatives for Mr Trump and Mr Meadows did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Independent.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies