House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has requested that the Biden Administration reveal information regarding a meeting that occurred between an FBI agent, White House representatives, and Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office two months before the indictment of former President Donald Trump in the case involving classified documents. Jordan wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland and White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, expressing concerns about a potential collaboration between the Department of Justice and the White House to go after political opponents of President Biden.
Smith’s indictment of Trump in the classified documents case occurred on June 8. This case was under Smith’s oversight as a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department. Regrettably, the visitor logs do not contain precise details regarding the meeting involving Smith’s aide, the White House counsel’s office, and the FBI.
Trump pleaded not guilty to 40 counts related to handling classified documents, which were seized during an FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on August 8, 2022.
According to the White House visitor logs, Jay Bratt, Smith’s top aide, met with Caroline Seba, deputy chief of staff for the White House counsel’s office, on March 31. The New York Post initially reported this meeting. Danielle Ray, an FBI agent from the Washington, D.C. field office, was also present at the meeting alongside Bratt and Seba.
A spokesperson for the special counsel indicated that Bratt’s presence was related to a “case-related interview,” the FBI declined to comment on the matter. According to Jordan’s letter, Bratt had additional meetings with the White House. One was with an advisor to Ron Klain, the Chief of Staff, in September 2021, and the other involved Biden administration officials discussing “national security” two months later.
Jordan requested all relevant documents for Bratt’s White House visits. The request also extended to documents involving communications between the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Justice related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation and prosecution.
The account further highlights that Bratt visited Trump’s Florida property two months before the FBI raid in August. Reportedly, Bratt played a role in advocating for a search warrant for the unannounced raid on Trump’s estate. During this meeting, Bratt expressed mistrust towards the former president and his legal team.
The letter also alleges that Bratt engaged in improper conduct by pressuring a lawyer representing a Trump employee to cooperate with the Department’s prosecution of the former president. The implication was that cooperation would lead to favorable treatment for the lawyer’s application for a D.C. judgeship.
Jordan’s letter underscored the concern that Smith’s investigation and prosecution might lack impartiality and fairness due to these actions. In addition to the classified documents case, Smith indicted Trump for alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, citing the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot as a significant factor. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith as a special counsel for the classified documents and the 2020 election cases.