The investigation into Donald Trump and others’ attempts to change the 2020 election by special counsel Jack Smith is still ongoing, and at least one interview this week concentrated on the funding and expenditure of Trump’s political action committee.
The grand jury that charged Trump last week, however, was seen convening on Tuesday in the federal courtroom in Washington.
According to Bernard Kerik’s attorney, Tim Parlatore, who was present for the interview and provided details to POLITICO, investigators questioned Kerik extensively about the Save America PAC’s massive fundraising haul in the weeks preceding the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
From Election Day through January 6, everything is in focus, according to Parlatore.
It has long been assumed that the special counsel is investigating whether Trump or his PAC broke the law by raising money from bogus voter fraud claims while knowing they were fake. Trump was indicted last week on charges that he plotted to rig the 2020 presidential election, but no claims of financial misconduct were made.
However, the interview with Kerik, a steadfast ally of Rudy Giuliani’s, demonstrates that Smith’s team is still compiling data about how Trump and his associates handled the immediate aftermath of the election and that the probe’s focus on Trump-related funds is still active. In the weeks preceding Jan. 6, Kerik, who was New York City’s police commissioner when Giuliani was mayor, assisted Giuliani in his efforts to challenge the election results.
The interview is the most obvious sign of Smith’s attention following last week’s landmark indictment and arraignment, according to Smith’s account to POLITICO. Although the indictment named six suspected co-conspirators, which includes Giuliani, no one has been charged. However, the grand jury in responsible for the case was still present in the courthouse, indicating that more charges could still be brought.
As reported by The New York Times, Giuliani’s supporters asked Trump to utilize Save America money to compensate Giuliani for his post-election legal services a while after Trump left power.
According to Parlatore, Smith’s people didn’t inquire about Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff in his final days as the nation’s leader, or Jenna Ellis, a different attorney who assisted in Trump’s efforts to challenge the election. The team did inquire into Boris Epshteyn, a legal representative for Trump who served as his in-house attorney and campaign manager following the election. Additionally, Justin Clark, who served as Trump’s deputy campaign manager, was the subject of numerous inquiries from the investigators, Parlatore continued.
There was a great deal of contention between Clark and Giuliani about Trump’s plan to protest Joe Biden’s tight victory in Georgia. According to Parlatore, Kerik told the special counsel’s team about a heated phone discussion during which Giuliani shouted at Clark and labeled him a liar.
Smith’s indictments of former President Donald Trump appear to be strengthening him rather than weakening him among Republican supporters.
It was very clear that those in attendance at the Alabama Republican summer gathering still supported the former president when Fox News dispatched a reporter there.
Trump’s Friday speech in Montgomery was his first since being charged on Thursday in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, though it didn’t hurt. The sample size, however, suggested that backing for the 45th president was solid.
“Are you serious?” asked one attendee named Mike. “Donald Trump is the best president that this country has ever had . . . and that goes back to Ronald Reagan. [Reagan] was a great president, and he ain’t as good as Donald Trump.”
“Who else would we support?” an attendee, identified as “C.J.,” told Fox News. “Our immigration problem, our economy? Trump. We’ve got to. We’ve got to bring America back. It’s terrible what Biden has done to our country. It’s horrible. We’ve got to get it back.”
Even a few voters who were still unsure of their vote admitted that the former president’s political base had not been harmed by the accusations.
Sen. Lance Bell of Alabama, who has not yet chosen a Republican contender for 2024, claimed on Fox News that the accusations will actually benefit Trump politically.
“I think the charges are helping him because people are seeing the political prosecution,” Bell said. “So I think the charges are helping him pick up support. It’s sad when we’re having that in our country — when we’re having political prosecutions.”
As the rest of the 2024 GOP field struggles to make any progress at all, it was reported over the weekend that Trump has increased his advantage in a key early primary state.
According to Fox Business, Trump won South Carolina by 10 points in 2016 but anticipates outpacing that margin this time around.
Trump had a huge 34-point lead in the Palmetto State according to a recent poll by the site. Additionally, more than 50 percent of respondents said they thought he would be the best contender to unseat President Joe Biden.