Judge Blocks Trump’s Subpoena Efforts

(LibertySons.org) – Former President Donald Trump is facing trial on four counts in an indictment charging that he unlawfully tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election to retain the presidency. He’s pleaded not guilty. US District Judge Tanya Chutkin recently denied his attorneys’ October 11 motion seeking subpoenas for “missing materials” from the House Select January 6 Committee and depositions from several Congressional and government officials.

Trump’s legal counsel hoped to subpoena Rep. Benny Thompson (D-MS) as chair of the House Select J6 Committee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) as the Oversight subcommittee chair on the House Administration Committee, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), among others through their motion. Additionally, counsel sought unspecified “missing” records from the House Select J6 Committee investigation.

Yet in the government’s October 25 reply to the motion, prosecutors pointed out that the government had already supplied documents the motion did specify while also clarifying the defendant’s lack of legal precedent in applying for a Rule 17(c) subpoena as a discovery mechanism rather than to support existing evidence. Prosecutors cited a decision from US v Nixon concerning whether a subpoena application “is made in good faith and is not intended as a general ‘fishing expedition.’”

Furthermore, the government cited an opinion from US v Libby that said if the party submitting for the subpoena can’t specify the information they believe they’ll find in the documents they’re seeking, “but merely hopes that something useful will turn up, this is a sure sign” the petitioner is misusing the subpoena.

On November 27, Judge Chutkin concurred with the prosecutors. In her ruling, she cited US v Binh Tang Vo, stating that the records Trump is seeking and their lack of relevant specificity to his defense ”resemble[s] less “a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence” than […] “a general ‘fishing expedition’” using the subpoena for discovery.

Thompson previously reported that the J6 Select Committee didn’t keep records of materials it didn’t use in hearings or publications. He was responding to accusations of improprieties made by Loudermilk in August as the Oversight subcommittee delved into J6 Select Committee proceedings. Thompson maintained, “the Select Committee was not obligated to archive all video recordings of transcribed interviews or depositions.” His assertion led Trump lawyers to claim such “missing” documents might exonerate their client.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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