The committee’s Jan. 6 criminal reference to the Justice Department calling for prosecution of Donald Trump was “worthless,” one of the former president’s attorneys told CNN on Saturday.
“The transfer itself is pretty much worthless,” Trump’s attorney, Tim Parlatore, told CNN Newsroom. “The Department of Justice doesn’t have to follow that. There is an existing investigation that we have been dealing with for quite some time. What that really accomplishes, if anything, it just politicizes the process.”
Parlatore was responding to the unprecedented criminal references sent to the Justice Department earlier this week by the bipartisan special committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Committee members said they believe Trump is guilty of at least four federal crimes, including conspiracy and obstructing a joint session of Congress.
The Jan. 6 committee came to those conclusions after finding evidence from witnesses suggesting Trump had been warned that some of his post-election plans to reverse the results were illegal — but he tried anyway. These included Trump’s relentless pressure campaign against Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump hoped would disrupt the vote count during the Jan. 6, 2021 joint session.
“It’s political bluster, but it has no bearing on our defense right now,” said Parlatore, who is representing Trump in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation into the possible misuse of government documents in Mar-a-. Lake.
Trump has denied wrongdoing in both cases. The two high-level investigations will now be overseen by Special Counsel Jack Smith, a senior prosecutor tasked with deciding whether there is sufficient evidence Trump broke the law and whether prosecution is appropriate.
The Mar-a-Lago investigation centers on whether Trump or his aides mishandled classified records and national security documents by moving them from the White House to his Florida resort and home.
According to court records, federal authorities have seized at least 325 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago. Trump voluntarily returned 184 of these files in January. In June he returned another 38 under summons. Justice Department investigators suspected there was more at Mar-a-Lago, so they obtained a search warrant and found 103 other classified documents during their search in August.
Since then, prosecutors have been haggling with Trump’s attorneys to confirm there is nothing left.
Parlatore told CNN on Saturday he was certain there were no more records with classification marks at Mar-a-Lago, saying “everything that has been found has been flipped.”
“We had a professional search team go through all the possible places where documents could reasonably be found,” Parlatore said. “We went through several places that we really thought we couldn’t have. But the DOJ asked us to do it, so we did it anyway.”
He added, “I’m pretty confident that’s a dead issue at this point.”