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The New York Times is reporting that two former White House lawyers to President Donald Trump spoke with the FBI about the classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago post-presidency.
Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin both spoke to investigators about their experiences trying to get the government documents back to the National Archives, according to the new report.
A report on Monday night revealed Philbin, in particular, worked to get the documents. However, they quoted Trump ranting: "It's not theirs, it's mine," advisers told the Times.
Ultimately, Trump did allow 15 boxes to be turned over to the National Archives, with staff taking a truck to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the documents.
"At that point, at least one Trump lawyer signed a statement saying material with the classified markings had been returned, according to four people familiar with the document," the report continued. "But officials then used a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage of the hallway outside a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and saw something that alarmed them. They also received information from at least one witness who indicated that more material might remain at the residence, people familiar with the investigation said."
Speaking to MSNBC on Tuesday, Andrew Weissmann, former Justice Department prosecutor on special counsel Robert Mueller's team explained the significance of the new report.
"I think it is important for people to know that both those gentlemen were two of seven people who President Trump designated on Jan. 19, 2021, two days before his presidency was over, as his representatives in terms of dealing with presidential records," said Weissmann.
"I think this is part of the reason that you saw in the search warrant the reference to section 1519 of the criminal statute," he continued. "That is an obstruction statute. And that is the kind of thing that the department could have been very focused on false statements and false representations being made to them that everything had been returned. Only to find, in the search, that that was not true. And that kind of crime, I can tell you when I was in the department, that is the kind of crime that really gets people in the department up in arms. It goes to undermining the integrity of the criminal investigation. And that's the kind of thing that has to be deterred if you're in this case, in any case, if you're going to actually have a rule of law."
Former California Democratic Rep. T.J. Cox has been arrested by the FBI on 28 counts related to financial fraud, Politico reports.
Cox was charged with “15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering, one count of financial institution fraud, and one count of campaign contribution fraud.”
According to the Department of Justice, Cox perpetrated multiple fraud schemes targeting companies he was affiliated with and their clients and vendors. Cox allegedly created unauthorized off-the-books bank accounts and diverted client and company money into those accounts through false representations, pretenses and promises.
Prosecutors accused Cox of illicitly obtaining over $1.7 million in diverted client payments and company loans and investments he solicited and then stole.
If convicted, Cox faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for wire fraud and money laundering, according to the Justice Department.
Cox came to Congress in 2018 but was voted out in 2020, losing to California Republican Rep. David Valadao.
Menacing voicemails left for congressman played at insurrectionist's trial: 'I have the courage to object with my entire life'
The voicemails left for the chief of staff to Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) by insurrectionist Kyle Fitzsimons were played as part of his bench trial on Tuesday. Fitzsimons could be best described as the Capitol attacker covered in fur pelts and covered in blood.
According to legal analyst Marcy Wheeler, who was live tweeting the trial, Fitzsimons' lawyer made him sound like a religious crusader in defense of the 11 felony charges. The defendant's Dec 29, 2020, voicemails confirm the sentiment.
"Do you have the courage to object on the 6th?" he asked in the voicemail. "Because I certainly have the courage to object with my entire life. My name is Kyle Fitzsimons and I will be in DC on January 6."
Another voicemail: "My name is Kyle Fitzsimons, ... I know you probably didn't win. What's going on with this election fraud? I'll be in DC on Jan 6. Maybe I'll see you there. Maybe I will."
When the staff realized that Fitzsimons was arrested, they went back to listen to the recordings. The chief of staff described them as menacing and that the pauses made it feel intense. The recordings were reported as a potential threat.
Trump announced the Jan. 6 rally on Dec. 19 and continued to promote it in the days leading up to the Capitol riot.
Fitzsimons isn't getting a jury trial in Washington, D.C. the way others have. Instead, he requested a change of venue and waived his right to a jury. The case is being heard by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, who Fitzsimons claimed was part of the so-called "deep state."