House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan is now demanding answers from Attorney General Merrick Garland and White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, as to why a prosecutor working with Special Counsel Jack Smith was meeting with people from the White House Counsel’s Office at the White House multiple times in the run-up to Smith charging former President Donald Trump. Can we say collusion? Because that’s exactly what it looks like.
Jay Bratt reportedly met with Biden officials at least three known times, the more recent and perhaps relevant one was in March 2023. Jordan wants communications about the meetings.
“According to recent reporting, Jay Bratt—a Department of Justice employee and top aide to Special Counsel Jack Smith—met with White House officials multiple times, just weeks before Mr. Smith indicted former President Donald Trump,” Jordan wrote.
“This new information raises serious concerns regarding the potential for a coordinated effort between the Department and the White House to investigate and prosecute President Biden’s political opponents.”
Jordan requested “[a]ll documents and communications referring or relating to any appointment, meeting, or other visit by Mr. Bratt to the White House or the Executive Office of the President” and those “between the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Justice referring or relating to the investigation and/or prosecutions of Special Counsel Jack Smith.
As we’ve reported before, Bratt was involved in the classified document investigation of Trump. He was reportedly the guy behind the raid on Mar-a-Lago in August 2022, contradicting some in the FBI who wanted to do a consensual search. He also argued against unsealing the affidavit used to justify the issuance of a search warrant.
Perhaps more troubling, as I reported previously, Bratt is the one who was accused by defendant Walt Nauta’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, of bringing up the position that he’d applied for as a judge and then saying he, Bratt, didn’t think Woodward was a “Trump guy” and would “do the right thing” about his client flipping. If ever there were a nasty move to try to coerce cooperation, that’s it. Woodward was allegedly very rocked by it.
Logs show Bratt met on March 31, 2023, with Caroline Saba, deputy chief of staff for the White House counsel’s office, and Danielle Ray, an FBI agent in the Washington field office. A spokesperson for Smith claimed that it was for a “case-related interview,” and then another person familiar with the meeting claimed it was “an interview of a career official who was also working at the White House during the Trump Administration.”
Given everything that has come down in this case, I think it’s fair to say I don’t buy that’s the only reason. Bratt is a very experienced guy; he should have known such a thing would not look good, yet he did it anyway. So, one has to ask why. That’s why it’s good that the House is following up on this. I hope they subpoena the White House Counsel folks as well if they don’t come across. Put them under oath and get them on the record. Because right now, this all stinks to high heaven.