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The case is the latest legal twist in the last days of President Donald Trumpgovernment after several of his top advisers have been convicted on federal criminal charges and as the possibility of Trump granting pardons to those who have been loyal to him increases.

The records show Chief Judge Beryl Howell’s review in August of a request by prosecutors for access to documents obtained in a search as part of a pardon bribery investigation.

Donald Trump has increased his golf outings in recent weeks.
Donald Trump has increased his golf outings in recent weeks. (AP)

The filings do not reveal a timeline of the alleged plan, nor the names of the people potentially involved, except that communications between people, including at least one attorney, were seized from an office that was raided sometime before the end of this summer.

No one appears to have been publicly charged with a related crime to date.

The White House declined to comment on the court filing.

CNN previously reported that the president’s associates are appealing to him in hopes of obtaining pardons before he leaves office.

There is no indication that any of those associates are being investigated by the DOJ in connection with Tuesday’s filing.

According to court records, at the end of this summer, a filtering team, used to make sure prosecutors do not receive tainted evidence that should have been hidden because it was a privilege, had more than 50 digital devices, including iPhones, iPads. , laptops, USB sticks and computer drives after investigators raided the unidentified offices.

A screenshot of some of the partially redacted documents.
A screenshot of some of the partially redacted documents. (US Department of Justice)

Prosecutors told the court they wanted permission for the filter team’s properties.

Prosecutors believed the devices revealed emails depicting alleged criminal activity, including a “secret lobbying scheme” and a bribery conspiracy that offered “a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or suspended sentence” for a convicted defendant whose name is redacted. , according to the documents written.

Communications between attorneys and clients are often privileged and kept away from prosecutors as they develop their cases, but in this situation, Howell allowed prosecutors access. Communications between attorney and client are not protected as privileged by law when discussing a crime, among other exceptions.

“The political strategy to obtain a presidential pardon was ‘parallel’ and different from [redacted]The role of defense attorney for [redacted name]Howell wrote in his court order.

Donald Trump uses his power of forgiveness to save a turkey from a Thanksgiving table.
Donald Trump uses his power of forgiveness to save a turkey from a Thanksgiving table. (AP)

The grand jury investigation also appears to link to unidentified individuals acting as “lobbyists for senior White House officials” as they sought to obtain a clemency and use an intermediary to send a bribe, unsealed court records say.

However, prosecutors did not provide evidence to the judge of any direct payment and instead showed evidence that a person was seeking clemency due to past and future political contributions.

Investigators indicated in court that they intended to “confront” three individuals with the communications and complete their investigation.

Donald Trump has not granted the election.
Donald Trump has not granted the election. (AP)

During the past week, the Justice Department told Howell that it wanted to keep the court filings related to the matter confidential, because “the persons and conduct” had not yet been charged.

Trump granted 29 pardons and commuted the sentences of 16 people during his presidency, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Pardons office. Several of them have gone into the hands of people close to the president or whose names would make a splash, including 19th-century suffragette Susan B. Anthony, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Bush-era adviser Scooter Libby, and former political adviser. Republican Roger Stone. , who lied to Congress to protect Trump’s efforts in 2016.

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