Charlotte Tyler
September 9, 2023

Jim Jordan investigating special counsel's alleged ‘abusive tactics’ in Trump papers case

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has initiated an investigation into allegations made against a member of special counsel Jack Smith's team.

The Smith team member is accused of having "improperly pressured" a lawyer representing a defendant indicted by a federal grand jury in an effort to get the defendant to cooperate with the government, as the New York Post reported.

In a letter sent to Smith on Thursday, Jordan requested documents pertaining to "abusive tactics" allegedly employed by prosecutor Jay Bratt against attorney Stanley Woodward,

Woodward is a representative of former President Donald Trump's co-defendant Walt Nauta in the DOJ's classified documents case.

From The Letter

“Last year, Jay Bratt -- one of your senior prosecutors and top aides -- allegedly improperly pressured Stanley Woodward, a lawyer representing a defendant indicted by you ..." Jordan said in the letter.

The lawmaker went on to assert that the pressure was put on the attorney "by implying that the Administration would look more favorably on Mr. Woodward’s candidacy for a judgeship if Mr. Woodward’s client cooperated with the Office of the Special Counsel.

“This attempt to inappropriately coerce Mr. Woodward raises serious concerns about the abusive tactics of the Office of the Special Counsel and the Department’s commitment to its mission to uphold the rule of law and ensure impartial justice,” he added.

Origin of the Allegations

According to the Guardian, Woodward first made the allegation in June, in a letter filed under seal with federal judge James Boasberg. This came before Trump and Nauta were indicted in Smith's investigation into classified documents.

Woodward reportedly claims in the letter that he was summoned to a meeting at DOJ headquarters in November 2022, during which Bratt told him that he did not believe Woodward was a "Trump guy" and that "he would do the right thing."

Later, he revealed his awareness of Woodward's prospective application for a judgeship on the D.C. Superior Court.

“[Bratt] apparently, along with five other people in his presence from DOJ, extorted a very well-respected, very intelligent lawyer from Washington, DC, saying essentially, ‘If you want this judgeship that’s on Joe Biden’s desk, you have to flip your guy to cooperate against the President of the United States,’” former Trump lawyer James Trusty also charged in a June interview with CNN.

Jordan also cites a motion filed on August 2 in the Nauta case, in which Bratt raised potential conflicts of interest involving Woodward's representation of two other witnesses whose cooperation the special counsel's office sought.

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