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Classified docs probe reportedly ongoing, even after Trump indictment

With Donald Trump already indicted, the special counsel's office is no longer investigating the classified docs scandal, right? Not quite.


Three weeks after Donald Trump’s indictment, it’s tempting to think special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation has reached a new and different stage. After all, the probe into the former president’s classified documents scandal has led to criminal charges against a former president — and it’s not as if prosecutors can work their way higher up the ladder in pursuit of a more powerful suspect.

So, it’s time to shift the focus to Trump’s upcoming trial and investigators’ other investigations, right? Well, not quite. The New York Times reported overnight:

Three weeks after former President Donald J. Trump was indicted on charges of illegally retaining national security records and obstructing the government’s efforts to reclaim them, a federal grand jury in Miami is still investigating aspects of the case, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent days, the grand jury has issued subpoenas to a handful of people who are connected to the inquiry, those familiar with it said.

The Times’ report, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, added that while we don’t yet know who’s received the subpoenas or what specific information prosecutors are looking for, “it is clear that the grand jury has stayed active and that investigators are digging.”

Trump’s indictment, in other words, was a dramatic development, but apparently it did not mark the culmination of the investigation.

CNN ran a very similar report last night, quoting multiple sources who said the special counsel’s office “is continuing” its investigation of the former president’s classified documents scandal.

To be sure, the fact that investigators are still moving forward with the probe does not necessarily mean that there will be additional charges. Perhaps they’re following through on loose threads that won’t amount to anything significant.

Or perhaps Team Trump has more reasons to worry. The Times’ report added that “post-indictment investigations can result in additional charges against people who have already been accused of crimes in the case. The investigations can also be used to bring charges against new defendants.”

Perhaps this helps explain why the former president referred to Smith this week as “deranged.”

And speaking of Trump’s indictment, thanks to an instantly infamous recording, much of the recent focus has been on Trump’s apparent willingness to present a “highly confidential” war plan to someone who lacked the necessary clearance. (“Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this,” Trump said, adding, “Isn’t that incredible?” ... It’s so cool.”) But this wasn’t the only incident.

The indictment also pointed an alleged meeting in which the former president showed a classified map to someone who was described as “a representative of his political action committee” during a 2021 gathering at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. The PAC “representative,” of course, also lacked the necessary security clearance.

As Alex Wagner noted on last night’s shows, multiple news outlets reported that the person the former president was speaking to was Susie Wiles — a political advisor who has a leading role on the Republican’s 2024 operation.

It was against this backdrop that CNN reported yesterday that Wiles “has spoken to federal investigators numerous times as part of the special counsel’s Mar-a-Lago documents probe.” The report, which also has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, added that members of Trump’s inner circle “were blindsided” when they learned of Wiles’ meetings with investigators.

The Times' account added, "The fact that Ms. Wiles could become a prosecution witness should Mr. Trump’s case go to trial, even as she is helping run his third bid for office, underscores the complexities that the former president now faces as he deals with both a presidential campaign and a criminal defense with an overlapping cast of characters."

Watch this space.