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A Collision in Court: Trump’s Grand Jury Proceedings Delay Jan. 6 Verdict – UnlistedNews

For several months now, the Federal District Court in Washington has been ground zero for various attempts by the Justice Department to address the legacy of former President Donald J. Trump.

The courthouse, which is located on Constitution Avenue, is where hundreds of rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, were indicted. It is where a grand jury investigated Trump’s handling of classified documents, a case in which charges were ultimately brought in Florida. And it’s where a separate grand jury continues to examine the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in a case in which Trump was recently told he could soon face impeachment.

On Thursday, two of these legal proceedings collided in an unusual spectacle, when a federal judge removed the prosecutor leading the election interference investigation from a grand jury proceeding and summoned him to his courtroom. The judge, Trevor N. McFadden, was apparently upset that the prosecutor, Thomas P. Windom, had prevented an attorney representing a witness before the grand jury from appearing in time for the verdict reading of a January 6 defendant whom the attorney also represented.

While the incident came to a quick conclusion and appeared to have resulted in little more than a public display of tension, it nonetheless reflected the complexities that stemmed from Trump’s packed legal schedule.

The former president has now been indicted in Florida in the classified documents case and in New York City on charges related to secret payments to a porn star ahead of the 2016 election. He could soon be indicted twice more, in Washington and Georgia, in connection with his efforts to rig the 2020 election. All of this, playing out even as Trump is running for office again, has put enormous pressure on everyone involved, from the courts to the lawyers involved in the various legal efforts that have brought him to power. surround.

The lawyer involved in Thursday’s episode, Stanley Woodward Jr., is among the busiest in Washington these days. Mr. Woodward has worked for several January 6 defendants, including one convicted last year of seditious conspiracy while also representing Walt Nauta, Trump’s co-defendant in the classified documents case, and various witnesses involved in Trump-related grand jury investigations.

Thursday’s events began when Woodward accompanied one of his clients, Will Russell, a former Trump aide, to his third appearance before one of the grand juries investigating the former president’s attempts to overturn the election.

Russell, who worked as Trump’s White House aide and later went on to work for him in his post-presidency office, has been a witness in both that investigation and one related to Trump’s withholding of classified documents. Investigators also asked him for information in connection with an investigation into Trump’s fundraising from his false claims of widespread fraud affecting the election.

On Thursday, Russell was asked a series of questions about his interactions with Trump before the former president’s departure from the White House, according to a person familiar with the appearance. More than once, Russell got up and dropped out of the process to consult with Woodward after prosecutors raised questions related to her conversations with Trump, the person familiar with the appearance said.

The problems began when Mr. Russell’s grand jury appearance was dragged out, causing Mr. Woodward to be late for the verdict reading of the bench trial for one of his clients in the Capitol Hill riot in front of Judge McFadden. The client, Federico Klein, who served as an official in the State Department during the Trump administration, was ultimately found guilty of seven felony counts, including assault on police and obstruction of an official proceeding before Congress.

But before Judge McFadden delivered the verdict, he asked Woodward why he was delayed. When the judge found out it was due to the grand jury, he sent court officials to call Mr. Windom, who works for special counsel Jack Smith.

When Mr. Windom appeared in the courtroom, Judge McFadden made him sit through part of Mr. Klein’s verdict reading.

It was only after the verdict was delivered that Judge McFadden consulted with Mr. Windom and Mr. Woodward. But the sidebar conversation was private and took place out of public view.

Mr. Russell’s appearance before the grand jury was just an indication that Mr. Smith’s team continues to investigate election interference even after sending Trump an alleged targeting letter that says he could soon be indicted on at least three counts.

Prosecutors are also trying to schedule a voluntary interview with Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who worked closely with Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani investigating post-election fraud claims. Giuliani sat down for his own voluntary interview with Smith’s office last month.

Zach Montague contributed reporting from Washington.

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Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.
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