Posts tagged with "Mar-a-Lago Club"

Trump told nuclear sub secrets to Australian billionaire—who went on to tell 45 others

October 9, 2023

Former President Donald Trump reportedly shared details about America’s nuclear submarine program with an Australian billionaire, who then went on to tell journalists, foreign officials, and others about the sensitive information, HuffPost reports.

ABC News first reported that Special Counsel Jack Smith had learned about Trump’s disclosure to the billionaire—a cardboard magnate named Anthony Pratt —as part of his investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents. Trump allegedly told Pratt several government secrets about the submarines during an event at his Mar-a-Lago Club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where the billionaire is a member.

Pratt reportedly told prosecutors and FBI agents that Trump brought up the submarine fleet in April 2021, after he had left the White House. The former president then revealed the supposed number of nuclear warheads that are on board U.S. submarines at any time and how close the vessels can get to a Russian submarine without detection.

The billionaire, ABC News added, shared that information with at least 45 people, including three former Australian prime ministers, a half dozen journalists and other foreign officials. Australia recently inked a deal with the United States to spend up to $245 billion over the next three decades to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

It’s unclear if the details were accurate, or if they were bluster or exaggerations, but ABC News reported that Pratt was informed by investigators not to share the numbers he was reportedly given.

The New York Times, which confirmed the report with people familiar with the matter, said the details would be highly protected information and could endanger the U.S. nuclear fleet if made public.

A former Australian ambassador to the United States told the paper the information wasn’t new to his country, saying: “If that’s all that was discussed, we already know all that.

“We have had Australians serving with Americans on U.S. submarines for years, and we share the same technology and the same weapons as the U.S. Navy,” the former ambassador, Joe Hockey, said.

The reported information was not included in Smith’s federal indictment of Trump earlier this year related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House. Trump was charged with 40 counts related to willful retention of documents and obstruction of justice. But it could be used as part of the ultimate case against him to bolster any pattern of Trump’s handling of sensitive material.

A Trump spokesperson told ABC that the former president did “nothing wrong,” adding the report lacked “proper context and relevant information.”

“President Trump did nothing wrong, has always insisted on truth and transparency, and acted in a proper manner, according to the law,” the spokesperson told ABC News.

Research contact: @HuffPost

McCarthy tells Trump supporters not to protest if ex-president is indicted

March 21, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) said this week that supporters of Donald Trump should not protest if the former president is indicted—following Trump’s call for people to take to the streets and rally against what he claimed would be his imminent arrest in a Manhattan investigation, reports The Washington Post.

In an all-caps message on his social media platform, Trump called on followers to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!

“I don’t think people should protest this, no,” McCarthy said during a news conference on Sunday, March 19. “And I think President Trump, if you talk to him, he doesn’t believe that, either.”

Posting on his Truth Social platform on Saturday, Trump wrote that he “WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY” and called on people to “PROTEST.” Despite the post from his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, his advisers said Trump’s team did not have specific knowledge about the timing of any indictment.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) is investigating Trump’s role in hush money paid to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

The case centers on a $130,000 payment from Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney, to Daniels—and Bragg is probing whether Trump broke campaign finance laws to reimburse Cohen for keeping Daniels quiet about allegations that she and Trump had an affair. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels and has described the payments as extortion.

Trump’s demand that people take to the streets to denounce a possible indictment stoked fears of violence and echoed rhetoric he used while addressing supporters shortly before a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Five people died in the attack or in its aftermath, and 140 police officers were injured in the assault.

“Nobody should harm one another,” McCarthy said Sunday, following Trump’s call for protests. “We want calmness out there.”

While McCarthy appealed for peace, he also slammed the investigation into Trump and accused Bragg of unfairly targeting the former president. “Lawyer after lawyer will tell you this is the weakest case out there, trying to make a misdemeanor a felony,” McCarthy said during the news conference.

Lawyers and advisers to Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, have expected for days that he will be indicted in the case.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

CNN exclusive: Mark Meadows has complied with DOJ subpoena in January 6 probe

September 16, 2022

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has complied with a subpoena from the Justice Department’s investigation into events surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, sources familiar with the matter have told CNN—making him the highest-ranking Trump official known to have responded to a subpoena in the federal investigation.

Meadows turned over the same materials he provided to the House select committee investigating the US Capitol attack, one source said, meeting the obligations of the Justice Department subpoena, which has not been previously reported.

Last year, Meadows turned over thousands of text messages and emails to the House committee, before he stopped cooperating. The texts he handed over between Election Day 2020 and Joe Biden’s inauguration, which CNN previously obtained, provided a window into his dealings at the White House, though he withheld hundreds of messages, citing executive privilege.

In addition to Trump’s former chief of staff, one of Meadows’ top deputies in the White House, Ben Williamson, also recently received a grand jury subpoena, another source familiar with the matter has informed CNN.

That subpoena was similar to what others in Trump’s orbit received. It asked for testimony and records relating to January 6 and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Williamson previously cooperated with the January 6 committee. He declined to comment to CNN.

Meadows’ compliance with the subpoena comes as the Justice Department has ramped up its investigation related to January 6, which now touches nearly every aspect of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss—including the fraudulent electors plot, efforts to push baseless election fraud claims and how money flowed to support these various efforts, CNN reported this week.

An attorney for Meadows declined comment. The Justice Department did not respond to CNN requests for comment.

As White House chief of staff, Meadows was in the middle of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in the two months between Election Day and Biden’s inauguration. Meadows communicated with numerous officials who tried to find election fraud and pushed various schemes to try to overturn the election, according to text messages obtained by CNN that Meadows turned over to the House select committee.

Meadows also shared baseless conspiracy theories with Justice Department leaders, as Trump tried to enlist DOJ’s help in his push to claim the election was stolen from him.

After Meadows stopped cooperating with the House committee, Congress referred him to the Justice Department for contempt of Congress. DOJ declined to prosecute him for contempt earlier this year.

It’s not yet clear whether the Justice Department will seek more materials from Meadows as part of the ongoing criminal investigation, which could lead to a legal fight over executive privilege.

Following last month’s FBI search of Trump’s Florida residence and resort, the Ma-a-Lago Club, Meadows handed over texts and emails to the National Archivesv that he had not previously turned over from his time in the administration, CNN previously reported. Last year, Meadows spoke with Trump about the documents he brought to Mar-a-Lago that the National Archives wanted returned.

Trump has been counseled to cut contact with Meadows—and some of Trump’s attorneys believe Meadows could also be in investigators’ crosshairs and are concerned he could become a fact witness if he’s pushed to cooperate, CNN reported last month. Still, Trump and Meadows have spoken a number of times, according to a source familiar with their relationship.

Another source described their relationship as “not the same as it once was” while in the White House, but said they still have maintained a relationship, even as Trump has complained about Meadows to others.

Research contact: @CNN