Images of Trump’s co-defendant’s arrest provide glimpse into Jack Smith investigation

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“If I had raised my hand, I probably could have tried to stop the cannon, but I definitely would have thrown my hand away,” Floyd tells the officers, who were responding to a 911 call he made about armed men breaking into his building. “But the other one was right next to me. So if I went for that gun and he pulled one out, now I’m fighting two guys with guns, that’s not good. So I backed away and left. … They could have killed me very easily, if I hadn’t been smart.”

The confrontation itself was not captured on video and it is unclear why it apparently devolved into a heated altercation. What is clear is that on February 23, 2023, FBI agents were attempting to serve Floyd with a grand jury subpoena as part of Smith’s federal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

And the video reveals details of the previously secret subpoena that offer new insights into the timing, direction and staffing of Smith’s investigation.

Smith, who
obtained a federal indictment against Trump in August
He has not charged Floyd in that case. But Floyd faces criminal charges along with Trump and other allies in
Georgia’s separate investigation into election interference
. And Floyd was also arrested that day in Rockville and later charged in federal court with assault on an officer for allegedly attacking one of the FBI agents.

An attorney for Floyd, Chris Kachouroff, said the two men who approached his client never showed their credentials, so Floyd couldn’t be sure who they were or what they were doing. Audio recorded by one of the FBI agents confirms this, the lawyer said.

A spokesman for Smith declined to comment on the episode.

A secret subpoena is revealed

Grand jury subpoenas are usually not public. But in the body camera video, one of the Rockville officers who responded to Floyd’s 911 call can be seen holding the citation and flipping through each page, with the text visible.

The subpoena demanded all records of Floyd’s contacts with Trump, the Trump administration and lawyers working on Trump’s behalf. In particular, he requested all documents “related to any planned or actual contact” with two Georgia election workers who became targets of conspiracy theories fostered by Trump and one of his top 2020 lawyers, Rudy Giuliani.

In the video, Smith’s name is clearly visible on the subpoena cover letter, as is a request to Floyd to keep the lawsuit confidential.

The new details underscore that Smith has sought evidence related to the harassment of two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, who were falsely accused by Trump, Giuliani and others of tampering with ballots in 2020. Smith mentioned them in his report of August 1. , 2023, impeachment of Trump, but details of his investigation into the matter remain largely elusive. (In a separate proceeding, Freeman and Moss
He recently won a $148 million defamation verdict.
against Giuliani.)

The subpoena to Floyd also requested any communication between Floyd and two other Trump allies: Stephen Lee and Trevian Kutti. Both Lee and Kutti, like Floyd, are
accused alongside Trump
in the Georgia case, which alleges that the harassment campaign against Freeman and Moss was part of a sprawling conspiracy to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Floyd, Lee, Kutti and Trump pleaded not guilty.

The subpoena from Smith’s team was issued on February 21, 2023, and gave Floyd a deadline of March 9 to provide the documents. He was not required to testify before the grand jury and it is unclear whether he ultimately complied with the demands.

The subpoena and accompanying letter were signed by Deputy Special Counsel Jonathan Haray, a veteran federal prosecutor who once worked closely with Washington, D.C., U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, who is now leading the Department of Justice’s massive investigation. Justice over the January 1 Capitol riots. 6, 2021.

The presence of Haray on the staff of Smith, who once served as deputy chief of the fraud and public corruption section in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, had not previously been reported. Haray joined the DLA Piper law firm in 2014 after working at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He appears to have returned to government service about a year ago, around the time Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith to the special counsel position in November 2022.

A spokesperson for Smith’s office declined to confirm or detail Haray’s role or the role of the FBI personnel who approached Floyd.

Shirtless Trump loyalist and two agents in ‘horrible’ suits

Although he lived in Maryland in 2023, Floyd was previously involved in Georgia Republican politics, including a brief run for Congress there in 2019. Later in the 2020 election cycle, he served as director of the political group Black Voices for Trump.

Last year, Atlanta prosecutors charged him as one of 18 alleged Trump accomplices in the Georgia election interference case. Floyd is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to solicit false statements and improperly influencing witnesses. He has pleaded not guilty in that case. He has not pleaded guilty in the federal assault case, court records show.

In November, Floyd rejected an attempt by Georgia prosecutors to jail him before his trial after he posted
what they alleged were intimidating posts
about Jenna Ellis, a co-defendant who
reached a plea agreement
. And last month, Floyd appeared in federal court in Washington to observe part of the trial in the defamation lawsuit Moss and Freeman brought against Giuliani. When Floyd left the building, he refused to answer questions from a POLITICO reporter.

Floyd’s alleged assault on the two FBI agents seeking to serve the subpoena, and some of his interactions with the Rockville police officers who responded to his 911 call, were
reported by the Washington Post in August
citing records of a charge of assault on an officer filed against Floyd in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, about a week after the incident.

However, the body camera video provides new details about the episode, as well as more of Floyd’s account of what happened.

Floyd told Rockville officers that he initially ran from approaching FBI agents because he didn’t see their credentials and thought they might have been “antifa” reporters or attackers. He said they approached him while he was holding her 2-year-old daughter and had just returned from a swimming lesson across the street.

“They were fucking relentless,” Floyd said.

Floyd, who spent much of his hour-long encounter with police officers shirtless, also complained about the appearance and clothing of the FBI agents who had attempted to serve the subpoena, claiming it was one of the reasons why that I didn’t trust who they said they were. .

“Their suits were horrible,” he said, comparing their disheveled appearance to characters from “Better Call Saul” or “Sanford and Son.”

“I know exactly what you’re talking about,” one of the Rockville officers responded.

A citation becomes an assault charge

Court documents describing the encounter say Floyd had been informed by his mother-in-law that FBI agents had stopped by his house looking for him earlier that day. She acknowledged that she sent him photographs of her business cards, but said she was not sure if they were real. When officers first attempted to contact him through an intercom at his apartment building, they were connected to his cell phone. About 30 minutes later, officers saw Floyd return home with his daughter.

Floyd fled from officers while carrying his daughter, Floyd and officers recalled in documents and body camera footage, and slammed the door to his apartment behind him, refusing their pleas to stop and receive the citation. Instead, one of them threw the document, trying to get it inside Floyd’s house, but it got caught in the door. An audio recording taken by one of the agents indicates that they attempted to identify themselves as FBI officials and show their credentials, according to
an affidavit
filed with federal assault charge.

“The audio shows that they said they could show him their badges, but they just left,” Kachouroff, Floyd’s attorney, said in a brief phone interview Thursday. “He says they never showed him who they were. His statements in this regard have been consistent.”

While federal court documents do not name the FBI agents, a
police report
released to POLITICO this week with the video under the Maryland Public Information Act identifies them as Walter Giardina and Christopher Meyer. Meyer’s name is also visible on paperwork accompanying the citation seen in the body camera video.

Giardina, who is assigned to the FBI’s Washington field office and, like Floyd, is a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, has been involved in a number of high-profile, politically charged cases in recent years. years. He worked with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including on aspects of the investigation into
possible foreign influence on Trump’s 2016 campaign advisor Michael Flynn
who briefly served as national security adviser in the early weeks of the Trump administration.

Giardina also participated in
the arrest of another former Trump aide
Peter Navarro, on a runway at Reagan National Airport in 2022 accused of defying subpoenas from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot and Trump’s broader efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The status of the federal assault on an officer charge against Floyd is unclear. The public file on the case remains open, but does not reflect any substantive action or hearings since May.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, which is handling the case, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday but previously said no updates were available on the case.

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