Trump legal brief: Giuliani turns himself in, Mar-a-Lago employee changes testimony

“Trump legal brief” provides succinct daily updates on the criminal cases against the 45th president of the United States.

Georgia election interference

Giuliani turns himself in for booking in Georgia

Key players: Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee

  • Former New York Mayor turned Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani turned himself in for arrest and processing at Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Wednesday for his alleged role in the plot to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Giuliani faces 13 criminal counts, including racketeering — the charge he used to imprison organized crime members when he worked as a federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s.

  • "I'm feeling very, very good about it because I feel like I'm defending the rights of all Americans," Giuliani said before flying to Atlanta, Reuters reported. "I'm telling the truth, they're lying."

  • Giuliani’s bond was set by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee at $150,000, a noteworthy amount given reports of Giuliani’s mounting legal defense bills.

  • After surrendering, Giuliani called the case an "attack on the American people."

Why it matters: Hailed as “America’s mayor” for his leadership in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Manhattan in 2001, Giuliani’s involvement in the effort to overturn the 2020 election has resulted in the suspension of his New York law license, and he was later barred from appearing on Fox News. He is said to be facing a seven-figure legal debt even before the Georgia case gets underway.

Documents case

Trump employee flips, reveals attempt to erase security footage, DOJ says

Key players: Trump employee Yuscil Taveras, attorney Stanley Woodward, Judge Aileen Cannon, special counsel Jack Smith, Trump employees Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira

  • A Trump employee who monitored security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago and testified before the Washington, D.C., grand jury that voted to indict the former president in the case involving his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House has changed his testimony, Justice Department prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.

  • Yuscil Taveras, who had been represented by attorney Stanley Woodward, initially told the grand jury he was not aware of any effort that was made to erase security camera footage. After firing Woodward following that testimony, Taveras testified again, Politico reported, retracting those “false” statements.

  • Special counsel Jack Smith’s team made Tuesday’s disclosure in response to a demand by Judge Aileen Cannon, who demanded to know why a grand jury was continuing to investigate Trump and his employees after charges had been filed.

Why it matters: While Trump and his employees Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira have been charged with attempting to obstruct federal investigators in the recovery of classified documents, the flip by Taveras could potentially implicate all three of them and raises the chances that other employees will follow suit.

Christie says he would have charged Trump in both federal cases

Key player: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

  • Former prosecutor and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running against Trump in the Republican presidential primary, said that if he were still a federal prosecutor, he would have pursued criminal charges against Trump in two of the four cases in which he has been indicted.

  • “I would have prosecuted the documents case, absolutely,” Christie said in an interview on Newsmax, The Hill reported. “I would not have prosecuted the [hush money] case in New York, and I said that at the time.” He added: “I would have prosecuted the Jan. 6 matter, but I would not have prosecuted the Atlanta matter against Donald Trump; I think it was unnecessary to do so.”

Why it matters: A former supporter of Trump who has become one of his most outspoken critics, Christie is one of the only Republicans willing to say that the former president deserves to be prosecuted for his actions in the documents and Jan. 6 election interference cases.

Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images, Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Getty Images, Icas94/De Agostini via Getty Images
Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images, Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Getty Images, Icas94/De Agostini via Getty Images

Read more:

WDAF-TV: Who is Scott McAfee, judge overseeing Trump Georgia case?

Salon: ‘Devastating facts’: Experts say Jack Smith filing exposed Judge Cannon’s ‘inexplicable’ ruling

The Hill: Trump infighting risks rise as allies face legal bills, cash crunch