A new judge is set to assume oversight of former President Donald Trump’s grand jury investigations
A new judge is set to take over the grand jury investigations into former President Donald Trump, including the ongoing probe into classified documents found at his Florida property.
US District Judge James “Jeb” Boasberg will be sworn in Friday as chief judge of US District Court in Washington, DC. That role will give Boasberg, a appointee of former President Barack Obama, oversight of grand jury matters as well as sealed disputes that have arisen in investigations involving Trump.
Boasberg replaces the current chief justice, Beryl Howell, who was also an Obama appointee. Howell has held the top job during many other high-profile investigations, including a previous Justice Department investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The chief judge position rotates every seven years.
The position is important at a time when special counsel Jack Smith is conducting grand jury investigations into Trump’s withholding of hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida property, as well as Trump’s efforts and their allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election before the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol.
The investigations have involved multiple sealed disputes, including an ongoing fight over whether prosecutors can obtain additional grand jury testimony from Trump attorney M. Evan Corcoran. Last year, Corcoran issued a statement saying a “diligent search” of classified documents had been conducted at Mar-a-Lago, despite the fact that weeks later FBI agents searched the house with a warrant and found approximately 100 additional documents with classified marks.
Corcoran had invoked attorney-client privilege during a grand jury appearance a few weeks ago. But Smith’s team has tried to question him again by invoking an exception to attorney-client privilege. That dispute took place behind closed doors, and it was unclear if it would be resolved before Boasberg took over as chief judge.
Separately, former Vice President Mike Pence has said he will contest a grand jury subpoena seeking to compel him to testify in the special counsel’s January 6 investigation. Pence has argued that because he was serving as president of the Senate on January 6, while presiding over a joint session of Congress to certify the election results, he is protected from being forced to address his actions under the Constitution. speech-or-debate” that protects members of Congress.
It is unclear how that disagreement will end.
Boasberg served as a federal judge in 2012. He also previously served as presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and in that role raised concerns with the FBI after a Justice Department watchdog report identified errors and omissions. serious in surveillance requests filed during the Trump-Russia investigation.
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