The conservative Republican senator from Texas blasted the revelation that senior Justice Department official Jay Bratt met with White House staffers before and after he joined the staff of Special Counsel Jack Smith in the latest drop of his “Verdict” podcast.
“Apparently, the meetings went well because contrary to Joe Biden’s lie that he’s never told people what to do,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Right after the meeting, what did they do?” the Texas asked.
“They went and raided Mar-a-Lago,” he said.
“They went and indicted Donald Trump,” the senator said. “They did exactly what the political operatives at the White House wanted to do–and I gotta say the corruption on the face of it would make the Ukrainians blush.”
Trifecta: Fired Ukrainian Prosecutor Says “Joe Biden was BRIBED”, Special Counsel Lawyer Secretly Meets w/ WH & DOJ Gives a Get-Out-of-Jail Free Pass on China Corruption@benfergusonshow and I break it all down in today’s new episode of #Verdict.https://t.co/gBmyGMBvPt
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 28, 2023
When President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. nominated Merrick Garland for attorney general, he promised that he would not give Garland direction.
“I want to be clear to those who lead this department who you will serve: You won’t work for me. You are not the president’s or the vice president’s lawyer. Your loyalty is not to me,” he said.
Then, by extension, when Garland selected Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump, he also pledged that Smith would not be taking direction from political leadership.
“Such an appointment underscores the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” Garland said.
“It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law,” the attorney general said.
Cruz said the news that a special counsel’s staffers met with White House staffers belies the idea that the special counsel’s probe was free of interference.
New York Post reporter Jon Levine reported that Bratt held at least three meetings at the White House.
In September 2021, Bratt met with an aide to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain named Katherine Reilly.
In November 2021, Bratt met with White House counsel’s Deputy Chief of Staff Carolina Saba, and the two met again in March. At the March meeting, Bratt and Saba were joined by FBI agent Danielle Ray.
Bratt joined Smith’s team shortly after the special counsel’s Nov. 18 appointment.
Cruz’s podcast co-host Ben Ferguson asked the senator how easy or casual it is to grab a meeting with White House staff. “You don’t just randomly get to go make a meeting at the White House on your own?”
Cruz, who worked in the Bush Justice Department, said there is no way these were casual meetings.
The case with Bratt is the next level of interference, he said. “He’s a senior lawyer in the special counsel’s office,” he said.
He said there is no point going to the trouble of standing up a special counsel if the White House is involved.
“Why do you appoint a special counsel? You appoint a special counsel because there’s a conflict of interest with the White House because politically, you need some separation from the White House,” he said.
“No one has articulated an innocent explanation, and I don’t think there can be one.”