The U.S. Justice Department is examining whether there is a covert plan to lobby White House officials for an apology, as well as relevant plots that could offer massive political support in exchange for the apology, according to an unpublished court document Tuesday.
Much of the information in the 18-page court order has been altered, including the identification of the persons being investigated by the prosecutors and for whom the proposed apology may be intended.
A document from August revealed that people were suspected of secretly lobbying White House officials for a pardon or exchange of sentences, and that in the relevant scheme, substantial political support would be forthcoming instead of an apology.
As part of the investigation, more than 50 laptops, iPods and other digital devices were seized, the document said.
Washington’s federal court has ruled in favor of U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in a court order allowing investigators to exchange certain e – mails linked to schemes alleged to have been unprotected by her attorneys. Client exclusive right.
Lawyers can use that material to counter any subject or objective of the investigation, the judge wrote.
Apologies are occasionally filled with politics
The order is dated Aug. 28, and prosecutors have tried to keep it private because they say it identifies people who have not been charged by a great jury. But on Tuesday, Howell removed the document without viewing the personally identifiable information.
On Tuesday evening, a Justice Department official said no U.S. government official was the “subject or object” of the investigation.
Apologies at the end of the president’s term are common and occasionally politically charged, as some convicted felons seek permission for affiliation within the White House.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced last week that he had apologized to his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, despite the Department of Justice weighing in on a request for a federal judge to dismiss the case.
Justice Department representatives did not send an email Tuesday evening seeking comment.
CNN first reported the existence of the investigation.