Behind the Scenes: Trump's Inner Circle Reveals the Former President's Strife Amid Indictment

Reports circulating Thursday night shed light on former President Donald Trump’s inner circle amid an indictment many thought wouldn’t be coming regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) probe into the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago last August. 


A source close to the situation revealed that Trump is frustrated due to the news of the charges laid out in the summons to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday, but also about the glad-handing of his trusted allies. The source said there was “too much happy talk for way too long” about the potential outcomes of the investigation.

The charges listed include an Espionage Act charge, several Obstruction charges, False Statement charges, and a Conspiracy charge.

What’s Next?

A law enforcement official reported that the U.S. Secret Service will meet Friday with Trump’s staff and security officers, and the Secret Service officers assigned to the former President will develop a plan for his travel and appearance for arraignment.

Another source close to Trump says that his lawyer “[James] Trusty knows the Special Counsel [Jack Smith]” and is expected to work with Trump co-counsel John Rowley and [attorney] Lindsey Halligan on the next legal maneuver, which is anticipated to be a motion to dismiss or a formal attempt to question the Special Counsel with specific regard to Jay Bratt, the DOJ’s Chief of Counterintelligence. Bratt is accused of prosecutorial misconduct by a lawyer representing a witness in the case. 

People who personally know Special Counsel Smith have repeatedly told Trump’s attorneys and allies that he’s somewhat friendly as a person but a killer as a prosecutor. One source said:


He’s known as someone who will push and push and push.

Law enforcement sources are calling the case “grave” and “serious,” with those who know Special Counsel Smith saying he would never bring charges of this nature unless he had “tons of testimony and evidence and is convinced he will win.” Proving obstruction is very difficult, according to a former federal prosecutor, and to bring this charge likely means there is a lot of specific evidence in the hands of the special counsel. Smith was described as someone who would hesitate to bring that charge unless it was “nailed.”

DOJ Monday Meeting

It was also disclosed that the Monday meeting with Trump’s lawyers at DOJ headquarters didn’t go well and was characterized as mostly Trump’s attorneys laying out their concerns while the DOJ officials listened. 

RedState covered Trump’s attorney’s meeting with DOJ, highlighting the “concerns” that were expected to be raised:

According to two sources familiar with the investigation, Trump’s legal team is frustrated over the handling of attorney-client matters by DOJ officials in recent months. These issues are expected to have been addressed in Monday’s meeting, specifically regarding prosecutors discussing the subject matter in the presence of the grand jury.

(Read: Donald Trump’s Attorneys Just Met with DOJ for Just Under 2 Hours; Trump Responds on Social Media)


The meeting is described in the report as “not a negotiation or a friendly ‘let’s see where things stand'” meeting” per multiple people briefed on it. The source said that Trump attorney Todd Blanche, who represents him in the Manhattan jurisdiction case over alleged “hush money” payments, did not attend the DOJ meeting but was later briefed. 

Two factors of concern regarding Trump’s legal position were highlighted. The first was that a Florida jurisdiction threw the Trump inner circle for a loop, which was unexpected. It is believed that the DOJ has been looking into the possibility of jurisdictional challenges and put the case in Florida as a way of thinking ahead. The other factor that has “several longtime Trump people on edge” is Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff.

One Trump ally is reported to have said, “Why the f*** has he been so quiet?” in recent days. There is mounting confusion whether Meadows has cut a plea deal or not, and a lot of speculation surrounding what advice his attorney George Terwilliger is giving him as Meadows faces growing pressure surrounding a January 6 related case and his leaked text messages that included subject matter about overturning the 2020 elections.

Political Implications

Top campaign brass for political rivals are reportedly tracking the story but aren’t using it as an “opening,” thinking that Republican voters are likely to rally to Trump’s side. The rival camps predict that if another indictment drops, this one in Georgia, the Trump candidacy will “bleed out.”


Context: In May 2022, a special purpose grand jury was convened in Georgia to investigate allegations of election interference. After an extensive eight-month investigation, the grand jury prepared a final report for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. This report included undisclosed recommendations regarding individuals they believed should face indictment, though these findings have not yet been released to the public.

Per one veteran GOP strategist close to “one of Trump’s biggest rivals”: 

At the end of the day, this probably plays out like the FBI search but a lot is going to depend on the specifics that come out.

Meaning the indictment may be a net positive for Trump (at least within GOP ranks), and the impact is dependent on what was compromised, if anything, as far as national security information. 

This is a developing story that RedState will continue to monitor.


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