WASHINGTON: Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has turned over thousands of pages of records to special counsel Jack Smith as part of the federal investigation into efforts to stop the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News.
The documents were submitted to Smith on Sunday. A source close to Kerik’s legal team said they believe the records, which include sworn affidavits from people raising concerns about the integrity of the 2020 presidential contest, show there was a genuine effort to investigate claims of voter fraud in the last election.
CNN was first to report that Kerik had given Smith’s team the materials.
Despite the allegations about election irregularities, dozens of court challenges seeking to invalidate the results from key battleground states were tossed out, and all 50 states certified their election results.
Kerik served as police commissioner under then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani from 2000 to 2001 and is an ally of former President Donald Trump’s. He and Giuliani worked together on an effort to identify widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Kerik was sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to eight felonies involving tax fraud and obstruction, and Trump pardoned him a decade later.
Kerik is set to speak with investigators from Smith’s team, and his lawyer, Tim Parlatore, told CBS News last week he expected the interview to happen “soon.” Parlatore was among the key lawyers working for Trump in the Justice Department’s investigations into the former president, but left the legal team in May.
The tranche of documents provided to Smith include emails between Kerik and a range of Trump lawyers, consultants and allies. Among those who received the messages were Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, conservative lawyers who pushed the unverified claims of fraud, as well as members of Trump’s campaign, including advisers Jason Miller and Boris Epshteyn.
The batch includes communications with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Bannon was indicted in 2020 for allegedly defrauding donors to an online fundraiser before being pardoned by Trump in the final hours of his presidency. Bannon has since been convicted on contempt of Congress charges. In November 2020, Trump pardoned Flynn, who twice had pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI. Bannon was recently subpoenaed by the special counsel, according to two sources familiar with the communication, but it is unclear if he has met with investigators.
The records include an email sent from Georgia Republican Party chair David Shafer to Kerik, an aide to Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s eldest son, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, an adviser to Trump’s campaign.
The material also includes business information related to Dominion Voting Systems, an electronic voting company that was at the center of baseless claims the election was rigged against Trump. Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its top on-air personalities, arguing the network knowingly spread false information about its role in the 2020 election. The two parties reached a settlement agreement in April ending the dispute, and Fox agreed to pay Dominion $787.5 million.
Smith was appointed in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the efforts to stop the transfer of power after Trump lost the election and the certification of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021. The counting of state electoral votes by Congress was interrupted when a mob of Trump’s supporters breached the U.S. Capitol building, leading law enforcement to evacuate lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the proceeding.
Trump revealed earlier this month that he received a letter from Smith’s office informing him that he is a target of the investigation, an indication that a decision on whether to pursue charges against Trump is near.
A senior Trump source said the target letter highlights three federal statutes. Two of the laws include potential charges of conspiracy to commit an offense or to defraud the U.S., and deprivation of rights under color of law. The third indicates potential charges ranging from obstruction of an official proceeding to tampering with a witness, victim or an informant. Hundreds of defendants in the Justice Department’s probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack have faced the obstruction-related charge.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing related to events after the November 2020 election and leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. He has claimed the investigation is a “witch hunt” pursued by the Justice Department.