When a government document mysteriously surfaced earlier this week in the federal court system’s most important case, it bore the hallmarks of another explosive story in the Justice Department’s investigation into classified trademarked records stored on former President Donald Trump’s Florida property. .
The document, allegedly from the U.S. Treasury Department, alleged that the agency had seized confidential documents relating to the past month.and included a warrant ordering CNN to preserve “leaked tax records.”
The document remained on the court’s agenda on Thursday, but it is a clear fabrication. A review of dozens of court records and interviews by the Associated Press suggest the document originated with a serial forger behind bars at a federal prison complex in North Carolina.
The incident also suggests that the court clerk was easily tricked into believing it was real, leading the document to the public list in the. It also highlights the vulnerability of the US court system and raises questions about court verification of documents purporting to be official records.
The document first appeared on the court’s agenda late Monday afternoon and was marked as a “MOTION to Intervene by the US Treasury Department”.
The document, sprinkled with spelling and syntax errors, read: “The U.S. Department of the Treasury, through the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals Service, has seized Seized Federal Securities containing confidential documents that are subject to a search warrant sealed by the defendant by the FBI.”
It cited a federal statute to collect financial records in federal investigations. The document also included the two alleged warrants, one that said it had been sent to CNN in Atlanta and the other to a towing company in Michigan.
These alleged warrants, however, are identical to documents filed in another case in federal court in Georgia brought by an inmate at the prison’s medical center in Butner, North Carolina. The case was dropped, as were the series of other frivolous cases the man opened from his prison cell.
The man has been in custody for several years since he was ruled incompetent to stand trial after being arrested for planting a fake explosive outside the Guardian Building, a skyscraper in Detroit. Since his arrest, he has filed a series of lawsuits and posed as the Treasury Department, claimed to be a federal administrator and claimed to be an attorney for the Department of Justice, a review of court records shows.
In the Georgia case, the man alleged that Trump and others had “acquired ‘millions of unredacted confidential tax returns and other confidential financial data, bank records, and banking and tax transaction accounts of several million’ from Americans and federal government agencies.” . say the court documents.
The judge in that case called his case “fanatical” and “delusional”, saying there was no way to “discern any recognizable claim” from the incoherent documents.
The man repeatedly posed as federal officials in court records and placed tax burdens on judges using his fake paperwork, two people familiar with the matter told the AP. Because of his history as a forger, his correspondence must undergo further scrutiny by the Bureau of Prisons.
It’s unclear how the documents — the false motion and the false warrants — ended up in the court clerk’s office in West Palm Beach, Florida.
A photocopy of an envelope, included with the file, shows it was sent to court with a printed return address from the Treasury Department’s Washington headquarters. But a postmark shows a Michigan zip code, and a tracking number on the envelope shows it was mailed Sept. 9 from Clinton Township, Michigan, the inmate’s hometown.
The AP is not identifying the inmate by name because he has a documented history of mental illness and has not been charged with a case-related crime.
“There is simply nothing to indicate that he has any authorization to act on behalf of the United States,” wrote the judge in the Georgia case.
But despite clear warning signs — including a stamp with the Georgia case number on the false warrants — the filing still made it to the docket.
Spokespeople for the Justice Department and the Treasury Department declined to comment. They refused to respond on the record when asked if the document was fake and why the government had not dealt with it.
Representatives from the bailiff’s office and the magistrate judge overseeing the search warrant case did not respond to requests for comment.
Source : www.cbsnews.com