The Justice Department is investigating claims that money may have been funneled to the White House in return for a presidential pardon, according to newly unsealed court documents cited by CNN.
The investigation was revealed in a partially redacted court filing from the Washington DC district court made public on Tuesday, where it was revealed Chief Judge Beryl Howell reviewed an August request from prosecutors to review documents obtained in a search connected to the bribery investigation.
The documents don’t reveal a timeline or the names of anyone involved in any alleged plot, and no one appears to have been publicly accused of a crime in connection with the investigation so far.
What they do show, however, is that an office raid seized communications between at least two people, one of whom is a lawyer, before the end of this summer, according to CNN. The evidence seized includes more than 50 digital devices including iPhones, tablets, laptops, and computer drives.
Prosecutors were asking for access to the attorney’s communications, which are often legally protected, because they believed it contained evidence, in the form of emails, showing a "secret lobbying scheme" and plot to swap "a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence" for a convicted defendant, whose name is also redacted.