Karen Gilbert, a Justice Department prosecutor who is leading the government’s case against former President Donald Trump related to his handling of allegedly classified documents, has a history of corruption and was once reprimanded by a federal judge for secretly recording a defense lawyer and his investigator.
Gilbert, who is Special Counsel Jack Smith’s deputy and a federal prosecutor, is “one of the most corrupt prosecutors to ever come out of the Southern District of Miami,” according to Kash Patel, a former top Trump administration official and also a former prosecutor.
“The lead prosecutor Karen Gilbert, who is likely to be the trial attorney in the Southern District of Florida, in 2009 was so reprimanded in a narcotics trafficking case that she had to retire from her position,” Patel said in a Fox News interview on Friday.
“Years later, she was promoted upwards at the DOJ,” he said. “She is the Weissman to Jack Smith and she has been pulling the reins on this investigation,” he said, in reference to Andrew Weissman, who was the aggressive deputy to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to a March 27, 2009, Associated Press report, Gilbert resigned as chief of the narcotics section of the Miami U.S. attorney’s office after she and another prosecutor were involved in the secret tape recording of a defense lawyer and his investigator.
The Justice Department later said in a filing that it “deeply regrets” the incident and that internal safeguards were not followed, according to the report. “The government acknowledges and deeply regrets that it made serious mistakes,” Robert Senior, then-chief of the Miami U.S. attorney’s criminal division, wrote, according to the report.
In that case, the defendant, Dr. Ali Shaygan, was acquitted of all 141 counts claiming he illegally prescribed pain medications. Two witnesses in the case were asked to record conversations with the defense lawyer and his investigator, but Gilbert did not seek permission from then-U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta or from other senior officials, nor did she “disclose to the defense that the witnesses were cooperating with the government.”
According to another report by the Miami Herald, Gilbert and the other prosecutor began “a secret, undisclosed side investigation of Shaygan’s legal team, citing a suspicion of witness tampering on the part of the defense.”
“No evidence surfaced that the defense team was manipulating witnesses. On the contrary, defense attorneys rejected bribery invitations floated on tape from government informants,” the report said.
U.S. District Judge Alan Gold wrote a harshly critical 50-page order that said Gilbert and the other prosecutor had knowingly and repeatedly violated ethical guidelines and acted deceptively and “in bad faith,” and ordered the government to pay Shaygan $601,795. He also referred the incident to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility for disciplinary action and the Florida Bar for review.
“Before she got slapped by the courts, she resigned from her position. This person is leading this prosecution,” Patel said.
Kash Patel exposes the unethical prosecutors targeting President Trump: "She was called one of the most corrupt people." pic.twitter.com/Ak8L2WtO58
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) June 9, 2023
Breitbart News asked the Justice Department why Gilbert should be trusted by the American public to work on the case given her history of reprimands for unethical behavior, but did not receive a response by publication.
On Friday morning, CNN reported that prosecutors had obtained a transcript of a 2021 recording of Trump where he allegedly discussed possessing a classified document.
According to CNN, Trump had said about the document, “As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”
The audio was reportedly obtained in 2021 at a meeting in Trump’s home in Bedminster, New Jersey, with former aides, including a communications specialist named Margo Martin, and two people who were working on a book about former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
According to the report, Trump in the recording was complaining about Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
“He said that I wanted to attack Iran. Isn’t that amazing? I have a big pile of papers, this thing just came up. Look. This was him,” Trump allegedly said, indicating it was Milley who wanted to attack Iran, not him.
“They presented me this – this is off the record, but – they presented me this. This was him. This was the Defense Department and him. We looked at some. This was him. This wasn’t done by me, this was him,” Trump allegedly said.
“All sorts of stuff – pages long, look. Wait a minute, let’s see here. I just found, isn’t that amazing? This totally wins my case, you know. Except it is like, highly confidential. Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this.”
Trump has maintained that as president, he declassified all documents he had in his possession after leaving office.
Harvard University Emeritus Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz in a Newsweek op-ed downplayed the recording as a smoking gun.
“It is unlikely that the recording of Trump showing classified material to a writer will suffice, unless prosecutors can establish the contents of these documents and that they were actually read by an unauthorized person,” he wrote. “There must be evidence of willful conduct that violates clear and unambiguous laws and that gives honest prosecutors no choice but to indict.”