Trump tax re­turn in­ves­ti­ga­tor ar­rested — again

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

BA­TON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor ac­cused of try­ing to il­le­gally ob­tain Don­ald Trump’s tax re­turns be­fore last year’s U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion has been ar­rested again.

At a hear­ing this week, a judge found that Jor­dan Ham­lett vi­o­lated con­di­tions of his pre­trial re­lease that in­volved com­puter mon­i­tor­ing and tracking of his lo­ca­tion. Pros­e­cu­tors say Ham­lett tried un­suc­cess­fully to ob­tain Trump’s tax re­turns us­ing a U.S. De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion fi­nan­cial aid web­site. Fed­eral agents first ar­rested Ham­lett last year on a charge that he mis­used a So­cial Se­cu­rity num­ber in the ef­fort. Ham­lett’s at­tor­ney ac­cused agents of trick­ing his client by lur­ing him to a Ba­ton Rouge ho­tel where they ques­tioned him on Oct. 27, less than two weeks be­fore the elec­tion. At that time, the agents did not know whether Ham­lett had been suc­cess­ful in ob­tain­ing Trump’s tax re­turns, pros­e­cu­tors said in court records. The agents feared a pub­lic re­lease of the doc­u­ments could in­flu­ence the elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of tes­ti­mony ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Ham­lett’s lawyer didn’t im­me­di­ately re­turn phone and email mes­sages Fri­day. On Wed­nes­day, a judge or­dered him held by the U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice but left open the pos­si­bil­ity he could re­turn to home de­ten­tion at some point while await­ing his De­cem­ber trial.

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