Who gets the documents?

This question is timely, with respect to all those Trump investigations going on… but it’s also more general about investigations in general.

There are multiple committees in the House and Senate, and Mueller also, investigating Trump, and they all want documents documents documents. Now Mueller has gone and raided Manafort home to collect docs.

The question: When any one committee (or Mueller’s investigation) gets some documents, does that mean that all the OTHER investigating parties DON’T get those particular documents? Or do docs obtained by any investigating party get shared with all the other investigating parties?

Do photocopies of documents get shared around? (That sounds unlikely.)

If all these committees and Mueller are competing with each other for all the documents they can scarf up, then none of them are able to get the full picture? Or are they all sharing with each other the pieces of the picture they can collect so that all together they can assemble the whole jigsaw puzzle?

How does this all work, when multiple investigators are all investigating the same questions and trying to obtain the same documents (or any other physical evidence for that matter)?

I don’t understand why you think multiple photocopies are unlikely. The committees are only getting photocopies to begin with, not the originals. They have to make as many copies as they have members on the committee in any case.

Each committee will get all the documents they request. Requests are normally targeted, so it’s possible that each committee’s request may be slightly different - different time periods, different contacts, different subject matter. The same people on the other side probably will have to make separate photocopy bundles for each request. That’s why investigations are such enormous tie-ups of time and staff.

If there’s one thing government offices are really good at, it’s running the Xerox machine.

So are they making tons of photocopies or are they scanning the documents and sending out .pdfs?

Okay, I had the notion that legal-ish proceeding have this obsession with originals of documents. If a court subpoenas documents from any Joe Q. Citizen about, say, your recent auto insurance claim, will photocopies be accepted?

A lot of Social Security proceedings seem to require original documents only.

What about that raid that the FBI did on Manafort’s home recently, in which they seized stacks of documents? They certainly didn’t hang around his home with portable photocopy machines. And I can’t imagine them photocopying every document back at Mueller’s office. What happens when various Congressional committees start wanting to see some of those same documents?

The big question is whose budget all the photocopying costs come out of. That sounds snarky or cynical, but it’s actually a big issue.

The reason they seized the documents from Manafort is because they didn’t trust him to faithfully copy each and every document, including a document in the stack that might potentially be incriminating. After all, the FBI is investigating a serious crime by people who have serious resources. Photocopies are usually accepted for lower stake civil matters, like auto insurance claims.

And that’s the crux of it. That “original” birth certificate you present to the Social Security office is really just a copy. The real record is stored in some local government office, or they might have shredded it long ago and just made a microfiche or computer file. But it’s a copy made by a trusted third party (the county clerk).

Similarly, if the committee wants to see document #3471, transcript of Manafort’s conversation with the babysitter on 8/11/2016, the FBI would make a copy of that document and give it to the committee. Probably staffers in Congress would then make copies from there, as many as needed to hand out to the different Congresscritters. So there’s a chain of trust. From FBI->FBI staff->Congressional Staff. Unlikely that any of them are in on it (though this sort of thing has happened before)

And I can almost guarantee nobody uses a computer. Piles of paper, copied on the taxpayer’s dime.

Your social security and similar government offices that deal with the public will be after originals, as there is the scam of obtaining copies of documents (either with permission, or tricking the real person to give over a copy, or stealing them from some place, eg hacking computers, or stealing them, or dumster diving, from an office ??? )

That is, its an ID theft preventative measure.

But the ID of the possessor isn’t the issue in the gov committees is it ?

Its all about whether the committee/offical/department has access to the documents.
If they have access, they get a copy.

In gov they talk about “getting the document” but they mean a copy.