It’s Over: Trump Will Be Indicted

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

I’ve finally seen enough. donald trump Indicted by a federal grand jury.

You’re right. I think Trump will actually be indicted for a crime.even with all that edit, Affidavit of Presumed Cause This document, released today by a Florida magistrate, makes three key points clear to me.

(1) Trump was in unauthorized possession of national defense intelligence, i.e. properly marked classified documents.

(2) He has been notified by the U.S. government that he is not authorized to store those documents at Mar-a-Lago.

(3) He remained in possession of the documents until the FBI finally executed the search warrant earlier this month (and allegedly made efforts to conceal them in various locations throughout the property). are available).

Read the redacted Mar-a-Lago affidavit released by the Federal Reserve

That’s the ball game, folks. Barring an unexpected change in the factual or legal situation, I don’t think the Justice Department has much to do, but it will decide whether to wait until after the midterm elections to seek formal indictments from a grand jury. increase.

The cruelest irony for Trump is that it didn’t have to be this way.

Amid the turmoil following the election loss, Trump’s team, working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), has taken normal steps to properly classify and archive the president’s records. There is none. Aside from the appropriately marked classified records being shipped to his Mar-a-Lago and sitting there for months until he began handing them over to his NARA in late 2021.

If I had fully cooperated back then, all Of all records to NARA last year, this would not have resulted in a criminal case. The DOJ refused to take any action despite the existence of classified records, and it would have been a “no harm, no foul” situation. Just a small tale of incompetence Trump.

But Trump didn’t follow the rules. He turned in his 15 boxes in his January of last year, but he didn’t turn in all the records. Political operatives from conservative organizations began whispering in his ear that he had a precedent on his side (which he did not) refusing to hand over classified records to the NARA. His lawyers surprisingly said in May 2022 that he wrote a rather condescending letter to the DOJ and even though Mar-a-Lago still had classified records, the FBI had no idea, given Trump’s previous status. In effect, he argued that he did not have the authority to bring criminal charges against Trump. Then, in June 2022, after the FBI executed a subpoena to recover more records in Mar-a-Lago, two Trump attorneys wrote an affidavit (and one signed it). ), wrote (and one signed) an affidavit insuring the government.

We now know that statement is not true. The FBI uncovered several classified records containing Top Secret/Classified Information (TS/SCI) markings during a search earlier this month. This isn’t just in the vault along with other boxes of records. They found records in various locations on Mar-a-Lago.

Of course, there are various arguments as to why the prosecution will not succeed in this situation.

Trump and his allies claim to have declassified the documents through “standing orders” or more specific verbal actions. No evidence has been produced to support that claim, and there is certainly no indication that the classification markings themselves have been revised to reflect the declassification. did not provide

And that’s before considering whether classification status matters to prosecutions of the Espionage Act, which requires information only to be relevant to national defense.

Trump’s failed coup would be a much worse crime than stealing documents

There is also the issue of selective political prosecution and the perceived ill will of the government in its decision to pursue the case.this is what is mentioned nausea It was mentioned briefly by Trump’s allies on cable news and in a “motion” filed in court earlier this week. What these arguments lack is more than rank speculation. It never flies in court. Ask Sidney Powell how it would work to sue in court as you claim on cable news.

Overall, this case should do it and in my opinion intention resulting in prosecution. Certainly, an indictment does not result in a conviction. Trump is still assumed innocent until proven guilty. There are unknown variables such as whether the prosecution will take place in Florida or Washington, D.C. We don’t know what evidence Trump has to substantiate his declassification claims. I don’t know what the court will say about these allegations.

Prepare popcorn by any method.

Bradley P. Moss is a partner and national security attorney at the Washington, DC law firm Mark S. Zaid, PC. You can find me at @BradMossEsq on Twitter.

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