Newly unsealed documents in FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago put Trump in more serious legal jeopardy, expert says

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Trump supporters wave flags outside a public hearing in West Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 18, 2022. The hearing considered the FBI’s opening of the Mar-a-Alago search documents.Chandan Khana/AFP via Getty Images

  • New legal documents were opened Thursday by a federal judge following the Mar-a-Lago attacks.

  • They point to new details about crimes the FBI may have been investigating in its searches.

  • They hinted at a way to prosecute Trump that doesn’t depend on whether the documents he holds are classified.

Former President Donald Trump has laid out a series of defenses in response to the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid of Florida’s Mar-a-Lago resort and uncovering piles of classified documents.

Among them are the following claims: they were all declassified by him Serving under the President’s broad authority over state secrets.

However, the procedural documents The seal was broken Thursday by federal judge Bruce ReinhartThis defense may not be as effective as Trump had hoped, according to legal experts, including the warrant cover used in the investigation.

One thing the new information suggests is that even if Trump was right about declassifying the documents, he may have broken the law.

That observation was made by Harvard constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe.

Previously, the only information about the law that agents believed Trump may have broken came from the warrant itself, which was unsealed last Friday.

It listed a wide range of federal laws Trump may have violated, including the Espionage Act. More specific information was found in Thursday’s document.

they showed The FBI believes Trump may be guilty of willful retention of national defense information, concealment or deletion of government records, and obstruction of federal investigations.

Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney, told Insider that the new documents “clarify what was previously known, but ultimately don’t change much.”

The startling detail, he said, is that the FBI believes Trump thwarted the investigation.

“Apparently, the FBI now claims that Trump not only brought classified documents to Mar-a-Lago that were properly marked, but held them in custody and resisted turning them over when confronted with the government. I believe.

He said that even if the information turns out to be declassified, in theory the FBI could use obstruction charges to track down Trump.

But Moss suggested it was unlikely prosecutors would choose to make that claim, even if it were technically possible.

“If the government concludes that there is sufficient evidence that the records were in fact declassified, as Trump continues to argue, there is no reason to suspect that the government will pursue prosecution,” he said. said.

“Even if the espionage law indictment fails, the government can I will be prosecuted for obstruction,” he said.

“It is unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility. full of people arrested in

The basis for believing Trump may have committed these crimes is unclear, and is likely detailed in the affidavit supporting the warrant.

Reinhart said Thursday that he is leaning toward publishing in redacted form because it contains sensitive information related to ongoing investigations. This could be his August 25th, the date of the next hearing.

The insider reached out to Trump’s office for comment.

His lawyer, Alina Habba, said, In an interview with Newsmaxrefuting the charges listed on the sheet, said Trump cooperated with investigators, again claiming he declassified the information.

Many figures in the Trump administration said the claim was implausibleor “lie.”

Read the original article at business insider