My takes on the Trump indictment: “They knew there would be fury from Team Trump, from Trump himself, from Trump supporters. So they felt they needed to put more in there, but I’m not sure they’ve put enough in there to actually prove their case as opposed to getting past the hurdle of sustaining an indictment.”
I appeared on two radio shows today to discuss the Florida indictment of Donald Trump. I appeared on Tony Katz live streaming on Rumble (and YouTube). Here’s a 4-minute clip when I discuss the obstruction of justice charge:
WAJ: These are prosecutors. Their goal is to get an indictment. So take everything that’s in there as being subject to actual proof.
So when they say Trump said something or did something, presumably they have a good faith ground for that. But that’s not the whole story. And I think that’s particularly true with regard to the obstruction of justice charges. What you have is a small number of snippets of things that Trump said that really there’s no context to them. And a lot of them are, well, [things like] what if we didn’t comply? What if we didn’t play ball with them? Is that obstruction? Is that a client asking an attorney for an opinion? What was the attorney’s opinion? Did the conversation go any further?
So particularly as to the obstruction, the indictment, while it rings loudly, I’m not sure how much there is to it. You’d have to hear the testimony.
The most troubling part of it is they say they have a recording of Trump acknowledging that a document he was holding had never been declassified, and they allege it was about battle plans to invade another country. People are speculating that’s Iran. and that it was in some manner shown to people who were interviewing Trump. But it doesn’t say in what manner were they able to read it, how close were they? So there’s a lot there. There’s certainly a lot there that’s shock in awe and that takes this likely out of the realm of a hoax, out of the realm of Russia collusion. But how strong a case it is really remains to be seen.
I think the question is what was the actual full conversation? Were they asked to destroy documents? Was it a question that Trump asked? And certainly, you know, you could have a nod and a wink to do that. Did they actually do it? What was the conversation? So we only have little pieces, and again, it’s probably enough to sustain the indictment, but whether it’s enough to sustain a conviction, what did the attorneys think they were being told to do? Did they think they were being told to destroy documents or is this Donald Trump just being Donald Trump again, bragging about how, look, Hillary got away with it. Her people destroyed all 30,000 pages of documents.
So I think that there’s enough there to sustain the indictment, but we really need to know the full context. If Trump was suggesting that documents be destroyed, did the attorneys actually do it? Is this more of an attempted obstruction of justice as opposed to an actual obstruction of justice?
There’s a lot in the indictment about the moving of boxes but there’s no allegation in there that I recall, you know it is 49 pages. I’ve read it multiple times. But there’s none that I recall that he had actual knowledge that there were documents in the boxes that were moved that were the subject of the subpoena. Maybe he did, maybe someone will testify to that. But the mere moving of boxes, while it’s certainly is suggestive of misconduct, doesn’t necessarily prove that it was part of a plan to obstruct justice.
So that’s what I’m saying. This is an indictment that comes across as a very public relations-oriented document. They knew there would be fury from Team Trump, from Trump himself, from Trump supporters. So they felt they needed to put more in there, but I’m not sure they’ve put enough in there to actually prove their case as opposed to getting past the hurdle of sustaining an indictment.
Here’s the full segment
I also appeared on Chicago’s Morning Answer and made many of the same points:
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