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“when it comes to the obstruction of justice charges, there’s a lot that’s not in the indictment that we would need to know”

“when it comes to the obstruction of justice charges, there’s a lot that’s not in the indictment that we would need to know”

“What was his tone of voice when he said it? These are things we don’t know. Did the conversation go any further? And there are a number of statements, snippets really, of statements attributed to Donald Trump that we don’t know the context of them.”

I appeared on Newsmax today, along with Alan Dershowitz, to discuss the indictment of Donald Trump with regard to records he took with him when he left office and then stored mostly at Mar-a-Lago, with some boxes apparently finding their way to Trump’s estate in Bedminster, NY. The result of investigation by Jack Smith, DOJ Special Counsel, was an Indictment of Trump on a variety of charges related to willful and allegely unlawful possession and transmittal of National Defense Information, and obstruction of justice charges.

Prof. Dershowitz and I were in agreement that the indictment was the result of targeting of Trump, and that Trump may have given the feds what they were looking for. That’s a point I made after the indictment was known but not yet unsealed, Trump May Have Handed The Feds What They’ve Spent Seven Years Seeking – A Prosecutable Charge.

Here are my comments during the interview with Tom Basile of Newsmax:

(Transcript auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)

Basile (02:05):

Professor Jacobson, looking at this indictment, there was one particular account that stood out to me and it describes conversation, I believe Professor Dershowitz just mentioned one of them, between Trump and his legal team, in which Trump said the following, in reference to a member of Hillary Clinton’s staff. He said he was great. He did a great job. He was the one who deleted all of her emails, the 30,000 emails, because they basically dealt with scheduling and going to the gym and beauty appointments. So he didn’t get in any trouble because he said that he was the one who deleted them. Now, if you’re Jack Smith, I assume that this is one of those ways that you suggest to a jury that the former president was directing his attorneys or his personal aid to destroy evidence. Do you think that this case should have been brought to begin with? And why haven’t we seen similar action to, to Professor Dershowitz’s point against President Biden?

WAJ (03:01):

I think a couple of things can be true. As Professor Dershowitz pointed out that he, Donald Trump, has been targeted for several years by multiple levels of prosecutors for political reasons, and that’s really damaging to our society. On the other hand, there may be enough here to justify an indictment, particularly based on the possession and transmission, arguably, of national defense information.

But when it comes to the obstruction of justice charges, there’s a lot that’s not in the indictment that we would need to know. So for example, what was the response of the lawyers to that comment by Donald Trump? What was his tone of voice when he said it? These are things we don’t know. Did the conversation go any further? And there are a number of statements, snippets really, of statements attributed to Donald Trump that we don’t know the context of them. Do they rise to the level of an instruction to the attorneys to obstruct the invest investigation? There’s really not enough in the indictment to prove that, that’s something that would have to be proven at trial. But this comes across as a very political, argumentative sort of document.

* * *

Basile (06:25):

So this goes to your point that there are things that are taken out of, professor Jacobson’s point that this, there were things that were taken out of context. 15 seconds. Professor Jacobson, on the [Biden] bribery case. Where do you think this goes next?

WAJ (06:39):

Well, I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere because I don’t think there’s any political interest on the part of the Department of Justice to prosecute the Biden family.

One thing about the Trump indictment, the one thing that’s missing that jumped out at me, is there’s no claim that this information which was stored in a very sloppy manner actually fell into enemy hands, actually caused damage to our national security. And what it is, that there was the possibility of that. And when you’re going to prosecute a major political candidate in campaign season. I think prosecutorial discretion, there has to be, that requires more….


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Trump should have wiped those documents “like with a cloth”. If you do that, there’s historical precedent for no charges

    Danny in reply to walls. | June 10, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Did you agree with that historical precedent at the time or did you find it outrageous that naval reservists who did a lot less than Hillary got to go to prison while Hillary got to skate on the charges?

    Did Trump agree with it or did he pledge to appoint a special prosecutor?

    While it is outrageous that Hillary got to avoid charges these laws about classified documents are actually prosecuted routinely when the FBI demands them back and they are not provided immediately.

    When you are told to return them if you are anyone not named Hillary Clinton that is your last chance not to be prosecuted.

      henrybowman in reply to Danny. | June 11, 2023 at 2:15 am

      “Did you agree with that historical precedent at the time”
      At the time, I still believed Rule of Law was a thing in the United States.
      Now I know better: the new game is banana republic tit for tat.
      Now I’m a tat man.

      Stuytown in reply to Danny. | June 11, 2023 at 10:02 am

      Agree. The problem is not that Trump was indicted. The problem is that the others were not. I don’t want to burn it all down. But I am sympathetic to those who do.

        Concise in reply to Stuytown. | June 11, 2023 at 5:37 pm

        Uh No. The problem of weaponizing the justice system to target political opponents is not solved by expanding the list of victims. Your comment accords some legitimacy to this Lavrentiy Beria inspired distortion of law and fact.

          Stuytown in reply to Concise. | June 12, 2023 at 4:19 am

          Your comment implies that Hillary Clinton was one of the victims, as was Joe Biden. They are not. Clinton, Biden and Trump mishandled classified documents. (BIden likely did even more by providing classified information to Hunter.) Please give my best to Lavrentiy Beria.

          Concise in reply to Concise. | June 12, 2023 at 5:09 am

          Yeah. That was my point. If Hillary Clinton or any democrat were subject to the same abusive weaponization and targeting that Donald Trump is facing, it would be no make us no less a banana republic. If a democrat or anyone faced a fair application of the law and facts is a different matter. What this police state hack is doing is not that thing.

          Azathoth in reply to Concise. | June 12, 2023 at 3:51 pm

          “Clinton, Biden and Trump mishandled classified documents.”

          How, exactly, did Trump mishandle classified documents?

          There seems to be no evidence whatsoever that any of this is true.

          UNLESS one accepts the left’s ideas about the handling whole hog.

          Concise in reply to Concise. | June 12, 2023 at 5:40 pm

          Good point and why among other reasons this indictment is legally and factually garbage. The disposition of presidential records is clearly within the Presidential Records Act, whether documents are classified or not (and it may very well be the case that the President declassifies any documents simply by taking them with him). But whatever the case, it’s a records dispute with the national archives, not a criminal matter. Not so with Biden’s apparent appropriation of documents.

    Concise in reply to walls. | June 11, 2023 at 10:44 am

    To all banana republic despots looking to add some legitimacy to your political prosecutions. Just charge obstruction, then you’re good. You might even be able to get some subsidies from the US.

    Witch hunts did not end in Salem. 🧙

Context gets complicated when it’s dictated by lust for power and control. One need only look at the Jan 6 hearings to see their idea of context. These are dirty cops and prosecutors, some of the worst abusers of power. That’s the point of departure.

As pointed out, even so it’s harmless error, not something to indict a former president, let alone anyone. Where’s the victim? On the other hand, Clinton’s private server was apparently compromised. To use a quote, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” It makes all the difference. Not to mention, it’s election interference once more. They know that Trump has leaned his lesson about DC, and whther it puts America first.

The judiciary should put a stop to the charade. It’s not the road to go down and will come back to haunt the persecutors, and the nation. Then again, the latter almost seems the point.

    The judiciary is a fundamental and necessary part of the Deep State problem; for years it has looked away, averted its eyes, and directly or indirectly provided justification for the continuing exploits of the investigators and their ‘investigations’ of any of us, not just Donald Trump. Expectations that the judiciary might “put a stop to the charade” are misplaced. The judiciary is a full fledged participant in the weaponization of the United States Government against its citizens. How and where it stops remains to be seen, but presently there’s little reason for optimism.

    The private unsecured sever is orders of magnitudes worse than boxes in a secure location that you, me or Joe blogs has no access to.

    What makes the unsecured sever worse is that there is no telling what foreign governments took from that unsecured server. Which foreign Governments had access to information stored on that server. Which enemies of America benefitted from information on that unsecured server: What the damage to national security was OR whether information was put deliberately on the server in order for foreign governments to access.

    But yes, let’s focus on boxes in a secure location that President Trump had and had the sole discretion to decide was not confidential.

    All of this could have been resolved by NARA asking for the boxes back and Trump saying go get fucked. But no, the intellectual Pigmies on the left need their pound of flesh because Trump denied their queen her inheritance.

PuttingOnItsShoes | June 10, 2023 at 11:22 pm

Come on people, all this handwringing, parsing and nitpicking about this technicality or that technicality is nothing but playing their demented game.

The so-called justice department along with the FBI has been persecuting this guy since 2016, coming on 7 years. They spent years spying on him illegally, investigating him without remote probable cause and on and on and on. People in New York like Leticia James and Bragg who ran on a platform of investigating him and then did so without probable cause and came up with nothing but “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime Pursuits.” It’s all nothing but a big case of deprivation of rights under color of law.

The so-called justice department and FBI have an immense conflict of interest because they know that he has them dead to rights to tear that whole department limb from limb if he ever gets back in power for what they did to him for how they ruined his presidency..

You don’t think Andrew Weissman who failed to get him during the Russia hoax, is writing these indictments? You don’t think that even if he committed some technical violation it’s a preposterously monumental selective prosecution for a nothing?

If anybody gives that gross propaganda document (the so-called indictment) the dignity of even reading it or turning the pages, you’re already playing their game and you’ve lost.

All this crap about he played into their hands or he’s His Own Worst Enemy and such is just a failure to recognize Where We Are in the scheme of things.

Our constitutional republic is over, our elections are over, none of them matter anymore, we’re done and you’re playing their stupid little word games.

Wake up and get with it, can you not see how horrible it is and has been and will continue to be if you give these creeps any credence whatsoever?

I don’t really care if he had some BS technical violation or not. And I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of selective quotes and parsing this and parsing that. Just like people said and still believe that Trump said neo-nazis were fine people and that he suggested people should inject bleach, I’m not believing anything they say it’s over. And like I said even if they did get them on some technicality they have the worst conflict of interest and they cannot possibly fairly treat him. And if we’re not behind him for this then we’re just throwing bodies hoping the alligator eats us last. Well if we’re going to throw bodies then I might as well start throwing the mamby pambies who are caught up in playing their little word and semantic games first to the alligators and see how they like it.

The handwringers and parsers deserve nothing but scorn and alienation. I don’t want it to be this way but that’s the way it is.

None of you people here would come out clean if you were subjected to what he’s been subjected to. And they’re not subjecting him to it they’re subjecting people who believe that there should be law and order, people who believe that there should be a border, people who believe that XX chromosomes or XY chromosomes make a difference in Who You Are, people who believe the government should be fiscally responsible, people who believe that Liberty was and in the future should be the organizing principle of our Constitution and our legal order, people who understand that loving nuclear families and traditional morality are essential to a non-violent Society, and so forth.

Quit playing their silly games and get serious. Because this IS serious

    Mauiobserver in reply to PuttingOnItsShoes. | June 11, 2023 at 1:17 am

    10 million upvotes for your post

    henrybowman in reply to PuttingOnItsShoes. | June 11, 2023 at 2:18 am

    “None of you people here would come out clean if you were subjected to what he’s been subjected to.”
    Well, nobody over seven would, at any rate.
    Beria, like “the house” (casino) always wins in the end, because infinite time is on their side.
    I gotta admit, fending off the bastards for seven whole years may actually be some kind of record.

    HEAR!!! HEAR!!!!

    scooterjay in reply to PuttingOnItsShoes. | June 11, 2023 at 5:32 am

    Wow! You are surrounded with like-minded folks.
    People are buzzingly mad and this tension is far greater than yyour typical mamby-pamby quislings wringing hands and getting the vapors over mean tweets.

    As I keep saying, these never ending witch hunts have shown, inadvertently, that Trumps probably the cleanest fucker to have ever been in the White House.

    Remember the never-ending media hysterics and even an impeachment when President Trump started looking at real crimes in Ukraine? The same crimes the FBI knew of and attempted to hide for years (any collusion their I wonder?). Those days of gross corruption are starting to look good.

      CommoChief in reply to Concise. | June 11, 2023 at 12:41 pm

      I don’t understand how so many people who clearly see other elements and acts of the IC/Security State aka deep state but refuse to see it in Ukraine.

If only Trump had stored them in the glove box of Joe’s corvette.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | June 11, 2023 at 2:41 am

It is absolutely appalling that the public discussion of the insane military raid on Mar-A-Lago for these alleged papers has disappeared and people are even treating this mockery of law as having any credibility, at all.

What happened at Mar-A-Lago that day should have gotten everyone involved carted off to prison immediately and people should have made it clear that such a blatant dictatorial attack on America (which is exactly what it was) will not be tolerated and those who carried it out will pay the highest price for their crimes.

But noooooo … Instead, we get this absolute joke of an indictment about nothing that people are actually entertaining as some sort of reasonable application of law. IT IS INSANE. And it is a marker of the approaching end of this society. And it is going to be a very, very ugly end, at that.

Seeing how brazenly the lawfare is I have to think “The Fix Is In”

There will be blood.

I’m disliking that thought greatly as I have been nonviolent for 58 years and would have thought this all crazy in 1976 during the revival of patriotism.

I aim to avenge Col Abel Kolb.

Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite | June 11, 2023 at 6:37 am

But, but, but …. if they hadn’t indicted Trump – for the 87th time – how would Ron DeSantis raise money by campaigning off of Trump’s back?

“Obstruction of justice” is a catch all charge that is basically if you don’t provide incriminating evidence against yourself you are obstructing justice,

I do believe that AG Holder charged obstruction of justice because a defendant refused to take a plea deal

Bruce Hayden | June 11, 2023 at 9:18 am

Keep this in mind. The MAL raid was run, and the Indictment was signed, by Jay Bratt, now an Assistant Special Counsel under Jack Smith. Bratt has another job at the DOJ – he is the branch chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Branch, of the National Security Division, of the DOJ. This is the sister organization to the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI, and together we’re behind the four FISA warrants on Carter Page, etc. These are the two organizations that set out almost 7 years ago to destroy Trump, and apparently continue it to this day.

I was speaking with an Australian friend of mine last night and was interested to hear her ask:

“You lot have what, four Grand Juries going on Trump at the moment? Does anyone there seriously not understand what that looks like to we outside observers?

Nobody, not even our leftists, are stupid enough or delusional enough to actually believe this is anything more than an all-out witch hunt.”

Good to hear that no matter how hard the MSM tries, people aren’t buying what the marxists are selling.

retiredcantbefired | June 11, 2023 at 11:15 pm

I’ve read the indictment.

I don’t think my having done so makes me a pawn in our rulers’ game.

I will say that practically every line in the document makes me want to puke.

I never thought I would live to see a regime ruling over us that would issue such an indictment. If the United States still exists a year or more from now, the day it was released should become a national occasion for mourning.

When hit with this instrument of tyranny, this repudiation of the rule of law, there is absolutely no point in parsing it for stuff that Donald Trump could have handled better. When we’re up against this thing, the assumption that our opponents’ arguments are being made in good faith emphatically does not apply.

There was a way Donald Trump could avoid *this* indictment. He might have had no documents put in boxes before he left the White House and no such boxes transported to Mar a Lago, or any other place, when he left the White House.

No other former President has been expected to adhere to such conditions. Not during all the years that Congress has allowed most of Woodrow Wilson’s Espionage Act, an instrument of tyranny in its own right, to remain on the books.

We’re not to ask which documents the DOJ is really after Trump for keeping (I doubt any of them are on the list of 31 referred to in the indictment).

As we’re not to ask how the testimony of/surveillance on “Trump Lawyer 1” was obtained.

As we’re not to ask how Trump’s alleged remarks about a couple of “national defense” documents were obtained.

As we’re not to ask whether the assertions made about Trump’s Secret Service detail are credible. (Didn’t know nothing about no boxes, nobody told us to guard no stinkin’ boxes.) Maybe the Secret Service detail is just there to inform on Trump to the DOJ and the USIC—that’s the foul acronym in the document.

As we’re not to ask why the National Archives heave into view a couple of times, to drop out of our line of sight again.

Anyway, there was always going to be *an* indictment of Donald Trump.

If no boxes had been packed and none had left the White House, agents of Federal “law enforcement” would have eventually searched his residence for something else. Some functionary from DOJ would have obtained an indictment for different Federal crimes.

I remember Watergate. There’s no comparison with Tricky Dicky (on either end, original offense or attempt to cover it up). The “plumbers” reported to President Nixon. They actually did some breaking and entering before Nixon tried to hide his connection with them.

Everyone should support Trump’s defense in this wretched simulacrum of a criminal case.

But no one is obliged, in support of Trump’s defense against a grossly political prosecution, to vote for him in a primary or a caucus. (Those who secured this indictment want him to be the nominee, and it’s not because they want to him to win the general. Who thinks they’re planning on a speedy trial? If they secure a conviction and send him to prison, it will surely be after November 2024, not when they can terminate his campaign for the nomination.)

The mere thought of a Federal prosecutor securing a conviction in this case makes me want to puke again.