Trump continued to acknowledge | Faith

The prosecution of the former president was a historic and controversial move. As a lawyer, you should not take any chances. But it gets a little easier when that former president is Donald Trump. Because he keeps confessing while chatting with friends and guests and even on TV talk shows.

The American media has recently been coming up with new revelations almost daily about two prosecutors gathering evidence that could incriminate them for a variety of crimes.

False documents and confidential statements

It’s about Fannie Willis, the District Attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, where the capital Atlanta is mostly located. He investigates efforts by Trump and his supporters to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

This happened in several ways. In Georgia and other states where Trump lost, groups of Republicans gathered and announced in official-looking documents that they would be members of the Electoral College, which would choose the president based on the results of elections in all states. They voted for Trump and sent the results to Congress in Washington. But they are not in that college. Joe Biden won their states and the actual members of the Electoral College voted for him.

But research in Georgia has expanded and now extends to all kinds of activities in other states. This is allowed under Georgia’s law to combat organized crime.

For example, attorney Willis is interested in two firms hired by the Trump campaign organization to investigate signs of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election. They never found them, and their reports were kept secret.

That kind of information is important evidence that Trump and his allies knew full well that their fraud allegations were false. As a result, their stories about it and the gathering of ‘alternative members of the Electoral College’ are seen as a conspiracy to illegitimate the outcome of the election.

Sound recording

One of the key sources is a tape recording of a conversation Trump had with Georgia Secretary of the Interior Brad Raffensberger, who asked him to “find” 11,780 votes.

Trump’s lawyers don’t think this is evidence of bad faith, they say it’s Trump’s way of saying the election wasn’t fair and that everything needs to be rechecked. But in an interview with CNN last month, the former president recently said something slightly different: “I said you should vote for me because the election is unfair.”

That’s an own goal, according to Georgia State University constitutional law professor Anthony Gries. He tweeted: “Donald Trump wraps up new incriminating evidence for Fannie Willis.”

Secret documents

Meanwhile, in Washington DC, Jack Smith, a special federal prosecutor, is working on the same file. But in addition, he has a possible crime in mind, which is very easy to prove.

At the end of his presidency, Trump moved a large number of government documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. There were important secrets between them. After searching the National Archives, the FBI, and Mar-a-Lago to find out where they might have gone, it turned out that not all of them had yet returned.

It could punish Trump under several laws related to secrecy and possession of sensitive government information. Also, if it is proven that he willfully withheld documents from the FBI, he could also be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

In an interview Trump gave last year at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, he seemed to admit all that. A tape recording of that interview — which his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was writing for a book — fell into the prosecutor’s hands.

The recording shows the former president boasting that he has a concrete plan for an attack on Iran. If such an attack was necessary, it would have been drafted by Mark Milley, his top military adviser at the time. But he couldn’t show it because it was top secret. How he regretted that he should have removed the secret while he was still the president.

Two things can be gleaned from this: First, Trump did not, as his lawyers argued, lose all of the documents to their classified nature. He would have done it out of all procedures or by taking them home automatically.

Second, the record shows that Trump knew some of the documents he was withholding were actually still classified. When it comes to criminalizing tampering with government documents, the law requires it to be done knowingly, not accidentally. This makes it easier to prosecute Trump even if he doesn’t have a specific document, even if he brags.

If he had it but hid it from his lawyers, it would be another case of obstruction of justice. And the examples are piling up anyway. The prosecution also asked witnesses about moving boxes of documents ahead of a visit arranged by FBI agents to collect the documents. One of the people in charge asked the system administrator at Mar-a-Lago how long the interior security camera footage was actually stored. All of this is highly suspicious and could therefore be part of a criminal complaint against Trump.

And when it comes down to it, guess what. But it seems the time has come for Smith to make up his mind. He will then report it to Attorney General Merrick Garland. If Smith wants to sue, he could theoretically blow the whistle on him back. But that’s not expected, Smith has promised to be able to do his work independently.

Trump’s lawyers see dark clouds gathering. On May 23, they wrote a letter requesting a meeting with Garland. It is written in some legal terms, and Trump’s voice can be recognized in it: “Unlike President Biden, his son Hunter and the Biden family, President Trump is being treated unfairly. No President of the United States, in the history of this country, has ever been subjected to such an outrageous and illegal investigation.

As far as we know, they still haven’t got that deal.

Bas den Hond is a reporter and weekly columnist in America

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