The Justice Department is reportedly delaying the announcement of any possible charges against Donald Trump until after the midterms.
The Justice Department is reportedly delaying the announcement of any possible charges against Donald Trump in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case until after the midterm elections.
- As first reported in Bloomberg, “Federal prosecutors are likely to wait until after the November election to announce any charges against Donald Trump, if they determine he broke laws.”
- After classified government materials were discovered at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, the FBI is reportedly “zeroing in on the question of whether former President Donald Trump’s team criminally obstructed the probe.”
- In Tuesday’s court filing, federal prosecutors argued the Trump legal team’s refusal to hand over classified documents and possible efforts to conceal them directly led to the FBI raid in August.
- Prosecutors also disclosed a photo of documents marked top secret at Mar-a-Lago. Former President Trump responded to the photo on his social media platform, writing, “Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!”
- The former President and his aides claim he issued a sweeping declassification order over the Mar-a-Lago documents, although no record of it has yet been released. In Tuesday’s filing, prosecutors said Trump’s team never claimed the documents were declassified when the FBI removed documents in June.
- The Department of Justice is investigating three possible crimes committed by the former President or his team: “potential violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction, and the wrongful destruction of official documents.”
- More than 320 highly classified government documents were recovered from Mar-a-Lago in three separate incidents: the National Archives in January, in a June FBI visit, and in the August 2022 raid.
- The New York Times argued Trump’s “legal jab” – the request for an independent review of the documents taken from his home – opened the former President up for a “blistering counteroffensive” from the Justice Department that “read at times like a road map for a potential prosecution.”
- The Washington Post annotated the photograph of classified materials found at Mar-a-Lago. The Post highlighted the investigative tools pictured, decoded the government acronyms on the documents’ cover sheets, and pointed out a framed Time magazine cover depicting Trump among the documents.
- CNN reported the former President is weighing delaying the announcement of a 2024 presidential bid until after the midterm elections while he deals with his legal troubles and to avoid blame should struggling Trump-backed candidates in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona lose in November.
- Fox News legal analyst Andrew McCarthy called the filing a “game-changer” that laid out a “serious obstruction case that appears as if it would not be difficult to prove” and predicted Trump would likely be indicted for obstruction of justice.
- The Washington Examiner covered the former President’s response to the “explosive” DOJ filing. Trump’s legal team accused the Justice Department of having “significantly mischaracterized” the June meeting and argued for the appointment of a special master.
- The Epoch Times concluded one of Trump’s lawyers “might have walked into a perjury trap by attesting to something that wasn’t true.” The author believes the “word games” played by one of Trump’s attorneys has left the attorney exposed for the DOJ to “target” and potentially create legal problems for Trump himself.
Reporting on Tuesday’s legal filing alleging possible criminal obstruction in the Mar-a-Lago documents case tended to fall along predictable partisan lines. former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles tend to fall neatly along partisan lines. In general, more left-leaning and mainstream sources meticulously cover every minor update and emphasize any potential charges with the implicit assumption that Trump likely broke the law. Right-leaning sources like the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner published detailed assessments of the DOJ’s case while The Federalist simply ignored the story altogether (as of this writing).
This predictability makes Fox News legal commentator Andrew McCarthy’s response to Tuesday’s legal filing even more surprising. Andrew McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor who literally wrote the book on Clinton-FBI collusion in the Trump-Russia probe. After Tuesday’s “game-changer” DOJ filing, McCarthy concluded that Trump is likely to be indicted for obstruction. McCarthy isn’t infallible, but if the Trump-supporting legal analyst who wrote a book calling Russiagate “the plot to rig an election and destroy a presidency” believes an indictment is likely, that’s a small sign Trump could be in serious legal jeopardy.
© Dominic Moore, 2022