Former Attorney General Bill Barr said an investigation into classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate could pose a serious threat to Donald Trump.
In October, the Justice Department began investigating whether the former president violated three federal laws when he brought White House materials with him to Mar-a-Lago instead of turning them over to the National Archives as required.
Barr — who has been a staunch Trump advocate — said the former president “played” with federal investigators, and maintained that prosecutors have “very good evidence” against him.
He had no claim to these documents, especially the secret documents. “It belongs to the government,” Barr said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I think he was shaking up the government.”
The government is conducting an investigation into the extent of playing games and the existence of obstacles in keeping documents on them. I think this is a potentially serious case, and I think they probably have some very good evidence there.”
Barr warns that Trump faces more of a threat from the classified documents affair than from hush money
It comes even as Barr dismisses Trump’s indictment over his alleged involvement in the 2016 ‘Hush Money’ scandal.
It comes even as Barr dismissed Trump’s indictment over his alleged involvement in the 2016 ‘hush money’ scandal, calling it ‘abhorrent’ and ‘an example of an abuse of prosecutorial power’, on Fox News this week. the past.
Trump made history as the first former president in US history to be indicted on 34 counts of first-degree falsification of business records.
Barr argued how the legal theory behind the indictment was “pathetically weak” and that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was “prosecuting the man, not a crime.”
“Obviously, we don’t have the indictment, so there’s a bit of speculation, but based on the news reports, if it’s accurate, that’s distasteful,” Barr told Fox News.
It is an example of abusing the power of the prosecution to bring a case that would not be brought against anyone else. They’re after the man, and it’s not a crime. And legal theory, frankly, is pathetically weak.
“The legal theory is pathetically weak. The case is held together by chicken wire, paper clips, and rubber bands. It’s a lousy case. It’s a shameful episode in our history that this local attorney is trying to influence the political process by bringing this case.”
He delved into the legal arguments likely to be made, noting how the case likely revolves around how Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, recorded payments to him from Trump as “legal payments.”
Barr explained how the law requires that any misclassification of funds be done with intent to defraud, which may not be the case in this case.
“The allegation is that (recording Cohen’s payments as legal payments) is false and therefore in violation of the misdemeanor statute in the first instance against false documents,” Barr said.
He added on Sunday’s ABC broadcast: “If it was fraud, it was committed in the course of fraud. And I don’t see anywhere specific here exactly what fraud is. These were his own business records. He was paying himself hush money and the records were The business is his own company.He is the owner of the company.
But he asserted that the Mar-a-Lago affair was a larger potential instrument in the former president’s downfall.
The Mar-a-Lago affair began when Trump voluntarily turned over 15 boxes of documents to the National Archives in January, and the Justice Department opened an investigation in February after discovering classified materials had been returned to Mar-A-Lago.
Eventually, they filed a subpoena for additional materials in June, then searched Mar-A-Lago in August when it appeared Trump’s lawyers hadn’t turned over all the documents.
Some classified documents had the most classified designations, the Washington Post mentioned The documents may include details of the nuclear capabilities of other countries.
The government alleged in court filings that there was evidence that Trump and his team “hidden and removed” documents from a storage room in Mar-A-Lago, potentially obstructing its investigation, and accused Trump of storing classified materials in unauthorized locations. .
The Justice Department is investigating whether Trump violated three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, which deals broadly with mishandling of government and national security documents and carries potential penalties of fines or a maximum prison sentence of three to 20 years, depending. on the law.
Former AG Bill Barr tells John Carl about the case against the former boss. Trump aims to “get in the middle of the Republican primary process and turn it into a circus.” They want him to be the candidate because he is the weakest among the Republican candidates.
The former attorney general also criticized Trump as the weakest of the Republican candidates, saying he would eventually lose to Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
I think at the end of the day, smart Democratic strategists know (the Manhattan attorney general’s office investigation) will help Trump, and they want him to be the nominee because he’s the weakest of the Republican candidates, and the one most likely to lose again to Biden,” Barr said Sunday.
Asked about the possibility of Trump’s conviction and imprisonment, Barr said, “I don’t think anything will happen before the nomination is submitted and maybe even the election, the 2024 election.” “These things are going to continue through the 24th, frustrating and disrupting the entire Republican primary process.”