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Trump May Pay a Big Price for His Classified Documents Nightmare

Image by Gage Skidmore. Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Subpoenas start flying in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents case: Dozens of staffers at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate have reportedly received subpoenas, as part of the Special Counsel’s investigation into the president’s document practices. 

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly looking at the strong possibility of being indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, in connection with the alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. 

It’s just one of four investigations currently encircling the former president. And while it has appeared of late that things have been quiet on the Mar-a-Lago documents front, there was a big new development in that case Thursday. 

Trump and the Docs

Per CNN, dozens of subpoenas were issued Thursday in that investigation, most of them to people who work at Mar-a-Lago. According to the report, Trump communications aide Margo Martin appeared before the grand jury in the case.

Prosecutors are still attempting to speak with  Evan Corcoran, a lawyer who previously worked for Trump and has thus far refused to answer questions, citing attorney-client privilege. 

The staffers, at various levels of Mar-a-Lago, are being approached with subpoenas, “because of what they may have seen or heard while on their daily duties around the estate, including whether they saw boxes or documents in Trump’s office suite or elsewhere.”

Investigations have also, the report said, spoken with staffers who have shown up on surveillance video at the estate, including one staffer who was “seen on security camera footage moving boxes from a storage room with Trump aide Walt Nauta.”

CNN added that Trump-related entities are paying for legal counsel for many of the staffers. 

More Stormy Daniels Drama

Also on Thursday, a New York Times report looked at how Trump plans to defend himself in the Stormy Daniels case. Trump’s team, per the report, is “laying the groundwork for a broad attack” on Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney.

The offensive will “aim to portray any charges as part of a coordinated offensive by the Democratic Party against Mr. Trump,” and will also play up donations in the past from philanthropist and conservative bogeyman George Soros. 

The Trump campaign has also been “putting together a database listing everyone — members of Congress, legal experts, media figures — who have cast doubts on the strength of the district attorney’s case.” The campaign also plans to tie Bragg to the Biden Administration. 

“President Donald J. Trump is completely innocent, he did nothing wrong, and even the biggest, most radical left Democrats are making that clear,” Steven Cheung, a Trump spokesperson told the Times. He went on to call the New York case the “nuclear button” and a “political donation” from Bragg to the president. 

If he is indicted, Trump would be the first former president, and also the first major active presidential candidate, to face criminal charges. 

Joe Tacopina, the attorney who is defending Trump in the Manhattan case, said this week in one of his frequent cable news appearances that Trump would be helped by an indictment. 

“If they bring this case, I believe this will catapult him into the White House,” the lawyer said in an MSNBC appearance. “I believe it because this will show how they’re weaponizing the justice system.”

At one point in that interview earlier this week, with host Ari Melber, Tacopina tried to grab a piece of paper from Melber as he was reading from it. 

In an interview with CNN, Tacopina noted that one of the witnesses against Trump, former lawyer Michael Cohen, is a convicted perjurer and therefore can’t be trusted. Cohen himself answered the charge in a CNN interview of his own. 

“I think he’s a fool,” Cohen said. “Donald sent him out in order to lie, in order to continue with a narrative that only Donald wanted. He’s failed in that,” Cohen said, predicting that Trump would later cut Tacopina off. Cohen said he believes other witnesses will corroborate the case. Cohen also mocked Tacopina by pretending to grab papers from interviewer Don Lemon. 

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Expertise and Experience:

 Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.