Donald Trump Has a New Problem: One of Donald Trump’s allies and loyal Cabinet members have turned on the former president.
Ex-Attorney General William Barr is now saying that Trump has legal liability in cases against him that could lead to additional indictments. Barr believes that Trump could be indicted for allegedly mishandling classified documents in his possession at the Mar-a-Lago residence, and for his actions leading up to and during the January 6 insurrection.
What Did Barr Say?
Barr made an appearance on the Sunday news analysis program This Week on April 9. The former AG said that “Trump’s dug himself a hole on the documents, and also on the January 6 stuff. That was reckless behavior that was destined to end up being investigated. So, it doesn’t surprise me that he has all these legal problems … I think that’s a serious potential case. I think they probably have some very good evidence there.”
The Department of Justice’s special counsel, Jack Smith, is looking into whether Trump obstructed a subpoena that was designed for the former president to return Top Secret papers.
“He had no claim to those documents, especially the classified documents. It belonged to the government,” Barr said. “I think he was jerking the government around.”
Smith is also investigating Trump for his alleged role in the January 6 riots, during which his supporters violently streamed into the Capitol complex.
Barr Doubts the Legitimacy of Stormy Daniels Case
However, Barr does not think the case in which Trump has in fact been indicted is strong. He is referring to the indictments and arraignment associated with adult video actress Stormy Daniels, a case in which Trump was charged with 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records after a hush money payout to Daniels in exchange for her silence after an extramarital affair.
“I found what’s been put out very opaque,” Barr said. “And I think if [Bragg] has a good case he would specify exactly what his case is, but he’s trying to hide the ball.” Barr is speaking here of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the charges against Trump.
Donald Trump Lawyer Defending Him in the Court of Public Opinion
One of Trump’s lawyers, Jim Trusty, was also on Sunday news programs defending Trump. Trusty made the unlikely claim that Trump did not have classified papers in his residence, despite an FBI search in August that found over a hundred of the documents inside.
“Every step of the way, if we found anything of interest, even if it’s probably not classified, we’ve turned it over to the FBI and DOJ,” Trusty said.
Trusty also alluded to the cliché about how grand juries can “indict a ham sandwich,” by referring to the Bragg charges as a “rancid ham sandwich.”
In addition, Trusty pointed out that a previous district attorney passed on pursuing charges against Trump for the hush money payments. “It is an absurd situation and multiple prosecutors passed by this,” he said.
Trump’s Legal Situation Gets More Complicated
Expect more critics of the former president who were once his allies to share their viewpoints on Trump’s legal situation. His legal liability is mounting. Trump is also being implicated by a potential criminal grand jury for alleged election interference in Georgia. A special grand jury has already convened about this matter, and the Fulton County district attorney could present its recommendations to a criminal grand jury.
As for Trump’s former attorney general, Barr soured on the former president after the 2020 election, during which the AG did not believe there was widespread fraud. He was also dismayed by the events of January 6, leading him to become a Trump critic.
Barr wrote in his memoir One Damn Thing After Another that Trump was responsible for the riots, that the president wanted to intimidate Congress, and that Trump’s actions were wrong. But despite his accusations, Barr said he would still vote for Trump in 2024 if he became the Republican nominee.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.