Will Donald Trump Be Indicted in the Classified Records Mess This Year?
Here is what we are hearing right now:
Anti-Trump entertainment magazine Rolling Stone is rejoicing.
The leftist publication thinks they finally have the means to sink Donald Trump.
The latest development in the classified documents saga has revealed that an indictment for Trump could come later this year and that the former president will ultimately need to defend himself in court, according to people familiar with the case.
Donald Trump Hates Hearing Bad News from Legal Counsel
Rolling Stone claimed it has two un-named sources who say the president’s legal team is trying to convince Trump that at least one indictment is imminent for the classified documents. Trump’s attorneys, according to the magazine, think the case against their client has little merit, but that a grand jury could indict the former president for obstruction of justice.
Indictment In Classified Records Case in Unavoidable
Trump has reportedly pointed out to his legal team that President Joe Biden kept classified documents away from the National Archives too, but authorities will contend in a potential indictment that Trump criminally intended to defy a subpoena to return the secret papers and that he obstructed justice during the investigation.
Trump’s lawyers are trying to remind the former president that he has legal liability in the classified document mess and a grand jury could indict Trump for violating the Espionage Act or the Presidential Records Act.
Moving Boxes of Secret Documents Could Show Obstruction
The Washington Post has reported that workers at Mar-a-Lago moved at least one box of secret papers to intentionally hide them from investigators. If this is true, a grand jury could be convinced that Trump knew he was wrong about keeping the documents and that he criminally intended to defy investigators.
“Looks like they’re going for it,” one of the Rolling Stone’s sources said, referring to the Department of Justice’s efforts to bring an indictment. “People close to the [former] president have discussed with him what we think is going to happen soon, and how he and everyone else needs to be ready for it … it would be crazy not to.”
More Legal Headaches
Trump has already been indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments he made through a “fixer” lawyer to silence an adult video star. The payments were to keep her from talking about an extramarital affair Trump allegedly had.
A special counsel is also looking into whether Trump violated laws pertaining to his actions leading up to the events during the January 6 insurrection. A probe into Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia is also concluding and indictments could be coming in that case too, although a criminal grand jury may not be convened yet.
So, the noose is tightening around Trump. His lawyers probably think he can beat the classified documents charges. The legal team will likely claim there was no criminal intent in keeping the secret papers at his home and that Trump rightfully declassified them before taking their possession.
The other potential charges are more serious and could keep Trump tied up in court during his re-election campaign while he faces the music. A New York judge has also determined a date for Trump’s hush money case to be in March of 2024 and that Trump should clear his calendar to appear in court.
Other trials would make his campaign strategy difficult. Trump’s lawyers are adept at stringing out court cases. They are masters at due process. Trump is likely to resist any plea deals and order his legal team to file as many motions as possible to gum up the works. Trump is of course innocent until proven guilty. His lawyers will be able to devise an intricate defense to answer the potential charges.
Donald Trump himself will likely frame the charges as a witch hunt against him and plead his side of the story that could potentially exonerate him in the court of public opinion.
But Trump must be convinced of the seriousness of his legal liability and that more criminal charges are coming. Trump may have to spend a significant amount of time in 2024 in court and President Joe Biden and the Democrats and their allies in the legacy media will be pleased to see that happen.
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.