The DOJ has dropped three new felony charges against former President Donald Trump.
The charges include the claim that Donald Trump asked a Mar-a-Lago employee to delete security camera footage that investigators were seeking.
“In a 60-page superseding indictment unveiled Thursday, prosecutors also accused Trump of possessing a highly classified war plan that he shared with people lacking security clearances months after his presidency ended,” POLITICO reported.
Now, legal experts are rushing to weigh in.
‘Overwhelming’ Evidence Against Trump?
Ty Cobb, a former White House lawyer for the Donald Trump administration, has offered his two cents on the new charges.
“I think this original indictment was engineered to last a thousand years and now this superseding indictment will last an antiquity,” Cobb told CNN. “This is such a tight case; the evidence is so overwhelming.”
Naturally, the media is amplifying Cobb’s input. Why? Because Cobb is a former Donald Trump employee, which suggests Cobb’s assessment of the situation is more bound to be partial than say Rachel Maddow, so the liberal press latches onto Cobb. It’s similar to the way that Liz Cheney became a hero to liberals when she denounced Trump. Her denouncements were more powerful, and more credible in the eyes of liberals because she supposedly came from Trump’s side of things. Though that’s not really the point here, just a sidebar. Back to the new indictment.
“Trump was accused of attempting to destroy evidence and inducing someone else to destroy evidence,” The Guardian reported. “He also faces a new count under the Espionage Act, for keeping a document about US plans to attack Iran which he famously discussed on tape.”
Trump is downplaying the new charges as “nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt” to “harass” Trump and “those around him.”
Donald Trump Destroying evidence?
Obviously, if Trump was destroying evidence in an attempt to hinder an ongoing DOJ investigation, that’s gonna be a bad look for the former president. Although, the charges stem from the classified documents case, which I don’t find especially compelling.
Maybe I’ve grown callous to accusations of wrongdoing after so many years of hyperbolic doomsaying against Trump, but the classified documents case strikes me as politically motivated. Consider that classified document mishandling is typically handled in administrative terms, not criminal terms. Meaning, if someone mishandles classified documents, they are punished administratively – i.e., they have access revoked, or they are fired, or suspended, or something along those lines. To be punished criminally – i.e., go to prison – is unusual.
Also, the president can unilaterally declassify documents whenever he chooses. So Trump, while still in office, had the ability to declassify the documents in question. He didn’t.
Why he didn’t is beyond me. But he could have very simply done so. This means that the entire case hinges on a technicality, on something Trump was supposed to do but didn’t, like sign out of the classroom before going to the bathroom. Am I giving Trump too generous of a benefit of the doubt?
Possibly. But if I am it’s because of the Alvin Bragg indictment that was so legally absurd that even Democrats were cringing. It’s because Trump was impeached twice, once because he was supposedly operating from the Oval Office as a Russian mole.
So, forgive me if I’ve grown skeptical of claims against Trump. It’s been a long eight years.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.