Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on 91 combined felony charges across four major criminal cases. Much of the charges against him are obviously exaggerated for political purposes. Yet, the most serious threat to his freedom is the classified documents case.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), when he left the White House in January 2021, Trump absconded with thousands of pages of classified materials.
Those materials were then improperly stored at the forty-fifth president’s home of Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
From there, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) gave Trump almost a year to return the documents to the government without suffering any kind of legal penalty. But for Trump, such a prospect was unacceptable. Trump claims that he was allowed to take those documents.
NARA argues that the former president was required to go through proper declassification protocols and failed to do so—even after having been briefed on NARA guidelines. For Trump, those documents were his and he was not going to give them back regardless of what NARA said.
So, NARA forwarded the matter to the DOJ which then initiated a prosecution of the former president. Fact is, the former president has yet to prove that he was allowed to take those documents.
But the state has a bevy of evidence corroborating that not only were these allegedly illicitly acquired documents in Trump’s possession but that they were improperly stored at Mar-a-Lago.
Donald Trump’s Absurd Behavior
To compound matters, there is now documentary evidence that Trump ordered his aides to tamper with the material—as well as security cameras that were being used to monitor where the documents were being stored—in a failed effort to hide the evidence.
Now the federal case in Miami, Fla., is underway. Just as the case was moving, the Trump legal team deftly asked for a three-month extension on the case. Anything to drag this affair out. This is both a legal strategy as well as a political one, as Trump is again running for reelection in the 2024 Presidential Election cycle.
Thus far, the forty-fifth president’s unlikely campaign has benefited greatly each time one of his ongoing legal cases has escalated. It endears him to surly Republican voters who’ve come to believe Trump’s claims that the 2020 Election was stolen—and now those same political thieves in the Democratic Party are attempting to steal the 2024 Election away from Trump by smothering him in all these legal cases.
By extending the classified documents case, the most serious threat to Trump’s legal future, Trump thinks he’s going to win over more voters who will come to view that trial (like all the others against him) as little more than politicized claptrap concocted by overzealous partisans loyal to President Joe Biden within the DOJ.
Although, it should be noted that most independent voters are not as sympathetic toward Trump’s legal problems as the Republican voters appear to be. He will need not only GOP voters to win in the General Election but will need independents as well.
What’s more, Trump must delay this trial for as long as possible. That’s because if he’s able to win reelection he will be able to pardon himself from this specific crime. It’s all play for more time.
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
Beyond the political, and in the legal realm, the federal prosecutors are apparently blocking Trump’s legal team from accessing key evidence on the grounds that such evidence is classified. According to the federal prosecutors, Trump’s legal team are not authorized to view much of the evidence because they lack proper security clearances.
Special Counsel Jack Smith, the man leading the charge against former President Trump, has admitted that the documents in question are not ancillary and could assist Trump’s legal team in their defense of Trump.
It would be a miscarriage of justice if, because of administrative rules governing classified materials, an accused person—the former president no less—was prevented from accessing all relevant information that could be used to exonerate their name.
Whatever Trump’s crimes may have been, the idea that we would allow for the abandonment of our constitutional legal principles to satisfy the legal bloodlust currently being exhibited by the DOJ is in itself a criminal act.
The presiding judge must force the DOJ to allow for Trump’s legal team to have access to information that could potentially exonerate their client, otherwise the case should be thrown out.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.