Notable new charges against Donald Trump and two associates in the classified documents case significantly deepened the former president’s difficult legal situation on Thursday and further dragged the 2024 election into an unprecedented legal quagmire.
Special counsel Jack Smith alleged, after his initial 37 indictments in the case, that Trump requested the suppression of security footage at his Mar-a-Lago resort to prevent it from being released to a grand jury. In addition, prosecutors now allege that Trump and two aides conspired to keep classified White House documents from the grand jury, even suggesting that one of his lawyers lie to investigators.
Many aspects of the Trump presidency and post-presidency have stretched the limits of credulity. But if Smith’s new allegations are proven, they will create a historic scenario that represents yet another challenge to the country’s constitutional order by its former commander-in-chief, who is currently the favorite for the 2024 Republican Party nomination.
The findings of the new charges against Trump, his assistant and a Mar-a-Lago worker in the classified documents case
The special prosecutor is alleging that a former president willfully obstructed and defrauded the government he once led and the rule of law he swore to uphold. That former president is running to once again be the keeper of the nation’s secrets and guarantor of its constitutional system, raising deep questions about his suitability to return to the Oval Office.
“It’s an amazing fact,” said former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, now a CNN national security and legal analyst.
The detail of Smith’s new allegations — and their apparent implication that Trump blatantly believes he is immune to rules covering other presidents or citizens — left many observers stunned, most notably by an account in which a staffer he supposedly said that “the boss” wanted a server to be deleted.
“These people are lying, they are obstructing the investigation, they are destroying evidence. … This is a group of people who are trying to cover it up,” said Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan who is now a legal analyst for CNN.
According to the updated indictment, Trump not only took documents to which he was not entitled, but potentially broke the law to keep them and conspired to thwart a criminal investigation. The old maxim of the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, resonates in history in connection with another case of alleged presidential irregularity: it is not the crime that incriminates a person, but the attempt to cover it up.
Trump and Biden tie in voting intention, according to poll 1:40
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has already pleaded not guilty to the first charges in the case. His team immediately dismissed the additions from the independent prosecutor as an attempt by the Biden administration to divert attention from the legal woes of the current president’s son, Hunter, after his plea deal with the government fell apart on Wednesday. . The framing of Trump’s position reflects the extraordinary circumstances of the Justice Department under a president prosecuting his predecessor and possible successor.
Trump responds with a new political attack
The former president, whose legal strategy has become entangled with that of his campaign, added fuel to the political fire.
“They are harassing my company, they are harassing my family and by far, least of all, they are harassing me,” he told Fox News Digital, embroidering on his existing narrative that he is the victim of political persecution, despite from the catalog of apparently incriminating evidence against him in multiple cases.
The former president also claimed that he was persecuted because he was easily leading in the Republican primary and general election polls. He’s right that he dominates most of the polls for the nomination, but his latest claim about a hypothetical showdown with Biden isn’t true.
The sudden new dimension of the classified documents case will have profound political and legal dimensions. For starters, the dumping of additional evidence and recounts will almost certainly cause further delays in the case, which is originally scheduled to go to trial next May. Such a postponement could further boost the process in an already highly charged election season.
Special Counsel Accuses Trump of Additional Charges in Mar-a-Lago Classified Documents Case
Thursday’s expansion of the classified documents case was even more surprising since the political world braced for possible indictments in a ca