Former White House lawyer warned Trump against file retention

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One will often hear, “Ignorance of the law is no defense”, and that is certainly true. However, a potential charge against Trump for possible espionage, obstruction of justice, or illegally held files will require prosecutors to prove Trump’s intent and state of mind, which can be difficult in these cases. Plus, it doesn’t take a lawyer to realize that if anyone is considering indicting a former president, it must be based on overwhelming evidence that is nearly irrefutable. To that end, it sounds like DOJ has more critical and irrefutable evidence. The NYT reports that Eric Herschmann, a former White House attorney and post-election semi-hero, warned Trump about preserving the files:

A former White House attorney under President Donald J. Trump warned him late last year that Mr. Trump could face legal liability if he does not return government material he took with him when he left, three people familiar with the case said. .

The lawyer, Eric Herschmann, tried to impress Mr Trump on the seriousness of the issue and its potential for investigations and legal exposure if he failed to return the documents, especially classified material, the people said.

“I wanted to impress Mr. Trump…” It sounds like Herschmann, despite everything he’d already been through with Trump, was still “seeking” to save Trump from himself and return the files. It’s telling that Trump refused, and it’s consistent with the evidence we already know exists.

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One of the strongest elements of the Justice Department’s investigation and search warrant is the evidence showing how many times Trump was faced with a choice between doing what he knew was right, returning the files, or what he knew was wrong, giving them back. keep it for its own purposes. Despite multiple points that most people would consider their “last chance”, Trump deliberately broke the law for his own ends. It is a testament to his state of mind and intention.

We have not yet seen or heard any evidence of Trump’s possible plans for the documents. Trump’s motivations can range from the perilously mundane “need to feel important and maintain the trappings of office,” all the way to a Rosenberg-esque scenario where Trump wanted to take this critical and intensely classified information and sell it to the highest bidder. . We do not know. But the clearer evidence regarding these “junctions” or turning points, where Trump knew he could have extremely serious consequences and yet chose to risk it all, the stronger the case against Trump. This evidence also increases the suspicion that Trump had a specific, serious and recklessly dangerous reason for holding the information with him.

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