Investigations into former President Trump’s alleged illegal retention of classified documents have been ongoing for two months, led by special counsel Jack Smith. Despite repeated speculation of imminent charges, no formal indictments have been made. Smith’s calculated approach and pursuit of new investigative angles are not indications of a weak case, but rather of strategic planning.
The fundamental basis of the case is straightforward: Trump is accused of both unlawfully taking government documents and obstructing federal authorities, even allegedly knowingly violating the law. Smith’s thorough investigations extend beyond these basic charges. They involve using the grand jury’s investigative powers to examine possible defenses, secure witnesses’ testimonies, and explore other potentially significant aspects before returning an indictment, which would end the grand jury’s investigative powers.
The special counsel’s recent move included serving a subpoena related to the Trump Organization’s foreign business dealings. While the subpoena didn’t yield new evidence, it exemplified Smith’s desire to explore all possible angles.
Also noteworthy is Smith’s initiative to interview housekeeping and maintenance staff at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, indicating his thoroughness in this critical case. This meticulous approach has already led to some important discoveries. Records from the National Archives suggest Trump’s advisors cautioned him against declassifying documents arbitrarily. Furthermore, Smith has reportedly obtained substantial notes documenting Trump’s responses to his lawyers’ advice, providing compelling evidence against the former president.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Smith’s case is nearing completion, with Trump’s lawyers requesting a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, a common last-ditch attempt to avert an indictment. There is no indication of a fundamental weakness in Smith’s case; rather, his actions reflect a careful and imaginative approach, appropriate for this significant prosecution.
Trump might be in deep trouble as new evidence emerge
In a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “The Katie Phang Show,” Hugo Lowell, a reporter from The Guardian, commented on potential repercussions that may await Donald Trump, concerning sensitive governmental documents. He suggested that Trump could potentially have eluded charges related to the Espionage Act, had it not been reported that he allegedly disclosed highly confidential government files to his acquaintances at the Mar-a-Lago resort.
Lowell, known for his ongoing coverage about the possibility of these documents being concealed from Evan Corcoran, Trump’s lawyer, referenced a recent report suggesting that Trump left important papers exposed and might have revealed them to other individuals. If these allegations hold true, Trump could be facing heightened charges.
“The Washington Post reported this week about how prosecutors seem to have evidence that Trump was showing highly sensitive documents to other people,” Lowell began. “That’s really interesting because that’s the kind of aggravating move that a prosecutor looks for when they’re trying to prosecute Section 93e of Title 18 which is the Espionage Act.”
“There’s two parts,” he continued. “The first part is willful retention. Willful retention alone is very rarely charged, and I think in the case with the former president, with prosecutors, that was the only thing they might consider not charging.”
“But if they have evidence that Trump was showing people and they have the second part of that clause, which is willful transmission and dissemination, that changes the game entirely,” he added. “That is the sort of thing that they would charge. That is really concrete evidence that Trump has a lot of problems.”