In August of last year, the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, leading former top prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, to express his belief that Trump’s publicly-made statements during the 2022 midterms campaign could become the former president’s downfall and lead to potential prison time, including charges carrying up to 33 years upon conviction.
The findings of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump, which could potentially result in charges for obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations, and improper handling of government documents, are expected to be made public following the Memorial Day holiday.
Last October, Weissmann cited remarks made by Trump during a rally in Mesa, Arizona as evidence that Trump would have difficulty avoiding the aforementioned charges. In particular, Weissman pointed to Trump’s statement that the government should return everything that was taken from him during the raid on his estate, as well as Trump’s admission that he owned boxes containing documents that were confiscated by the FBI.
Weissmann added that these statements provided crucial evidence of both knowledge and intent, and made the government’s case much easier to prove. Additionally, New York Times journalists Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman have reported Trump’s apparent disregard for national security and sensitive government information in their recent book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.”
Given the evidence, the DOJ may have an easier time proving the elements necessary to bring a case against Trump regarding the confiscated documents. However, the public will have to wait for the findings of Special Counsel Smith’s investigation to see whether Weissmann’s prediction ultimately came true.
Some elements of this story were previously reported by Benzinga and it has been updated.
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