The odds of former President Donald Trump getting indicted have increased considerably after the unsealing of the highly-redacted FBI affidavit. A new report suggests Trump’s legal team is lost for viable arguments to extricate the ex-president from the legal mess.
Legal Team Put Together In Haste: The two lawyers who are currently working on the case related to classified documents are Jim Trusty and Evan Corcoran, a New York Times report said. The legal team was put together quickly, it added.
Trump hired Trusty after seeing him on television, the Times said, citing people close to the former president. Corcoran was introduced by a Trump advisor on a conference call and he joined the team in spring, it added. He reportedly showed a willingness to take up the case even as many of Trump’s former advisors washed off their hands.
Defense Arguments Don't Pack A Punch? Corcoran’s letter to the Department of Justice In late May didn't put up a strong defense against the investigation but it was merely a three-page confused presentation of legal theories, according to the Times. Corcoran, a former federal prosecutor himself, had weak arguments that Trump had boundless rights as a president to declassify materials and that the law governing the handling of classified documents does not apply to a president, it added.
He had sought the DoJ to present the letter as “exculpatory information” to the grand jury investigating the case. Exculpatory information is evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal case that would clear his name of charges.
Government lawyers, though finding it “deeply puzzling” have included it in the affidavit submitted in their request for a warrant to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida home.
“The lawyers have offered up a variety of arguments on his behalf that have yet to do much to fend off a Justice Department that has adopted a determined, focused and so far largely successful legal approach,” the NYT reported.
Davis Schoen, one of Trump’s former lawyers who pleaded for him in the second Senate impeachment trial, said the former president needs a “quarterback who’s a real lawyer.” He also said rotating lawyers in and out of the team would create problems.
The legal arguments put forth by the current team appeared to lawyers not involved in the case as a “political narrative” than about dealing with federal prosecution, the report said.
There’s a disconnect between what is happening with the case and how recklessly and thoughtlessly Trump and his team are going about with it, Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney general said, the Times noted.
“And for an average defendant on an average case, that would be a disaster.”
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