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Trump’s Legal Peril Grows Incrementally

Trump’s Legal Peril Grows Incrementally

Regardless how the various other legal cases turn out, it has been believed from the onset that the so-called “documents case” presented the greatest danger to President Trump.  It is not the most serious case, but the one in which his defense appears to be the weakest.

Had Trump returned the documents when requested by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the case would likely have died without any significant consequences.  He eventually returned 15 boxes of documents, including more than 200 documents marked “classified.”

Trump still retained an unspecified number of boxes of White House documents – variously claiming that they were his to possess and that he had declassified them either by removing them from the White House or by personally deciding they were declassified without letting anyone know of his action.  This made his situation worse.

Eventually, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and removed more boxes of documents.  At one point, a Trump attorney assured the FBI that all the documents had been returned.  This proved to be untrue – and again, he caused his legal situation to worsen.

In a meeting at his Bedminster, New Jersey country club, Trump was recorded in a meeting with others.  It was recorded with his knowledge.  In the course of that discussion, he referred to a classified document dealing with a possible war with Iran.  He was heard on tape saying that the document was classified and as a former President, he could no longer declassify it.  From the recording, it sounded as if he was showing the document to the other participants in the meeting.  He later said it was just a bunch of newspaper clippings.

After a prolonged investigation, Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump on a number of charges relating to the possession of the documents, mishandling classified material and obstruction of justice.  He now faces felony charges that could land him in prison for the rest of his life – although that is extremely unlikely.  

In the early stages of the investigation, most analysts and pundits discounted the possibility of jail time. But that has all changed.  Should Trump get convicted on the more serious charges, the possibility of some jail time seems more likely.  The cause of the change in the odds rests with Trump, himself – and his bone-headed mishandling of the matter.  

His determination to retain the records has been a mystery.  The Presidential Records Act seems to make it very clear that White House papers are the property of the people to be maintained in the supervision and custody of NARA.  And that is especially true of classified documents that legally require special storage and handling.

According to the latest charge – number 32 – leveled at Trump, he was personally involved in obstructing the removal of documents and even the destruction of the recordings from security cameras.

This case may also be Trump’s Achilles Heel in terms of his bid for a return to the Oval Office.  His utter disobedience to the law and especially his reckless and dangerous disregard for the security of classified documents are going to have a lot of otherwise supporters having second thoughts.

Yes, these are only charges.  Trump is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court-of-law.  However, I think Trump’s chances of an acquittal are very slim.

I am totally bewildered why Trump dug himself into this particular legal hole.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

6 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    Finally, a Presidential contender that is running as if his life depended on it: literally.

    Glad to have you on board, finally……

    “His determination to retain the records has been a mystery” to which you can add the other mysteries:

    – His taking the documents to begin with (he does not read?)
    – His constant shuffling, moving them about, storage.
    – His lying to conceal what? useless documents?

    Was Bedminster the example of why he took them, how he planned to profit from them? I wonder if we will ever know what compelled him to act this way over something he never seemed to take interest in at The White House…

    But yeah, always innocent until adjudicated, but he looks like toast on this one, on EJ Carroll Defamation part II, Stormy Daniels or Cohen Part II, and Business Fraud Part infinity. Can’t wait for Horist’s 1.6 review —- spoiler alert — I wonder why they brought it because it certainly is not a slam dunk, at least the part about defrauding the US. And Georgia, which should be a slam dunk, albeit depending on how the charges are rendered.

    Glad to have you on board, mate!

  2. JoeyP

    Why aren’t OTHER presidents in PRISON yet? . . . or MUCH worse, VICE presidents?!? It doesn’t matter if there was cooperation or NOT. Classified material is classified material. And The President has the right to declassify this material if he wishes. And, much of this “classified” material would become worthless anyway depending upon the timeline it was produced. POTUS Trump knew that this material would be used against him anyway to prevent him from going back into office because the TREASONISTIC left is D-E-A-T-H-L-Y afraid of him! I’m guessing he probably said “is this our stuff? Okay, let’s go home”. He put into storage at Mar A Logo under lock and key and FORGOT about it like all the OTHER presidents before him – out of sight, out of mind. He didn’t put it just ANYWHERE (like next to a CORVETTE in the GARAGE?!? REALLY!). We BETTER see a WHOLE lot more presidents LOCKED up BEFORE him . . . No IFs, Ands or Buts

    • Mike f

      His pisser at MAL is under lock and key? You are delirious if you think the documents he took were ‘well protected’. Accidental removal of documents results in an infraction by the way-not jail time. Deliberate removal is an entirely different story. Wake up he is a POS and will (should) be fried on this one…

  3. Americafirst

    Trump IS the real POTUS. Mar A Lago IS Trump’s “White House”. Trump is also the true Commander in Chief. Trump has every right to have documents at his White House. No one is using the foreign land Washington DC White House. The Bidens cannot use the DC White House. Joseph R Biden Jr was executed on 1/21/21. That is a fact if you would only do some research on Gitmo Tribunals.com or Gitmo Tribunals Tv. There are 4 different actors role playing Joe Biden. The actors are plants for the White Hats to take down the Deep State. This information is all over the internet. Trump was re-inaugurated on 1/20/20 by the Military with full honors as he disembarked Air Force One, at the time that Fake Joe Biden was given a funeral inauguration with only 2 cannons. Trump had 21. This is also a known fact. I feel so sorry for the people that just cannot believe the truth. It’s so sad. The FBI and the DOJ treasonously stole documents from Mar A Lago. Their names are all on the rosters for Gitmo, Guam, The Virgin Islands or other military facilities for tribunals. This is the real truth even if you refuse to believe it so it shows where Patriotism really is.

  4. Mike f

    Larry-I think your party’s likely nominee is so stupid that he is likely to be placed in jail before his trial (at least he should be). He was very specifically warned that attempting to influence jurors was a crime that could cause his bail to be revoked. Yet he publicly posts a threat “if you go after me, I will go after you”. This is the guy who republicans thought was a qualified presidential candidate twice already (and many fools like yourself voted for). Most of the country has always known how unqualified he was to be in office (as so many that worked with him are now pointing out-the rest of us wonder how come they are so stupid they are just figuring that out?). Enjoy your authoritarian nominee (with a bit of a mafia don spin), he fits right in with the dumbasses you have in congress now.

  5. frank stetson

    You wonder where your family went, when your brush the law with bad intent……
    His latest comment was intentional, was universal, as in it applies to folks on both sides of the aisle. If you disagree, he will come after thee. hee, hee. hee, hee. Can’t wait for Monday’s response, what do you think: five minutes before closing?

    Notice the absence of family support? Don Jr. is still X-ing or TS-ing, but getting a little quiet in family land…..

    Where for art though —- Georgia?

    Gotta love Ari Melber’s
    *https://twitter.com/AriMelber/status/1553161937617289216*

    now he had added “indicted” labels of the “brand new” 45-degree sign card variety.

    PRICELESS

    Next up is whether to TV camera in the courtroom. One would think Mr. Reality TV Star will relish the cameras. It’s gonna be wild.

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