Author Topic: DOJ prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to charge Trump after Mar-a-Lago raid: Report  (Read 102 times)

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DOJ prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to charge Trump after Mar-a-Lago raid: Report
by Jerry Dunleavy, Justice Department Reporter |
October 19, 2022 12:07 PM

Justice Department prosecutors in the Mar-a-Lago raid case believe they have enough evidence to charge former President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice, according to a new report.

The team of prosecutors “believe there is sufficient evidence” to charge Trump for obstruction, according to “people familiar with the matter” cited by Bloomberg, but the outlet said that “the path to an actual indictment is far from clear.” The outlet said the DOJ group “has not yet made a formal recommendation” to Attorney General Merrick Garland and that their sources said it is “also unlikely officials would bring only obstruction charges amid several other Trump investigations into potential crimes.” The outlet said charges are unlikely to be filed or revealed prior to the November midterm elections.

Garland had said in early August that he “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.”

The new report also cited anonymous sources who say that some FBI agents “oppose bringing such a politically charged case as Trump considers a 2024 presidential bid” while “others support action.”

The Justice Department made it clear early on that Trump is being investigated for a possible Espionage Act violation and possible obstruction of justice, according to the unsealed warrant for the unprecedented Aug. 8 FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

The search warrant unsealed in mid-August cited 18 U.S. Code 793 (part of the Espionage Act) related to “gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information.” Despite its name, many of the law’s provisions don’t relate specifically to espionage.

The warrant also pointed to 18 U.S. Code 2071 on “concealment, removal, or mutilation generally” and 18 U.S. Code 1519 on “destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy.” The latter relates to possible obstruction of justice.

The FBI affidavit justifying the raid contended that “there is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the premises” at Mar-a-Lago.

The Justice Department argued in court filings in late August that “the government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room [at Mar-a-Lago] and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation” and that “this included evidence indicating that boxes formerly in the Storage Room were not returned prior to counsel’s review.”

DOJ’s solicitor general also told the Supreme Court last week that “the FBI uncovered evidence that the response to the grand jury subpoena was incomplete, that additional classified documents likely remained at Mar-a-Lago, and that efforts had likely been undertaken to obstruct the investigation.” In fighting the Trump team’s unsuccessful efforts to convince the Supreme Court to intervene in the special master saga, the solicitor general argued that the documents with classified markings on them that had been seized from Mar-a-Lago “are the very subject of the investigation concerning wrongful retention of documents and information relating to the national defense, as well as obstruction of justice.”

The Washington Post had also reported last week that “a Trump employee has told federal agents about moving boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago at the specific direction of the former president, according to people familiar with the investigation, who say the witness account — combined with security-camera footage — offers key evidence of Donald Trump’s behavior as investigators sought the return of classified material.”

Bill Barr, Trump’s former attorney general, had suggested in early September that the Justice Department was building evidence toward a possible prosecution of Trump.

“There are two questions: Will the government be able to make out a technical case, will they have evidence, by which, that they could indict somebody on, including him?” Barr said during an America’s Newsroom interview on Fox News. “That’s the first question, and I think they’re getting very close to that point, frankly.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/justice/doj-prosecutors-enough-evidence-charge-trump-obstruction-mar-a-lago
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