It is only a few hours after the federal indictment of Trump has been announced. We don’t know what the indictment says. We only have hints about what the charges are.
But, whatever they are, we can be sure that Trump has no defenses.
Analyzing the case from the perspective of a former criminal defense attorney, what could those defenses be? Let’s look at them all.
- He didn’t do it. Impossible because he was caught in possession of government documents AND he admitted on TV that he took them from the White House.
- He had the right to possess the documents. The law is absolutely clear that he did not. The judge will so instruct the jury.
- He declassified the documents in his mind. That can’t be done. But, even if it could, the case does not depend upon whether the documents were classified.
- The government can’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Trump admitted possession of the documents on TV.
- Some other dude did it. Trump has been a master of laying blame for things that go wrong on other people. But, this time, he admitted that he took the documents.
- Shit against the wall. Delay, object, complain, appeal, obstruct, whine. None of this works, but that is what you do when you have no alternative.
- There are no other defenses.
Jack Smith is a determined and skilled prosecutor. I believe that his investigation has produced evidence which will shock even the most ardent Republicans into silence. Remember, a judge has already found that the crime/fraud exception has been proved AND that one of Trump’s attorneys signed a false affidavit that all of the classified documents had been returned. Are those attorneys going to say “send me to jail because I lied”? Or are they going to say “Trump told me what to say in the affidavit?”
Finally, yesterday I watched clips of Trump telling 10 different stories about his possession of the government documents. There is no way that Trump can possibly testify in his defense. See also, Carroll v. Trump.
This is a done deal. His defense attorneys may file motion after motion, objection after objection, appeal after appeal. But they know that they are only delaying the day Trump will be sentenced.
Have you noticed that TV shows only have prosecutors as commentators?