Daily Digest

Smith May Be Planning To Charge Trump With More Crimes in New Jersey, Should Miami Case Fall Through

Following Donald Trump’s Miami arraignment in the classified documents case last week, legal experts have suggested that Trump could face charges for additional crimes committed at his private residence in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The former president was indicted on 37 counts relating to his mishandling of classified documents. He allegedly possessed national security information that he willfully concealed, despite the Department of Justice’s pleas for their return. Trump is also being accused of attempting to obstruct justice, as he is believed to have intentionally withheld documents to keep them from the FBI.

In a column for The Atlantic, NYU School of Law professors Ryan Goodman and Andrew Weissmann stated that Trump may have taken the documents from his Mar-a-Lago residence with him to Bedminster, where he showed them to other people at his golf club.

“The indictment alleges that Trump showed a map to a political ally and also showed a writer and a publisher a secret military plan to attack Iran. These two episodes were arguably the most egregious allegations of criminal wrongdoing mentioned in the indictment; they allege not just the improper retention of our nation’s most highly classified information, but the intentional communication of such information,” wrote Goodman and Weissmann.

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The professors are unsure why Special Counsel Jack Smith did not include these charges in the indictment. They speculate that Smith is keeping them on the back burner, should the Miami indictment fall through.

“If Aileen Cannon, the Florida judge assigned to the case, were to seek to pocket-veto the charges before her by, say, scheduling the trial for after the 2024 presidential election, the special counsel would be able to sidestep her tactic by proceeding with charges in New Jersey.”

Cannon’s role in the trial is controversial, as she was appointed by Trump and has ruled in his favor in the early stages of the document case. Prosecutors worry that she will try to thwart the case by prolonging it or dismissing useful evidence that could justify a conviction.

“If Cannon acts consistently with her prior Trump-friendly rulings,” wrote Goodman and Weissmann, “which were twice found by unanimous panels of conservative appellate judges to be both factually and legally flaws, Smith might go looking for another way to ensure accountability — and another venue where he could do so.”

Ava Lombardi

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