Recently, the US Justice Department released a heavily redacted version of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit that lead to the search and seizure warrant against the ex-president’s Palm Beach estate that he’s called home since the disastrous end of his presidency. Again, to call the document heavily redacted would frankly be a massive understatement — there were pages of the documents that were entirely blacked out just short of literally a single word or two.
However, according to world-renowned Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, it’s not the text under the thick, black blocks that Donald Trump should be panicked about — instead, the former president should be shaking in his high-heeled shoes to one key footnote contained in the affidavit that, according to the expert, “makes it impossible” to not indict Donald J. Trump on his crimes.
Tribe’s analysis came during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“What we saw in the unredacted portions is not just probable cause, but overwhelming evidence of three serious federal crimes, one of which was espionage,” Tribe explained. “And in footnote two of the the affidavit on page 22, the affidavit explains that all of this stuff about the president’s declassifying the material is bogus. Not only was there no standing declassification order, but the espionage law doesn’t make anything turn on whether something is called classified or not.”
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The legal expert, who actually taught none other than Attorney General Merrick Garland at Harvard Law School, gave his professional analysis of the sudden shift in the US Justice Department’s position on the matter.
“What this does is point directly to Donald Trump in a way that will make it impossible for Merrick Garland not to seek an indictment,” Tribe said. “Because unlike the complicated issues involved in the attempted coup and the insurrection, where Trump did his very best to keep his fingerprints off of the actual manipulation of the electoral slates and all the rest, here, not only his fingerprints, but his distinctive handwriting is on the top-secret documents.”
“You can’t say that he didn’t know that they were there,” the legendary legal expert went on to add. “He’s been bragging that they belong to him and the department has no choice but to pursue the clear culprit, the person who was guilty, if you are to believe anything in this affidavit, guilty of obstruction of justice as well as violating the espionage law.”
The Harvard Law professor went on to explain why he believes the Department of Justice now has such an ironclad case.
Tribe explained, “what was released makes the most convincing case that I’ve ever seen in seven years of teaching evidence law and over 40 years of teaching constitutional law, the most convincing case of serious crime at this stage in an investigation. So I think Merrick Garland certainly won, the country won.”
He added as he concluded, “The one big loser, and he doesn’t like to think of himself that way, is the former president.”
Watch the clip here:
Featured image via DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos