The FBI search at Mar-A-Lago on Monday is more significant for Donald Trump than the public realizes. If the speculation is true, Trump’s removal of classified documents from the White House could bar the ex-President from running for office in the future if he’s convicted of the crime.
Former federal prosecutor Harold Litman said:
“This, is by far, not one of the biggest crimes he’s been charged with, but, it carries the penalty, that someone who is convicted of it is disqualified from running for future federal office,” said Litman. “So, 18 USC 2071, if you destroyed records, when they came and talk to him a few months ago, and carted stuff away. Much of it was documents that have been ripped up. You had, just today, pictures of them stuffing things down the toilet. They may have decided to go after this, disqualify him from future office, secure a conviction, and have that be the broad resolution of the whole problem of Trump. That, in any event, it’s huge, but this feature of it that he couldn’t run for office in the future is really an enormous aspect of it.”
Concealing, removing or mutilation of documents all qualify, as pointed out by Democratic election attorney Marc Elias:
Elias acknowledged the potential legal challenge to applying the law to a former president and, “the idea that a candidate would have to litigate this during a campaign is in my view a ‘blockbuster in American politics.”
Trump has yet to announce his run for the 2024 Presidential election, but it’s being treated as an issue of “when,” not “if.”
While promoting her new book Confidence Man, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman shared pictures with the media outlet Axios of documents flushed down a White House toilet. There have also been previous reports of Donald Trump eating paper communications when in office. So Trump’s cavalier handling of presidential records is well documented.
As we get closer to the midterms, and talk of the 2024 presidential race looms, the warrant executed on Mar-A-Lago puts the Justice Department – and America – one step closer to ensuring that the former President is removed from contention – and prevented from getting another chance at subverting democracy.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick
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