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A renowned law professor has described President Trump’s indictment as being a ‘different ball game’ to Stormy Daniels case – and warns the former president could be in very deep trouble.
Jonathan Turley, a criminal defense attorney and Shapiro Chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, had previously branded Manhattan AG Alvin Bragg’s Stormy Daniels case as both ‘politically popular’ but ‘legally pathetic’.
But when it comes to the classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Turley has said the charges laid out are ‘extremely damning.’ He highlighted the sheer level of detail in the 37 felony count case, and suggested it showed the feds had an extremely strong case against Trump.
‘It is an extremely damning indictment. There are indictments that are sometimes called narrative or speaking indictments. These are indictments that are really meant to make a point as to the depth of the evidence. There are some indictments that are just bare bones. This is not,’ Turley said to Fox News on Friday.
‘The special counsel knew that there would be a lot of people who were going to allege that the Department of Justice was acting in a biased or politically motivated way. This is clearly an indictment that was drafted to answer those questions.
Jonathan Turley, a renowned law professor has described President Trump’s indictment as being a ‘different ball game’ to Stormy Daniels case.
When it comes to the classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Turley has said the charges laid out are ‘extremely damning’
‘It’s overwhelming in details. The Trump team should not fool itself. These are witnesses who apparently testified under oath, gave statements to federal investigators, both of which can be criminally charged if they’re false. Those witnesses are directly quoting the president in encouraging others not to look for documents or allegedly to conceal them. It’s damaging,’ Turley explained.
Turley, who appeared as a Republican witness during both Trump’s first and second Senate impeachment trial also testified during Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998 – is known for being a law absolutist who offers non-partisan opinions on legal matters.
Speaking on Friday he told Fox the Trump team should not underestimate Special Counsel Jack Smith, whom he described as a ‘serious prosecutor.’
‘I know a lot of people have criticized [Jack] Smith for his background, but he’s no Alvin Bragg. He’s a serious prosecutor. The Alvin Bragg prosecution is a political prosecution. It is what Trump says it is. It is a weaponization of the criminal justice system, in my view. This is a different ball game.’
Turley said the Trump team should not underestimate Special Counsel Jack Smith, pictured, whom he described as a ‘serious prosecutor’
Photos released as part of the indictment against Former President Donald Trump show boxes of documents stacked in rooms across his Mar-a-Lago estate
Boxes allegedly containing classified documents appear to be kept in a storage room
Stacks of boxes can be observed in a bathroom and shower in Mar-a-Lago Club’s Lake Room
The unsealing of the indictment on Friday sees Trump charged with 37 felony counts in connection with his hoarding of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
The indictment accuses the former president of willfully defying Justice Department demands to return classified documents, enlisting aides in his efforts to hide the records and even telling his lawyers that he wanted to defy a subpoena for the materials stored at his estate.
The indictment includes allegations that he stored documents in a ballroom and bathroom at his Florida resort, among other places.
The most serious charges against him carry potential prison sentences of up to 20 years each, but first-time offenders rarely get anywhere near the maximum sentence and the decision would ultimately be up to the judge.
For all that, Trump can expect a hero’s welcome this weekend as he rallies his fiercest partisans and seeks to cement his status as Republicans´ leading 2024 presidential candidate.
Legal scholar Jonathan Turley, left, a criminal defense attorney, had previously branded the Stormy Daniels case as both ‘politically popular’ but ‘legally pathetic’
Trump has insisted he committed no wrongdoing, saying, ‘There was no crime, except for what the DOJ and FBI have been doing against me for years.’
With former Vice President Mike Pence also slated to address North Carolina Republicans, Saturday will be the first time the former running mates have appeared at the same venue since Pence announced his campaign against his old boss.
For his part, Trump has insisted he committed no wrongdoing, saying, ‘There was no crime, except for what the DOJ and FBI have been doing against me for years.’
The indictment arrives at a time when Trump is continuing to dominate the Republican presidential primary.
Other GOP candidates have largely attacked the Justice Department – rather than Trump – for the investigation, although the indictment’s breadth of allegations and scope could make it harder for Republicans to rail against than the earlier New York criminal case that many legal analysts had derided as weak.
The federal charging document alleges that Trump not only intentionally possessed classified documents but also boasted as he showed them off to visitors and aides.
The indictment is built on Trump’s own words and actions as recounted to prosecutors by lawyers, close aides and other witnesses, including his professing to respect and know procedures related to the handling of classified information.
Trump is due to make his first federal court appearance in the case on Tuesday, in Miami.