The Washington Examiner reports that Andrew Weissmann, the former Justice Department (DOJ) official and FBI general counsel who worked under Robert Mueller, is predicting that former President Donald Trump is going to be prosecuted.
This comes after a judge, on Friday, unsealed the search warrant affidavit behind the FBI’s unprecedented raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Not a lot of information was learned from the affidavit as it is very heavily redacted.
But, one thing that the affidavit did show is that Trump was keeping documents with classified markings on them at his residence.
The question that remains unanswered, however, is whether Trump broke the law in doing so. Trump maintains that he has not.
Weissmann weighs in
Weissmann, who was known as Mueller’s “pit bull,” responded to the release of the affidavit by appearing on MSNBC and predicting that Trump will face prosecution over the matter.
“When I read this today, my big, overarching takeaway is … the former president is going to be prosecuted,” Weissmann said.
It is fair to ask how Weissmann came to this conclusion considering the extent to which the document was redacted. Weissmann didn’t go into much detail. He merely said that prosecution is likely given the fact that it is “clear there is an active, thorough investigation” and given “just how much was done here.”
Weissmann went on to compare this situation with the situation of David Petraeus, the former CIA director, and retired U.S. Army general who has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.
In Weissmann’s view, what Trump did “is so much worse.” Weissmann said it is “so much worse in terms of the volume, the length of time, and then the repeated obstruction and false statements that were made.”
Time will tell if Weissmann turns out to be right here about whether the DOJ does prosecute Trump. Let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton was let off the hook for a violation of the same law that they are trying to use to get Trump.
Trump maintains that the documents being kept at Mar-a-Lago were broadly declassified. He also maintains that the FBI knew about the documents and asked him to secure them. And, finally, Trump has made it clear that the FBI did not need to raid his home to get the documents, that he would have just handed them over.
It appears that there are still a lot of unknowns about the situation. The heavily redacted affidavit didn’t help much. Trump insists that politics is playing a large role here, and neither the DOJ nor FBI have provided anything that would suggest otherwise.