On Wednesday (May 10) night, former President Donald Trump commented about his handling of classified documents that seemingly contradict statements from his lawyers while providing potentially substantial evidence to federal prosecutors considering whether to file criminal charges against him, legal experts believe.
Last month, Trump’s lawyers told Congress that the confidential documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence had arrived accidentally.
But when Trump was asked about it during a CNN town hall, the former President insisted he had “every right” to remove them from the White House.
He added that he hadn’t made removing the boxes a “secret,” describing how the boxes were “stationed outside the White House,” where people were taking pictures of them.
He claimed he did not remember showing the classified material to others, a key question prosecutors would like answered.
Revealing classified material to persons who do not have the right to receive such information is a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Asked if he had shown others the Classified documents, Trump replied, “Not really,” but suggested he “would have the right to;” he later clarified that he couldn’t “think of” any instance where he would have shown others the documents.
Legal experts believe Trump’s statements were legally damaging.
Former U.S. Attorney for Virginia’s Western District, an Obama administration appointee John Fishwick declared that the former President’s comments “hurt him,” explaining that they are “significant.”
Besides Trump’s statement contradicting his legal position, Fishwick noted that the former President admitted to having knowledge about the classified documents he removed from the White House.
“Jack Smith will make good use of [Wednesday’s] town hall” to help make his case, Fishwick declared.