Trump lawyer rips DOJ for ‘desperately’ pursuing obstruction charge

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Donald Trump’s attorneys Evan Corcoran and James Trusty walk past media at Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in New York. Lawyers for Trump and for the Justice Department are to appear in federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday before a veteran judge named last week as special master to review the roughly 11,000 documents — including about 100 marked as classified — taken during the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman) Brittainy Newman/AP

Trump lawyer rips DOJ for ‘desperately’ pursuing obstruction charge

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Trump lawyer James Trusty blasted the Justice Department for ignoring his client’s privilege claims, saying the department was reaching for an obstruction angle that “just isn’t there.”

Trusty affirmed former President Donald Trump‘s innocence in the DOJ’s investigation into his handling of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago on Sunday. He also assured host Chuck Todd that he was confident there were no copies made of the classified documents retrieved at Mar-a-Lago.

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“They don’t respect any privilege that President Trump holds and is desperately trying to find an obstruction angle that just isn’t there,” Trusty said on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. “This has rotten underpinning in terms of bureaucrats being politicized, followed up by an all too eager DOJ to criminalize something that’s not a crime.”

Last January, the National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private resort and club in Palm Beach, Florida. Upon the discovery of documents with classified markings, officials relayed the matter to the Justice Department, which opened an inquiry.

“It took 18 years, I think, for Nixon’s tapes to finally get to NARA, so there’s a delay built into the process as they negotiate in good faith. In this case, NARA was hypersensitive,” Trusty argued. “They jumped right past that with a very happy and willing DOJ.”

In August of last year, the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and confiscated additional material in a move that followed months of back and forths with Trump’s team. At one point prior to the raid, a Trump lawyer attested that, to the best of her knowledge, all related documents were relinquished.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Jack Smith to spearhead the DOJ inquiry centering on Mar-a-Lago as well as the one pertaining to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Recently, reports indicated that Secret Service agents were poised to testify before that investigation and that Smith was zeroing in on one of Trump’s lawyers.

“The president has every right to be frustrated by being politically targeted. I mean, we are crossing a Rubicon,” Trusty said.

In total, authorities recovered over 300 documents marked classified from Mar-a-Lago. Trusty heartily denied the possibility that Trump packed up boxes at Mar-a-Lago, despite recently telling Fox News’s Sean Hannity that he “had the right” to do that.

“I mean, just anybody in their right mind really think that Donald Trump came down to Mar-a-Lago while still president, I guess in January, and said, ‘Hey, these are the boxes I packed. Let’s be careful with those,'” Trusty said. “He’s making the point that it’s not illegal for a president to possess documents like this.”

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Trump has vehemently denied wrongdoing and insisted that a president can declassify documents just by thinking about it. Sensitive material has also been found in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and an office at the Penn-Biden Center, as well as at the residence of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Last week, Trump was arraigned on a 34-count indictment by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg. There are also legal investigations pending in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere against him.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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