Mar-a-Lago raid ‘shows Trump is likely the target of a criminal investigation’

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Donald Trump is likely the target of a criminal investigation and the raid on his Mar-a-Lago mansion shows it, a former acting US solicitor general has said.

Neal Katyal, who was appointed by Barack Obama to represent the government on the Supreme Court between 2010 and 2011, told MSNBC on Monday night that if he was Trump’s lawyer, he would tell him to “prepare for jail “.

It comes after FBI agents earlier searched Trump’s Florida mansion – including his private safe – with reporters told they were looking for protected documents that Trump is accused of illegally taking after the end. of his presidential term.

Trump called the raid a “dark day” for America while attorney Alan Dershowitz – a longtime associate of Trump through the Mar-a-Lago club and who represented him during his first impeachment – said called the raid ‘totally unjustified’ and ‘wrong’.

Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general, says the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago shows Trump is likely under criminal investigation

The Justice Department is known to be conducting a criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, but has repeatedly declined to say whether it was investigating Trump.

The Justice Department is known to be conducting a criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, but has repeatedly declined to say whether it was investigating Trump.

The FBI and Justice Department declined to say anything about the raid — including why it was carried out, what the agents were looking for, or whether they found anything.

It comes amid a Justice Department investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, with prosecutors questioning witnesses specifically about Trump’s actions prior to that day.

Katyal, who describes himself as an “extremist centrist” and is a law professor at Georgetown University, told MSNBC: “I think [the raid] makes it likely that the former president is the target of a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice.

Outlining the legal grounds the FBI would have had to satisfy to obtain a search warrant, he added: “They have satisfied a federal judge that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.”

‘[The judge is convinced] that there are documents in [his] house that are related to this crime, and that an ordinary request like a subpoena or something like that will not suffice.

He concluded: “If I were Donald Trump’s lawyer right now, and thank God I wouldn’t be, I would advise my client to tell my family that I expect jail time and that I should plan accordingly.”

Separately, former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told DailyMail.com that – if Trump is found guilty of mishandling the documents – he could be banned from holding public office even as he prepares to appear in 2024.

He said Trump would likely be charged under U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2071, which involves concealing or destroying U.S. government records.

The code states that anyone who “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, erases or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so, takes and carries away any record” could be fined and maximum sentence of three years in prison.

The provision also states that anyone found guilty of concealing or destroying records “shall disqualify from office and be disqualified from holding office in the United States.”

FBI agents reportedly began a several-hour search at Mar-a-Lago on Monday morning before Trump confirmed the raid later that day (Secret Service agents at the mansion)

FBI agents reportedly began a several-hour search at Mar-a-Lago on Monday morning before Trump confirmed the raid later that day (Secret Service agents at the mansion)

Trump supporters gathered outside Trump's Florida home after the raid, as his son Eric alleged it was part of a plot to stop his father running for office in 2024

Trump supporters gathered outside Trump’s Florida home after the raid, as his son Eric alleged it was part of a plot to stop his father running for office in 2024

Mr Rahmani added: “His lawyers told him about the law requiring him to keep White House documents, so he was warned and that will strengthen the case and help prove intent if prosecutors indict Trump. .”

Trump’s lawyers have already turned over 15 boxes of documents that were supposed to be turned over to the National Archives when he left office, but ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead.

At the time of the transfer, in January, they called it a mistake – saying the White House was hastily packed because Trump was busy contesting the election result and didn’t want to leave sooner. .

The National Archives later confirmed that some of the documents returned by Trump were classified and said its legal team was still “researching” other documents.

The ex-president hit back, telling reporters in February: “The National Archives didn’t ‘find’ anything.

“They received, upon request, presidential records through an ordinary, routine process. If it was anyone other than ‘Trump,’ there would be no story here,” he said.

“Instead, the Democrats are looking for their next scam.”

Trump and his legal team were not given advance notice of Monday’s raid, with his son Eric revealing that he was the one who got the call about it and passed the information on to his father – who was in New York at the time.

It is believed that Secret Service agents protecting the home were given an hour’s notice before the warrant was served around 10 a.m. local time and then assisted the FBI with the search.

Officers spent several hours searching the property and reportedly left with “several boxes” in the early afternoon.

News of the raid wasn’t announced until several hours later, when Trump himself confirmed it, saying his “beautiful home” had been “besieged” by the FBI in what he called a “dark day” for America.

Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department said what the Mar-a-Lago raid was about (file image), what they were looking for or if anything was found

Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department said what the Mar-a-Lago raid was about (file image), what they were looking for or if anything was found

Eric said the raid was orchestrated by the Biden White House in an effort to discredit Trump ahead of the 2024 election, but an administration spokesperson denied prior knowledge of it.

The record inquiries are just one of many investigations Trump faces during his tenure as president, his refusal to concede the 2020 race to Biden and the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by supporters convinced that the election had been stolen.

The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the events of Jan. 6, has charged hundreds of people with breaching the Capitol that day, and is reportedly investigating Trump’s involvement.

Lawyers interviewing witnesses before a grand jury last month reportedly asked about Trump’s actions between December 2020 and January 2021.

However, Attorney General Merrick Garland repeatedly refused to confirm or deny having examined Trump when asked about the investigation.

Prosecutors reportedly focused on meetings between those dates, attempts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to rescind the results, and instructions he gave to attorneys and advisers regarding the placement of ‘false’ voters in states Biden has won.

Meanwhile, the House Select Committee on Congress is conducting a series of hearings ahead of Jan. 6 and questioning high-ranking members of the Trump administration about attempts to overturn the election result.

Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former secretary of state and ally during his tenure, is set to speak this week alongside Douglas Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania who helped lead efforts to challenge the election result of this state.

The state of Georgia is also conducting a separate grand jury investigation into Trump’s efforts to challenge the election result there, while two separate investigations in New York are examining Trump’s finances.

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