Trump continues to publicly attack the DOJ and FBI following last week’s Mar-a-Lago raid.
But people close to his inner circle warn that he could soon face criminal charges anyway.
“I think he’s a target of all of them and I think he’ll get indicted,” said a lawyer who knows Trumpworld.
As former President Donald Trump continues publicly attacking the Justice Department and the FBI following last week’s unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago club, people who have been close to his inner circle told Insider that they think he could be in serious legal trouble.
One lawyer familiar with the Trump team’s thought process said in an interview that the ex-president “likes to run the show” and is a “big believer in the public relations assault,” but that he could soon face criminal charges he can’t talk his way out of.
“He should be worried about all these investigations,” the lawyer added. “I think he’s a target of all of them and I think he’ll get indicted.”
Trump is currently at the center of a number of state and federal criminal investigations. At the forefront is the Justice Department’s inquiry into whether Trump broke three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, when he moved government records from the White House to Mar-a-Lago upon leaving office.
The department has also zeroed in on the former president in its sprawling criminal investigation into events surrounding the Capitol riot and subpoenaed a number of former top White House officials. Prosecutors also subpoenaed the National Archives for all the White House records it turned over to the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack.
In Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney’s office is investigating if Trump and his allies broke Georgia laws in their quest to nullify President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. And in New York, the Manhattan district attorney’s office recently secured a plea deal with Trump’s chief bookkeeper, Allen Weisselberg, who this week pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonies and agreed to implicate the Trump Organization.
But Alan Dershowitz, who represented Trump during his Senate impeachment trial, told Insider on Friday that Trump should be most concerned about the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices.
“Right now it’s only civil, but you never know,” he said. “Civil can always morph into criminal the way it did with Weisselberg.”
He also said that even if Trump is charged with a crime from one of the criminal investigations he can still run for president in 2024. “There’s no way that he can be precluded from running based on the current investigations,” he said.
As Insider previously reported, there’s nothing in the Constitution that blocks someone from mounting a presidential run if they’re in prison after being convicted of a crime. The socialist candidate Eugene Debs had been convicted of treason under the Espionage Act when he ran for president in 1920. And Lyndon LaRouche, who was convicted of mail fraud in 1988 and imprisoned, ran for president in 1992.
If he’s convicted for violating two of the three laws that DOJ has acknowledged it is investigating him over in connection to his removal of classified documents, Trump could theoretically launch a 2024 presidential campaign, even if he’s incarcerated.
But if he’s convicted of violating one of those laws — 18 USC Section 2071, which bars the concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of government records — he could be disqualified from holding office again.
That said, legal scholars told The New York Times that it’s unlikely Trump would be blocked from running again even if he’s convicted of a Section 2071 violation, citing Supreme Court rulings that indicate Congress cannot overrule the Constitution’s eligibility criteria for the presidency.
Spokespeople for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his current legal situation. As of Friday evening, the former president continues criticizing the FBI’s search as a corrupt exercise of power, and he also said on Truth Social that his lawyers will soon file a “major motion pertaining to the Fourth Amendment” related to the raid.
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