For decades on end, Donald Trump has been legally untouchable, but his current bevy of attorneys isn’t sure that his reputation will stay untarnished in the coming months.
The latest legal worries for the former President surround a stash of government documents that were taken to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as his time in office was coming to an end. Trump has declared these items to have been declassified, but the Department of Justice is refuting that possibility and attempting to indict Trump on some as-of-yet-unspecified charges.
In a filing this week, his lawyers appeared to suggest that the possibility of an indictment was real.
The Justice Department and lawyers for Donald Trump filed separate proposals Monday for conducting an outside review of documents seized at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home, with key disagreements over how the process should work and Trump’s team acknowledging that the criminal probe could lead to an indictment.
Both sides referenced a “draft plan” given to them by Judge Raymond J. Dearie, the newly appointed special master. Trump’s lawyers expressed concern that Dearie posed questions about the documents that the judge who appointed Dearie has left unasked, arguing that Trump might be left at a legal disadvantage if he answered them at this stage of the process.
Specifically, the legal team objected to what it said was Dearie’s request that it “disclose specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government.”
Here is where it gets interesting:
In Monday’s filing, Trump’s lawyers wrote that they don’t want Dearie to force Trump to “fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order” — a remarkable statement that acknowledges at least the possibility that the former president or his aides could be criminally charged.
Donald Trump has long held the nickname “Teflon Don” for his ability to repel litigious attacks and public slander, and only time will tell if he takes that reputation with him into the sunset.