Why the Case Against Donald Trump Remains Incomplete, by Jonathan Turley

There are still many unanswered legal questions about the Trump raid. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in the Hill on the lingering questions concerning any prosecution of former President Donald Trump for the retention of classified or sensitive material. As previously discussed, the three referenced criminal provisions do not require classified status of documents to be the basis for prosecution. However, if the documents were declassified, it would make any prosecution very difficult, if not untenable, though the obstruction count could be based on affirmative false representations made to the government. The point is only that we still do not have sufficient information to judge the basis for the raid or the prospects for prosecution despite the often breathless coverage.  The affidavit remains key to ending this speculation and quelling conspiracy theories. That is why Attorney General Merrick Garland should call for its unsealing.

Nevertheless, figures like John Dean are saying that defenders of the former president will “have egg on their faces” when this case is done and presumably Trump is prosecuted. Perhaps, but what is clear is that there is no such risk in others claiming an array of proven crimes for six years that were never charged. Figures who pushed the debunked Russian collusion, incitement, or bizarre attempted murder claims are now claiming with the same certainty that conviction is finally at hand. Once again, before the eggs fly, the release of actual evidence would be useful.

Here is the column:

The FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was received by many with joy bordering on ecstasy. Comedian Stephen Colbert declared the raid to be Christmas come early, while others joked about the possibility of executing Trump as a spy. Yet the celebration may be another triumph of hope over experience, with pundits again declaring an open-and-shut case without seeing the actual evidence.

The problem is that much in this investigation remains unknown and much of the analysis seems more visceral than legal. While details may be forthcoming that will fill in the glaring gaps, any prosecution on the record we know today would face novel — and potentially insurmountable — questions.

At the risk of being a killjoy, here is what we know and don’t know about these charges.

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