Washington Post announced an interesting development in the saga of Donald Trump and his illegal activities: A new prosecutor has been added to the case overseeing Trump’s removal of classified documents. WaPo calls David Raskin “one of the Justice Department’s most experienced national security prosecutors,” which sounds quite serious. WaPo interviewed national security experts, who believe the DOJ has evidence that will end up with Donald Trump being charged. They told WaPo that the DOJ would never even consider prosecuting a former president unless they have “an extremely strong case.”
Raskin has myriad experience in prosecuting cases. He is considered “one of the most accomplished terrorism prosecutors of his generation.” Raskin is no stranger to high-profile prosecutions, which is why he was asked to consult on the January 6 insurrection. The addition of Raskin shows just how serious the DOJ is about Trump’s theft of classified records and his determination to keep them even after he was asked for their return. Trump committed several crimes, including obstructing the DOJ from securing the return of all classified records in his possession. We don’t even yet know what they may have with respect to other crimes.
Raskin is, of course, not talking, as WaPo indicated that it reached out. WaPo did mention that Raskin recently secured a guilty verdict in a case eerily similar to the Trump issue, which involved a former FBI analyst who took over 300 classified files home, files that included highly sensitive material about Al-Qaeda. This is no different from the documents Trump took, which contained sensitive information about Iran’s missile program and intelligence-gathering work about China. These documents do not belong outside the possession of those who work on such matters, and they certainly didn’t belong in Trump’s personal office, intermingled with newspaper clippings and other useless nonsense.
While speculation is running rampant, Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for national security under the Obama administration, said: “There is no other case in history like this. This is the former president of the United States. This is someone who was the commander in chief, someone who spent four years being briefed every single day on national security issues.” Of course, we’re talking about Donald Trump who likely never participated in briefings, yet he felt the need to take classified documents from the White House. For what purpose? It has to be for nefarious reasons. Otherwise, it makes no sense that someone who was so disinterested while in the job suddenly became interested. It just doesn’t fly.
In the end, the DOJ will have to show Trump’s intent. They must show that he knowingly and willingly removed documents from the White House that he knew or should have known not to remove. Because of the way Trump fought to keep the records, you must assume that he had some use for them, and his unwillingness to return the documents shows that he knew he had no right to them. This will certainly be an interesting case when it makes it to criminal court, and it will make it there.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years