Trump in ‘very substantial legal jeopardy’ after FBI search: Conway
Conservative attorney George Conway said Friday that former President Donald Trump could face legal trouble after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago, Florida residence on Monday to retrieve classified documents that the former president would have carried with him when he left the White House the last time. year.
During his interview, CNN anchor Erin Burnett asked the attorney whether or not he thought Trump was in trouble after the raid, to which Conway replied, “Yeah, I think he was. is in grave legal danger.”
“If someone else had done this, like I said last night on your show, if a national security adviser had done this, if an aide to the president had done this, if I had done this or if you had done that, we probably would have charged by now,” he added.
The FBI, with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland, executed a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago looking for Top Secret (TS) and Sensitive Compartmented (SCI) information along with other classified documents. The Washington Post reported Thursday that records related to nuclear weapons were being sought by federal agents, but Trump called the reporting a “hoax.”
“The nuclear weapons issue is a hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax, two impeachments were a hoax, the Mueller investigation was a hoax, and much more. The same sordid people involved,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social social media platform, responding to Job report.
Meanwhile, sources said Newsweek that the raid was primarily based on information received from an informant, who identified the type of highly classified documents that were still in Trump’s possession and where they were located.
Some legal experts have said the former president may be in violation of the Espionage Act. In addition, The New York Times reported that the FBI had recovered documents containing information related to “some of the most classified programs” in the country.
“He had no reason to bring top secret SCI documents from the Situation Room or the Oval Office to the residence,” Conway said Friday on CNN.
Last February, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) questioned whether or not the presidential records turned over to the federal agency for historic preservation were complete. The Justice Department was then asked to investigate whether Trump was illegally retaining national security information.
“He had no reason to have these documents and as soon as the records pointed out that every single one of them should have been returned to the government, and he hasn’t. And that is squarely within the purview of the prohibition of Section 793 and the Espionage Act,” Conway added.
Newsweek contacted Trump’s media office for comment.
What is the Espionage Act?
The Espionage Act was first enacted in 1917 shortly after the United States entered World War I. The law prohibits individuals from obtaining “any information related to national defense with the intent or reason to believe that the information may be used to injure the United States.” states or for the benefit of any foreign nation,” according to the First Amendment Encyclopedia on the Middle Tennessee State University website.
The law also applies to the improper handling of sensitive national security information and imposes a fine and/or up to 10 years in prison for those who violate it.
Former lawbreakers include Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who could face up to 175 years in prison on 17 espionage charges after allegedly helping former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal thousands of diplomatic cables and classified military records.
US whistleblower Edward Snowden is also facing espionage charges and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of leaking highly classified National Security Agency (NSA) information relating to intelligence programs. global monitoring.