There’s a reason that most competent lawyers advise their clients to refrain from commenting during criminal investigations and prior to indictments or trials. It’s because there is more than a small chance that they will say something that incriminates them and weakens their defense.
Donald Trump, however, never takes such salient advice because his malignant narcissism compels him to believe that he can’t possibly do anything wrong, and that his way of handling things will always be the best way. Consequently, he regularly shoots his big mouth off at his cult rallies and on television without any regard for the legal consequences of his bellicose babbling.
On Monday night Trump was welcomed back into the bosom of Fox News (where he has been conspicuously absent for some weeks) for some softball questions about his imminent indictments and the investigations currently in progress. True to form, Trump spent much of the interview rambling incoherently and whining about his being persecuted by all manner of evil foes.
The Trump-fluffing Hour with Hannity was typical of how Fox News coddles Trump. Hannity made sure that every question he asked had the answer embedded in it so that Trump wouldn’t have to strain himself coming up with a plausible excuse or a believable lie. Sadly, Trump was too boneheaded to grasp Hannity’s obvious coaching (video below)…
Hannity: I can’t imagine you ever saying “Bring me some of the boxes that we brought back from the White House. I’d like to look at them.” Did you ever do that?
Trump: I would have the right to do that. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Hannity: But I know you. I don’t think you would do it.
Trump: Well, I don’t have a lot of time. But I would have the right to do that. I would do that. There would be nothing wrong.
Twice Hannity tried to guide Trump into a response that simply denied that he would break the law. And twice Trump not only ignored Hannity, he explicitly contradicted him, saying that “I would do that,” meaning that he would indeed illegally take classified documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago home/hotel. He’s virtually confessing on national television. But he wasn’t finished incriminating himself…
Trump: Remember this. This is the Presidential Records Act. I have the right to take stuff. You know that they ended up paying Richard Nixon $18 million for what he had. They did the Presidential Records Act. I have the right to take stuff. I have the right to look at stuff.
It’s interesting that Trump chose to justify his crimes by associating himself with another disgraced Republican president, Richard Nixon. And Trump specifically cited Nixon for having allegedly exploited classified documents for profit. That’s just so Trump. Always grifting.
However, he was, as usual, completely wrong about whatever he was implying about the Presidential Records Act. It does not give him the powers that he claims. To the contrary, the PRA explicitly states that “Presidential records automatically transfer into the legal custody of the [National] Archivist as soon as the President leaves office.” But Trump is someone who thinks that he has magical powers to designate classification statuses mentally.
And yet, Trump still wasn’t done dooming his own legal case…
Trump: They have the right to talk, and we have the right to talk. This would have all been worked out. All of a sudden they raided Mar-a-Lago. Viciously raided Mar-a-Lago. I have tape. And I gave them tapes. You know I gave them tapes of storage areas. I gave it to them. I could have held that back. I wasn’t holding anything back that I cared about. I gave them tape. But you know the tape that they don’t want me to reveal? If possible – and they’ve asked me, and so far I’ve adhered to it. The raid itself.
Hannity: Wait a minute. I’ll take that tape.
Trump: I know you would. Everybody would take that tape.
Trump, of course, is lying again about being able to get this “worked out” before the allegedly “sudden” raid of Mar-a-Lago. Trump actually refused to cooperate, and he lied to the FBI (a felony) about having turned over everything. That’s why, after nearly a year of defiance and deception (hardly sudden), a subpoena was issued and a search warrant granted.
What’s more, Trump is claiming to have video tapes that he believes would exonerate him. But for some reason he prefers to allow his apparent guilt to fester in the mediasphere, so he hasn’t released them. That makes perfect sense only if you know that there aren’t any such tapes and you’re desperate to convince people that you’re innocent.
This will only get more interesting when Trump goes to trial and he’s asked to produce these phantom exculpatory tapes that he has now claimed publicly to possess. And this, along with all of the other times he’s foolishly spoken out, will make the prosecutor’s job much easier, and a conviction more likely. So Trump should continue to exercise his right to talk his way straight into prison.
- Did Donald Trump Just Confess to Violating the Presidential Records Act?
- Trump Warns of ‘Death and Destruction’ if He is Indicted for Crimes that He Actually Committed
Trump: “I have the right to take stuff!” (Video: Fox News) pic.twitter.com/rU7hZf8qUQ
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) March 28, 2023
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