The recent FBI Mar-a-Lago leaks and court developments suggest the Biden administration's Justice Department is seeking to ensnare former President Donald Trump on obstruction of justice, but legal expert Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax there is nothing on that level at this point.
"The only possible case that they could consider making against the former president and a future presidential candidate — it's not going to be mishandling of classified information — it would be the [former President Richard] Nixon crime: obstruction of justice," Dershowitz told Saturday's "America Right Now," noting there were empty folders recovered from Trump's stored presidential documents.
"And the only way you get an obstruction of justice conviction — and I don't think there's any evidence of it now — is to show that there was willful and deliberate destruction of subpoenaed material, which is what happened in the Nixon case.
"And so those empty envelopes can prove to be significant if the government could prove that there was classified material in those envelopes, which are marked classified, and then that Trump himself, or others under order from him, deliberately ripped up or destroyed that material to prevent the Justice Department from coming upon it — that would be obstruction of justice.
"But that's total speculation at this point."
Dershowitz noted the partisan District of Columbia could impanel a grand jury to indict Trump on something related to the FBI raid of the former president's private residence, but the question is whether it is serious enough to take this step against a past president and a future presidential campaign rival.
"I think they're able to do it — in the District of Columbia, you don't need a ham sandwich: You can indict a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the District of Columbia," Dershowitz told host Tom Basile. "I don't think that wiser heads would seek an indictment, unless they passed the Nixon test, bipartisan support, something very serious, obstruction of justice.
"And it's just not there yet."
Notably, the Justice Department's seeking to get witnesses to flip on Trump would potentially compromise their potential to actually make any case they are seeking to make.
"It could help and it could hurt," Dershowitz continued. "I have to tell you that juries don't like bought witnesses. If these were people who were given deals, who may have been complicit themselves in moving documents or whatever, and the Justice Department said, 'Hey, if you give us information, we won't investigate or prosecute you.'
"Those generally are not particularly good witnesses. They're good sources of information, but not good witnesses.
"But eventually the names of every single person who gave information to the government will have to come out, and then the lawyers have to be prepared to cross examine them, and to challenge the veracity of what they've said."
Dershowitz noted, while he disagreed with Trump's actions on Jan. 6, the legal expert believes any case against Trump there would ultimately prove to be a dead end.
"I don't think that there's any way he could be prosecuted successfully for Jan. 6," Dershowitz concluded.
"I think the only issue is obstruction of justice, and perhaps the Georgia case and the New York case, but I don't think the classified material or Jan. 6 rise to the level of passing what I call the Nixon test or the Hillary Clinton test."
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