A prominent legal expert suggested that new evidence in the case against Donald Trump alleging he mishandled classified documents undercuts what was likely one of the former president’s best legal arguments.
Ryan Goodman, an NYU law school professor and former special counsel at the Department of Defense, said Thursday during an appearance on CNN”s “Erin Burnett OutFront” that Trump’s alleged involvement in an effort to delete security footage at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort – if proven – would effectively eliminate the possibility of Trump claiming an “advice of counsel defense.”
CNN reports that Mar-a-Lago staffer Carlos De Oliveira, who on Thursday became the third person indicted in connection with the classified documents case, “told the director of IT at the resort, ‘that ‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted,’ according to the indictment.”
In order to claim an advice of counsel defense, a defendant is required to have made a full disclosure of all material facts to their attorney in such a defense, an argument Trump couldn’t make after falsely telling his lawyers that he had turned over all classified documents.
“I’ve actually always thought about that Bedminster episode as driving a hole through one of these other defenses which is the National Archives sent this material to me in in Mar-a-Lago, wasn’t me I didn’t do anything,’” Goodman said.
“Okay then why did you transport it to Bedminster?
“There’s no justification for that, and then to share it with people obviously have no security clearance, I think that’s one, and then also to build on something else that (former Trump attorney) Ty (Cobb) said, which he mentions, look at all these allegations and now we can see what the timeline. Trump was keeping this all away from his lawyers.’
“That actually also destroys a defense of ‘advice of counsel,’ you cannot rely on the defense of ‘I was being told something by my counsel that it was legal for me to keep these documents’ if you have kept information from your counsel. You have to fully inform them what you’re doing, to be able to claim that defense that was maybe his one of his best hopes that kind of evaporates when we see this new evidence.”
CNN 07 27 2023 19 21 35