Benjamin Wittes, the cofounder and editor-in-chief of Lawfare, during an appearance on the Bullwork podcast told host Charlie Sykes that Trump’s statements were tantamount to an admission that he obstructed justice in the classified documents case.
Trump during Wednesday’s interview argued that he he didn’t break the law because as a former president he’s “allowed to do whatever I want” in connection with classified documents.
“Like the records case, I come under the Presidential Records Act,” Trump said.
“I’m allowed to do it. Biden’s not allowed to do it, because he wasn’t president. It’s a special act that was passed in great detail in 1977, in tremendous detail. It tells you everything you’re allowed to do, and it’s not criminal. It has nothing to do with the criminal. It’s not a criminal act.”
Wittes said, “Hugh Hewitt is not my favorite person in the world, but he’s a smart lawyer, actually. And he is picking up on something correct here,” noting the former president is facing obstruction counts not related to the handling of documents.
“Even if you completely buy Trump’s (expletive) about the underlying document retention case, there’s still these subpoenas and failure to return material and the machinations to prevent the return of the material that violate the obstruction laws, even if the materials weren’t classified,” Wittes said.
“And so Hugh Hewitt here is picking up on something significant, which is that the biggest danger to Trump, which doesn’t depend on the Presidential Records Act or anything else, it’s just that he had a subpoena. And he went out of his way in 100 different ways to defy it, including moving the boxes, ordering those boxes moved and by the way, all of these statements he’s making hear are potentially admissible, and Trump is just walking himself into a world of hurt with these admissions.”