Trump in ‘very significant legal jeopardy’ after FBI search: Conway

Conservative attorney George Conway said Friday that former President Donald Trump could face legal trouble after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago, Florida residence on Monday to recover classified documents belonging to the ex- President allegedly took with him when he left the White House last year.

During his interview, CNN anchor Erin Burnett asked the attorney if he thought Trump was in trouble after the raid, to which Conway replied, “Yes, I think he’s in very significant legal jeopardy.”

“If someone else had done this, like I said on your show last night, if a national security adviser had done this, if an aide to the president had done this, if I had done this or you had done this, we probably would already charged,” he added.

Trump in'very significant legal jeopardy': Conway
Conservative attorney George Conway said Friday that former President Donald Trump could face legal trouble after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago, Florida residence on Monday to recover classified documents belonging to the ex- President allegedly took with him when he left the White House last year. Above: Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Aug. 6 in Dallas.
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The FBI, with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland, conducted a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago, searching for top secret (TS) and sensitive compartmentalized information (SCI) and other classified documents. The Washington Post reported Thursday that federal agents were looking for nuclear weapons records, but Trump has 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 so much more. The same sleazy people were involved,” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, in response to the post Report.

Meanwhile, sources told news week that the raid was primarily based on leads from an informant who identified the type of top-secret documents still in Trump’s possession and where they were located.

Some legal experts said the former president may be violating the Espionage Act. Additionally, The New York Times reported that the FBI had seized documents containing information related to “some of the country’s top-secret programs.”

“He had nothing to do with bringing top secret SCI materials from the Situation Room or the Oval Office into the residence,” Conway told CNN on Friday.

Last February, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) questioned whether or not the presidential records turned over to the federal agency for historical preservation were complete. The Justice Department was later asked to investigate whether Trump improperly retained national security information.

“He had nothing to do with those documents and as soon as the archives pointed it out, every single one of them should have been returned to the government and he didn’t do that. And that falls squarely under the prohibition of Section 793 and the Espionage Act,” Conway added.

news week 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 receiving information related to national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information could be used to the detriment of the United States or for the benefit of a foreign nation,” First said Amendment Encyclopedia at Middle Tennessee State University website.

The law also applies to improper handling of sensitive information related to national security and imposes a fine and/or imprisonment of up to 10 years for violators.

Former violators of this law include Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces up to 175 years in prison on 17 espionage charges after he allegedly helped former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning access thousands of classified diplomatic cables and military files steal.

American whistleblower Edward Snowden is also facing espionage charges and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of leaking top-secret National Security Agency (NSA) information about global surveillance programs.

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-very-substantial-legal-jeopardy-after-fbi-search-conway-1733450 Trump in ‘very significant legal jeopardy’ after FBI search: Conway

Rick Schindler

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