A former federal prosecutor said Donald Trump may be brought down in the classified documents scandal in the same way the former president was found liable for sexual abuse after writer E. Jean Carroll sued him for rape.
That is, by having his own words and shifty statements used against him.
Andrew Weissmann, who investigated Trump’s role in Russian interference in the 2016 election, pointed out to NBC’s Chuck Todd how Trump has used a myriad of spurious excuses to defend his mishandling of classified documents, now under criminal investigation by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith.
Among them, Weissmann noted, were claims that the materials were planted and that Trump was entitled to take them when he left the White House.
The scrutiny on Trump intensified this week after federal prosecutors reportedly obtained audio from July 2021 in which the ex-president boasted about having classified documents outlining a potential American attack on Iran.
“Just imagine the chart that the government is going to use in opening and in summation of all of the inconsistent statements that Donald Trump has made,” Weissmann told Todd, imagining the ex-president on trial.
“It reminds me very much of what happened in the E. Jean Carroll sexual assault case, where the plaintiff there used Donald Trump’s own words and inconsistent statements to prove her case,” he continued. “And that is what I think we’re going to see in the Mar-a-Lago case when it’s brought.”
Carroll alleged Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. Trump denied the claim. Carroll last month was awarded $5 million in damages after a New York jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation.
Trump had previously claimed Carroll was not his “type.” But, during pretrial questioning, he mistook a decades-old photo of Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples.
Earlier in Thursday’s interview, Todd asked Weissmann if Trump’s history of lying could be a potential defense.
“No,” he replied. “If the document that he is describing does not exist, in other words the whole thing is just his bluffing, the evidence on that tape is still useful to show his state of mind. But all the reporting shows it does exist and special counsel Jack Smith would know for sure.”
On Wednesday, Weissman told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace the recording could mean it’s “game over” for Trump.
“There is no way that he will not be charged,” the former prosecutor said.