Legal Experts Craft Model Memo To Indict Trump
A model prosecution memo published by a team of US legal experts lays out potential charges against Donald Trump for his handling of classified documents since he left office last year, Brett Wilkins and Common Dreams wrote for Alternet and Raw Story.
Photo Insert: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently probing possible Espionage Act violations committed by Trump, who was found in possession of classified documents allegedly including materials related to a foreign country's nuclear weapons.
The memo was authored by a group of former federal prosecutors, defense attorneys and other legal experts and published at Just Security.
Before issuing an indictment, prosecutors compile a pros memo listing admissible evidence, possible charges and legal issues pertaining to the case.
The document subsequently "provides a basis for prosecutors and their supervisors to assess whether the case meets the standard set forth in the Federal Principles of Prosecution, which permit prosecution only when there is sufficient evidence to obtain and sustain a prosecution."
Ryan Goodman, a former Pentagon special counsel, current New York University law professor, and co-author of the new memo, said the team's "exhaustive analysis of all prior prosecutions brought under the same criminal statute that most directly applies to Trump shows how difficult it will be for the Justice Department to decline to issue an indictment here."
He added: "Trump's conduct is indeed much worse than most of those prior cases and involves a host of aggravating factors that one seldom sees in cases brought under the Espionage Act's retention clause."
The memo analyzed six federal crimes: Retention of national defense information (18 USC § 793(e)); Concealing government records (18 USC § 2071); Conversion of government property (18 USC § 641); Obstruction of justice (18 USC § 1519); Criminal contempt (18 USC § 402), and; False statements to federal investigators (18 USC § 1001).
The controversial Espionage Act is a World War I-era law used to prosecute dissidents and whistleblowers from Eugene V. Debbs, Emma Goldman, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Reality Winner.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently probing possible Espionage Act violations committed by Trump, who was found in possession of classified documents allegedly including materials related to a foreign country's nuclear weapons.