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Donald Trump biographer Tim O'Brien explained that even though the former president "isn't a sophisticated man" and " is a deeply ignorant man," he still "understood the stakes in the search warrant that was executed."

He joined a panel of legal experts on MSNBC Sunday evening to explain that Trump's "secret power" is spinning something into something else.

"Then there was this void around how to interpret the FBI search, and he lept into that by labeling it a raid and saying the United States had a broken legal system, just like third world countries and this was a political hit," said O'Brien. "All that got embraced by Fox News and the enablers in the GOP. And they had about two new cycles worth of momentum out of that. By the time Merrick Garland belatedly gave guidance to the American public about what the Justice Department's intentions were here, I think the wheel had turned."

It's only persisted since Thursday, he said.

"I think the initial focus was, 'well the FBI is off the rails here," O'Brien went on. "He effectively changed people from focusing on him to focusing on the FBI's actions. Now that the people are focusing on him, his motives in all of this become paramount. I think you really have to ask yourself, why did Donald Trump take these documents? I think it drops into three baskets. I think at least painful one of them is that he's a seven year grown old, and there's some stuff from the White House that he wanted to keep. Late models of Air Force One and its paint job."

Where it gets dodgy is whether Trump had financial incentives to take documents.

"Donald Trump's business is under enormous stress," O'Brien explained."He faces an AG investigation by the New York attorney general investigation that could put him out of business. He owes a lot of debt. His son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary both cashed in under relationships with the Saudis. I think he saw people in his administration monetizing their service. I think we can't put it past anyone that Trump saw some of these documents as avenues for him to making money. I think that the third possible basket here is damage control for his own reputation, actions you might have taken before your eyes leadership while he was president."

Former deputy assistant attorney general from the office of legal policy, Lisa Graves made it clear that Trump also can't wave a magic wand and declassify anything he wants. She also explained that the documents report revealed that the ones he took were the most sensitive.

"But the Espionage Act does not require anything to be classified specifically in order for it to apply," she also said. "I think Trump is in a world of trouble. We may have to start calling him Benedict Donald."

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