Trump has a basically 50 percent chance of being indicted on federal charges in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, argued former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" on Tuesday.
This comes amid reporting from the Wall Street Journal that special counsel Jack Smith is "wrapping up" that investigation and nearing charging decisions.
"There's no specific deadline by which DOJ must indict," said Honig. "However, it is a longstanding policy and practice that you try to avoid doing things that will land close in time to an election. If we sort of do the math here, even if they indict soon, even if there's an indictment this summer, you are not going to get to a trial for a year or so, which puts in the summer of 2024, which will be right in the heat of the election and right after the state trial, which we found out today is scheduled for March 25th. We could be in a really unprecedented scenario here."
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"They wouldn't necessarily wait to move forward on both cases?" asked Cooper.
"Right," said Honig. "There's an interesting strategic decision for Jack Smith. Does he make his recommendation on both cases, January 6 and Mar-a-Lago, at the same time, or does he do each when it's ready? The normal practice is you take them as they come. It sounds like from the reporting that they are ahead of the game on the Mar-a-Lago case and lagging a little behind on January 6."
"Based on what we know, how likely do you think it is DOJ will seek to charge the former president in the classified documents?" Cooper pressed him.
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"I think the classified documents case is more likely to result in indictment than January 6," said Honig. "It's a more contained fact pattern. It gets less into gray areas of intent and First Amendment and political speech that you would be dealing with on January 6."
"To me, it's about a coin flip," Honig added. "I would like to give you a prediction. It feels like a 50/50 coin flip on Mar-a-Lago and something less than that on January 6."
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Elie Honig says Trump charges on Mar-a-Lago are a "coin flip" www.youtube.com