During an appearance on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show," former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade explained why a report on how the Department of Justice is working diligently on how to prosecute Donald Trump for espionage indicates that investigators have the goods on the former president.
On Friday an MSNBC report stated a case in Hawaii and one in Kansas City that led to espionage charges are both being scrutinized for tips on how to pursue a Trump indictment, explaining it is "a major part of the calculus for Justice Department officials as they decide whether to move forward with charges against the former president over the classified documents found in his Florida home."
According to McQuade, that means things have grown more serious for the former president.
"There are two questions that prosecutors ask themselves when deciding whether to bring charges," the former prosecutor began. "The first is: can we charge? That is, is there sufficient evidence to prove the case? That's the first question, but then there's that second question: should we bring a case? That's when the government looks to whether or not there's a federal -- substantial evidence to bring a case."
"We want to have uniformity in the kind of cases you prosecute," she elaborated. "In cases involving the mishandling of classified documents, typically prosecutors look for some aggravating factor beyond just mishandling. If you innocently bring home a document in your briefcase, typically that is not prosecuted. You might be disciplined. You might lose your clearance you might lose your job, but probably not be criminally prosecuted."
"It's some of those factors that she mentioned in the Hawaii case and others, whether the person acted willfully, that is they knew they were violating the law," she told the host, "Whether they were disloyal to the United States, sold them to a foreign government for example, or whether they obstructed justice."
"That's probably the factor that is most salient in the Trump investigation," she concluded.
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