Legal expert: DOJ believes there 'could be some level of criminality' in how Trump handled classified documents
Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump (AFP)

On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former federal prosecutor Elie Honig walked through the significance of the DOJ convening a grand jury to examine former President Donald Trump's handling of classified information.

The development, he argued, is a sign that they are taking seriously the possibility the former president may have broken the law.

"When you take the issue of being subpoenaed on, Trump taking documents to Mar-a-Lago, what does it say to you?" asked anchor Erin Burnett.

"This tells me the Justice Department believes there could be — and I want to stress that, could be — some level of criminality here," said Honig. "As a federal prosecutor, if you're going to issue a grand jury subpoena, you can't do that based on nothing, you have to have what prosecutors call predication, which basically just means, some fact or belief that there has been a crime. It's a low bar, but it's not nothing."

"I think what prosecutors are going to be focused on here is that it is a federal crime to remove or destroy classified documents," said Honig. "We know the documents down at Mar-a-Lago were classified, but you have to show, A, a person knew they were classified, and you also have to show a person knew that was wrong. So that's where I think DOJ is really going to be focusing here on the criminal side of things."

The National Archives first confirmed Trump removed boxes of classified information to Mar-a-Lago in February. While the president is the top classification authority in the country, many of these removals may have occurred after Trump left office.

Watch the segment below or at this link.

Elie Honig says DOJ believes Trump may have "some level of criminality"