If Trump is convicted of destruction of documents he is barred from the presidency: legal experts
Donald Trump (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

Former federal prosecutor Harry Litman and Democratic elections lawyer Marc Elias both noted that if the reports are true that the decisions behind the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago has to do with the documents he took from the White House, it would be a crime that, if he was convicted, could bar the former president from ever holding office again.

"This, is by far, not one of the biggest crimes he's been charged with, but, it carries the penalty, that someone who is convicted of it is disqualified from running for future federal office," said Litman. "So, 18 USC 2071, if you destroyed records, when they came and talk to him a few months ago, and carted stuff away. Much of it was documents that have been ripped up. You had, just today, pictures of them stuffing things down the toilet. They may have decided to go after this, disqualify him from future office, secure a conviction, and have that be the broad resolution of the whole problem of Trump. That, in any event, it's huge, but this feature of it that he couldn't run for office in the future is really an enormous aspect of it."

Elias made the same point, saying that the media is missing the big reason why the raid is important. He showed a screen capture of the code that Litman cited, that mentions "concealment, removal, or mutilation generally" of documents. It goes on to proclaim that anyone convicted "shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States."

"Yes, I recognize the legal challenge that application of this law to a president would garner (Since qualifications are set in Constitution). But the idea that a candidate would have to litigate this during a campaign is in my view a 'blockbuster in American politics,'" said Elias.

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If Trump is convicted of destruction of documents he is barred from the presidency: legal experts youtu.be