Trump already committed a crime when he refused to turn over documents he knew he had: expert
President Donald Trump, speaks to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House. (

Former President Donald Trump continues to face jeopardy from special counsel Jack Smith's investigation of his stash of classified intelligence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Speaking to MSNBC on Friday, former solicitor general Neal Katyal laid out the ongoing problems for the former president — and why his attempts to keep the documents hidden are essential to the case.

"Neal, I want to bring you back in on this sort of pattern of obstruction of justice because it's Donald Trump, we have, you know, I think 285 pages that detail exactly how Donald Trump obstructed the last investigation into him, the one that was conducted by the Mueller team, I think there were six, there was the obstructive act, there was the next specific crime," said anchor Nicolle Wallace. "One thing that was said derisively and dismissively by the Justice Department at the time, without an underlying crime, the obstruction stuff was just process. Do you think this Justice Department sees it that way?"

"Not at all," said Katyal. "So, I mean, process crimes, first of all, can be incredibly important because the system depends on people coming forth and telling the truth, even after they've made mistakes. So if you're hiding evidence, you know, the way that it looks like Evan Corcoran might have been involved in, that's a serious problem in and of itself."

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"The second thing, there might have been kind of convoluted arguments about no substantive crime in the Russia investigation — I totally disagree — but here there's no doubt," said Katyal. "You don't get to get — if you're the government official, you don't get to take highly sensitive documents home. It's a crime every day of the week. I mean, I served as national security adviser at the Justice Department. I never heard of the possible idea that that isn't a crime. Of course it's a crime."

"The government doesn't always prosecute it," added Katyal. "Why not? Because you come in and say, I made a mistake, here's why it was inadvertent. If it wasn't inadvertent, you try and cut a deal the way Sandy Berger did. Indeed, part of the — I think it's the Espionage Act that said failure to turn over documents after they've been requested of you is in itself a crime."

Watch video below or at this link.

Neal Katyal explains Espionage Act