'Oh my lord!' CNN legal analyst astounded by 'all the crimes' Trump and his lawyers could be charged with
US President Donald Trump, pictured on July 8, has assailed Britain's US ambassador as a "pompous fool" and slammed outgoing premier Theresa May's "foolish" policies following a leak of unflattering diplomatic cables. (AFP/File / NICHOLAS KAMM)

Former President Donald Trump is facing a criminal investigation into whether he violated the Espionage Act, and CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams argued on Wednesday that Trump and his attorneys face exposure to a wide range of potential charges.

During a discussion about last week's FBI search of Mar-a-Lago that recovered top secret government documents, host John Berman quoted at length from a New York Times report that described behind-the-scenes actions that led up to the decision to execute a search warrant.

"Let me read another quote from Maggie Haberman's reporting that dealing with surveillance footage and the fact that they were alarmed with what they saw," Berman said. "'At that point at least one Trump lawyer signed a statement saying material with the classified markings had been returned, according to four people familiar with the document, but officials used a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage of the hallway outside a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and saw something that alarmed them. They also received information from at least one witness who indicated that more material might remain at the residence."

Williams responded by expressing astonishment.

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"Oh my lord!" he exclaimed. "It's like a law school exam question where you have to count all of the crimes. I'm dead serious here. Number one, signing that document could itself be a crime because it's a false statement to the government. Number two, not complying with the subpoena, it's a misdemeanor but still a crime. Number three, what you're seeing are potentially crimes or at least gross abuses in judgment happening on camera."

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