Speaking to MSNBC, former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal and former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann homed in on the importance of all the legal woes hitting Donald Trump at once.
For example, the judge in the classified documents case last night demanded a seven-hour turn-around time on new responses from the DOJ. Calling it "extraordinary," Katyal said that he's never seen anything like it before.
"To me, I think it really does suggest the seriousness of the investigation," he explained. "There are some theories people are saying, well, the grand jury is going to meet on Friday. The evidence has to be turned over today. And so, maybe that's why they rushed it. But that, to me, is not an explanation. The court could have just delayed the turning over of the information through a stay — without having to actually rule on the underlying merit. But here they said, government, brief this overnight, and now we're going to decide it. And so I think there's something more going on in just simply the turning over the material deadline."
Host Lawrence O'Donnell asked Weissmann what possible reason there would be to move so quickly.
"I can give you two thoughts," said Weissmann. "One is that you're supposed to decide grand jury matters expeditiously. Here in the Second Circuit in New York, where there are lots of criminal grand jury matters, it would be unheard of to do it this way, with sort of a matter of hours, but you would have very quick decisions. So that's one theory."
The other idea he suggested is a possible national security implication that is in the filing that caused the lower court and the appeals court to be "really concerned" about getting the information back to the proper parties.
"And just to stress one critical thing here, and I know this because I had the identical situation in front of Judge [Beryl] Howell, this could be the entire ball game in terms of the obstruction of justice and a false statement case that special counsel Jack Smith could bring against the former president," Weissmann explained. "It would be a crime — two crimes that really differentiate this investigation from anything that's alleged with respect to the current president or the former Vice President. But you could end up with a lawyer giving the last testimony about learning the false statements of the certification and the false statements he made to the Department of Justice orally. He may very well say that is information he learned from the former President of the United States. It would be exactly the situation that happened with Paul Manafort before the same judge, making the exact same ruling, and it really was 'game over' in our case. Obviously, we don't yet know what Mr. [Evan] Corcoran's gonna say, but the recording is that he is not going to be the fall guy. He is going to say 'I was misled.'"
See the full conversation in the video below or at the link here.
'Could be the entire ball game': ex-FBI counsel wonders if it's a national security issue for Trumpwww.youtube.com