Making the case that Donald Trump's legal problems will continue to grow and overwhelm him, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin maintains that he has only himself to blame because he continually refuses to heed the advice of his lawyers and instead turns to the "cranks" he surrounds himself with because they tell him what he wants to hear.
Case in point, the columnist notes, is a report from the New York Times that former White House counsel Eric Herschmann warned the former president late last year that he had no right to sensitive government documents he spirited away to his Mar-a-Lago resort after he lost the 2020 presidential election.
As the Times' Maggie Haberman wrote, Herschmann "sought to impress upon Mr. Trump the seriousness of the issue and the potential for investigations and legal exposure if he did not return the documents, particularly any classified material," adding that Trump listened but reportedly made no effort to comply with DOJ officials.
That, in turn, led to FBI agent showing up at Mar-a-Lago with a warrant allowing them to search the premises where they recovered boxes of documents that belong to the National Archives.
As Rubin pointed out, this falls into a pattern of Trump not listening to lawyers -- including former Attorney General Bill Barr who told the former president there was no evidence of election fraud in 2020-- and seeking less-informed advice.
Put simply, Rubin wrote, "Trump never learns."
"To be clear, Trump should have been on notice that the materials were classified and not properly held by him given that the government had requested the documents and then subpoenaed them," she wrote before adding that he instead, "... continually disregards the advice of serious lawyers. Instead, he searches for answers he prefers from cranks, incompetents and partisan ideologues. (In the case of Mar-a-Lago, he has reportedly turned to non-lawyer and right-wing zealot Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch.)"
For that reason, among others, she suggested that is why he not only lands "himself in hot water" but also "risks making the serious lawyers into adverse witnesses against him," as in the case with Herschmann who has already provided damaging testimony to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Rubin added, "Trump remains his own worst legal enemy," before predicting, "At this rate, it’s possible the Justice Department will make its decision on whether it will charge Trump for his document-hoarding by year’s end."
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