Legal experts Andrew Weissmann, Maya Wiley and Charles Coleman all agreed that it's officially the beginning of the end of Donald Trump. It's an expectation that has been heard before, but even with the previous special counsel, there was a "policy" that the Justice Department would protect the president.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked his panel of two lawyers and a professor to join in a kind of thought experiment. "You get hired, Andrew Weissmann, as the new legal team. They fire their old lawyers and they want you. You get the briefing book with the rundown of the legal issues facing your client. Your forced client says to you am I going to be indicted? You say what?"
"Bye-bye, baby," said Wiley.
"It is happening," agreed Coleman. "It's not whether it's going to happen, it's when and with how many of these things that are in front of you."
"And how many counts," Miley said.
"I would say to him, what we have to focus on is the state cases," said Weissmann. "You are going to get indicted federally. Period. The end. That is what Jack Smith is going to do. Whether it is on one or two things, we don't know. But, either one of those is no good. One is better than two that is going to happen. There may be a political solution ultimately on a federal indictment because, if there is a Republican president, it is unlikely that that will come to fruition. There will be a trial, they'll be a jury verdict and you will be sentenced before there is the next presidential election. So, that is one area that we have to worry about."
He explained that the really important piece is the states because there's no ability for Trump to be pardoned federally for a state crime.
"If there is a Georgia indictment or a New York indictment, that is where you have to worry because if you are indicted in New York, you are going to go to jail," Weismann continued. "In Georgia, you might go to jail as well, unless they change the rules and allow the governor to pardon you. So, that is where we need to spend our time, looking at those cases and figuring out what the defenses are. Both of those, I think, are potential issues. The strongest of all of the things that we have seen at least on the outside is the Mar-a-Lago case."
He clarified that it was the strongest "in the sense that the government is going to indict and it's hard to see a valid defense there. That is a simple case. He took the documents. He knew he took the documents. There is gonna be a whole lot of lawyers from the White House who are key witnesses to say, 'I told him not to do it. I told him it was illegal. I told him that these are government property.' The fact that it took 18 months is going to be unbelievably damning evidence."
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