The FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on Monday sent shockwaves through Washington D.C. -- and attorney Andrew Weissmann believes there's no way Attorney General Merrick Garland would have signed off on it without good reason to believe that Trump would have blown off a lawful subpoena.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Weissmann broke down exactly why Garland would have opted to go with a search warrant for the documents rather than a subpoena.
"You use a search warrant, and not a subpoena, when you don’t believe that the person is actually going to comply," he said. "For me, the biggest takeaway is that the Attorney General of the United States had to make the determination that it was appropriate in this situation to proceed by search warrant because they could not be confident that the former President of the United States would comply with a grand-jury subpoena."
Weissmann also speculated that Trump could have asserted Fifth Amendment protections as reason to not comply with a subpoena under the so-called "act of production" privilege.
"It’s a part of the Fifth Amendment that says you don’t have to produce documents in your possession if the act of producing them would be incriminating," he said. "So, for instance, there is a lot of speculation that this is about whether the former President has classified documents in his possession that he should not have. If he produced those pursuant to a subpoena, that would be incriminating himself, because it would show that he had them and knew where they were."