Trump 'played his cards really, really poorly' and now an indictment looms: former DOJ official
Donald Trump (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

During an appearance on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show," former U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal claimed Donald Trump's legal defense over the stolen government documents the FBI confiscated at Mar-a-Lago is falling apart and he then predicted the Department of Justice would make a decision on where to go next by the end of the year.

Speaking with Jonathan Capehart, Katyal surprised the host with his certainty that an indictment is on the horizon.

Making his case, Katyal explained, "It's all in the favor of the Justice Department. Donald Trump has played his cards really, really poorly, trying to seek the special master and the special master attempt has spectacularly backfired on him."

"The judge who is overseeing the special master [Raymond Dearie], Judge Cannon, she tried to stop the Justice Department from looking at any of the documents, including the hundred or so most highly sensitive national security, nuclear secrets information. She said you couldn't look at it for the criminal investigation and the Justice Department took out a swift appeal of that and got it reversed within a millisecond."

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He later added, "I think the most telling thing is we are seven weeks after that search into Mar-a-Lago, and Donald Trump has never provided one explanation ever for what in the world he was doing with these very highly sensitive documents involving nuclear secrets, human spies, things like that."

"Where are things in that process?" the MSNBC host asked.

"The Justice Department on Friday filed a motion to say, we want to appeal this whole question of a special master, because Jonathan, you don't get a special master if you're a normal person ever," Katyal explained. "And Judge Cannon said the reason why he gets one is because he's the former president -- that is not exactly a powerful legal reasoning. And so the department has said to the Court of Appeals, please hear our case right now."

"I think the department is basically saying, 'Look, we've had it with Judge Cannon; she is erratic and on principles her orders are obviously wrong and the department knows that the ruling from the Court of Appeals, despite how conservative that court is, is more likely to come out in the Justice Department's favor and allow for the criminal investigation in full to proceed unfettered," he elaborated. "And I suspect the culmination at the end of the day, Jonathan, is that Donald Trump will be indicted by the Justice Department."

"Care to tell us when you think that might be?" Capehart pressed.

"It depends a little bit on how fast this appeal can take place," the legal analyst replied. "I think it can take place pretty quickly, and by the end of December, I think we could get a decision there which will tee up the question about when to indict in the winter of 2023."

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