Trump lawyers ‘stepped in it’ on page 30 of his SCOTUS appeal: analysis
Donald Trump delivering a speech at a campaign rally held at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Evan El-Amin /

Donald Trump's legal team "stepped in it" with its use of a key term in its appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday evening directed his audience to a single word in the 37-page filing.

"In their appeal today, the Trump lawyers still offered absolutely no reason why Donald Trump would be entitled to these documents and they made the mistake of using a word that they have not used before," O'Donnell said. "In describing Donald Trump's relationship to these documents, after saying in their Supreme Court appeal tonight, once again, that this case is, 'essentially a document storage dispute,' the Trump lawyers, on page 30, went on to say the 'government has sought to criminalize President Trump's possession and management of his own personal and presidential records.'"

"Possession of those records is a crime," O'Donnell noted.

"That is why Donald Trump's lawyers have been avoiding that word, possession. But on page 30 of their filing to Clarence Thomas tonight, the Trump lawyers stepped in it," O'Donnell said.

"In every filing the Trump lawyers have made in this case, they have been trying to suggest that possession of the documents by the former president is perfectly legal without ever using the word possession. But tonight, they did," O'Donnell said.

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Lawrence O'Donnell