Former President Donald Trump is flaunting the law as he travels the country speaking to his supporters at political events, the guests of Lawrence O'Donnell explained at the top of the show on Monday.
A former prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller's team, Andrew Weissmann, attacked the former president saying that proving Donald Trump committed the crime is no longer the issue, he's admitting to it on social media and on video.
"It is overwhelming, and as you point out, Lawrence, every day it gets bigger and stronger, based on statements coming out of the former president's mouth. The real issue is not going to be the proof. The real issue is that this is a man who has lived with no comeuppance, he is lived with the impunity of never being held to account at least criminally, in a court of law, for his conduct," said Weissmann. "The real issue is going to be the temperament of justice. They clearly will have a case that is provable beyond a reasonable doubt."
They will need to prove Trump's intent, Weissmann said.
But an even larger issue, he explained, "is going to be for Merrick Garland, in terms of is whether he's going to come forward or not? That is the main issue, and as you correctly say, taunting Merrick Garland. I think that is where we all should expect and should be focusing our eyes on the Department of Justice. Whether they will have the backbone to go forward."
He went on to say that there isn't a frame of reference for someone taunting the Justice Department the way Trump is.
"Because like all things, Donald Trump, there is no precedent for this kind of behavior," Weissmann continued. "There is a framework between the Justice manual and the guidelines that are the things that the department operates under -- in deciding whether to prosecute or not. If somebody shows no remorse and is engaged in inflammatory conduct, flouting the law over and over, and spinning out defenses that are patently false. That is a factor that the Department of Justice will and should consider in terms of the need to promote respect for the law, and to deter people from violating the law."
Weissmann also said that the message it sends to the world is if people like Trump rose to lead the government and were able to steal and keep government documents, including highly classified ones, for 18 months or more.
"For Merrick Garland, who said governing his decision on the president, that it is the DOJ precedent, this is a compelling case, and I think Donald Trump's words only make it that much more compelling for the department to go forward," he closed.
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