Twenty months after leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump continues to be the subject of a variety of investigations — from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia to New York State Attorney General Letitia James to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 select committee to the U.S. Department of Justice. One DOJ investigation has been probing the events of January 6, 2021, while another has been investigating the government documents that Trump was storing at his Mar-a-Lago resort/home in Palm Beach, Florida when FBI agents executed a search warrant on Monday, August 8.
During a Monday night, September 19 commentary on DOJ’s Mar-a-Lago/documents probe, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell argued that Trump’s chances of facing a federal prosecution have “skyrocketed.”
O’Donnell, quoting a report by the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, explained, “The New York Times is reporting tonight that a former White House counsel warned Donald Trump last year, when he was no longer president, that ‘Mr. Trump could face legal liability if he did not return government materials he had taken with him when he left office. The lawyer, Eric Herschmann sought to impress upon Mr. Trump the seriousness of the issue and the potential for investigations and legal exposure if he did not return the documents, particularly any classified material’…. And so now, we know the name of one witness, possibly the most important witness, federal prosecutors will call to testify in their grand jury investigation of Donald Trump’s possession of those documents: Eric Herschmann.”
Eric Herschmann, O’Donnell added, has been a witness for the January 6 select committee, and he will “obviously” comply with DOJ investigators.
Trump has claimed that all of the government documents he was storing at Mar-a-Lago were “declassified” before he left the White House in January 2021 — a claim that O’Donnell disputed during his September 19 commentary.
The MSNBC host told viewers, “If Eric Herschmann tells federal prosecutors the same thing that the New York Times is reporting at this hour tonight, then the chances of Donald Trump being indicted have just skyrocketed. And that is not the only breaking news in this case tonight. Donald Trump’s lawyers said, in writing tonight…. That they are refusing to answer the question of whether Donald Trump declassified documents seized by the FBI at his Florida home because they are saving their answer to that question as, quote, ‘a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment.’”