Washington Post contributing columnist George Conway reacts to sources telling CNN former President Donald Trump has been indicted in the special counsel’s classified documents probe. #CNN #News
This. I want to go to CNN’s Kara Scannell. She is live outside that courthouse in Miami that Evan was referencing there. Kara, what does it look like right now? Did it seem quiet before the former president posted on truth social that he has in fact been told that he has been indicted here?
>> Yeah, kaitlan, it is very quiet here. It is only really a handful of media that were still in place when trump made that posting. I mean, all day it was pretty quiet. Well did see some of the key prosecutors who were on the special counsel’s team working
On the documents case, and we saw one of them going out to get lunch. We saw them going back into the cafeteria to get some snacks, some chips and cookies. And then we also had heard at the end of the day, after everyone had gone that there
Were a bunch of pizza boxes back in the grand jury room. But we weren’t sure if the grand jury had met or even that they had voted. But it has been a relatively tranquil scene here today. Of course, if you remember back in New York after trump was
Indicted on the state charges by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, it was a similar thing. The indictment came down on a Thursday. He was arraigned the following Tuesday. That gave everyone time to get into place. So you can imagine the scene here will become quite busy, not only the media descending, but
Also potentially some trump supporter, some members of the public. As Evan was just explaining, they will have to get a security programmer in place here. Trump being at mar-a-lago, as you well know, they’re used to having him, transporting him around. But this is certainly of a different magnitude and
Dimension, the first time a former president facing federal charges. There was this run-through in New York. We saw how that worked. What’s unclear here is how they will handle it internally. Will they shut down the courthouse like they did in new York, freezing the building, freezing the floors that the
Former president was going to be on, and then creating a pretty rigorous system of who would be able to get into the courtroom to witness this because there are no cameras in court. And there are no cameras in federal court. So the public won’t get a glimpse of this.
It remains to be seen how they’re going figure out the logistics of having this arraignment take place on Tuesday. Kaitlan? >> Remarkable to see a second indictment in just such a short period of time. Thank you, Kara. >>> More perspective now. Joining me now is our senior political correspondent Abby
Phillip, Paula Reid, chief national correspondent John king, and conservative lawyer and “Washington post” contributing columnist John Conway, who has long predicted that this moment would come to pass. But it’s historic. >> It is absolutely. >> No other president has faced federal charges before. >> It is absolutely historic. This is probably the most
Significant historically — most historicalcally important criminal case since the Aaron burr case at the beginning of the 19th century when he was tried for treason. It is stunning to see. It’s breath taking to see, but it’s not surprising at all. The fact of the matter, and Donald Trump is going to argue
That he was mistreated, and he is being singled out and he is being abuse. But the fact of the matter is he’s gotten the Ben of the doubt. If you or any of us at this table had been a government official in the white house during the trump administration
And we took this volume of documents home and we jerked around the national archives and records administration for a year and a half plus, and then forced the government to get to a search warrant, it wouldn’t have taken a year and a half for them to get the search warrant.
The FBI would have been at our doors within months. And the fact of the matter is when this search warrant came out, we saw the affidavit. We saw a redacted affidavit that the FBI used to get the search warrant executed at mar-a-lago. And the amount of information in there was absolutely stunning at
The time. I mean, it was shocking at the time. That they had such a powerful case already. Simply by virtue of the fact they found the stolen property in his office and at his home. So the fact of the matter is he could have been indicted months ago.
And again, if it was one of us, he would have been indicted months ago. He has gotten special treatment in his favor. And that is not a criticism of the justice department. It’s a statement of fact that the justice department has to be extra careful and extra cautious
And make sure that it has all its ducks in a row before bringing a charge against the former president, a presidential candidate. But these charges could have been brought long ago. And one other point. On the venue, there has been the suggestions that somehow this was a sudden change in venue.
The fact of the matter is we knew back in August that there was going to be a potential venue issue, and people were discussing it, legalers were discussing it, not in the cafes, not in the coffee shops of America. But there was legals. Because so much of the illegal
Conduct that was described in the FBI affidavit took place at mar-a-lago, in palm beach, Florida. And the constitution, the sixth amendment provides that a criminal defendant, here Donald Trump, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a jury in the district and the state in which he committed the crime. >> You mention the justice
Department. We haven’t heard anything from them yet, Paula. Do you expect that we will? How does the special counsel’s office handle this? >> Yeah, our reporting right now, kaitlan is we will not hear anything from special counsel jack Smith or his office. That is a deliberate choice. They must have known when they
Offered the courtesy of informing he had been indicted, that’s standard, that’s what you would do with most defendants you knew this was very likely to wind up on social media, which is exactly what happened. They’re not going to offer any statements, any additional details or unseal the indictment tonight that is her choice.
But we have to look at how this worked out with past special counsels in terms of letting other people craft the narrative. The justice department and FBI have been under siege. Criticism about political bias from both sides of the aisle for the past seven or eight years, since the investigation into
Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. One of the reasons we have a special counsel is because the attorney general is trying to protect the integrity, right, the public’s view of the justice department. So tonight the fact that the special counsel is not going say anything, that we’re getting
Most of the breaking news from the former president who has just been indicted, that is something that history will ultimately judge. It’s unclear, though, if this is the correct decision. >> Although I think we can probably say regardless of what they said something or not, accusations of bias would always be there.
Because this was the plan all along. Trump and his allies have been trying to sow the seeds of doubt about whether this case was significant or not. And notably, even the people who are running against him are sort of accepting this narrative that because he is a former president, and because he is
Running for president again, that that ought to subject him to some other kind of standard. And that I think is what will be tested here once we know the details of it. The significance of the reporting that you and the rest of the team reported about that tape in which he is talking
About a specific document, we don’t know whether that document is involved in this. We don’t know whether that was all. Even if it were alone, I think it really opens the door to a really serious set of issues about national security, about trump trying to utilize the
Documents in a way, in any kind of way, frankly. Not just to peruse them, but to prove a point about general mark Milley. Those are really serious issues. And the ones that cannot really be spun once we know the details. >> That’s national defense information. >> We have not heard one word
Publicly from the special counsel since he took this job. Which if you’re talking about the grafify of the case, investigating a former president, the gravity of the issues, the you can understand that. But if you study the lessons of the Mueller report, if you study the lessons of two impeachments,
You also understand what Donald Trump is going to do and has been doing. What he has been doing for weeks and weeks before this moment and he has put it on steroids tonight. He is telling his people don’t listen to this man. The deep state is corrupt. They’re after me again.
Don’t listen to them. Smart is cynical, but smart. If you read the Mueller report, it id prove collusion? No. Did it say a lot of bad things about Donald Trump? Yes. He poisoned the well beforehand and said do not listen to anything these people say. I’m not a lawyer.
Jack Smith’s biggest job is going to be to prove his case in court. We’re in never never land. We have never had a candidate of the United States who is an active candidate indicted on federal charges that are incredibly serious. This is is not shoplifting. This is not stealing a car,
Running a bad business. This is taking the most top secret secrets when he begrudgingly left the white house, mad that heed that to leave, after he tried to fight so he wouldn’t have to leave. So the biggest challenges in court, but the first words jack and his team do say, first on
Paper when we see it, and if they speak to this publicly are going to be critical to determine whether Donald Trump’s argument gets out of his base. If that’s the only argument, he may win the Republican nomination off it. But he is a former president, because the rest of America
Stopped listening to him. We’ll see what happens. >> Within an hour he was already fundraising off of this. Maggie, I understand you’re learning new details about these charges. We know there are about seven. What are you learning? >> Kaitlan, we’ve been told there are seven counts, that
None of the counts is the same. One is a willful retention of the of the documents, one is to obstruct involves more than one person. And another is false statements. There are others that we’re not aware of. A lot so going to matter when this indictment is unsealed,
When we goat to look at it, when we got see the criminal complaint, we will know much more. But this tracks can everything that you and I both know about this investigation over the last however many months it’s been, more than a year. >> Yeah, it has been over a year.
But when it comes to these counts, even though the former president was bracing for this, he is in New Jersey right now. He is going to have to go to Miami, as he’s said himself on truth social on Tuesday for this. What’s your reporting on how his mind-set is?
I know he has been making a lot of phone calls to Republicans, asking them to attack jack Smith, to be out there defending him more voice vociferously. >> Defying. He and his team have been preparing for this for a while. He has been telling people for many days he expected to get
Indicted, and frankly, he thought it happened long before this meeting his lawyers had with the doj on Monday. But kaitlan, as you and I both know, sometimes he reacts a certain way initially. And then as the event sinks in or the facts sinks in, his behavior changes.
So I’m not quite sure what this is going to look like. We know he has two political events planned for Saturday. Those are going to be pretty significant to watch, and obviously whatever happens in