Filed Under: Politics

WaPo: No Trump business interests found in Mar-a-Lago documents

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According to an article published in the Washington Post earlier this week, federal agents and prosecutors have not found any apparent business interests represented in the classified information found in documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence back in August. The Post citied people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. According to those people, neither the documents nor FBI interviews point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets.

“Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property,” the Post wrote, adding “Trump’s motive for allegedly taking and keeping classified documents was largely his ego and a desire to hold on to the materials as trophies or mementos.”

In a literal sense, business interests or other potential motives are not an element of determining whether former President Trump or anyone around him committed a crime or should be charged with one over the Mar-a-Lago documents. However, as a practical matter, motive is an important part of how prosecutors assess cases.

“It makes perfect sense as to why prosecutors would be spending time scouring through the various records and documents to look for some kind of pattern or theme to explain why certain records were kept and why others were not,” former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz told the Post. “In presenting a case to a jury, prosecutors typically want to explain the motive for committing a crime. It’s not necessary to prove a crime, but it helps tell the story of exactly how a crime unfolded.”

According to court documents, the Justice Department has been investigating Trump and his advisers for three potential crimes: mishandling of national security secrets, obstruction and destruction of government records. The investigation will likely bleed into Trump’s run for president in 2024, announced the day after the Post report came out.

THE WASHINGTON POST HAS REPORTEDLY TALKED TO ANONYMOUS SOURCES THAT ARE INVOLVED IN THE TRUMP INVESTIGATION OVER DOCUMENTS SEIZED AT MAR-A-LAGO.
THOSE SOURCES SAYING SO FAR IN THE INVESTIGATION…OFFICIALS HAVE FOUND NO MALICE BEHIND FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MOTIVE TO KEEP CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS.
IN A BROAD SENSE…MOTIVE IS OFTEN A LARGE PART OF A PROSECUTORS CASE.
BUT IN REVIEWING THE MAR-A-LAGO DOCUMENTS FOR MONTHS…
THERE’S REPORTEDLY BEEN NO BUSINESS-ADVANTAGE IN KEEPING THE MATERIALS.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ALLEGEDLY FINDING NO EVIDENCE TRUMP HAD PLANS TO LEVERAGE, SELL OR USE ANY OF THE INFORMATION.
BUT INSTEAD THEY ARE CONCLUDING HE LIKELY HELD ONTO THE DOCUMENTS SIMPLY BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HE HAD THE RIGHT TO.
JUST BECAUSE THIS REPORT POINTS TO NO MALICIOUS INTENT BEHIND KEEPING THE DOCUMENTS…
IT DOESN’T LEGALLY CLEAR TRUMP FROM POSSESSING THE CLASSIFIED MATERIALS.
THE INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING…AND IT’S NOT YET KNOWN WHAT CHARGES — IF ANY — ARE COMING THE FORMER PRESIDENT’S WAY.

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According to an article published in the Washington Post earlier this week, federal agents and prosecutors have not found any apparent business interests represented in the classified information found in documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence back in August. The Post citied people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. According to those people, neither the documents nor FBI interviews point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets.

“Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property,” the Post wrote, adding “Trump’s motive for allegedly taking and keeping classified documents was largely his ego and a desire to hold on to the materials as trophies or mementos.”

In a literal sense, business interests or other potential motives are not an element of determining whether former President Trump or anyone around him committed a crime or should be charged with one over the Mar-a-Lago documents. However, as a practical matter, motive is an important part of how prosecutors assess cases.

“It makes perfect sense as to why prosecutors would be spending time scouring through the various records and documents to look for some kind of pattern or theme to explain why certain records were kept and why others were not,” former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz told the Post. “In presenting a case to a jury, prosecutors typically want to explain the motive for committing a crime. It’s not necessary to prove a crime, but it helps tell the story of exactly how a crime unfolded.”

According to court documents, the Justice Department has been investigating Trump and his advisers for three potential crimes: mishandling of national security secrets, obstruction and destruction of government records. The investigation will likely bleed into Trump’s run for president in 2024, announced the day after the Post report came out.

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