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It’s the Law, Stupid: The Sordid Story of Trump’s Superseding Indictment (i.e., How all of this legal stuff really works.)

There seems to be some debate about whether or not I am a Trump supporter.  Nobody seems to understand it’s about the law, stupid, not one’s political leanings.  I have represented every possible kind of person with every possible kind of political view, and it never made one bit of difference to me.  However, this might clarify things a bit.  I’ve had enough of listening to incompetents.

It’s fascinating to watch the Feds playing their stock and trade Fedlandia (my term) games, then observe how the uninformed public reacts. I don’t blame non-lawyers for not understanding this stuff.  I have played the pretrial shenanigans game for decades. And I am still trying to figure out the best way to navigate my clients through it.  It’s a lifelong process of learning, i.e., “practicing law”.   [You are only done practicing when you retire. This is literally true.]

But most of the public is not even at the “practice level” yet.  They can’t be practicing something they do not have a clue about.  So, they guess.  They do not know what this Superseding Indictment means in the real world. Which is why I am explaining it.  Simply put, it’s not just the smoking gun.  It’s a gun pointed at his head and waiting to be fired, figuratively speaking.

The videos that were used as the basis for the Superseding Indictment are beyond damaging, at least for the two people shown in them.  Superseding Indictment.  The words bring a chill to all Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers’ spines.  Ugh.  It normally means your client is now toast. It would for sure mean that here, with any other defendant in the world.  In fact, any random coke dealer would be in detention or forced to post huge bail by now, while this all got resolved.

The reason that this part of the chess game is so interesting is the way the moves are unfolding.  Frankly, I smell some serious strategy going on here by the Special Prosecutor.  He knew Trump would be all over TV and Social, blabbing about his case, denying any knowledge that anything was secret and/or that he had miraculously declassified it with his magic wand.   Wrong.

This video evidence clearly proves that two of the people who worked the most closely with Trump were obviously mapping out which cameras are able to record what, basically “casing the joint” as they say, and thus determining which camera’s videos needed to be scrubbed.  Right after those videos were subpoenaed and right after a long secret meeting. This is NOT brain surgery, people.

The overall timeline spells it out to anyone who can see, with the exception of those who are terminally in denial.  The dreaded timeline of overlapping criminal conduct. We hate those in my line of work.  They tend to be effective.  Because the events described are always all there in Discovery, backed up by videos and wire taps and descriptions of meetings and phone calls and texts and airplane flights, oh my, all lined up in order, perfectly showing the step-by-step commission of the crimes.

We begin with the issuance of the draft subpoena to Trump by DOJ.  It asks for all video surveillance recordings from Mar a Lago, to help DOJ track the stolen secret documents Trump absconded with. I have to admit, I find this draft subpoena in and of itself strange.  My drug dealers and corporate embezzler clients never receive such special treatment — being notified in advance.  Why don’t they receive formal notice (rather than battering rams)?  They would hide or destroy the evidence!!  Duh. Coke flushes down toilets easily.

Instead, this move gave Trump time to flush the video evidence of his document hiding down the digital toilet.

It makes me wonder.  Why did DOJ do that?  It’s as if they KNEW he would try to obstruct and tamper with evidence, before he did it.  It’s almost Entrapment!  I can hear Trump saying that.  Maybe he will?  (Hope so as that’s an “admission against interest” imho). But, seriously, how could he NOT commit a couple spare felonies on the side in response to this?  Right? It’s irresistible to a dirty, dishonest crook not to do things like this.  It comes naturally to Trump. Like a Mafia don.

That said, two employees doing stuff does not a conspiracy make. This is where the dreaded timeline comes in.  The timeline here is lethal; it ties the evidence up with a pretty bow.

How so?

Timeline:  Draft Subpoena drops on Trump, asking for videos.  Next thing Trump did was to talk to one of the two guys who were videoed later, scoping out the cameras, who then immediately changed his travel plans in order to fly halfway across the country that very minute, in order to meet in person (huh? Who does that these days?) with Trump at Mar a Lago, where they spoke longer than they ever have before, talking about something. In secret.

Gee. Wonder what?

We learn the answer to that question by watching what happens immediately after that very long, very private, and very secret in person discussion.  Guess what?  The dude who flew halfway across the country to avoid a tapped cell phone or text trail, so he could sit in the same assumedly not bugged room with his boss and talk with no one listening, immediately gets busy destroying evidence.  Again, this is not brain surgery.  Surely, this is common sense stuff, and does not require a law degree from Stanford to understand.  (Although, I admit, it helps.)

If this was cocaine, something much less dangerous than leaking war plans for Iran, in my simplistic way of thinking, and the defendant a Mexican Cartel boss vs ex-President, this would be open and shut.

I guess my focus on the gravity of hiding Top Secret Documents (as opposed to cocaine), comes from all of the security clearances I have held in my life.  When you do the work I do, it comes with the territory, so I totally “get” the secret documents thing.  As for how protected this material is, even compared to hard drugs, …….?  I never once had to sign anything when I was throwing around bags of China White in the courtroom, no matter how dangerous it is (note:  it kills people).

With Top Secret government documents?  (I ran law enforcement for an entire country years ago, in Saipan.)  Reams of waivers and clearances and the rest come with these docs.  It’s more dangerous to let Top Secret information get out than any amount of hard-core drugs.  Way more people could die from leaked War Plans with Iran than from a little toot, pretty sure.  So.  This is some very serious stuff.

Here is what really gets me.  Back before the country went mad, when I was doing this Fedlandia work every day, up to my eyeballs in international drug smuggling cases (i.e. “Operation Frozen Timber”: Google it), defending people who were being railroaded by the Feds, always complaining about the FBI and HSA, my words falling on the deaf ears of family and friends, the exact same people who are now calling this all a corrupt prosecution, they used to YELL at me (literally) that I was some sort of “commie criminal lover” and how dare I criticize their beloved FBI and Homeland Security saviors.  Really, they did. Same people.  I do not get that.

But. I digress.  How do the Feds tie Trump to the videos of the two guys obviously caught in the act of attempted Evidence Tampering and Obstruction (at a minimum)?  Well, first is that darn damning timeline, with that abnormally long secret talk in Trump’s office, closely followed by the employee actively “casing” the cameras.

Then, there is the main game.  Fedlandia is fueled by snitches.  Confidential Informants, for sure. But the main game is flipping co-conspirators.  You threaten one defendant with years in prison unless they “cooperate” and testify against people higher up in the criminal conspiracy.  i.e., Trump, in this case.  If they do, they get probation or short prison terms.  (This is where Rap lyics about “5K’s” and “Snitches get Stitches” come from.)

I know for a fact that is going on here.  This is why they added another conspirator to the Indictment yesterday.  He refused to snitch, so they charged him.  Although here, snitches are not getting stiches.  They are getting free lawyers, paid for by the Mafia Don, Trump.

That will be the focus of my next ditty on this:  The bizarre conflicts of interest going on where Trump (or his people) are apparently paying, or offering to pay, for the lawyers of his co-conspirators.  I do not get how that works either.  I find it unethical conduct and would never do it.

But, back to the issue at hand.   DOJ has Trump “set up like a bowling pin”.

With the first Indictment, they basically baited him to blab about how he had no clue anything was secret, and of course he did blab, all over the airwaves and internet.  Then they warned him that the subpoena was about to drop, AFTER WHICH he began this part of the crime, tampering with the subpoenaed video evidence, then they dropped the Superseding Indictment, adding a potential snitch, and which directly contradicted the now very public record of Trump denying that anything was secret, before he orchestrated the destruction of evidence.

Why scrub cameras urgently if you did nothing wrong?  Well?  Why?  An emergency lack of hard drive storage space that only Trump could handle?

Give me a break.

If he were a Mexican cartel drug lord?  We’d be talking guilty plea about now.  Since he’s guilty.  Clearly guilty, to everyone not blinded by their personal political views.  Nothing personal about this.

It’s the Law, Stupid.