Former Judge Andrew Napolitano is predicting that former President Donald Trump will be indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
There, Napolitano was asked why he believes Trump will be indicted by the DOJ. He replied:
Because I don’t think the government would’ve gone through this without planning in advance to indict him. It pains me to say it, and I don’t think he should be indicted. But I think the people that will make this decision have already made up their minds, and they’ll make this presentation to the grand jury right after the midterm elections.
Napolitano concluded by saying that he hopes that he is wrong.
The three charges Trump is likely to face
Napolitano went into far more detail about why he thinks that Trump will be indicted by the DOJ in his op-ed for the Washington Times.
There, he predicted that Trump will be indicted for three crimes: “Removing and concealing national defense information (NDI), giving NDI to those not legally entitled to possess it, and obstruction of justice by failing to return NDI to those who are legally entitled to retrieve it.”
Notice that, contrary to what news media coverage has been suggesting, Napolitano does not believe that the DOJ will indict Trump for possessing classified materials. Rather, the indictment will center around the possession of NDI.
Napolitano explains that, regardless of whether they are classified or not, “it is simply and always criminal to have NDI in a non-federal facility, to have those without security clearances move it from one place to another, and to keep it from the feds when they are seeking it.”
Napolitano, in the op-ed, continues by going through the elements of the charges that he believes Trump will be indicted for.
One of the elements is that Trump knew that he had the NDI documents, another is that the documents actually do contain NDI, and a third is that “Trump put these documents into the hands of those not authorized to hold them and stored them in a non-federally secured place.”
Napolitano writes that the first element is already met since Trump stated publicly that the NDI was no longer classified. And, regarding the other two elements, Napolitano writes:
Intelligence community experts . . . are prepared to tell a jury that they contain the names of foreign agents secretly working for the U.S. This is the crown jewel of government secrets. Moreover, Mr. Trump’s Florida home is not a secure federal facility designated for the deposit of NDI.
Napolitano concludes that Trump is “in hot water.” He says that he “cannot think of a legally viable” defense. If he’s right, then the former president appears to be in some serious trouble.