Katyal: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Warrant Means Likely ‘Mole’ Working with FBI

MSNBC contributor Neal Katyal said Friday on “Deadline” that the warrant released for the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid specifies potential “alteration or falsification of records in an active federal. investigation,” which would require an “inside source, a mole.”

Katyal said, “To to me, the big headline is the former president of the United States is under investigation by the FBI for a violation of The Espionage Act, among other things. So that, to me, is the headline. Then it’s supported by two different things: the warrant and the inventory of what was found at Mar-a-Lago. I’m going to start with the latter because, you know, yesterday when there were all these reports of FBI going and trying to find nuclear information or signals intelligence information, I said, look, we got to be cautious because that’s just what the FBI is looking for. We don’t know what they actually found. Today we learned what they found, and we learned that at Mar-a-Lago was some of the nation’s most serious, sensitive information, what is called top secret, sensitive, compartmented information. That was at Mar-a-Lago. It ain’t no hoax. It’s there. There’s no reasonable argument that could be advanced for why that material is at Mar-a-Lago.”

He continued, “Donald Trump’s not the president anymore. He has no need for that information. So that is a damning fact. We then have the second document, which is the warrant. That’s what the FBI went to the federal judge with and said, you know, here’s what we need. The judge then signed off and said here’s what you are allowed to do. Now in the warrant which the federal magistrate judge signed, he said there has to be probable cause to believe that there are documents at Mar-a-Lago that are relevant to three specific crimes. One is 18 USC 793, The Espionage Act, taking defense information against the interests of the United States or grossly negligently removing it from its proper place of custody, aka the White House. Also, it covers the failure to return classified or sensitive information when demanded by the United States. That has a ten-year sentence.”

Katyal added, “Second crime is 18 USC 2071, which is concealment, removal or mutilation of defense information. That’s a three-year penalty, but it also bars you from running for future federal office. Then the third crime enumerated that the magistrate judge signed off on is 18 USC 1519, which is a surprise to us. This is a statute about the destruction or alteration, or falsification of records in an active federal investigation. So that’s like maybe Trump was flushing documents down the toilet once he learned the government was looking for them. Who knows? That’s the one that probably does require inside source, a mole, or something like that, working with the FBI. Otherwise, it’s hard for me to understand how the FBI would have thought that would have been a potential crime. So those are the three. It’s looking incredibly badly for Donald Trump at this point.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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