Alina Habba, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, told Newsmax on Wednesday that if a federal grand jury indicts her client for his handling of classified documents, it would be a “complete mishandling and weaponization” of the Department of Justice.
The Independent reported Wednesday the DOJ is set to ask a Washington grand jury that Trump be charged with violations under the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice regarding his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Just the News, citing multiple people familiar with the case, also reported federal prosecutors notified Trump that he is a criminal target and likely to be indicted imminently.
“We don’t know that, but I’ve heard that obviously being floated around,” Habba told “Carl Higbie FRONTLINE.” “Imagine, we have Hillary Clinton. You have [Barack] Obama. You have [President Joe] Biden. You have [George W.] Bush, tons of people that have had declassification, clarification issues with NARA [the National Archives and Records Administration], which effectively is all it should or would have been if he was not Donald Trump.
“If they do come out with an indictment, I can tell you that it is complete mishandling and weaponization of the DOJ, because we’ve seen this exact problem with other presidents, and they’re not treated the same.”
Habba said she learned of news that Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff in Trump’s final year in office, has been working with the prosecution to get a plea deal and be granted immunity to testify against Trump. It is not known if his testimony is for the classified documents case or for an investigation into Trump’s role in the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
“What we’re hearing is that he was granted immunity,” she said. “Effectively, he would be a key witness against the president and give testimony in opposition of him.
“As we’ve seen, time and time again, this is what they did to Allen Weisselberg in New York. This is what they do time and again to anybody that is close to the Trump world, because they have nothing.
“So, they have to squeeze people, scare people, and intimidate them into testifying and in the direction that they want. It’s very disturbing.”
Weisselberg, 75, former chief financial officer in the Trump Organization, pleaded guilty to 15 felonies in his role in a tax-fraud scheme and served five months in prison. In exchange, Weisselberg testified against two entities of the Trump Organization, which were convicted and fined the maximum penalty of $1.6 million. The Trump family was not involved in either case.
Habba said her legal team is fighting an uphill battle in trying to prove the DOJ’s targeting of Trump is malfeasance of prosecution.
“I think that’s what we’re trying to do, but I will tell you it’s not enough,” she said. “We have not seen enough and they better start moving faster, because you see people like [U.S. Rep.] Jim Jordan [R-Ohio]. I think he’s really a pioneer of this, of bringing up to Congress and saying, There is a major problem in this country and we have to fix it.”
“I don’t like seeing my client be the example,” she added, “and it’s not fair. It’s not fair to any Republican. It’s not fair to my client. But it’s also not fair to Americans. It’s not constitutionally appropriate.”
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June 8, 2023 at 07:22AM