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Trump missed an important legal point during ‘Meet the Press’ interview

In his In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, amid his lies and distortions on a range of issues, Donald Trump missed an important legal point (or was lying about it, too).

It came during discussion of his classified documents and obstruction case, one of four criminal charges the Republican faces as he runs for president again. Asking Trump about one of the charges in the Florida case, “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker said it “suggests that you asked a staffer to delete the security camera footage so that they do not fall into the hands of investigators. Did you do that?”

In addition to denying this, Trump said that “more importantly, the tapes were not deleted.” Showing that this was not an idle thought, the former president quickly added: “More importantly, when the tapes came and everyone is saying so, they were not deleted. »

Putting aside whoever the “everyone” was or what they said, the important The thing to keep in mind about this allegation — which is only part of this federal case against Trump — is that prosecutors do not need to demonstrate that the recordings were deleted. This is probably why the superseding indictment does not allege that they were. Rather, it says Trump and his co-defendants “requested” that an employee “delete security camera footage from the Mar-a-Lago Club to prevent that footage from being provided to a federal grand jury.”

In other words, the law punishes attempts, even those that fail. To that end, there is a section in the superseded indictment literally titled “The Attempt to Delete Security Camera Footage.”

So Trump’s argument that the footage wasn’t deleted isn’t really an argument. And while it’s true that it wasn’t removed, it might just show a botched crime rather than the absence of a crime. Regardless, Trump may want to fine-tune his defense before his scheduled May trial in Florida.

Trump missed an important legal point during ‘Meet the Press’ interview