Legal expert says Donald Trump could face ‘serious criminal exposure’

The former president faces several investigations at the federal and state level that could result in criminal penalties.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida. Court papers show that the FBI recovered documents  labeled “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

This week, the House Jan. 6 committee postponed its public hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The panel has spent the summer investigating last year’s attack on the Capitol, as well as efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The Jan. 6 committee investigation is just one of several investigations and lawsuits facing former president Donald Trump. These include the search and seizure of confidential documents found at his Mar-A-Lago estate, the Fulton County, Georgia inquiry into whether the former president and allies sought conspired to commit election fraud and undermine the election, and a New York state civil lawsuit against Donald Trump for fraud.

“I think he’s in pretty serious criminal exposure in this particular case.” — Scott Anderson, legal expert.

Listen: Discussing the several investigations and lawsuits facing former president Donald Trump.



Scott Anderson is a visiting fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He says the intermingling of personal items with government documents is supporting evidence that the former president personally mishandled them.

“I think he’s in pretty serious criminal exposure in this particular case, not least because a lot of these records were found in his personal desk, in his personal office, mixed in with his personal affects,” says Anderson.

“There’s real evidence that the president himself was personally involved in lying to the FBI, in mishandling classified information and other government secrets in other government records,” continues Anderson. “And all those things have criminal penalties associated with them.”

Photo credit: Steve Helber/AP.

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