Donald Trump’s “word salad” about the classified documents case during a recently released SiriusXM interview may have been a sly “extrajudicial” strategy because he has no legitimate defenses, according to Neal Katyal.
“I know everyone’s saying, ‘Well, Trump is reckless in giving this interview,’” Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general during the Obama administration, said on MSNBC Thursday.
“I have a different view,” Katyal said. “I actually think that this is not an unwise strategy for him, because he doesn’t have a legal defense. He doesn’t have a factual defense. The only defense he has is to try and poison the jury pool with his cockamamie nonsense.”
Katyal was reacting to Trump’s remarks in an interview with Megyn Kelly that aired Thursday. Many legal experts viewed the former president’s comments as incriminating and potentially helpful to prosecutors in the federal case concerning Trump’s handling of classified documents stored at his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate.
“I’m allowed to have those documents,” Trump said in the interview. When Kelly pointed out that he illegally defied a subpoena to turn them over, Trump replied: “I know this. I don’t even know that. Because I have the right to have those documents.”
Katyal suggested Trump is hoping he’ll draw a juror who buys into this rhetoric, or that “he can just stretch this out through innuendo and so on until after the presidential election and hope that the prosecution is terminated.”
“These aren’t legal defenses or factual defenses. They’re extrajudicial defenses,” he said.
The Mar-a-Lago prosecution is one of four cases in which Trump has been indicted. He is accused of mishandling sensitive documents and intentionally obstructing the government’s efforts to get them back, putting national security at risk.
Watch Katyal’s analysis on MSNBC below.