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Trump drags Mike Pence into Mar-a-Lago case, says former VP kept classified documents, too

FORT PIERCE — In his newest try to undo the costs in opposition to him, former President Donald Trump invoked the names of political rivals who he says retained classified paperwork and obtained not more than a slap on the wrist. Chief amongst them: President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump might spend years in federal jail if he is convicted of hoarding classified paperwork in his Mar-a-Lago property, however the former president argued in a movement Thursday that the one factor he is responsible of is being Biden’s “chief political rival.”

The presumptive Republican nominee once more requested U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to dismiss the 40-count indictment in opposition to him and minimize brief what he and his supporters have deemed a vindictive prosecution. Trump is the one former president or vp prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice for mishandling classified paperwork.

He can also be, prosecutors say, the one one to have interaction in a “multifaceted scheme of deception and obstruction” to thwart these paperwork’ secure return.

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Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and Chris Kise gave Cannon a listing of different former officers who they are saying acted equally to Trump, however in opposition to whom “no one in the government lifted a finger.” Special Counsel Robert Hurr declined to press fees in opposition to Biden regardless of discovering proof that he retained and disclosed extremely classified supplies when he was a personal citizen.

The attorneys took purpose at Trump’s former vp, too, telling Cannon that Pence instructed the National Archives and Records Administration he by accident introduced residence a small variety of classified paperwork after his time period within the White House ended. Relations between Trump and Pence have change into strained since Pence refused to overturn Trump’s loss to Biden in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

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Blanche and Kise additional wrote that allegations that Trump tried to stymie a federal investigation aren’t distinctive, both. They pointed to Hillary Clinton, who used a personal e-mail server for official communication throughout her tenure as secretary of state.

She and her staff deleted 1000’s of emails they deemed private earlier than turning over others to the State Department. Kise wrote that some emails have been deleted after Congress issued a preservation order, although the extent and timing of such deletions are disputed.

“Collectively, this history of non-prosecution and leniency for similarly situated individuals and others strongly supports President Trump’s motion based on intolerable and unconstitutional selective and vindictive prosecution,” Kise wrote.

Jack Smith says Donald Trump behaved not like any official earlier than him

Special Counsel Jack Smith stated in reply that Trump’s conduct “went much further” than those that retained classified paperwork by inadvertence or carelessness and returned them upon their discovery.

Smith acknowledged what he referred to as “superficial similarities” between the Trump’s case and Biden’s: Both contain classified supplies saved in cardboard packing containers in an unsecured location, posing “serious risks to national security.” Both also involve a recording capturing the discussion of classified information with a ghostwriter.

Unlike Biden, Smith said Trump engaged in repeated efforts to obstruct justice and thwart the return of classified documents, including recruiting his subordinates to join in the conspiracy. The prosecutor argued that additional distinctions — relating to the volume, sensitivity and storage of the classified documents — support his position that the two cases are not “nearly identical” and there are “legitimate reasons for viewing them differently.”

Trump can blame his prosecution on the fact that “he flagrantly and repeatedly broke the legislation,” Smith wrote — not because Biden wants him dealt with.

Cannon did not immediately rule on the motion. The Trump-appointed judge has yet to rule on several outstanding issues, including numerous other motions to dismiss the case and a joint motion to reschedule the trial, which is currently set to begin in late May.

Hannah Phillips is a journalist covering public safety and criminal justice at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach her at [email protected].

This article initially appeared on Palm Beach Post: Donald Trump calls classified documents case vindictive names Biden

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