June 9, 2023 / by emptywheel


The Flavors of Trump’s Obstruction

As I noted here, Trump was charged with 31 counts of stealing highly classified documents. Each of those charges carries a 10 year max sentence, and because they are Top Secret and beyond, they will draw draconian sentences.

I’d like to talk about the seven kinds of obstruction with which Jack Smith has charged Trump and Walt Nauta.

Effectively, in addition to the stolen documents, DOJ charges Trump and Nauta jointly with six different crimes involved in withholding classified documents. The obstruction charges all carry a 20 year sentence. But if convicted, they would likely group as the same scheme.

The false statements charges carry a 5 year sentence. Because they’re less serious than the obstruction, the obstruction would set the sentence.

In most of these, Nauta is either charged as a co-conspirator or included in an abetting theory (all the 2s in the indictment). While the obstruction charges backstop the classified documents charges for Trump, much of this is directed at inducing Nauta to flip.

Honest, it could get worse for him!

Count 32: 18 USC 1512(k)

This charges Trump and Nauta with conspiring to evade the May 11 subpoena by moving the boxes and getting Evan Corcoran to claim he had done a diligent search.

20 year max.

Count 33: 18 USC 1512(b)(2)(a) and abetting

This charges Trump and Nauta with withholding documents from the subpoena.

20 year max.

Count 34: 18 USC 1512(c)(1) and abetting

This charges Trump and Nauta with withholding documents from Evan Corcoran so he would submit a false subpoena response.

20 year max.

Count 35: 18 USC 1519 and abetting

This charges Trump and Nauta with withholding the documents from the FBI investigation.

20 year max.

Count 36: 18 USC 1001(a)(1) and abetting

This charges Trump and Nauta with scheming to conceal things from a Federal investigation.

5 year max.

Count 37: 18 USC 1001(a)(2) and abetting

This charges Trump with causing Christina Bobb to make false statements to the FBI.

5 year max.

Count 38: 18 USC 1001(a)(2)

This charges Nauta, by himself, for making false claims in an interview to the FBI on May 26, 2022.

5 year max.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2023/06/09/the-flavors-of-trumps-obstruction/