Former Latest Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said if Donald Trump keeps making “nonsense arguments” on TV in regards to the Justice Department investigation into his handling of classified documents, he might just find himself facing a “self-inflicted indictment.”
“I feel these are all self-inflicted wounds by Donald Trump,” Christie said during a panel discussion on ABC about the probabilities the previous president might be indicted within the case. “And you recognize, one among the things that I at all times say to clients are, you recognize, don’t out-loud fight with the Department of Justice. Like, you recognize, we’ll fight in court and do the things we’d like to do. He’s doing the precise opposite.”
“His lawyers aren’t fighting any of this in court,” he continued. “They’re really not. They’re not affirming any of those arguments. He’s affirming all these arguments on television. There comes a degree where prosecutors are human too. And you would like to keep daring them, they could just actually do it.”
Trump has personally recommend an array of sometimes contradictory defenses after the FBI executed a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and reported finding classified government documents improperly stored there. In response to investigators, that they had attempted to subpoena the remaining documents months earlier, but Trump’s lawyers vowed that they had handed all of them over.
During media appearances and in posts on his Truth Social platform, Trump has, amongst other excuses, baselessly claimed the FBI planted evidence on the Palm Beach resort, argued he had a “standing order” to declassify documents he faraway from the Oval Office to his White House residence, and, most recently, announced he could declassify documents along with his mind.
Quite a few former Trump administration officials have said the “standing order” claim was fiction and would never have been allowed. Presidents can declassify documents, but there’s an official process involved.
In court, where they might face penalties for lying, Trump and his lawyers haven’t made the identical assertions. As an alternative, they’ve suggested Trump had the authority to declassify documents while remaining silent on what he actually did. They’ve also argued that the Justice Department shouldn’t be taken at its word that a few of the seized documents were classified.
Despite all this, Christie said, “I still don’t think [Trump’s] going to be charged,” but suggested the previous president was inching closer to an indictment with each recent media blast.
“The more you absolutely antagonize with nonsense arguments on television that your lawyers won’t make in court — because they’re afraid they’ll be sanctioned in the event that they do because they don’t have any evidence — you’re pushing yourself closer to a self-inflicted indictment,” he said.