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Donald Trump Likely Going to Prison ‘For a Long Time’—Attorney

Former President Donald Trump could go to prison “for a long time” when a verdict is reached in his Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, according to a Democratic attorney.

In June 2023, Trump was charged with retaining national security information—including U.S. nuclear secrets and plans for military retaliation in the event of an attack—and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them.

Prosecutors have said Trump took documents that he was no longer authorized to have after leaving the White House in January 2021 and that he resisted repeated requests by federal officials to return them. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Asked on MSNBC’s The Weekend about the impact the case could have on Trump, Democratic attorney Marc Elias said it could be “devastating” for the former president and result in a long prison sentence.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump on January 27, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Speaking to MSNBC, Marc Elias said the former president’s classified documents case could result in a long prison sentence.PHOTO BY DAVID BECKER/GETTY IMAGES

“People forget how damaging the evidence is in that Florida case,” Elias said on Sunday’s edition of the show. “It is literally about a former president of the United States stealing highly classified sensitive documents from the United States government, treating them cavalierly, showing them to people, storing them willy-nilly.

“It is devastating to him politically. It’s devastating legally. It puts him in real prospect of going to prison for a long time.”

Newsweek reached out to a Trump representative by email for comment.

Elias’ commentary comes after special counsel Jack Smith, who is prosecuting the case, filed a 67-page document on Friday rejecting Trump and his co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira’s motion for additional discovery.

ABC News reported on Friday on claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigations failed to search two key areas when raiding Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August 2022. The outlet said, citing anonymous sources, that Smith’s team has questioned several witnesses about a locked closet and a hidden room inside Mar-a-Lago that the FBI didn’t check while searching the estate.

The trial in the classified documents case is set to begin on May 20, but appeals based on Trump’s disclosure arguments could delay it. Trump, currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, wins the November election, he could seek to drop the charges in his cases.

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