Famed civil rights attorney Leo Terrell believes former President Donald Trump's legal team could kill special prosecutor Jack Smith's case by invoking the Presidential Records Act, the Conservative Brief reported. Trump faces more than three dozen charges for mishandling classified documents.
Terrell appeared on Fox News' "Life Liberty and Levin" on Sunday to discuss Trump's case. He believes it will be "game over" for the government's case with the use of the PRA.
"That is, to me, the most important first motion President Trump's legal team could file," Terrell told host Mark Levin. The Reagan-era legislation stipulates that the handling of presidential records remains in the hands of the incumbent president.
It was amended in 2014 to include electronic records but leaves the issue up to the president. Terrell believes this fact could amount to "outright dismissal of these frivolous charges against Donald J. Trump" in the classified documents case.
"President Trump had the absolute right to declassify any and all documents in his custody, control, and possession.," he said. "There has been no response to that by the prosecution," Terrell added.
"I’ll tell you why: Because they don’t have one," Terrell continued. He also believes that the federal government's willingness to ignore this rule is intentional.
"The leading Republican candidate, in my opinion, the next president of this country, is trying to be derailed by the prosecution, by Joe Biden, by [Attorney General] Merrick Garland, by [FBI Director] Christopher Wray and the Democratic machine… and the left-wing media," Terrell charged. The trouble for Trump on this front began in August 2022 after the FBI found the material after a raid on the former president's private Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump was booked last month and slapped with 37 charges over alleged mishandling of classified information. The former president is conducting his 2024 presidential campaign while his legal team fights to have the trial delayed indefinitely.
The Trump team feels he won't be able to get an impartial jury during the campaign. Attorneys petitioned Trump appointee U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to put the trial on hold, a possibility that Smith said the judge "should not even consider" at this time.
"Defendants’ claim that this Court could not select an impartial jury until after the presidential election does not justify further delay here. Resp. at 9," Smith's attorneys said in a filing.
"First and most importantly, there is no reason to credit the claim," the legal document went on. "Our jury system relies on the Court’s authority to craft a thorough and effective jury selection process, and on prospective jurors’ ability and willingness to decide cases based on the evidence presented to them, guided by legal instructions from the Court."
"To be sure, the Government readily acknowledges that jury selection here may merit additional protocols (such as a questionnaire) and may be more time-consuming than in other cases, but those are reasons to start the process sooner rather than later," the attorneys argued. Perhaps that's true in theory, but evidence from his grand jury trial in Georgia supports his attorneys' claims.
The bizarre behavior from Emily Kohrs, the 30-year-old foreperson on a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury, seems to support Trump's worries, Fox News reported. Her habit of laughing and joking with the media while talking about criminal charges for the president threatened to undermine the integrity of the prosecution's case.
It's difficult to see these charges against Trump as anything other than election interference. In the end, Trump should be cleared of all wrongdoing, especially if Terrell is correct about the legal loophole.