Timothy Parlatore, who recently left Donald Trump’s legal team, predicted Sunday that the former president might not face prosecution for his handling of classified documents, comparing the case to Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Parlatore said in an interview on NBC News’ «Meet the Press» that he wouldn’t be surprised if Trump is not prosecuted in the Justice Department investigation. «Is this something where a prosecution makes sense?» he said.
Parlatore went on to say that he was someone who was against prosecuting Clinton in the email controversy that rocked her 2016 presidential campaign, suggesting that the case against prosecuting Trump in the document investigation is similar to the arguments for not impeach Clinton.
«I was of the opinion that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted, because there are all these other issues,» he said. «You have to take these documents, show them to the jury and then show them that they constitute national defense information.»
Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was plagued by backlash over the use of a personal email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The FBI concluded in July 2016 that it found no evidence of criminality in its review of Clinton’s emails, but then-FBI Director James Comey reopened the investigation into her private email server shortly before the 2016 election. about newly disclosed emails, before the agency reaffirmed its finding that it exonerated Clinton. Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation was widely criticized as a move that contributed to Trump’s election victory.
Republicans who support Trump have tried to compare DOJ classified documents investigate Clinton email case, with some arguing that there would be similar political implications.
Parlatore, who left Trump’s legal team last month over irreconcilable differences with other lawyers on the team, has been an outspoken critic of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the former president’s withholding of classified documents. Even as he announced that he was leaving Trump’s legal team, he stood by his position that «the Department of Justice is acting inappropriately» in a statement.
His comments Sunday come as Smith’s investigation into Trump, which focuses on his alleged mishandling of more than 100 classified documents discovered at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last year, appears to be coming to a head. end.
The federal grand jury in the case that has been hearing evidence in the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents is expected to meet again next week in Washington, multiple people familiar with the case told NBC News. investigation.
Prosecutors working for Smith have been presenting grand jury evidence and witness testimony for months, but activity appears to have slowed in recent weeks based on observations in court and sources. It is unclear whether prosecutors are prepared to seek an indictment at this time.
FBI agents said in an affidavit redacted last year that they found 184 unique documents bearing classification marks in the 15 boxes Trump returned to the National Archives in January.
The affidavit indicated that 25 documents were marked «TOP SECRET,» 67 documents marked «confidential,» and 92 documents marked «secret.»
That then led to the search for Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 by FBI agents who recovered a top-secret treasure trove and other highly classified documents, according to court documents unsealed by a federal judge.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the case and allegations that he mishandled classified documents. He claimed last year that he can declassify documents «thinking about it.”