Former Trump attorney Timothy Parlatore said he would be “not at all” surprised if Trump did not face any charges at the end of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents.
“No, not at all. Not at all. I think, you have to evaluate every case based on, what are the facts in the law, and is it something that’s provable? But then there’s also all of the other atmospherics of is this, from a discretion point of view, is this something where a prosecution makes sense?” Parlatore told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Parlatore, who recently left Trump’s legal team because of “internal” issues, said he expects additional hurdles will make the decision of whether to bring charges or not more complicated. For example, he said, if the case involves potential national defense information, the issue of whether to declassify the relevant information could factor into whether to bring charges.
Last week, CNN reported that prosecutors have obtained a recording of Trump acknowledging the existence of a classified document in his possession related to Iran. Further, the recording reportedly revealed that Trump acknowledged the material was classified and that he was not allowed to share it.
“Even if he did a lot of the things that they’re saying that he did,” Parlatore said, prosecuting him might not be the best decision because “there are all of these other problems.”
“Classification is not binding on the jury. You have to actually take these documents, show them to the jury, and then prove to them that it constitutes national defense information,” Parlatore said.
Despite news that the federal grand jury hearing evidence in the case will be convening this week, Parlatore said that did “not necessarily” change his view about the potential for Trump to face charges.
“It could be that they’re continuing an investigation into other things. It could be that the reason for the break is that the last grand jury simply expired, and they had to convene a new one. I’m not sure specifically,” he said. “I certainly haven’t heard of anything new that would require new testimony. I can’t imagine that there’s anybody else in Mar-a-Lago to testify.”