Maggie Haberman Sources Say Trump Believes He’ll Be Charged Criminally — And DOJ Meeting Did Not ‘Dispel’ That
New York Times correspondent and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins she’s heard ex-President Donald Trump expects to be charged criminally in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents probe — and the DOJ meeting with Trump’s lawyers did nothing to “dispel” that.
Trump lawyers Lindsey Halligan, John Rowley, and James Trusty met with Justice Department prosecutors Monday afternoon, which prompted Trump to lash out on social media.
On Monday night’s edition of CNN Primetime, Haberman — Haberman — an influential analyst with a network of Trumpworld sources — said she’s heard Trunp has long believed he will be charged in the case, and added “I don’t think anything took place in this meeting that dispelled that”:
COLLINS: And while we’re learning about all this, this meeting happened. Pretty extraordinary to see Trump’s attorneys, going into the Justice Department, sitting down with Jack Smith.
What is your sense, on how Trump is responding to this? Because he tweeted after, or he posted on Truth Social, I should say, asking why he would be charged, when other presidents have not been charged.
HABERMAN: Right. Well remember this is —
COLLINS: We don’t know that he’s going to be charged.
HABERMAN: We don’t, although the indications seem that it’s likelier than not. We know that the DOJ just said that they’re not charging anyone, in connection with Mike Pence, for instance, for documents that he had. And I think that’s a comparison point.
I had been hearing before this meeting took place that Trump expected he is going to be charged. That’s not because they have said this to him. It’s just that he believes it. And I don’t think anything took place in this meeting that dispelled that.
Now, these meetings, and you would know this better than me, DOJ officials, typically prosecutors actually, at any level, keep their cards close to the vest. I don’t think this was different, in this meeting. But I also don’t think they came away thinking “Oh, you know, we’ve solved this.”
And for somebody, like Donald Trump, who treats everything like it’s a deal, and an exchange, and a transaction, I don’t think this is the meeting he wanted.
COLLINS: So, what is the thinking behind why he thinks he’s going to be charged? Just because of how he’s seen this investigation progress?
HABERMAN: Yes, because they keep coming, and coming, and coming, and because they have subpoenaed almost everybody around him, because they have pierced attorney-client privilege, in the case of one of his lawyers. And because all indications are that they don’t believe what they’re being told.
HONIG: So, Maggie’s right, that in these meetings, prosecutors do and say as little as humanly possible. When I would have these meetings, I would say, “Thanks for coming. Floor is yours.” And then at the end, I’d say “Thank you very much.”
COLLINS: That’s it?
HONIG: “We’ll take it under advisement.”
Absolutely. It’s great for prosecutors, because you do get a little bit of a preview of what the defense is likely to be.
Now, if as I think you’re reporting, Kaitlan, is the Trump team went in there, and just aired grievances. “This is unfair. How about Biden?” That kind of thing? Then it’s a complete waste of an opportunity by the Trump team. It’s a tactical mistake.
Because what good defense lawyers do is go in and tell prosecutors, “Here’s some holes in your case. You may have a problem with intent. You may not be able to prove some other element.” And that can actually make a difference. I take that into account, in these types of scenarios.
HABERMAN: I will say, Jim Trusty, who is one of the lawyers, who was there —
HABERMAN: — was actually pretty well-regarded at the DOJ.
HABERMAN: I’d be surprised — when he worked there. I’d be surprised —
COLLINS: He knows Jack Smith.
HABERMAN: Yes. He knows Jack Smith.
I would be surprised if he walked in and didn’t handle that professionally. We just don’t know —
HABERMAN: — how this interaction was handled. But again, I just don’t know that it matters, at this point.
Watch above via CNN Primetime.
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