Former Donald Trump aide Molly Michael will be one of the most important witnesses in the classified documents case, a former prosecutor has said.
Ex-Georgia prosecutor Chris Timmons appeared on CNN on Tuesday night, saying that Ms Michael has got “damning information” since Mr Trump allegedly told her to lie to the authorities.
“This is a smoking gun,” Mr Timmons said.
Ms Michael worked with Mr Trump both in the White House and then at his Florida private club Mar-a-Lago.
It was reported on Tuesday that Mr Trump gave instructions when he came to understand that the authorities were going to interview Ms Michael about the boxes containing classified documents that he kept at his Sunshine State residence after leaving office.
Mr Timmons told CNN that there is a point in every case and trial when it’s won or lost. If Mr Trump chooses to take the stand, that will probably be the pivotal point, he said.
But if Mr Trump is not a witness in the trial, Ms Michael will be the “key witness,” Mr Timmons said, adding that her testimony will likely decide “whether the former president is convicted”.
Mr Timmons was asked if Mr Trump’s direction that “you don’t know anything about the boxes” would affect the case.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think it’s got three possibilities of coming in. One, the least likely is a re-indictment including these additional predicate acts and further into the conspiracy. I don’t think it fits quite that neatly.”
“Second, it could be brought in and there’d have to be a motion filed under what’s referred to as similar acts, that it’s close to or even brought in as maybe kind of a distant part of the RICO scheme,” he added.
“The third one – I think the former president is going to take the opportunity to testify in the Georgia case. I really do. A number of people think that he’s not going to. I think he’s not going to miss that opportunity to be on every television in the entire world,” Mr Timmons said. “And if he does testify, then at that point it comes as impeachment evidence and it shows that he lacks credibility and is dishonest.”
In the Florida case, Mr Trump faces 32 counts of willful retention of national secrets, six counts of obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements.
In Georgia, he faces one count of violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), three counts of soliciting violation of oath by a public officer, and a litany of further charges.