Legal analyst Lisa Rubin said that if Trump is convicted of violating The Espionage Act, he faces ten years in prison on each count.
Rubin said on MSNBC:
Sure, so the law that you just referenced is a part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act amendments of 2018. It took the penalty for unauthorized removal of classified documents from one year to five years. That statute is not among the three that’s used as a predicate for a warrant.
In terms of the statutes that are listed, if President Trump were charged with any of those statutes, the one that put some in the most danger is far as I know right now, is 87 93, that’s a portion of The Espionage Act, for which each violation carries a maximum penalty of ten years. We’re talking about real serious crimes here.
Those are on top of, I should add, some of the criminal activity that we understand might be under investigation with respect to January six. We’re not even contemplating anything related to the sixth right now. This is just solely with respect to the alteration, destruction, and removal of government documents. Some of which might be classified, some of which might not be. But respect our national defense because it could cause injury to the United States or could be to the advantage of a foreign nation.
Unlike many hypotheticals that feature Trump going to prison, the possibility of violations of the Espionage Act is genuine. Trump’s home has already been searched and documents were taken.
The DOJ saw something on subpoenaed surveillance video that troubled them to such a degree that they quickly took action after months of trying to get the documents back into government custody.
Trump lied to the government about returning all of the classified docs and apparently obstructed the investigation.
It is doubtful that the nearly 80-year-old Trump would actually do prison time, but if he were to be charged, tried, and convicted of violating The Espionage Act, his political career would be over.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association