Former Attorney General Bill Barr, once one of Donald Trump's most loyal defenders, said the investigation of classified documents could pose a real threat for the former president, even as he slammed a prosecutor's indictment of Trump in a separate probe last week.
Barr said Trump played "games" with federal investigators as they sought to retrieve the documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. Those games, Barr said on ABC's "This Week," could amount to obstruction of justice.
"I think that's a serious potential case. I think they probably have some very good evidence there," Barr said.
Possible Trump obstruction in Mar-a-Lago documents case
Trump is currently facing a probe from the Department of Justice special counsel into his handling of classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago estate, which Barr said Trump "had no claim to."
“He had no claim to those documents, especially the classified documents. It belonged to the government,” Barr said. “I think he was jerking the government around.”
“The government is investigating the extent to which games were played and there was obstruction in keeping the documents from them. I think that’s a serious potential case, I think they probably have some very good evidence there,” Barr continued.
Jim Trusty, who has represented Trump in the documents case, said on ABC’s “This Week” he is absolutely certain that Trump no longer has any classified documents in his possession.
“Every step of the way, if we found anything of interest, even if it’s probably not classified, we’ve turned it over to the FBI and DOJ,” Trusty said.
Trusty also dismissed the notion of obstruction charges against Trump, calling it “nonsense” on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and that the Justice Department is “desperately trying to find an obstruction angle that just isn’t there.”
Barr: Manhattan DA 'trying to hide the ball'
While the documents case could prove fraught for Trump, Barr criticized the former president's indictment.
“I found what’s been put out, very opaque. And I think if he has a good case he would specify exactly what his case is, but he’s trying to hide the ball,” Barr said regarding the indictment and statement of facts released by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trusty said on ABC’s “This Week” that the case was “a ham sandwich of an indictment” and that the former president’s legal team in the Manhattan case should prioritize motions to dismiss the case.
“I think the motions to dismiss have to be a priority because they amputate this miscarriage of justice early on,” Trusty said.
Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment Tuesday in New York.