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‘No Both-Sidesing’ Trump Indictment, Says Public Citizen’s VP

Conservative Legal Experts, Trump Allies Call Indictment 'Damning,' Say 'He’s Toast'

Washington, D.C. – Since news broke of former U.S. President Trump’s indictment on federal charges, prominent Trump allies and conservative legal experts have weighed in on the truth about the documents and what they mean for Trump. In response, Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“There is no both-sidesing this indictment. Key Republicans and former Trump administration officials who have looked at the facts admit that these charges are credible, serious, and necessary.

“While Trump and his allies continue their bluster, the media should focus on the facts of the indictment and the unprecedented obstruction it outlines: Trump repeatedly blocked federal law enforcement officials who were attempting to retrieve approximately 300 classified documents that endanger our national security; and he directed his staff and lawyers to hide evidence, lie, and obstruct the FBI and grand jury in an attempt to keep them from recovering these documents—which contained highly classified national security information.

“As the overwhelmingly bipartisan response to the seriousness of this indictment shows, Americans are united in the belief that no one is above the law, not even a former president of the United States.”


Here’s what key Republicans—including former Trump administration officials—are saying about the bombshell indictment by the Department of Justice:

  • Former Trump Administration Attorney General Bill Barr:
    • “If even half of it is true, then he’s toast. I mean, it’s a very detailed indictment, and it’s very, very damning. This idea of presenting Trump as a victim here—a victim of a witch hunt—is ridiculous.”
    • “The counts under the Espionage Act…are solid counts.” (Source)
  • Former Trump Administration Homeland Security Secretary and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly:
    • “He’s scared s—less,” said John Kelly, his former chief of staff. “This is the way he compensates for that. He gives people the appearance he doesn’t care by doing this. For the first time in his life, it looks like he’s being held accountable. Up until this point in his life, it’s like, I’m not going to pay you; take me to court. He’s never been held accountable before.” (Source)
  • Former Trump Administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
    • “If the allegations are true, and there’s lots of indications they are, President Trump had classified documents where he shouldn’t have had them, and then when given the opportunity to return them he chose not to do that for whatever reason.”
    • “I handled thousands and thousands of [classified documents] over my time in Congress and then as the CIA Director and Secretary of State. I suppose we can all make mistakes… but when somebody identifies that, you’ve got to turn them in.”
    • “That’s inconsistent with protecting America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and if the allegations are true, some of these were pretty serious, important documents. So that’s wrong.” (Source)
  • Former Trump Administration Secretary of Defense Mike Esper:
    • “I think some of the investigations have been politically tinged against him. This one, I don’t think so.”
    • “It was clear he had classified documents. I know what’s important about handling classified documents. This is serious. If you were a young soldier, sailor, or airman and had classified documents at your home, you’d be court-martialed. You could see jail time.” (Source)
    • “There are two basic principles. Nobody is above the law, and everybody is innocent until proven guilty.”
    • “People have described him as a hoarder when it comes to these type of documents. But clearly, it was unauthorized, illegal and dangerous.”
    • “I mean, it’s just irresponsible action that places our service members at risk, places our nation’s security at risk. You cannot have these documents floating around.” (Source)
  • Jay Town, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama (Trump Administration, 2017-2020):
    • “The evidence in this indictment is very damning for the former President.” (Source)
  • Conservative legal commentator Andrew McCarthy:
    • “It’s a devastating document. If they can prove half of it, he’s toast.… They can probably prove more than half of it, because a lot of it is recorded conversations, testimony from his lawyers, and that sort of thing.” (Source)
  • Fox News legal commentator and GOP impeachment hearing witness Jonathan Turley:
    • “It is an extremely damning indictment.” (Source)
  • CNN legal commentator and Republican campaign advisor Scott Jennings:
    • “I seriously doubt you’re going to hear a serious person say, oh, well, this is fine and … this is actually why this is okay. If you hear somebody doing that, that’s crazy talk.” (Source)