Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer said Sunday that she advises against a plea deal in the classified document case that led to an indictment.
“I know, I would never advise that, especially when he’s not done anything wrong. You take a plea deal to make something go away,” Attorney Alina Habba told Fox News Sunday. “That’s an admission of guilt. He would never admit guilt. Because there was nothing wrong with declassifying documents, taking documents with you.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith unsealed the indictment Friday against Trump, which included 37 federal counts such as willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements. The indictment claims Trump not only kept classified documents at his residences but shared them with others on two occasions in 2021 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“The classified documents TRUMP stored in his boxes included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack,” the indictment states. “The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the United States military, and human sources and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods.”
Trump announced the indictment Thursday and said he will plead not guilty.
“This is the most corrupt administration in history — there has never been an administration so corrupt, and they’re just starting to find it right now,” Trump told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “They are trying to deflect all of their dishonesty by bringing this ridiculous boxes hoax case.”
Habba said Trump has a “strong defense” because as president, he had the power to declassify documents. She noted that President Biden did not have this power in regard to classified documents found at his residences from his time as vice president.
“An indictment is a one-sided document,” Habba told Fox News Sunday. “He has a defense — the defense is real. He had the Presidential Records Act, which only he has in play. Hillary Clinton didn’t have that. Biden didn’t have that. And we’ll put that defense on.”
The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in August and obtained an extensive list of classified documents.