On MSNBC Thursday, former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade argued that Justice Department officials should look at other properties of former President Donald Trump, in search of more classified document stashes like that he held at his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
One of the significant consequences of this, noted McQuade, would be that Trump could not rely on Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon to bail him out again, as she attempted to do with the documents seized at his Florida property.
“Barbara, given the fact we now have sort of two kind of types of judges — one judge who was very solicitous, we’ll say that, solicitous of Donald Trump’s claims that he could go back to if Bedminster was searched, but you also have the 11th Circuit saying no, no, these belong to the government and they have the interest in them,” said anchor Joy Reid. “What do you think would be the hurdles that, theoretically, if the DOJ were to say, now we do want to search other properties, could Trump play the same game again and go back to the same judge, Cannon, and do this dance again?”
“Well, if they looked in Bedminster, it’s in the jurisdiction of a judge in that district,” said McQuade. “So district of New Jersey if we’re talking about Bedminster. To get in the door there, they would need to be able to establish, DOJ would, probable cause not only that a crime has been committed, which I think they have established, but also probable cause to believe the documents would be stored at that location.”
McQuade then laid out what DOJ officials would have to do to be able to search that property.
“I can imagine part of the damage assessment and the criminal investigation is to investigate what happened to these documents in the missing folders and interview people who work at Bedminster to find out if they have seen evidence of this,” said McQuade. “If they have a witness who says, oh, yeah, I saw boxes come in the door, that could be a probable cause. If Trump wanted to challenge that, he would have to do it in New Jersey and begin his judge-shopping again.”
Barbara McQuade says feds should search other Trump properties for classified documents