An attorney for former President Donald Trump said Sunday that she advises against a plea deal in the federal government’s classified document case.
“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,” 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.”
Habba added that any “indictment is a one-sided document,” continuing, “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.”
On Friday, special counsel Jack Smith unsealed an indictment against Trump, including 37 federal counts such as conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and retention of national defense information. The indictment claimed that Trump kept classified records at his residences and shared them with people on several occasions.
Trump has denied the charges against him and said they’re politically motivated attempts to sink his 2024 presidential campaign. The former president will appear in a Florida court on Tuesday to face the charges. In a social media post, Trump said he would plead not guilty.
According to the indictment, classified records 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 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,” the court papers alleged, without elaborating on the nature of the materials.
The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August in an unprecedented move against a current or former president. Months later, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Smith would head the classified records case, among others.
Trump, meanwhile, indicated that he would campaign for the 2024 presidency even if he was convicted. He’s made similar statements in the past, notably doing so when he was charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office for allegedly falsifying business records in connection to payments made during the 2016 election.
Polls have shown that Trump is currently the leading GOP candidate. An average of national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics shows the former president is leading his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by more than 30 percentage points.
“I’ll never leave,” Trump told Politico on Saturday, “Look, if I would have left, I would have left prior to the original race in 2016. That was a rough one. In theory that was not doable.”
“Nobody wants to be indicted,” Trump added to the outlet, noting, “I don’t care that my poll numbers went up by a lot. I don’t want to be indicted.” He added, “I’ve never been indicted. I went through my whole life, now I get indicted every two months. It’s been political.”
Trump is due to make his first federal court appearance Tuesday in Miami. He was charged alongside valet Walt Nauta, a personal aide who prosecutors say moved boxes from a storage room to Trump’s residence for him to review and later lied to investigators about the movement. Nauta traveled with Trump on Saturday, appearing by his side at a Georgia Waffle House stop where the former president signed autographs, posed for photos, and told supporters he didn’t do anything incorrectly.
“The ridiculous and baseless indictment by the Biden administration’s weaponized Department of Injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country,” he said Saturday.