'Power rankings' of Trump criminal probes delivered by legal expert

'Power rankings' of Trump criminal probes delivered by legal expert
Former President Donald Trump in July 2022 (Gage Skidmore)

Former President Donald Trump faces possible prosecution in at least four cases, and a legal expert assessed the peril he faces in those investigations.

New York prosecutors have indicated the former president will likely faces criminal charges for allegedly paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels, and MSNBC legal analyst Barbara McQuade told "Morning Joe" that's not the only investigation that could end in prosecution.

"I see four criminal cases that are lurking out there," McQuade said. "This is probably the least significant of them, but any felony is a serious charge, so I don't want to diminish it in any way. I think the likely prison sentence for this is relatively small but not insignificant because not only was it a falsification of a business record, it was done to achieve the presidency in 2016. Imagine if those facts came out shortly before the election in 2016. It would have amplified some of the things we heard in the 'Access Hollywood' tape, in his reputation about women, so I think it could have been a very damaging revelation if it had come out at that time, including with his base. That includes the religious right, information about an affair."

"The other three cases that are in the constellation, interfering with the election in Georgia with Fani Willis, very serious case because it undermines democracy, which I think is a more serious crime," McQuade continued. "Same with the federal case that is being investigated about theJan. 6 attack, and the Mar-a-Lago documents, you know, so blatantly and brazenly abusing the public trust that comes with safeguarding our nation's secrets. All four of these cases are serious, but I would rank it slightly behind those other three."

The most serious jeopardy that Trump faces would likely be the Department of Justice investigation into his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, which special counsel Jack Smith has been overseeing since Trump launched a re-election campaign.

"At the end of the day, the one that could be the most serious is the special counsel's investigation federally into Jan. 6," McQuade said. "It's likely to encompass more than Georgia. It'll include what Fani Willis is doing in Georgia. I rank it first only because she's said her charging decision there is imminent. We know from that grand jury and the grand jury foreperson who said so publicly, that they've recommended there be more than a dozen indictments. I include the likelihood of indictment there that puts it higher. I think if, ultimately, the special counsel Jack Smith were to charge Donald Trump relating to his activity for Jan. 6, that encompasses seven other states where he attempted to overturn the election results, the attack on the Capitol. that's the looming giant out there."

Regardless of what happens next, co-host Willie Geist said the situation appears grim for the twice-impeached ex-president.

"Probably not a good sign when legal experts have power rankings for the legal cases against you," Geist said. "Here we are in the case of Donald Trump."

Watch the video below or at this link

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