The classified documents indictment of Donald Trump would seem, on paper at least, to be the most straightforward of the four criminal cases the former president is facing.
Reams of classified files were stashed in Trump's office and storage room and he boastfully showed off to guests one such document he acknowledged was “secret,” federal prosecutors have alleged. His own lawyer is quoted in the indictment as saying Trump encouraged him to mislead investigators who demanded the documents back, and prosecutors have since secured the cooperation of a Mar-a-Lago staffer who says the ex-president asked about deleting surveillance footage at the Palm Beach property.
But that doesn't make the path to conviction easy, particularly with the case set for trial in a Florida courthouse expected to draw its jury pool from a conservative-leaning region of the state that supported Trump in the 2020 election. Those built-in demographics may be a challenge for prosecutors despite the evidence at their disposal, underscoring the impossibility of untangling the law from politics in an election-year trial involving a former president who is seeking to return to the White House.
“The more conservative the counties, the highest chance he has to find jurors that would be sympathetic with him,” said Richard Kibbey, a criminal defense attorney in Stuart, Florida, part of the Fort Pierce district where the jury pool is expected to be taken from.