“Make America Great Again” may be Donald Trump’s official slogan, but he has a favorite chant, too. During his 2016 campaign, the then-future president pounced on Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information. Thus “Lock her up!” was born. Not only was Trump wrong about Clinton, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing, but it might come back to bite him in the butt now that he’s been accused of [drum roll] mishandling classified information.
As per The Wall Street Journal, the case brought against Trump by Jack Smith has to prove that Trump knew that the boxes of documents he held onto “could be harmful to the U.S. if shared, mishandled or misplaced.” How does one prove that? Well, look at his old campaign speeches:
Drawing on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign against Clinton, who was the Democratic nominee, Smith’s team has a trove of evidence in the form of Trump’s own words that can be presented to the jury to argue that Trump knew there were serious penalties for mishandling national-security information and should have known better than to leave the White House with boxes full of nuclear secrets, military plans and intelligence reports, as the indictment alleges.
Indeed, five separate statements Trump made during his 2016 campaign were amongst the evidence used when he was hit with criminal charges. Should the case go to trial, they could all be used as evidence against him. In one of those statements, from August 18 of that year, Trump was pretty clear: “In my administration I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.”
In other words: Whoops.