David Raskin, veteran prosecutor, joins Trump Mar-a-Lago probe


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One of the Justice Department’s most experienced national security prosecutors has joined the team overseeing the intensifying investigation of classified documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and private club, people familiar with the matter said.

National security law experts interviewed by The Washington Post say prosecutors appear to have amassed evidence in the case that would meet some of the criteria for bringing charges against the former president — an unprecedented action that they said likely would only happen if the Justice Department believes it has an extremely strong case.

David Raskin,who served for many years as a senior federal prosecutor in New York City, and more recently has worked as a prosecutor in Kansas City, Mo., has been quietly assisting in the investigation into Trump and his aides, according to the people familiar with the matter, who like others interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation.

Raskin is considered one of the most accomplished terrorism prosecutors of his generation, having worked on the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was tried in Virginia as a co-conspirator in the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Raskin was also part of the team that prosecuted Ahmed Ghailani in federal court in Manhattan in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa. Ghailani was acquitted of most counts but found guilty of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. He is the only Guantánamo Bay detainee to be brought to a U.S. court and tried and convicted. Both Moussaoui and Ghailani received life sentences.

Justice Department officials initially contacted Raskin to consult on the criminal investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. But his role has shifted over time to focus more on the investigation involving the former president’s possession and potential mishandling of classified documents, the people familiar with the matter said.

The addition of Raskin to the team handling the Mar-a-Lago probe is another indication of the seriousness with which Justice Department officials view the case and underscores the high stakes for both Trump and those tasked with investigating him.

Raskin did not respond to messages from The Post. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment. A spokesman for Trump did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

Mar-a-Lago classified papers held sensitive information on Iran and China

Just two weeks ago, Raskin won a guilty plea in a case with parallels to the Trump case — a former FBI analyst in Kansas City who authorities say took more than 300 classified files or documents to her home, including highly sensitive material about al-Qaeda and an associate of Osama bin Laden.

In court papers, federal prosecutors say they have recovered a similar number of documents with a variety of classified markings from Mar-a-Lago, all apparently taken from the White House. The Post has previously reported that some of that classified material was highly sensitive and restricted intelligence that included at least one document about Iran’s missile program and others about intelligence-gathering work aimed at China, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

When deciding whether to file charges in an investigation, Justice Department officials often use past cases as a guide. In 2015, authorities won a misdemeanor guilty plea from retired general and former CIA director David H. Petraeus. Ten years earlier, former national security adviser Samuel “Sandy” R. Berger pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for removing classified documents from the National Archives and Records Administration.

But past cases only count for so much when investigating Trump.

“There is no other case in history like this,” said Mary McCord, who…



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