While at a rally in Mesa, Arizona, former President Donald Trump effectively admitted to his own criminal behavior by stealing government documents.
"I had a small number of boxes in storage," Trump told the audience. "There is no crime. They should give me immediately back everything they have taken from me because it's mine."
In fact, it is a crime, which is why the Justice Department, the FBI, a federal judge and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals have gotten involved in the issue.
Watching the video of Trump, legal experts noted that Trump's comments are an admission of guilt that will likely be used in trial.
"This is what we call a summation exhibit," said former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also served as a prosecutor under special counsel Robert Mueller's team. "Proof from the defendant's own mouth. And on video."
"There is more than ample evidence to indict Trump for crimes listed in the FBI search warrant," explained former special counsel Ryan Goodman. "The question will come down to aggravating factors for Garland DOJ to consider. Outrageous, open defiance of the law —like this — must surely rank high among those factors."
Teri Kanefield, a former appellate defender, noted in Trump's comment that he'd been saying over and over that the documents were his. But from his own lawyers replying to the special master, the ex-president said: "There is no question and, indeed there is broad agreement, that the matters before this Court center around the possession, by a President, of his own Presidential records."