Former President Donald Trump may have provided additional evidence in multiple investigations during his CNN town hall event on Wednesday, legal experts say.
Trump repeatedly lied during the town hall that the election was "rigged," that Georgia "owed" him votes, that he had the right to take classified documents to Mar-a-Lago and that he does not know E. Jean Carroll — the writer who was awarded $5 million a day earlier after it found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation.
"All three ongoing criminal cases got new evidence tonight against Trump," tweeted national security attorney Bradley Moss. "He is confessing on live television."
During one point, moderator Kaitlan Collins pressed Trump on whether he showed the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago to anyone else.
"Not really," Trump replied.
Collins questioned what Trump meant by that but he continued to steamroll through his answer.
Former FBI agent Pete Strzok called the comment a "tacit admission of unauthorized disclosure of classified information."
"There were prosecutors and agents taking notes tonight," tweeted former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.
During another exchange, Collins asked Trump about his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, demanding he "find" enough votes to swing the state's election.
Trump said he believed it was a "rigged election" and said he told Raffensperger "you owe me votes because the election was rigged."
"File this clip under new evidence for Fani Willis," tweeted Anthony Michael Kreis, a Georgia State University law professor. "This sure sounds like an admission of corrupt intent to me."
During a discussion of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Collins pressed Trump on how his supporters that stormed the Capitol that day "listen to you like no one else."
"I agree with that," Trump replied.
Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst, called it the "most important clip of the night."
"If you're thinking about prosecuting Donald Trump in relation to the effort to steal the election, you're gonna need to show that connection, that Donald Trump knew and understood that his words would be acted on. Knew and understood that people were listening to him and would actually do things because he said so, and stop doing things because he said so," he said, according to Mediaite. "I've never heard him so clearly admit that. Everything Donald Trump says is out there. It's fair game. It can be used, and I think if I'm a prosecutor watching last night, I'm circling that clip and I'm saying 'Here we go. We just filled that gap.'"
Trump during the town hall also doubled down on his claim that he did not know Carroll and mocked her sexual abuse allegation just one day after a jury awarded her $3 million over Trump's defamatory statements.
"This is a fake story. Made-up story," Trump said, later adding, "I have no idea who the hell she is. She's a whack job."
Trump recounted his version of Carroll's allegation to laughter from the Republican-leaning audience.
"What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up and within minutes you're playing hanky panky in a dressing room," he said.
Legal experts say Carroll could sue Trump for defamation again — though that does not justify CNN allowing him to use their airwaves to smear the writer.
"I hate that @CNN allowed E. Jean Carroll's name to be dragged through the mud again by this terrible man," tweeted Sherrilyn Ifill, the former president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "Sure she could sue him for defamation again. That doesn't change the hurt & humiliation at the laughter, and at the knowledge that CNN was willing to expose her to this."
"I would be salivating if I were the attorney for E. Jean Carroll," former federal prosecutor Laura Coates said on CNN.
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Former federal prosecutor Richard Signorelli noted that Carroll can likely "just amend the complaint from her other case against him with court permission, or file a third action."
But former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti predicted that it would not be worth it to Carroll to sue again.
"While this is possible, as a practical matter, it would be difficult for her to establish additional damages after a jury verdict made her whole for the damages she suffered up until this point," he tweeted. "I doubt she goes down that road. The juice isn't worth the squeeze."
Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an expert on authoritarianism, called out CNN for giving Trump a platform to rebuild his image and smear his accuser.
"CNN became a party to Trump's need to psychologically 'undo' his defeat by getting the audience to applaud him *for being an assaulter,*" she tweeted. "The more approval authoritarians get, the more they feel emboldened to be even more lawless. This is why this 'town hall' was so dangerous."