Legal analysts drool over Trump Mar-a-Lago docs witness who is spilling all the beans: he’s ‘gold’

CNN excitedly broke the news about a brand new witness who could breathe new life into special counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents case against presumptive GOP nominee Donald J. Trump.

The network talking heads hyperventilated over Brian Butler, a former employee of Mar-a-Lago previously known as “Trump Employee Number 5” who was given the star treatment as he told his tale about what he saw at the former president’s South Florida resort.

The 20-year-employee said that he and Trump co-defendant Walt Nauta had been tasked with the loading of banker boxes onto the former president’s plane at the time FBI agents were searching for classified documents.

“Brian Butler may not be a household name, but he is someone who is a central figure in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case,” anchor Kaitlan Collins said, playing up Butler’s importance to Smith’s case.

After a teaser of Butler’s sit-down Collins was shown on Monday’s edition of “The Lead,” CNN legal analyst Elie Honig practically drooled over the potential for Butler to be Smith’s star witness.

(Video: CNN)

“So, this type of witness is gold for prosecutors and there’s a few reasons for that,” Honig told Tapper. “First of all, this person has insider access. He’s literally inside the room as Kaitlan just laid out, he’s there when boxes are being loaded onto the plane and one of the challenges for prosecutors here is explaining exactly where these documents were moved, and when, and by whom and this person can give us exactly why,” he explained as the famous picture of the documents strewn across the floor at Mar-a-Lago was shown.

Second of all, he’s a person who appears to be unbiased. He doesn’t seem to have any reason to have an axe to grind with Donald Trump as Kaitlan said,” he added. “He’s a longtime two decades-long employee of Donald Trump and the Trump Organization. Just based on the snippet that we just saw, he does not appear to be angry or resentful towards Donald Trump.”

Following hours of buildup, the entire interview with Butler aired on Monday night, with one particular snippet pretty much giving the game away of what CNN’s big story is really about.

(Video: CNN)

“Do you view Trump as a national security risk?” Collins asked after the witness speculated on how many people had keys to the storage area.

“I personally would just say I just don’t believe that he should be a presidential candidate at this time. I think it’s time to move on,” Butler said, adding, “I think we can do better.”

“You’re obviously a central witness in this case,” Collins asked. “If it goes to trial, are you prepared to testify?”

“Absolutely,” Butler answered. “Yeah, absolutely.”

“His attorneys are trying to get it pushed through, past the election,” Collins responded. “Do you believe that this trial should happen before the election?”

“I mean I think the American people have the right to know the facts, that this is not a witch hunt,” Butler said. “I mean he can go out on TV and say this, that’s one of the reasons for doing this. and quote, the PRA says this and that, it’s all bogus. But people believe him.”

“And did you have any time, any idea at the time, that there were potentially U.S. national security secrets in those boxes?” Collins asked during the interview.

“No clue. Nope, I had no clue. I mean, we were just taking them out of the Escalade and piling them up. I remember they were all stacked on top of each other and then we’re lifting them up to the pilots,” Butler claimed.

The network’s timing of its public unveiling of “Trump Employee #5” is interesting, considering that it comes the day before former Special Counsel Robert Hur was wet to testify before Congress about his own investigation into the mishandling of classified materials by President Joe Biden.

Chris Donaldson


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