Ty Cobb, a former White House attorney during Donald Trump’s administration, said the former president sounded like a “mob boss” when he allegedly gave instructions to one of his aides to not disclose information about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Molly Michael, a former assistant to Trump who worked at the White House before following him to his Mar-a-Lago estate after he lost the 2020 presidential election, reportedly quit in 2022 after he refused to comply with federal requests to return classified documents.
Michael told federal investigators that Trump wrote her to-do lists on the back of visibly classified documents “as if they were scrap paper,” according to an ABC News report. Michael also said that the former president ordered her to to tell investigators, “You don’t know anything about the boxes” of documents.
“I hear Trump—really, for the first time in terms of the way this evidence has rolled out—speaking in the terms of a mob boss, giving a direct order to somebody that he probably should have no reason to believe would lie for him, but expecting [Michael] to do so,” Cobb said during a Tuesday appearance on CNN.
He added, “There’s a difference between loyalty and breaking the law, and that’s not a line she was going to cross. So, it really is Trump directly ordering obstruction, and that will certainly be helpful to enhance the credibility of others who will testify about the obstruction…”
Trump has denied wrongdoing in the case, as well as in the three other criminal indictments against him. Newsweek reached out to a representative for the former president for comment.
Cobb also discussed former Mar-a-Lago IT worker Yuscil Taveras, who reportedly struck a cooperation agreement with special counsel Jack Smith’s office in the case over Trump’s handling of classified documents.
Unlike Taveras—who reportedly said another colleague told him, at Trump’s request, to delete video footage that investigators were seeking—Michael doesn’t have a “buffer” and was given directions directly from Trump, according to Cobb.
“I think this underscores what we’ve talked about, which is what Jack Smith says in the indictment is not the only evidence that he has. He’s got layers and layers of credible support for each of the allegations in the indictment,” Cobb said.
“This certainly enhances the obstruction counts, but it also enhances—because of [Michael’s] reference to the classified note cards on which you would doodle instructions to her—enhances the recklessness and the total disregard he had for the confidentiality of classified data.”