Molly Michael, the former Donald Trump aide who is now among the witnesses testifying in his classified documents case, is the “witness from hell” for the former president, according to a legal analyst.
Michael was one of Trump’s long-time assistants, having worked with him since 2018, when he was still at the White House, and following him at Mar-a-Lago after he left office in early 2021. She reportedly quit last year after Trump refused to comply with federal requests over the classified documents at the Florida residence.
After receiving a subpoena from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in May last year to turn over classified documents believed to be at Mar-a-Lago, Trump and his team returned only some documents, later saying he believed the rest was “declassified.”
An FBI raid at the Florida resort last summer found hundreds more documents still kept at Mar-a-Lago. Former presidents are legally obliged to return all presidential material to the National Archives after the end of their term.
Trump was indicted in the Mar-a-Lago case in June and was charged with 37 counts including conspiracy to obstruct justice, violations of the Espionage Act, and lying to investigators. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and called the case “document hoax.”
According to a recent ABC report, Michael told federal investigators that Trump used the back of visibly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago to write her to-do lists “as if they were scrap paper.”
She also reportedly said that when she told Trump that federal investigators were looking for boxes of sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago, the former president replied: “You know nothing about the boxes.” It’s not clear what the former president meant, and a spokesperson for Trump denied any wrongdoing suggested by Micheal on Monday.
However, several experts agree that Michael’s testimony could be challenging for Trump’s defense, as she’s been close to the former president while remaining uninvolved in any alleged criminal activities herself.
“It’s not just that Molly Michael confirms obstructionist statements to Corcoran and fields her own hush statement from him,” lawyer, law professor and political commentator Harry Litman wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“It’s also that she is an unblemished witness, totally credible, not vulnerable or impeachable on criminal charges. For Trump, she’s the witness from hell.”
After a previous request for comment, the DOJ told Newsweek on Tuesday that they declined to comment on the topic of Michael’s testimony.
“Molly Michael will be an important witness in the Mar-a-Lago case,” wrote on x Joyce Vance, a lawyer who served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017.
“She personally interacted with Trump. And she’s the one who received lists he wrote for her on the back of notecards containing classified information, which he treated like scratch paper.”
Newsweek reached out to Litman for comment by emailing his university’s media team on Wednesday.