Even though Trump certainly wrote his answers with lawyers at his elbows or vice versa, what if he lied to his own attorneys (certainly within the realm of possibilities) and then lied in the answers? Would this carry the same potential penalties as lying in person? Do the answers include some sort of certification that “the above answers are true”?
As much as I feel certain that his written answers are “under oath”, I can’t find any sources to back that up. My Google Fu has failed me!
Few people are intelligent enough to invent a pack of lies that are internally consistent. I doubt Trump is. I would expect if he’s got good lawyers, they’ll smell a lie pretty easily and advise him.
Advise him not necessarily to tell the truth, but to amend the lie to make it all fit together.
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That’s probably why this has taken so long.
I see one of two possibilities:
- He lied on the form he filled out “all by himself” or
- He lied about filling out the form “all by himself”.
Even for a mundane thing such as applying for a mortgage you can run into problems if you put down false information on purpose. Not sure if lying on a mortgage application is a crime , it could be but I doubt many people are prosecuted for it.
It could all be internally consistent but still contradict other information the investigation has received from cooperating witnesses
It would appear 18 U.S. Code § 1001 covers this and false statements in writing would be a criminal act.
(3) - makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry"