Lawyers for Donald Trump filed a motion to appoint a “Special Master” to review the documents that were recently recovered by the FBI from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago bunker. However, that motion may have been just another bit of poor judgment on the part of Trump and his legal team, because it gave the Department of Justice an opportunity to flesh out its case against Trump in public.
The DOJ’s response was a detailed exposition of why Trump’s possession of classified materials was illegal and potentially harmful to national security. And among the evidence that the DOJ provided was a photograph of some of the classified documents that the FBI found.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 31, 2022
The inclusion of that photo, and the subsequent reporting on it by the press, has triggered Trump into posting yet another deranged comment on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social. In a fit of desperation, Trump wrote that…
“There seems to be confusion as to the “picture” where documents were sloppily thrown on the floor and then released photographically for the world to see, as if that’s what the FBI found when they broke into my home. Wrong! They took them out of cartons and spread them around on the carpet, making it look like a big “find” for them. They dropped them, not me – Very deceiving…And remember, we could have NO representative, including lawyers, present during the Raid. They were told to wait outside.”
WOW! That’s a hefty bowl of bullshittery right there. First of all, Trump seems to think that the most significant revelation in this photo is not the presence of documents that are clearly marked “Secret/SCI” (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information), but instead, the manner in which the documents were displayed. He accuses the FBI of “sloppily throw[ing them] on the floor” in order to embarrass him. He thinks that the FBI considered this a way of “making it look like a big ‘find.'” And he thinks that the FBI intended for it to appear that Trump was the one who made the mess on the floor.
Really? The documents were obviously spread out by the FBI so that the classification markings could be seen. There was no attempt to suggest that Trump had left them out on the floor this way. And the text of the DOJ’s filing never even hinted at that. No one but Trump cares about how the documents were displayed.
What’s more, Trump’s whining about the FBI breaking into his home is hysteria in the extreme. They had a legally issued search warrant that was obtained after Trump failed to comply with a subpoena and lied to the FBI.
More importantly, Trump is no longer making excuses for why he had these documents. He is has ceased pretending that they don’t exist. He isn’t accusing the FBI of planting them, or of someone else packing them. He is, in fact, confessing that he took them and kept them, despite having been told to return them to the National Archives. In effect, Trump has destroyed his own defense.
The legal peril that is engulfing Trump now just keeps getting worse. Even Fox News is having trouble defending him. Karl Rove was interviewed Wednesday by Martha MacCallum about the DOJ’s recent filing. MacCallum attempted to put forward Trump’s side saying that his lawyers had “their feelings about what was rightfully his and able to take.” Rove interrupted saying “Let’s be clear on this. None of these government documents are his to have taken.” He then elaborated…
“Under the Presidential Records Act of 1976, you cannot take original documents out of the White House with you when you leave the White House, whether you’re the President of the United States or any of his aides. It’s verboten under the law. Now there’s no criminal penalties for violating it, but why the former president packed up 20, nearly 30 some odd boxes of materials when he had no right to do so – and that’s what the government asserts incidentally in this filing.
“The former president asked for the return of the documents because, as he said in his filing, they were created during his administration. And the response of the government in their filing was that’s evidence that they aren’t his. If they were developed in the White House during the time of his presidency under the Presidential Records Act, they belong to the government, not to him.”
Rove: Let’s be clear on this. None of these documents are his pic.twitter.com/g5N3Y99RGd
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 31, 2022
As they say in the propaganda game…“When you’ve lost Karl Rove…” Not to mention Fox News. Rove’s analysis is uncharacteristically correct. Although it should be noted that there are criminal penalties associated with Trump’s actions that include mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of justice for starters.
The hole Trump is digging for himself is approaching the depth of the Mariana Trench. And by all appearances, it’s all downhill from here.
UPDATE: Trump phoned in to a right-wing Internet video show Thursday to whine more about the FBI making him “look like a slob” by taking ordinary evidence photos of the classified documents he stole.
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