For nearly three weeks Donald Trump has been plaintively whining about the FBI executing a legally obtained search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago bunker. The agency was seeking to retrieve highly sensitive national security materials that Trump had unlawfully absconded with when he was evicted from the White House by the American people.
Among the complaints Trump had was a thoroughly contrived allegation that the search warrant was improperly issued by a politically biased Justice Department that Trump baselessly charged was influenced by President Biden. It was just one of many pitifully incoherent attempts by Trump to make excuses for his criminal behavior. And as the days wore on, those excuses got incrementally more bizarre.
Lacking any evidence of his self-serving accusations, Trump resorted to demanding that the Justice Department’s affidavit used to justify the search warrant be released. Which, if he were capable of learning, may have taught him the lesson about being careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
On Friday the Justice Department did release a redacted version of the affidavit. The redactions were intended to prevent the disclosure of information that could reveal sources and methods of the FBI, or could interfere with ongoing investigations. Nevertheless, there was significant material in the release that only further incriminated Trump. For example, the affidavit confirmed that there were numerous classified documents stashed in the boxes Trump was hoarding at his Palm Beach resort hotel. According to Politico…
“[A]gents found 184 unique documents, 25 of which were marked ‘top secret,’ 92 of which were marked ‘secret,’ and 67 of which were marked ‘confidential’ [and that] some of those ‘highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records.'”
The damning evidence of Trump’s blatant violation of the law was apparent to anyone who read the affidavit. Well, anyone who wasn’t deliberately trying to absolve him of his obvious guilt, such as the propagandists at his Ministry of Disinformation (aka Fox News). Upon the release of the affidavit, the news manglers at Fox commenced their whitewashing.
Martha MacCallum, host of Fox’s “The Story” interviewed her Fox colleague Bret Baier (video below). She began by asking an oddly unrelated question about “Whether or not this was an effort to dig for January 6th information.” To which Baier replied that “It really is.” He then elaborated saying that…
“There is a belief that there was something bigger here that they were searching for. But the impetus for it was these classified documents and the possession of them. Even just the possession of them is a question, even though it’s a former president. There’s a lot here that we have to digest. The 1978 Presidential Records Act, and how that affects all of this. We’re gonna dig in but, gosh, there’s a lot of black.”
If there is “a belief that there was something bigger here,” it exists only in the twisted imaginations of Fox News and their glassy-eyed viewers. Also, what does Baier think is bigger than the possible treason of Trump stealing classified documents, storing them at his home, and being unable to account for who might have had access to them?
As for the Presidential Records Act, Baier appears to be parroting Trump, who has been yammering about the same thing on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Trust Social. For the record, the Presidential Records Act “Establishes that Presidential records automatically transfer into the legal custody of the Archivist as soon as the President leaves office.” In other words, a former president has no right to warehouse classified materials outside of the legal custody of the National Archives. And he surely has no right to lie to the FBI about having those materials.
However, MacCallum and Baier weren’t finished defending Trump. After describing The Former Guy’s actions as “a very Trumpian move,” MacCallum and Baier engaged in the following exchange…
MacCallum: The big question that remains is “why?”. Why was the [former] president holding on to these materials despite the fact that they continually asked for them? Why was there not an ability to make some sort of agreement about returning all of it that he could sort of be at peace with? And the reporting that he sort of felt like ‘”this is my stuff and I have the right to it.”
Baier: But why, also, wasn’t there another subpoena, another effort at interaction? Were they seeing a total stiff-arm from the Trump people? That’s not in this document yet, at least we can’t see it.
MacCallum actually made a good point at first by questioning why Trump should ever have had the documents at Mar-a-Lago in the first place. But she spoiled it by suggesting that there wasn’t a concerted effort by the FBI to retrieve the documents, which was resisted by Trump. And Trump has no rightful expectation of being “at peace” with his obligation to obey the law.
Baier went even further off the rails with his query about whether there should have been a another subpoena. That’s not how subpoenas work. If someone fails to comply with one, you don’t start issuing more. In fact, you get a search warrant, which is what the FBI did.
As more information comes out about this affair, we can expect more evidence of Trump’s guilt. And simultaneously, we can expect Fox News to continue covering for Trump. Even as some at the network are beginning to lean away from Trump, and toward potentially worse alternatives like Ron DeSantis, the network will feel compelled to soft peddle Trump’s crimes so that they don’t tarnish the already declining prospects of other republicans. It’s a tightrope that they are walking because they are trapped in Trump’s world and are too scared to walk away or – heaven forbid – tell the truth.
NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.
Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier: "But why also wasn’t there another subpoena, another effort at interaction? Were they seeing a total stiff-arm from the Trump people? That’s not in this document yet, at least we can’t see it." pic.twitter.com/STgn7gZSPE
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 26, 2022
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