The Washington Post recently published a story that revealed the trouble Donald Trump is having securing the services of any reputable attorneys. Among those who have signed on are “a Florida insurance lawyer who’s never had a federal case, a past general counsel for a parking-garage company and a former host at far-right One America News.” Not exactly the A (or even D) Team.
As a result, the legal acrobatics employed to extricate Trump from his magisterial morass are becoming ever more bizarre and harmful to his own ends. The stream of excuses given for his having bugged out of the White House with a few dozen boxes of highly sensitive national security documents have changed almost daily and often contradict each other. For instance…
- Well, there were no documents at all.
- Okay, there were documents but they were just personal mementos and family photos.
- Okay, there were also documents that were official business that Trump took home to study.
- Okay, Trump was allowed to have all of the documents, and besides, what about Obama?
- Okay, Any classified documents were packed by someone else and Trump didn’t know what was in them.
- Okay, the classified documents that were found were planted there by the FBI.
- Okay, none of the documents were classified because Trump secretly declassified them.
- Okay, they are still classified, but you can’t have them because they’re protected by attorney-client privilege.
Now we can add a new reason for Trump absconding with these highly sensitive materials which, by the way, don’t have to be classified for Trump to be in violation of the law: He was protecting them and keeping them safe from some unspoken threat. No really. This is what his own lawyers are saying on television. Let’s start with what Christina Bobb, the former One America News host, told Laura Ingraham of Fox News:
Ingraham: Was there a limited number of people who had access to that storage room? It seems like a pretty important room, right? They made such a big deal of it.
Bobb: Yes. Certainly Mar-a-Lago is secure in and of itself. Just getting on to the compound is hard. And it was a locked door and getting back down into the basement, there’s security. You can’t just walk down there. Only certain members of staff can get there. Then there’s only one key.”
Ingraham: Was there a limited number who had access to that storage room…
Bobb: Yes.. Mar-a-Lago is secure.. just getting on to the compound is hard.. Only certain members of staff can get down there.. It’s a very limited number of people that can get down there pic.twitter.com/5seWpty8h0
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 19, 2022
Well then, since there was a “locked door” there was surely nothing to worry about. After all, a locked door at a hotel is just as secure as the well-guarded, vault-like facilities on government property. And not just anyone can get into Mar-a-Lag. Well, unless they book a room, or are invited to a wedding, or are a Chinese spy. And is Bobb suggesting that the staff who do have access have all received security clearances?
There was another prominent Trump attorney who floated the same deranged defense for Trump’s criminal acts. Rudy Giuliani, who has his own legal problems, visited the Trump-fluffers at Newsmax and told them that…
“Now they want to make Trump responsible for having taken classified documents and preserve them. Really, if you look at the Espionage Act, it’s not really about taking the documents. It’s about destroying them or hiding them or giving them to the enemy. It’s not about taking them and putting them in a safe place that’s roughly as safe as they were in the first place.”
Rudy Giuliani tells Newsmax that Trump was just trying to preserve documents by putting them in a safe place. pic.twitter.com/tDJag4loW4
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 19, 2022
Well then, Trump was only being a concerned citizen seeking to protect the documents he took without permission, denied having, and refused to return after being subpoenaed. However, Giuliani is mistaken about the Espionage Act. It actually does prohibit taking such documents. And, once again, he can’t really believe that Mar-a-Lago is just as safe as the National Archives, can he?
What makes the statements by both of these Trump lawyers troubling for their client is that they both amount to de facto confessions. They both admit that the documents Trump took were classified and/or required safekeeping. So, in effect, they are admitting that Trump broke the law and put the national security of the United States at risk. It will interesting to see them rebut themselves when this is brought up in court by whatever new incompetent lawyers Trump manages to dig up.
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