The harder Donald Trump whines about the raid on Mar-A-Lago, the worse he makes it for himself in the public eye.
The Department of Justice was clearly happy to do this quietly and with far more deference to the former President than he deserves. But every time he calls the search of his offices at the Palm Beach resort “illegal” or a “witch hunt” or whatever, they’re forced to respond. And each time it gets clearer and clearer just how obvious it is that Donnie is in SERIOUS trouble.
In their latest response to Trump late Tuesday night, the DOJ filed a few dozen pages walking the court — and the general public — through just how the search came to be. It’s clarification that anyone could understand. But just in case, they included a photo! We don’t care who you are, this pic couldn’t be more damning.
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OK, so this filing was in response to Trump demanding a “Special Master” — a third party — be appointed to go through the documents and decide which of the docs the government could look at and which the ex-POTUS could claim privilege for. It looks like the judge in the case, a Trump appointmentee, is going to grant it. However, the feds are coming out swinging!
In the filing, they slam Trump’s claim of privilege altogether, pointing out these are government documents that “do not belong to him”! Also, he isn’t President anymore! He doesn’t have executive privilege, so WTF privilege is he even trying to claim??
The feds also explain how they already had a special independent team with them in the first place assessing the documents — in fact, many of the documents Trump had so top secret that even that team weren’t allowed to read them! The filing reads:
“In some instances, even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys the review required clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents.”
And Trump wants yet another person to read through them??
The 36-page filing also serves to show the last-minute request (beyond the last minute, really, as the docs have already been taken and sorted) follows a pattern of Trump and his team trying to delay and evade at every turn — and This “incomplete and inaccurate narrative” is just the latest way to hamper what’s become a serious investigation criminal.
As they explain, they’ve given Trump a chance after chance to do the right thing. First they asked for the docs, then they subpoenaed. Trump supposedly personally went through the documents. Feds were told when they were given the first round of 15 boxes back in June that there was absolutely nothing else improper at Mar-A-Lago. But 45’s lawyers “explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room” to make sure.
Girlfriends out there. Come on. If your man says there’s nothing bad in his phone but refuses to let you look… what does that tell you??
In a letter, Trump’s lawyers told the government they had been assured that after a “diligent search” the ex-Prez had absolutely no more classified material at Mar-A-Lago.
That’s when someone spilled.
As we’ve heard, the DOJ have witnesses who told them there was absolutely still classified material there. It was this new evidence that led them to get a search warrant and come back. Well, that and:
“The government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”
“Likely taken to obstruct.” Yeah, that’s definitely a crime. The government finally came in and, hey, whattaya know, they found plenty! They blasted Trump and his team’s sketchy responses, saying:
“That the FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former President’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”
“Three classified documents that were not located in the boxes” were found in “desks” in Trump’s personal office. This wasn’t just storage. The man was using them for something.
Finally the coup de grace — the photo.
See For Yourself!
The DOJ actually included this pic to show everyone just what Trump and his team claimed to have not found despite looking really, really hard:
These are just a few of the documents FBI agents seized. Yeah… See how the secret stuff is marked with those big, bold red and yellow warning labels?? It’s so they’re IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS! So no one accidentally reads a top secret document! And every one of those that says SCI real big? That stands for “Sensitive Compartmented Information” — it can only be stored and viewed in a special room called a SCIF! Trump had it in the closet at his golf club!
If this isn’t proof that Trump was lying about thinking there was no classified material there, we don’t know how much better to illustrate it.
Beyond that, the photo shows a little more than the obvious, too. Note how much of what’s in there is censored — it’s top secret stuff after all. But the labels aren’t. And folks who understand these classifications have spotted certain notifications on those labels about what the files inside contain. They include human intel, as we heard before when we learned he was being investigated for espionage, but also national defense information from spy plane and satellite programs. This is national defense stuff!
This could not be more cut-and-dry. It’s right there in the photo. The top secret stuff is there. He lied about it not being there. He couldn’t possibly even have been mistaken.
If Trump isn’t charged for this, for obstruction at the very least if not for espionage charges, it will prove not only is there no WITCH HUNT against him, if anything, everyone is bending over backwards not to charge him with crimes.
And as we’ve seen before, that will only empower him to do more.
[Image via NBC News/YouTube/DOJ.]