As with everything related to this man for the past seven years or so, it just keeps getting worse in every way imaginable.
Just over a day after the shocking and disappointing ruling in Donald Trump‘s favor, completely derailing the investigation against him, we’ve just gotten our most glaring reason yet why it should continue! He stole nuclear secrets!!!
OK, rewind a sec. In case you missed it, on Labor Day the judge Trump hand-picked to rule on this case (it wasn’t the right district, but this one was one he appointed) ruled in his favor, granting him what’s called a Special Master to review the documents found at Mar-A-Lago.
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This is usually done when the authorities seize documents related to their investigation, and there’s a high probability of some of what’s in there could be privileged information — like communications between an attorney and client, that kind of thing. They get a Special Master, a third party person to come in and sort through and determine what’s OK for the government to look at and what’s protected by privilege.
What’s So Special??
This is ludicrous in this case for multiple reasons. Even Trump’s own Attorney General Bill Barr told Fox News the ruling was “deeply flawed in a number of ways” and should be appealed immediately.
First off, it’s never explained what privilege Trump has in regards to any of these documents. It’s not attorney-client. And they certainly can’t be proposing he has executive privilege. That’s for the president, and despite what some of his more conspiracy theory-minded followers may think, he is NOT the president anymore.
(BTW maybe the worst reason in Judge Aileen Cannon‘s ruling is that a “possible future indictment” would “result in reputational harm” for the former POTUS. Oh, yeah. Criminal indictments will do that. That’s not a reason for a Special Master. Unless ALL subjects of searches in criminal investigations get Special Masters now? Good luck with all those attempts at law and order in that case…)
But the most obvious reason the ruling is silly is because Trump waited so long to make this last ditch effort that the feds had definitely already sorted through all of the documents. What we’re talking about here isn’t bank statements and emails. This is TOP SECRET government documents. A lot of them were so highly classified even the FBI agents doing the search weren’t allowed to look at them. A special “filter team” had to be brought in to sort them all out. So essentially what the Special Master would do has already been done. WTF is a new Special Master going to do, and where they are going to find one that even has the top secret clearance to look at all these documents?!
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So what’s the point? Well, for Trump it stops the investigation. The DOJ has been ordered to stop all review of the documents. And if they appeal the ruling, that whole process could take months, too.
OK, so back to that big question. The ruling says the Special Master has to be a third party, someone not from the government. That’s a big problem here. No one outside the top levels of government is supposed to be seeing these documents. How serious is this?
Remember when early sources said there were nuclear secrets involved? And we learned Trump was potentially being investigated under the Espionage Act?? Well, holy sheets of classified paper, that seems to be spot-on!
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that among the top secret files found at Mar-A-Lago was “a document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities.”
What the actual eff?!
There is NO LEGITIMATE REASON a private citizen, even a former POTUS, should have that. There are very bad reasons, a couple billion of them if you catch our drift. But nothing legit. And that’s not all.
The Post reports some of the docs “detail top-secret US operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them” — pointing out that “only the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special-access programs.” The outlet explained:
“Documents about such highly classified operations require special clearances on a need-to-know basis, not just top-secret clearance. Some special-access programs can have as few as a couple dozen government personnel authorized to know of an operation’s existence. Records that deal with such programs are kept under lock and key, almost always in a secure compartmented information facility, with a designated control officer to keep careful tabs on their location.”
This stuff was at a golf resort in Palm Beach. Where Trump personally had visitors in and out all the time, according to his lawyer.
BTW, this new revelation kind of obliterates one of Trump’s defenses — that he secretly declassified all of these documents on his way out the door, a claim he has actually made just to make the crime of taking them NOT a crime. But declassifying such sensitive, dangerous materials would be so negligent it’s maybe more horrifying on its face than the idea he was planning on selling defense secrets to another country. Frankly, it would be kind of the same, only without the profit part.
There’s Always A… Truth?
Oh, remember the days of “there’s always a tweet”? Well, that’s still true we guess, only it’s now a Truth Social Truth (TM) (not really a TM because they failed to secure their trademark!). Anyway, Trump wrote on that app last month that the “Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax.” And once the DOJ did release the redacted affidavit, he acted like it was a vindication, writing:
“Affidavit heavily redacted!!! Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear,’ a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ
Yeah, they would have to redact that part, wouldn’t they? That’s pretty responsible considering it was, we’ll say it again, NUCLEAR SECRETS!!!
Will He Get Away With It Again?
Sigh. So knowing what we now do about the gravity of the material at hand, Judge Cannon’s ruling seems even more ludicrous. The government is now supposed to wait for a non-government official to look through the documents containing national defense information and decide which of them the government is not allowed to take from Trump? How does that make any sense at all??
For now the investigation is seriously hampered — and that may be all that matters. This has been Trump’s MO for years — delaying and delaying and delaying — think about his taxes ffs. The legal battle to reveal them has been going on so long, he’s already been president and served a full term and been voted out.
Does it really mean he’ll get away with such a shocking abuse of power? We mean, obstructing an investigation into collusion with a foreign power for help in an election, silencing a porn star with hush money from campaign funds, bribbing a foreign government with much needed defense help in exchange for smearing his opponent, and a credible rape accusation is one thing… well, actually, no, it’s a LOT of things… But what we mean is this… Allegedly stealing nuclear secrets only available to the office of the president only to use them for profit as a private citizen? Allegedly? That’s another ballpark.
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Back to Bill Barr, who gave his opinion in that Fox News interview, both scoffing at the ruling and predicting it wouldn’t stop the long arm of the law from eventually grabbing Trump:
“I don’t think the appointment of a special master is going to hold up – but even if it does, I don’t see it fundamentally changing the trajectory. In other words, I don’t think it changes the ball game so much as maybe we’ll have a rain delay for a couple of innings.”
But you know what? Sorry if we don’t take this guy’s word for it. After all, he’s the AG who carried Trump’s water through the other investigations, helping him save face in public everything as well as get out of related to obstruction of justice in the Russian collusion investigation free and clear.
Frankly, he’s part of the problem — which is that at every turn this man has gotten away with everything he’s ever done. And he’s just gotten bolder and bolder every time. It’s the vicious cycle of impunity. And now it really, really looks like he might possibly could be, well… selling classified US national defense information to other governments.
What’s next if he slips out of this one? Heck, why not rig the next election? Just straight up rig the voting machines. If he wins, why would he worry that anyone would ever do anything about it? So far no one has.
[Image via CBN/YouTube.]