Donald Trump got exactly what he was demanding, as usual — the Justice Department on Friday released to the public the affidavit used to get the warrant to raid Mar-A-Lago.
The document, to be frank, is pretty uneventful. Which is a good thing! The whole thing is your typical affidavit explaining why there’s probable cause to look for classified documents in the former President’s office.
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Essentially it’s what we already knew. The National Archives was trying to get certain documents back from the former POTUS for months, and eventually he gave them 15 boxes back in January of this year. Among those boxes they found dozens of sensitive documents! As the affidavit explains:
“Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified”
FBI agents found 184 classified documents, 92 secret, and 25 top secret! Most alarmingly they “observed markings reflecting the following compa11ments/dissemination controls: HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN, and SI.” What does all that mean?
OK, let’s talk about that HCS. That stands for “human clandestine sources.” In other words that’s info the United States got from spies, moles — actual people whose identities are secret! These are people who, if this info got out, could be identified and killed! This is serious stuff here! And Trump had it all in an unsecured room in a resort in Florida! No wonder he’s being investigated for espionage!
The agents also noted that “several of the documents also contained what appears to be [the former president’s] handwritten notes.” We have no idea what he wrote, but that means he had seen them and had thoughts on them.
OK, so finally the affidavit mentions “probable cause” to believe Trump had more — and that they’d find evidence of obstruction. Just the fact there were documents there in the raid kind of proves there was obstruction, doesn’t it? Because those 15 boxes were supposed to be all of them? Trump was apparently lying to them about that. The raid earlier this month proved it as there were tons more top secret docs found. Back in February Trump actually said they didn’t find anything problematic in the first boxes he returned, which we now know was also a lie. So yeah, kinda feels like obstruction…
So what does Trump have to say now? Obviously, as usual, he’s going to ignore the actual evidence and just declare TOTAL EXONERATION and WITCH HUNT, blah blah blah, we’ve watched this play out every time. He posted on Truth Social on Friday:
“Affidavit heavily redacted!!! Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear,’ a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH.”
OK, let’s talk about the whole “heavily redacted” thing real quick. It’s already one of the ways Trump’s lickspittles are moving the goalposts. They’re complaining that releasing the redacted affidavit doesn’t count, saying the DOJ has to release the whole thing uncensored. See, for instance, Donald Trump Jr saying this isn’t real “transparency”:
They tell you with a straight face that they want “transparency” knowing that their media lackeys will run with it as though it’s a fact. Then they release this. Transparency my ass!!! https://t.co/1fAoouy7lc
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 26, 2022
But here’s the thing. This is an ONGOING INVESTIGATION!
The memo attached to the affidavit explains there are “a significant number of civilian witnesses” who have to be protected as the investigation continues. In other words, they could be in danger if their names got out. In danger. From Trump.
How many times do we have to say it? We’re not pulling the mob comparison out of our butts here, the US government is implying Trump and his followers could be a danger to the witnesses against him! That’s mob s**t, y’all!
As far as Trump saying there was “Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear’” — yeah, no kidding! They didn’t say what was in any of the top secret documents! They’re trying to keep all of it TOP SECRET! Something the ex-Prez clearly could not give two s**ts about. The memo does, however, specifically refer to “National Defense Information.” Frankly they don’t really need to say what is. But of course the right wing wagons are circling and the America First crowd is now demanding that America give up a bunch of assets just to prove to the nation its criminal investigation of Trump is legit. Sigh.
And yes, this is a “criminal investigation” we’re talking about, it says it right there in the affidavit once again.
At best, it seems, Trump committed a crime by not caring about which documents he took or which US operatives it endangered — and another crime by lying about it. At worst? He took certain documents for a reason and intended to do awful things with them. Either way, it certainly seems like this is evidently not a “WITCH HUNT” at all.
What do YOU think of all this, Perezcious pundits??
[Image via NBC News/YouTube.]