Five Lingering Questions In the Wake of the Mar-a-Lago Raid

Former President Donald Trump has waived any objections to the release of the warrant and property receipt after the filing of a motion by the Justice Department. The motion, however, did not seek the release of the most important document in this controversy: the supporting FBI affidavit. That is the document that would reveal what the FBI told the magistrate about the prior communications with the Trump team and the specific allegations of the status of the documents in question.

There are reports that the documents involved material of the highest possible classification dealing with nuclear weapons. There is no question that the former President has no authority to retain classified material and that the government has a legitimate right to retrieve such material.

We should see the warrant and property list relatively soon in light of the DOJ motion and the Trump waiver. My greatest interest is the specificity of the information. Here are a few questions as we wait for the warrant and list:

  1. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the DOJ would have used other less intrusive means if they were possible. Yet, it would seem that such options were not just possible but obvious, including the use of a second subpoena. Moreover, even if a raid was necessary, it is not clear why the DOJ would descend upon Mar-a-Lago with such a massive show of force rather than send a few agents over with the warrant.
  2. If the FBI believed that there was nuclear-related information in the resort, it certainly did not seem to move with dispatch. The last communication, according to the Trump team, was in June. Even after securing a warrant, there was reportedly a delay in executing the warrant. Why?
  3. If the FBI suspected that high-level material was retained at the resort, did they identify the material to the Trump team and demand its return? It is hard to imagine the Trump Team telling the FBI to pound sand if such a demand was made. Yet, such a denial would readily support a showing of probable cause. Moreover, adding a lock to the door of a storage room would not be viewed as sufficient for material at the apex of classification levels.
  4. Did the warrant specifically identify the material or the classification level? If the warrant sought the recovery of any possible classified evidence, it would again raise what was stated in the affidavit and the reason why such material was not acquired in the June subpoena despite the reported cooperation of the Trump team.
  5. There remains the role of the confidential informant and what the person shared with the DOJ. Was there evidence of active concealment of the material or merely a statement of additional documents being stored at the resort?

It is highly unlikely that all of this information will be contained in just the warrant and the list. Given the growing controversy over the necessity of the raid, this is one circumstance where the release of the affidavit is warranted. Rather than allow such questions to fester and grow, early and total transparency would seem in the public interest.

 

This column also appeared on Fox.com.

549 thoughts on “Five Lingering Questions In the Wake of the Mar-a-Lago Raid”

  1. From Charlie Savage at the NYT:
    “The search warrant for Trump’s residence cited three criminal laws, all from Title 18 of the United States Code. Section 793, better known as the Espionage Act, which covers the unlawful retention of defense-related information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; Section 1519, which covers destroying or concealing documents to obstruct government investigations or administrative proceedings; and Section 2071, which covers the unlawful removal of government records. Notably, none of those laws turn on whether information was deemed to be unclassified.”

    You can read the laws for yourself and confirm that he is correct:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793
    law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1519
    law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

      1. Again, for the reading impaired: even if the docs *were* declassified (and Kash Patel’s say-so is not evidence of that, especially since Biden could reclassify anything declassified by Trump), the wording of these laws doesn’t make their classification level the key issue in whether the law was broken.

        1. Those documents were NOT declassified. Trump is lying. He’s already been caught lying multiple times. It takes.specific process to declassify all those documents and the proof that he’s lying is the TS/SCI documents cannot be declassified by Trump alone. He’s not even authorized to have those documents there at all.

          The seriousness of those particular documents is weighted by the fact that the only way those kinds of documents can be viewed is ONLY in specially designed rooms which Trump did NOT have.

          Trump is in serious trouble here and this will become apparent in the next few days.

          1. I assume that he’s lying as well.

            But legally, that’s largely besides the point. The crimes that were alleged don’t depend on whether or not the documents were classified vs. declassified.

            1. Actually they do.

              The crimes do not require the documents to be MARKED classified.

              But they MUST contain content that is classifed AND they must NOT have been declassified.

              No federal documents are classified forever. Clinton, Bush’s and Obama’s EO’s require documents to be declassified after 25 years in all instances and 5 years in some.
              There are processes to delay that. But the point is that nothing is permanently classified.
              That is important as to the law, because not only does something not have to be marked to be classified – but it does not have to be classified to be marked.

              Material that meets the requirements of the laws is material with the content specified by the law – marked or not, that has not been declassified.

              Declassification is an absolute power of the president. There is no appeal, only a subsequent president can reclassify something a president has declassified – and if the material has been made public – the courts would reject reclassification.

              As I recall PResident Reagan deliberately at a press conference revealed the existence of the Stealth Fighter program.
              This was highly classified. But Reagan did not break the law. By talking about it publicly Reagan declassified everything he talked about.

          1. Thanks for again showing that you can’t be bothered to read the laws, which do not rely on classification level in determining whether it’s a criminal act. You prefer to delude yourself that “If its not about classification, its nothing but a PRA civil matter.” You could instead choose to learn the facts, but you do not want to.

            1. If you honestly beleive your nonsense about the law – Why wasn’t Hillary jailed ?

              Why were YOU arguing none of this was serious at the time ?

              Hillary provided Sydney Blumenthal with top secret Code word only information on the Mid East on things such as drone strikes, and our terrorist targeting. Which he used to make millions selling that knowledge as a consultant in the mideast.

              It would be hard to conceive of a more egregious violation.

              It is obvious to the entire planet that the world of the left is the “rule of man, not law”

              That nothing is a crime when done by Obama, or Biden or Clinton, but anything is a crime when done by Trump.

              That you will argue that even the most sensitive classified information does NOT fall under the law when the accusations and evidence are about Clinton. But that unclassified material violates the law if your target is Trump.

              I would note that the Espionage act is about HANDLING it is not about possession.

              In other words it requires reckless or deliberate ACTS to violate it.

              Hillary had to ACT to violate the law,. She had to transfer classified information from the state department SCIF to her devices, fax, and ultimately mail server where she them transfered it to others.

              Classified or not, Trump’s documents were in boxes at MAL. He did not scan them and put them on mail servers for the world to access.
              He did not sell them to the Saudi government,

            2. Why is it we have to keep dealing with these stupid and hypocritical arguments from the left.

              Just say what you actually mean:

              “Whatever Trump does – that is a crime”

              Be honest. You will do whatever it takes, bend the law into a pretzel to “Get Trump”

              The world knows that.

              And it is why many many people will never beleive you did not lie cheat and steal to win in 2020.

              You are lawless. You have no interest in what the law says or means.

              In YOUR world the law is broad or narrow – as you need it to be in the moment. Broad to snare those you hate, and narrow to let those your support wriggle through.

              Sane people do not trust you.

              Please go forward with this nonsense.

              Turn about is fair play.

              Or is saying that now a crime ?

      2. So while McConnell may not have given a very good reason for his decision to not hold hearings for Garland (less than a year left in Obama’s presidency), it turned out to be the right decision.

    1. Clinton violated all three of those What you failed take into account is intent. No intent, no prosecutor would consider filing charges.

          1. For what?

            Start by naming the laws you believe that Clinton was being investigated for breaking.

            1. Were you born yesterday ?

              One of the reasons this entire mess is STUPID for those of you on the left.

              Is that the espionage act and classified records have been ENDLESSLY debated in 2016.

              Those of you on the left are disowning every single thing you said then.

              “Alas, alas for you,
              Lawyers and pharisees
              Hypocrites that you be
              Searching for souls and fools to forsake them
              You travel the land you scour the sea
              After you’ve got your converts you make them
              Twice as fit for hell!
              As you are yourselves!”

    2. Hillary had many more of several magnitudes greater. She tampered with evidence and obstructed justice, verifiable so.

      Yet, Comey said not one prosecutor would objectively bring charges.

    3. ‘ Notably, none of those laws turn on whether information was deemed to be unclassified.”

      Without intent. its meaningless.

      1. Thanks for again showing that you cannot be bothered to read the text of the laws, which do not depend on intent.

        1. Anomaly,

          “Thanks for again showing that you cannot be bothered to read the text of the laws, which do not depend on intent.”

          The first sentence shown on your link reads; “Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with **intent** or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States…”

          https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

          1. Thank you for saving everyone else the time to look and copy that sentence to the blog. It’s amazing how ATS makes statements so that others have to prove his statements false. Nowadays, when I see one of his statements, and unless I know it to be true, I recognize that it is a lie or deceptive.

            1. Meyer,

              “It’s amazing how ATS makes statements so that others have to prove his statements false.”

              It’s called sealioning. I encourage everyone to read the link to below to understand this trolling tactic because Anomaly employs this tactic often as do some of the other Trolls living under our bridge.

              As you can see in this thread, he has posted variations of same one-line nonsense several times in a row and has succeeded in getting several good faith respondents to waste quite a lot of time replying to him only to have him ignore their responses and post the same one-line nonsense again…and again.

              Of course, none of what he posts is true. As described in the link below, this it is simply a tactic to waste people’s time and to cause frustration amongst good faith respondents.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning

        2. The espionage law requires either intent or recklessness.

          More importantly it requires overt acts.

      2. Trump has claimed these documents were declassified.

        He claims he had a standing order to declassify anything he took to MAL or into the whitehouse residence at night.

        Separately there are Bush 2003 and Obama 2009 Executive orders that specifically exempt the president from pretty much the entire classification system.

        And more and more lawyers are coming out of the wood work confirming that the presidents power to declassify is informal and absolute.
        And there are staffers confirming that Trump routinely defacto declassified things on the spot. And that it is likely that Bush and Obama did too.

        This just gets worse and worse for the left.

  2. This Garland Dept of “just us” reeks of manure. This is a roman bread and circus event for politics. Heads should roll at the FBI and DOJ across the board for this stunt. Wonder how many of the 30 million documents obammy took with him are sensitive…oh and his promise to “bring them back”.
    The legalese used herein by the shadow govt apparatchiks smells of pure fear. Trump is not for sale , never was for sale and can not be bought or corrupted by their desires. They fear this man like no other , it’s palpable. They fear being exposed and losing power. Clinton had squabbles with documents and it was all quietly hushed up – well except for his buddy sandy burger smuggling out documents in his shorts & socks , but being sandy was connected in the swamp he got probation for outright theft. Imagine that. This red wave coming in november will allow anyone right of the left mob to examine the left mob deep state and root them all out with any semblance of justice . But as we are seeing in some small time elections flash drives with programming to flip votes , internet connections with te machines tabulating….. oh it’s going to be grand and they will again go for the theft.

    1. In nearly EVERY action of the FBI, where malfeasance or corruption was uncovered after the fact, the principles are typically PROMOTED further up the FBI food chain.

      FBI is like a textbook definition of The Peter Principle – people are promoted up the chain to the level of their incompetence.

      1. Is that real adm me? Does alley cat know it? Bc this is a real shit show. At some point we need to surface with the truth! I’ll go out on aaa limb here. Who gets to reclassify lajes 86? How about I say it’s declassifird? already did. If it’s not a lot of people doing their jobs suck! And suck but time. Huge suck. 25 years later or even 18 no the later don’t change the code…it’s on them for sucking so bad.

  3. For anyone who expects or even just hopes that their comments will be taken seriously and actually considered by others, they need to (1.) recognize and honor the constitutional right of any one accused of a crime to be considered (and treated) as innocent until and unless proven guilty after a fair trial in a court of law; (2.) recognize that mere allegations (no matter how often repeated, by however many of people or institutions, no matter the identity of such accusers) are neither facts nor evidence. —

    Accordingly, the reference in the FBI’s Search Warrant to nuclear weapons (NOT nuclear codes) was not only extremely vague and failed to specify WHOSE nuclear weapons (ours? our enemies? our allies?) there in fact was NO mention of any such documents being found at Mar-A-Lago according to their list of removed property. Such leaps to conclude these existed at all much less were intentionally taken by Trump or someone acting on his orders and with the criminal intent to use them in some manner dangerous to our country’s best interests, are outrageously cynical and harmful to our country’s domestic morale and international reputation. —

    While ALL US citizens deserve to have their due process rights respected and given the benefit of doubt, certainly Donald Trump who has been accused of almost every possible crime on earth and investigated thoroughly for years and years without ever being charged much less found guilty of a single crime as a result of a lack of evidence to prove any such crime, while at the same time that proof of willful prosecutor misconduct, witness tampering and perjury by the government, and malicious intentional schemes to discredit Mr. Trump have run rampant and unabated. This is not only unconstitutional, un-American, and illegal, it is unhealthy for our nation and the world as a whole. Is this really the legacy we want to leave to our children? —

    The “golden rule” may be considered simplistic but that is where its’ beauty lies. We should ALL treat EVERYONE as we wish to be treated ourselves. Pay respect forward. It is not fail-proof but it IS the only way forward!

    1. Leslie Sigal Javorek

      We’ve never seen your name before. What standing do you have telling us how are comments should be framed? Are you an employee of this blog??

      Or are you really just that mystery man who changes names 20 per day?

      1. @Anonymous, I do not understand your hostility, but to answer your questions:

        I’m neither an employee of the blog nor a mystery, nor a man, and do not change my name.

        That you have not noticed my name before is neither here nor there, while I am a daily follower of this blog, I rarely choose to comment as either others have already made the points I would have tried to or I chose not to get into the rabid fray of irrational, angry, partisans on both sides of the aisle.

        The “standing” I have is the same as any other commentor: I am an “interested party” in the issues discussed by Prof. Turley inasmuch as they affect me directly as a U.S. Citizen who cares deeply about my country, its’ citizens, and our shared future.

        Lastly, I do not presume to dictate to anyone how their comments “should be framed” – I merely made the common sense observation that intelligent (i.e. open-minded) readers tend not to give much creedence to the opinions of those who rant and rage and stoop to name calling, prejudicial declarations without objective support.

        As one who treasures the right to free-speech and who seeks to learn ALL sides of an issue through civil discourse and debate, I was attempting to encourage other posters to consider how to present their arguments in a manner that would earn a reasonable chance at changing minds or atleast getting people to think twice.

        1. Leslie, we’re supposed to think you’re an active-but-silent participant who’s expertise is ‘blog civility’?

          1. Peter, clearly you did not get vaccinated for Monkey Pox, as your pustules are showing. That or you have Neural Syphilis yet again. Dude, use protection.

            Leslie, ignore our prickly, Los Angeles, West Hollywood Queen.
            She be bitter 24/7

            🥳

    2. “While ALL US citizens deserve to have their due process rights respected and given the benefit of doubt…”
      Amen.

      Was there a communicarion breakdown? One of Trump’s lawyers said there was an amicable process regarding the MAL documents and that it had been communicated to simply request whatever document was needed & there would be compliance.

      What happened between June & August 7 to disrupt that procedure? Why all this sudden drama?

      1. Bruce , The polling is in the sewer for joey and the dem mob. The polling for Trump et al is through the roof. They fear the red wave and monkey pox has failed them as the next scamdemic…now they are pulling out the stops.

      2. As expected, neither the warrant nor the receipt explains (1) why it was not possible to obtain any suspect documents by other means and (2) why this suddenly became time sensitive. Until these questions are answered many will remain justifiably suspicious that political motives were at work.

        1. Amazing that that’s your primary response, rather than concern that Trump had failed to turn over many boxes of documents illegally in his possession, including a box of TS/SCI documents, and more than one box of Top Secret documents. In addition, the previous request for video suggests that the 793 allegation involves Trump showing these documents to people who lacked clearance for them. 1519 is an obstruction statute, and as Steve Vladeck noted, “It’s impossible to know at this juncture *why* the warrant was based on probable cause under § 793, but not § 1924. But the absence of § 1924 is at least circumstantial evidence that this is about something *other* than the mere wrongful retention of classified documents.”

          1. Please reread the receipt. Nothing is listed twice.
            Any boxes listed are NOT classified documents.

            I beleive there was ONE TS/SCI document, and 4 TS documents.

            Not BOXES of documents.

      3. What happened between June & August 7 to disrupt that procedure? Why all this sudden drama?

        I think you you work the calendar backward from November 11th. October surprise should hit about October 30th. A Friday to give a weekend to dominate the cable shows.
        I’m guessing Garland came to the conclusion that he had to get the ball rolling, or defense filings would keep things tied up past the election.

        1. There is a standing policy at DOJ and FBI to NOT make public announcements that would effect elections within 90 days of an election.
          They had to do this NOW.

    3. If you believe in the Golden Rule, you will be sadly disappointed by many of the commenters here.

      1. True. But there are the occasional few that offer fair, educational, useful and civil commentary – and even appreciated bits of humor and humanity. The Golden Rule does not depend upon what you get back though, all that matters is what you give.

    4. 1. Trump hasn’t been charged with any crimes related to the classified documents he stole–yet– so the “presumption of innocence” doesn’t apply. 2. It’s not “mere allegations” that Trump took documents he wasn’t entitled to possess–he doesn’t deny having them. Instead, he made up a lie about a standing order declassifying anything he takes. He cannot wave a magic wand and shout “declassify” over a box of papers. There is a process that must be followed, and the requisite paper trail for declassification doesn’t exist. And, nuclear weapons documents cannot be declassified by a president. These are facts.

      References in search warrants to the types of documents and their contents are deliberately vague, and broadly-worded for various valid reasons. Citizen Trump shouldn’t have had any classified documents in his possession. And, when they were subpoenaed in June, he claimed he turned them all over, but he lied–again. A tipster told the FBI Trump had held out and where they were hidden. These are facts.

      1. “There is a process that must be followed, and the requisite paper trail for declassification doesn’t exist.”

        Good example of a leftist troll arguing from a conclusion.

        What you speak of is a self enforced process. NOT a constitutional requirement, Not a federal Statute. Just like there is a proccess to grant Presidential Pardons. But not following the process, does not mean the pardon is invalid.

  4. A sixth question that Turley didn’t ask; is there an ongoing investigation which would keep the Justice Department from immediately releasing the affidavit? Or maybe that’s the point, put he probable cause into the public view so Trump/Fox News/ et.al can begin the public relations campaign to denounce it. I want to see the affidavit as badly as anyone but an ongoing investigation is a legitimate cause for delay. It will eventually come out.

  5. Professor Turley Writes:

    “It is hard to imagine the Trump Team telling the FBI to pound sand if such a demand was made”.

    ***

    Former President Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination Wednesday during a deposition before lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office in its probe into the Trump Organization’s business practices.

    The deposition lasted four hours, and the only question the former president answered was about his name, Trump attorney Ron Fischetti told NBC News.

    A source with knowledge of the deposition said Trump took the Fifth more than 440 times.

    Edited From:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-deposed-ny-ag-civil-probe-business-practices-rcna42355

    …………………………………………….

    ‘No’, Professor Turley, it is ‘not’ hard to imagine Trump’s team telling the FBI to go pound sand.

    1. If he’s that careless and disagreeable why would he bother securing the material in the first place? The Fifth Amendment is a Constitutional right. Anybody would be a fool not to invoke it if they were treated like Trump.

    2. Invoking your Constitutionally protected right to remain silent is not the same as “telling the FBI to pound sand” in response to a request for cooperation. So, it remains hard to believe he would “tell them to pound sand” in a matter in which he was already cooperating and complying with FBI requests.

    1. A president cannot declassify nuclear secrets? How is that consistent with his being commander in chief?

      If your reason for saying so is some Act of Congress, doesn’t that violate separation of powers? How can Congress limit that power?

      I spent a career working with signals intelligence TS/SCI materials. When I saw that kind of information revealed by the executive branch, I was told that a president has the power to do that.

      1. My understanding is that the President can declassify it (and the next President can reclassify it if he wants), but (a) there’s a process that must be followed, and (b) even if it’s declassified, it remains “restricted data,” as that designation can only be changed by the DOE. A description I saw was that it’s like a safe with two locks on it; the President can only unlock one of them, and the other can only be unlocked by the DOE. So even if he declassified it, it’s illegal for him to have it when he’s not in office, as the DOE never changed its restricted data status.

      2. As hard as it is to believe. There are some things that the president can’t unilaterally declassify and that is nuclear secrets. He can’t just decide to divulge the nuclear codes or anything that will endanger the country’s defenses. That requires multiple people agreeing to declassify such information.

        Trump is lying. And he’s trying to save face after claiming such documents being on his property was a hoax. Obviously that’s not true.

        The ex-president is in serious trouble. He faces multiple criminal charges on the espionage act alone.

      3. I agree with you that a statute limiting the President’s power to declassify documents may violate the separation of powers. But, by that same logic, what is to stop the current administration from re-classifying anything purportedly de-classified? Trump is no longer POTUS (despite his statements to the contrary).

        1. The point is that Trump didn’t declassify anything. There’’s an entire process that he has to go thru in order to have those document declassified. Trump is lying. For example the TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION is the highest kind of classification there is. People don’t understand how serious that is.. Those kinds of documents can ONLY be viewed in special rooms specifically for those documents and Trump has absolutely no reason to have those documents,.

          There ar reports that all he had for security for those highly sensitive documents was a simple padlock. That alone is seriously negligent in regards with those documents. There is even evidence that classified documents were stored in in a storage shed by the pool. Seriously?

          The gravity of how bad this is for Trump hasn’t sunk in yet and trumps allies are not only making things worse for him, but for themselves too.

          Trump is seriously facing federal criminal charges under the espionage act. He fought against the return of those documents and kept them in unsecured storage. Those Top secret/SCI documents are the most secret information the country has and the fact that they found them in poorly secured areas and that they were there where they did not belong at all are direct evidence that WILL be a criminal charge against trump. That si practically guaranteed.

          1. He fought against the return of those documents and kept them in unsecured storage.

            He was never asked for “those” documents.

            What you lack is intents. We know from precedent in these matters, intent is the key

            1. Intent is important.

              But this whole mess has SO MANY huge flaws.
              And Intent is just one of those.

        2. “But, by that same logic, what is to stop the current administration from re-classifying anything purportedly de-classified?”

          Not having possession because the items were removed and hidden.

          1. Is there a possession requirement for classification? And if so, is that a statutory requirement?

            Any statutory obligation puts us back to square one regarding separation of powers. If Trump argues the Theory of the Unitary Executive prohibits legislative restrictions on his executive power to declassify (i.e. Atomic Energy Act), why couldn’t Biden argue the same w/r/t any possession requirement?

            1. It would not matter. Biden reclassifying the documents would not change anything.

              Nor would the documents never having been declassified – because as an example the GSA moved them to MAL not Trump.

              What is fundimental is that Trump beleived – with very good reason they were declassified.
              Without Trump KNOWING that Biden had reclassified them – there is no criminal intent.

              Finally, it is not possession that matter it is handling. It does not matter if actually classified documents were at MAL.

              What matters is how they got there – so long as they were either declassified when they were brought to MAL or they were brought to MAL by someone other than Trump – such as GSA there presence at MAL is not criminal.

              The Espionage act is not about where something is. it is about how it is handled – it is about creating the oportunity for it to be exposed.

              The Espionage act requires ACTIVE not passive violation.

              If the classified information on Clinton’s basement mail server got there without Clinton’s participation in removing it from a secure location. There would be no violation of the law.

              But Clinton removed classified information from a SCIF either faxed it to her home, or emailed it to her self or others.

              Those are all either reckless or deliberate actions.

          2. “”But, by that same logic, what is to stop the current administration from re-classifying anything purportedly de-classified?”

            Not having possession because the items were removed and hidden.”

            Not true and not relevant.

            Nearly everything in the federal government classified or not is on a computer.
            Further every document with a secret or above classification is closely tracked.
            Every copy is tracked, every person who accesses a copy is tracked.

            It is not possible to obliterate the existance of any federal document.

            With the exception of purported originals of letters to Trump from Obama and foreign leaders

            There is nothing the FBI “recovered” that is not a copy, and there is nothing that the FBI recovered including originals that NARA does not already have a copy of.

            None of this is about protecting official records.
            There are 3 purposes to this nonsense.

            Bear baiting Trump.
            Prosecuting Trump.
            And depriving Trump of access to any of this information.

            Do you actually think before you post ?

              1. Overstatement. None of the classified documents are original.

                Letters from foriegn leaders and obama are likely original – and several lawyers have noted that taking them was a mistake.
                They do not fall under the PRA.

                Photo’s may or may not be originals.

                How do I know ? Because nearly all “originals” of classified documents are electronic.

      4. The president has the authority to even abandon things like Vietnam and Affgaffistan…… and lo and behold two presidents did such things cutting loose allies and billions of dollars in weapons both times doing so. Only joey was so quick to abandon he may have set a record there for turning tail and running.
        A president can declare war too….. can give away precious huge magnets for nuclear production means to places like north korea…clinton did that huh.
        Presidents even OMG sign executive orders…and punters like joey canceled so many and signed so many more. To say the president does not have this power is silly. Let’s sit back and laugh at the machinations of the dept of “just Us” and the deep state apparatchiks pushing their cancer on our constitution. In moments like these the obvious is the truth…. and it is quite obvious the apparatchik statists are abusing power and the constitution in order to control more. They are not taking prisoners. Americans should not either in this endeavor.

    2. The leaked(fabricated) story from WaPo, now makes sense. Claiming Nuclear, is as way to get around the fact that all Garland has is a PRA claim, that’s civil and not criminal I’m sure the IC leaked the nuclear hoax for that very reason.

      1. The Raid is probelmatic no matter what.

        Warrants are for crimes.

        The warrant alleges crimes – lots of them, but there is no evidence todate of crimes.

        The espionage act – like just about all laws is about ACTS.

        Lets presume that the documents the FBI recovered were actually still classified and were really really dangerous documents.
        That is near certain false, but I am doing a reductio ad absurdem.

        Trump’s possession of them is not a crime.

        it is POSSIBLE that his acquisition of them could be a crime.
        It is POSSIBLE that what he does with them might be a crime.

        But mere possession is not.

        Sandy Berger stuffed documents into his pants to remove from the national archives.

        Deutche took a laptop full of tens of thousands of classified documents from the CIA into his home – and then left it there for days.

        Petreaus brought numerous classified documents home with him and shared them with his biographer.

        Clinton snuck classified documents out of the state department SCIF and put them on her mail server on the internet.

        Each of these committed ACTS that they had no authority to do, that exposed classified documents.

        If GSA moved these documents to Mar-A-Lago – that is a failure by GSA.

        If Trumps acts as president are responsible for their being at Mar-A-Lago, there is no crime.

        If Trump tried to sell them to the chinese and they are classified – that would be a crime.

        The only political hacks talking to the Russians and Chinese are Bidens.

    1. Bettyford. You got it right. Turley is a “Turkey”–Gobble, gobble and all the other nonsense about the FBI search warrant!

  6. Case Against Trump Organization Moving Forth

    The Trump Organization and former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg couldn’t shake the Manhattan District Attorney’s bombshell fraud case on Friday, as a New York judge nixed their bid to dismiss the case.

    The decision caps off a stunning week for Donald Trump that included federal agents searching his estate and a deposition with the New York Attorney General in which he pleaded the Fifth more than 400 times. Trump is not a defendant in the Manhattan DA’s criminal case.

    Weisselberg and the Trump Organization asked a judge to toss criminal fraud and tax evasion charges, arguing they were improperly targeted “based on political animus” and that prosecutors provided insufficient evidence.

    On Friday, Justice Juan Merchan dismissed just one fraud count against the Trump Organization contained in a 15-count indictment alleging criminal tax fraud, grand larceny and falsification of business records. The decision allows the case to move toward trial, with jury selection slated for Oct. 24.

    Edited From:

    https://news.yahoo.com/trump-org-cant-shake-manhattan-161353182.html

  7. Discovered during search at Donald Trump:

    ⁃ Red Army Civil War “Budyonovka” hat;
    ⁃ Kalashnikov machine gun;
    ⁃ parachute strap;
    ⁃ Bear skin;
    ⁃ Flag of the USSR;
    ⁃ Key telephone with Russian layout;
    ⁃ A portrait of Putin on a horse painted in oil;
    ⁃ Honey with pepper;
    ⁃ Fur hat with earflaps;
    ⁃ Second component of Sputnik V vaccine;
    ⁃ Encyclopedia on turbines for gas pipeline;
    ⁃ Pushkin’s works in the original;
    ⁃ TV signal of the channel “Solovyov Live” (well-known political talk show in Russia);
    ⁃ 500-ruble bill;
    ⁃ Discount card of the supermarket “Pyaterochka”;
    ⁃ Login and password from the personal account of the Russian online portal “Public Services”.

    -Node of Time DE-
    Enjoy The Show

  8. Trump’s people are reported as saying he had declassified everything. I spent a career dealing with highly classified material, and my understanding was that a president can declassify everything, as the whole system of security classifications derives its legal force from executive orders signed by presidents.

    I take it from recent reporting that the Biden regime is also relying on the argument that Trump a!so violated prohibitions in the Espionage Act on release of information. But any limitation that that act supposedly puts on the presidential release of information is even more doubtfully constitutional than the rest of the act. It would clearly violate the separation of powers.

    1. No, the president can’t declassify everything. Especially “Top Secret/Compartmentalized information”

      The president has no legal authority to unilaterally declassify that level of classified information.

      Furthermore Trump allowed unauthorized individuals access to classified documents and there is video footage of those individuals.

      This is getting worse and worse for Trump by the hour.

      1. No, the president can’t declassify everything. Especially “Top Secret/Compartmentalized information”

        Actually, he can. Whether it is wise is another story. Intelligence information that is compartmentalized is generally “source sensitive”, or release of the information would provide clues to how it was obtained. Other compartmentalized information is designated as such to restrict dissemination even further than the actual classification level would permit. Generally speaking, access to classified information is based on “need to know”. Access to compartmentalized information is based on “must know”.

        But the entire classification system is based on the President’s authority as head of the Executive branch, and as such, he has the prerogative to downgrade or entirely declassify anything.

      2. Svelaz: Agreed. And there is nothing to indicate Trump tried to declassify “top secret” docs. That would require a thorough vetting by the DOD. So it is a specious argument by some in this chatroom that all a president has to do is waive his arm and everything is magically declassified. In any case we have a long way to go before/if Trump is charged with violating the Espionage Act. Trump’s more immediate concern is the voter fraud/conspiracy case in Fulton County, Georgia. Trump knows this so he has hired the pre-imminent hip-hop “billion dollar defense lawyer”, Drew Findling, well know in Georgia defense circles. Strange Trump would hire a lawyer who previously described Trump as “the racist architect of fraudulent Trump University”. I guess when you are desperate for top quality legal talent to have to overlook your lawyer’s personal views. But even Findling will find it difficult to try to keep his client’s mouth shut. You can expect Trump will soon be sending out a fundraising pitch/scam to his loyal supporters. Lawyers, like Findling, do not come cheap!

        1. So it is a specious argument by some in this chatroom that all a president has to do is waive his arm and everything is magically declassified.

          Do you have a judicial ruling on point to support your wish casting?

    2. Looking at SCOTUS Navy v Egan 484 U.S. 518 (1988) I don’t see any trouble for then President Trump because he had classification authority, BUT according to Atomic Energy Act of 1954 anything related to the production or use of nuclear weapons and nuclear power is inherently classified. Depending what he kept in the storeroom, a prosecutor could build a court-case with a very long way to go.

      Question remains: Did they find anything related to J6?

    3. The presidential power to declassify does not rely on Executive orders.

      Any action by the president that removes a classified document from the classified system is defacto declassification.

      There is debate as to whether Trump actually gave the Russian ambassador Clasified documents regarding terrorists to enlist russias support in Syria. But if True, Trump as president was free to do that.

      HOWEVER the GSA moving documents to MAL does not defacto declassify them. trump personally moving them to MAL while president and NOT placing them in a SCIF would declassify them.

      Generally presidents do not declassify things off the cuff. Trump ORDERED many documents related to the collusion delusion declassified on the way out the door. That did not declassify them. It just put them on the road to declassification. biden could have countermanded the order – which to my knowledge he did not. Or what appears to have happened, they were just stalled. Placed in limbo.

      It is possible – even likely that Trump took copies with him to MAL on the way out. That complicates things – as those copies are probably legally declassified. At the same time Trump is not likely to just publish them – as they really do need to be vetted by the IC and somethings redacted.
      If they are defacto declassified, Trump can legally show the copies to anyone – like Patel and Solomon.

      Trump can with near legal certainty be in possession of classified documents today – including nuclear documents.
      But if they remain classified – as they would be if delivered by GSA, then Trump has a duty to protect them, and he can not share them.

      There is a separate question of what culpability he would have if he did share classified documents – or inadvertently allowed them to be accessed.
      As a private individual no longer employed by government – but with a courtesy security clearance he has NEAR the lowest level of culpability.
      Short of deliberately giving classified documents to a hostile foreign power he is probably not subject to criminal sanctions.
      He does not have near the culpability that Hillary had as Sec State.

      Further MAL is NOT the equivalent of a private home. It was setup with security and a SCIF when he was president and those are still present.
      I do not know if MAL still has an FSO but it has SS agents on site.

      We are also dealing with paper documents that are locked up. NOT electronic copies accessible on the internet.

      1. No, actually, “Any action by the president that removes a classified document from the classified system” is NOT “defacto declassification,” not least because (a) paperwork has to occur to change the classification labelling on every single page of the document, so that anyone who comes upon the document knows whether or not it’s still classified, and (b) Biden could reclassify whatever he wanted from among the things that Trump declassified.

        More to the point, as L. Luppen noted today, “One prudent feature of federal criminal law is that it doesn’t ever rely exclusively on the executive order-based classification system. Charges under the espionage act, IIPA, AEA, or the criminal mishandling statute can all be brought for info that’s ‘declassified.'” If you read the crimes alleged in the search warrant, you can confirm that for yourself. I linked to them in my 6:19 PM comment.

        1. Professor Turkey, have you noticed we have quite a few constitutional scholars on this blog. If I want to know anything about our constitution, all I have to do is tune in on your latest topic of discussion.

        2. “No, actually, “Any action by the president that removes a classified document from the classified system” is NOT “defacto declassification,” not least because”

          You can repeat that all you want.

          It does not make it true.

          The media claimed in 2017 that Trump gave classified documents to the Russians in the WH.
          He purpotedly just handed them to the Russians.

          No one in The WH, FBI, …. did anything about it – except possibly leak it to the press.

          Why ? Because it is perfectly legal.
          If the president releases a classified document – it is no longer classified.

          That is not NORMALLY how it is done. But normal and manditory are not the same.

          ALL Executive power vests in the president – ALL.
          Anything that the executive is authorized to do, the president can do unilaterally.

          I suspect if you look into this enough you will find it has happened before.

          In fact I know it has. If I recall correctly, Reagan went up to the podium in the WH and told the world about the existance of the Stealth fighter.

        3. Ah, another lefty making up the law as they go.

          Lets assume that your left wing nut is correct.

          The mere possession of info that is not classified can not in anyway violate the espionage act.

          To get anywhere with this bogus interpretation of the law you would have to catch in the act a person passing un-classified but dangerous to national security information to a hostile foreign power.

          You do not have that.

          I would further note that the more you keep making up “get Trump” law, the more everyone wonders why the F#$K Hillary is not sitting in federal prison.

          You left wing nuts spent the entirety of 2016 telling the entire world that the espionage act really did not mean anything.
          That dumping thousands of classified documents where hostile foreign powers could get them was inconsequential.
          That hundreds of TS/SCI documents – readily available on the internet was nothing, and that half a dozen TS Code word only documents regarding the most secret Terrorist operations of the US were no big deal.

          All this material was in electronic form. All of it had to be painstaking transfered from secure systems in the State Department SCIF to insecure computers and then emailed through Hillarys basement bathroom email server – that according to FBI atleast one hostile foreign power (probably china) was accessing in real time

          Every single time you say “no one is above the law” the american people are going to think Hillary ? Hunter ? Joe ? Pelosi ?

          So you waste all this time trying to bend the law to make Trump’s actions criminal, and in the end all you succeed at doing is proving that YOU are politically corrupt. That YOU do not give a schiff about the law.

          All you do is PROVE what we all know – that this is massive left wing nut TDS. That there is nothing you will not do, there is no law you would not bend, or break. To get Trump.

          And after that you expect the american people to beleive Biden actually won in 2020 ?

          The more lawless you are the more lawless people will beleive you are

        4. You have another major problem – which I should have realized earlier.

          The same fundimental problem as the Collusion delusion.

          You have postulated a crime that makes absolutely no sense.

          The identified items in the FBI receipt all make sense – the Obama Letter to Trump, a few other bits of correspondence from foreign leaders. Various pictures

          It makes perfect Sense that Trump would have kept those. It also matches what Eric Trump and Trump’s lawyer said.

          But why Would Trump keep some other classified information ? Particularly why would he keep some nuclear secret ?

          I can think of reasons why Hunter Biden would do so – all that crack and prostitutes is is expensive.
          But why would a billionaire keep some documents that were very dangerous to have in his possession ?
          What is it you idiots think ? He is going to sell them to the Saudi’s or something ?
          Get Real.

          First you have the fact that NARA and FBI have been snooping arround for the past 2 years.
          Trump is not stupid – he KNOWS you left wing nuts are after him.
          He is also less stupid than all of you – there is no deal he could make with anyone that would
          Be worth the risk,
          Have a big enough payoff.
          And no chance of getting caught.

          There is a reason that you idiots have never caught Trump doing anything criminal.

          He is either smart enough not to, or smart enough not to get caught.

          Yet with both this and the collusion delusion – you suddenly assume he is as stupid as you are.

          I have speculated frequently that what these documents are is the papers on the Collusion Delussion that Trump declassified on Jan 19, 2021.

          That is still speculation – but increasingly it is all that makes sense. It is the only once classified documents of any consequence that he would with certainty hold on to personally.

        5. I have read the espionage act – many many many times – while we were all dealing with Hillary Clinton.

          Not only are you totally wrong.
          Even your own legal experts were arguing the opposite in 2016.

          You do not get to make up the law to suit the person you wish to convict or let off.

  9. The Government stakeholders including the FBI had already been on premises months ago and were given any documents they needed. The secret service added a new lock to the storage area. The President does not pack up his own office. His lawyers and the President were cooperative with all parties concerned.

    This is an unprecedented and uncalled for abuse of force and jumping to conclusions. Red meat for the starving 24/7 News Cycle. This is designed to set a narrative before elections and pure harassment.

  10. God Bless President Trump! Prof. Turley’s words leave the burden of proof on Garland. It is clear that despite far more temperate approaches available to him, Mr. Garland succumbed to his love of the Circus and sold his reputation to Pelosi’s Clown Cabal. Although his securing said doc’s may indeed provide the lowest of thresholds for charging the former President, in the continuing clown shoe stampede to embarrass him prior to this November and 2024, Trump’s standing among his followers has gone from Raptor to T Rex status. Garland & Pelosi should recall the bathroom scene in the first Jurassic Park film!

    1. The Deep Deep State Swamp is terrified of and livid with the Real President Donald J. Trump because he will not be bought off.

      The Deep Deep State Swamp hates the fact that Real President Donald J. Trump doesn’t need their money.

      Donald Trump is concerned with and focused on free America, free enterprise and free market competition (which always provides the best product at the lowest price).

      All of Washington has been bought and is terrified of being discovered.

      Donald Trump tells them to —- off.

      The Deep Deep State Swamp denizens do not like that.

      Poor things.

      1. baby Donald trump lies like there is no tomorrow. Where is the proof of fraud in the 2020 election? Please? Anything? And don’t show me the many republican voters that voted twice as they had a near zero effect on the election. Fraud? Where is it?

        1. Where is the fraud? Within your fraudulent pen. Now be gone lest we hit you with Holy Water and watch you melt into the mist! God Bless President Trump!

      2. If Trump the US MIC/Security Aparatchik did not buy off Trump (apply the needed pressure,) pray tell what was Trump’s exact and specific reason(s) to not pardon Julian Assange, the single person most responsible for Trump’s 2016 win other than Trump himself? And ditto Edward Snowden whose sole alleged “crime” was to alert the US public of US Security Aparatchik federal felonies?

        1. If you believe that Edward Snowden is a criminal,

          you must also believe that Paul Revere was a criminal.

          1. Careful george,

            Garland has threat tagged mentions of Paul Revere.

            The next FBI raid will be at your home.

            Quick hide your Betsy Ross flag and your copy of the declaration of independence
            or your joining J6 protestors in solitary in the DC gulag.

  11. In the last year of his Presidency, Pres. Trump “declassified” THOUSANDS of documents—-which only he had the authority to do. He gave some to Acting DNI John Ratcliffe, and later Chris Miller, and then to AG Bill Barr. He wanted Barr to release them but Barr never did (dereliction of duty!).

    I have always believed the documents that Trump has are those documents that he “declassified,” as President—-and I doubt they are the “originals,” but only copies.

    1. A copy of a classified document is classified.

      But destroying a copy of a classified document is not a violation of law or anything else, and in fact may often be required.

      Under the right conditions destroying a classified original may be required.

    2. There are problems with the documents Trump declassified.

      He did not declassify them – he ORDERED them declassified. He issued an executive order.
      He required the Intelligence community to redact them – only with respect to sources and methods, and then declassify them.

      They have done nothing to implement that order, and there is nothing Trump can do about it.
      They are just sitting on them trying to delay the revelations.

      The Alternative was for Trump to just declassify them asis. But that would have rasied a stink about compromising sources and methods.

      Trump is painted as a disruptor, and he is very verbally disruptive.

      But his actual policies are for the most part centrist conservative with few exceptions.
      And his actions as president were NOT very radical at all.
      He was less deregulatory than Carter.
      His foreign policy strongly resembled that of Reagan – Forceful words, but not actual force. He was most definitely NOT a neocon.

      Despite all the ranting of the left Trump was actually a fairly vanilla slightly right of center conservative. He was rhetorically a populist, but that is not policy.

      Both Graham and Jeb Bush were NeoCons and would have been more like George Bush as president – low growth lots of foreign meddling.

  12. Games? Must we? (North By Northwest). We all know Mr. Turley, as you do, these THUGS stole the Election, and the FBI interfered with the 2016 Election, which is why they had to investigate Trump and Co. illegally after the Election. Why play pretend as if anyone bus this bull that the FBI isn’t an arm of the Dem/Lib parties of the Deep State. Do not insult our intelligence sir. People like you not speaking up (FULLY & FORCEFULLY) is why we are where we are now !!

  13. (OT)

    Tristan Snell: “BREAKING: Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg lose motion to dismiss criminal tax fraud case. Judge orders case to proceed. This was the indictment brought a year ago against Weisselberg/TrumpOrg for tax evasion on compensation. This is going to trial — or change of plea.”

    1. How many of these businesses and cases currently exist in the U.S.?

      The Gestapo only discovers the alleged infractions of Trump Org/Weisselberg?
      ______________________________________________________________

      ““Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.””

      – Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police

  14. Warrant details released,

    “ The unsealed warrant shows that investigators were authorized to seize any documents or records with classified markings or related to the “transmission of national defense information or classified material.”

    The warrant also authorized the seizure of “any evidence of the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings.”

    Trump faces criminal charges, yikes!

    1. “When you strike a king, you must kill him.”

      – Ralph Waldo Emerson
      ___________________

      Real President Donald J. Trump is a natural born citizen, over 35 years of age, and has been a U.S. citizen for more than 14 years.

      You anti-Constitution, anti-American communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) be very sure to keep Real President Donald J. Trump in prison for at least 2 1/2 years because you will never cause him to be ineligible, as is the case with Barack Obama and Kamala Harris, both of them can never be “natural born citizens.”
      ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      Article 2, Section 1

      No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

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