Litigation by Leak: Government Officials Leak New Details on the Mar-a-Lago Raid While Continuing to Oppose Disclosures in Court

One of the most glaring contradictions in the Mar-a-Lago controversy has been the Justice Department demanding absolute and unwavering secrecy over the FBI raid while officials have been leaking details on the raid. The latest example is a report in the New York Times that the Justice Department recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings, citing multiple sources connected to the investigation. Most judges would be a tad annoyed by the contradiction as the government continues to frame the public debate with its own selective leaks while using secrecy to bar other disclosures. That includes sections of the affidavit that detail the communications with the Trump team, information that is already known to the target.

Someone is clearly lying. The Trump Team said that it was cooperating and would have given access to the government if it raised further objections. The Justice Department has clearly indicated that time was of the essence to justify this unprecedented raid on the home of a former president. Yet, Attorney General Merrick Garland reportedly waited for weeks to sign off on the application for a warrant and the FBI then waited a weekend to execute that warrant. It is difficult to understand why such communications could not be released in a redacted affidavit while protecting more sensitive sections.

Previous leaks discussed various undisclosed facts that are presumably part of the affidavit, including the government was seeking vital nuclear weapons materials and then how video camera evidence outside of the Mar-a-Lago storage area led the FBI to act without delay.

The latest leak to to the New York Times offers details on what was gathered from Mar-a-Lago. Officials state that they collected more than 150 documents marked as classified in January with another 150 being gathered in June and then in the August raid.

Washington has long floated on a sea of leaks but this is notable in that the government is opposing even modest disclosures from the court while it has steadily leaked details to its own advantage. It undermines the credibility of the government and raises questions of the motivations behind the absolute secrecy claims.

The level of detail is extraordinary including the very account of past dealings that some of us have argued could be released in the affidavit as well as the contents of the boxes. The leaks describe the June meeting in Mar-a-Lago and reveals that Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterespionage section of the national security division of the Justice Department, met with two of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb. He then went through the boxes himself to identify classified material. (The Trump motion this week also described this meeting with Bratt, which again raises why the same information in the affidavit cannot be disclosed).

This information is likely contained in the affidavit, which the Justice Department claimed could not be released without harming its investigation and endangering national security.

The New York Times story then affirms the position of the Justice Department as proven by the leaks.

“[T}he extent to which such a large number of highly sensitive documents remained at Mar-a-Lago for months, even as the department sought the return of all material that should have been left in government custody when Mr. Trump left office, suggested to officials that the former president or his aides had been cavalier in handling it, not fully forthcoming with investigators, or both.”

It is litigation by leak where the government prevents others (including the target) from seeing key representations made to the court while releasing selective facts to its own advantage. It shows utter contempt for the court and the public. The question is whether the court will take note of this series of leaks. Most judges do not like to be played so openly and publicly by government officials. Moreover, the leaks should push Garland to reverse course as suggested in a recent column and order substantive disclosures in the affidavit in light of the government’s prior leaks.

387 thoughts on “Litigation by Leak: Government Officials Leak New Details on the Mar-a-Lago Raid While Continuing to Oppose Disclosures in Court”

  1. Documents with classified markings…meaning they may not be classified at all, just old copies that were marked before declassification. The careful wording of the statement suggests the possibility, and the reporter wasn’t discerning enough to ask or confirm. Whether the case or not, the media blew their credibility some time ago. The only people hyping the NY Times report work there and/or are predisposed to seize on those media “gotcha” reports. Not a small number of them around, to be sure, and they’ll miss the truth and facts to be added in editorial corrections later, somewhere around page A-19.

    1. The careful wording of the statement

      I call it qualifying language. It works as proof, the writer knows they are telling a lie. It is easy to say ‘the documents are classified” Saying the documents were marked classified, proves the lie.

    2. It’s a long, tedious job to go through multiple copies of documents and remove classified markings. Normally, the markings are crossed out and then the document is stamped with a DECLASSIFIED marking along with the declass authjority’s info…this has to happen on EVERY page of a formerly classified document. The President has UNCHALLENGABLE authority to declassify anything he so deems. So, anything the Gestapo…I mean FBI “found” stuffed in Melania’s closet, would be declass material.

  2. Because it’s everybody knows it’s just a continuation of the political hit job that began while Trump was still on the escalator getting ready to make his announcement of his candidacy.

  3. There was a robust discussion about public’s trust in (1) AG Garland/DoJ/FBI and who is Whistleblower/Mole/Spy leaking to FBI (2).
    1. Common sense have it that in these times those on the left trust institutions and their leading figures, thos on the right (accordung to a opinion poll released by Rasmussen on . For those who are not aware and looking for a broader view a search of 1st FBI director “Edgar Hoover corrupt” may help.
    2. Long before acting archivist Wall (NARA) wrote to former President Trump lawyer Pat Cipollone about WH position on “Executive Privilege” on 5/12/22, they exchanged far earlier about this matter. As Trump said at the beginning, no need for a leaker.

    While main media were busy to talk about Present Biden’s teleprompter reading about student loans forgiveness, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) tried hard to push GOPs narrative about a [1]Two Tear Justice System: He wrote another letter [1] to IG Michael Horowitz to “take immediate steps to investigate the FBI’s actions regarding the laptop” of hell which was obtained by FBI in 2019. Earlier answer indicated that, in consistance with OIG’s practice not to interfere with an ongoing investigation (In 12/20 Hunter Biden publicly stated that USAO in Delaware investigates his tax affairs) If my memory holds me, investigations started 2018 about business dealings back in 2014.

    “Just in Time” pushed a “Project Veritas” story about CNN “would not be going down the rabbit hole of Hunter Biden” out of 12/20.

    [1] Earlier letters [also one he wrote to Trump appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray (R) on 10/17/20] and the answers he received)

  4. Jonathan: There are “leaks” and then there are the leakers. Everyone is speculating about who revealed to the FBI was still hoarding top secret docs that prompted the search of Mar-a-Lago. Trump is desperate to find the “spy”. Trump demands absolute loyalty from those around him so if it was someone in his inner circle, even someone in his family, who blew the whistle heads will roll! Trump is like the Shakespeare monarch who sees spies and disloyal subjects all around hem. Trump knows that “loose lips sink ships”. So the hunt is on and why Trump wants to see and unredacted copy of the affidavit so he can ID the culprit. Some, like Michael Cohen, suggest Jared Kushner might be the one. Kushner immediately denied he was the leaker on FOX News and defended his father-in-law. Frankly, I don’t think it was Jared. What motive would he have in turning against his father-in-law? I mean Kushner benefited financially from “working” in the WH and got a $2 billion investment in his financial firm from the Saudi state-owned sovereign fund after leaving Trump’s employment. Doesn’t make sense you would want to bite the hand that fed you. My money is on some else inside Trump’s inner circle–maybe even a member of Trump’s Secret Service detail that has access to all of Mar-a-Lago. Now I’m setting up a pool in this chatroom for those who want to place a bet on the identity of the “spy”. Any takers?

    1. I don’t know about betting on this, but Jared isn’t as dumb as Donald–either one of them, for that matter. We don’t know all that went down while Trump was in the White House, or even everything that happened on Jan. 6 and the lead-up, but Jared does, and could possibly leverage his knowledge about the TS/SCI documents against his own potential criminal liability for Jan 6th matters. Jared also saw his father get convicted of crimes and go to prison, so he knows that the aura of wealth is no guarantee against being a forced guest at the graybar hotel. The bottom line is: we don’t know what we don’t know, but I’d bet Jared is more dedicated to saving his own hide and that of Ivanka than loyalty to Donald, so I wouldn’t rule him out just yet. Plus, he’s probably gotten all of the benefit he can from Trump’s time in office, too, so further benefits from that connection is not a consideration. Time might tell who the snitch was, but I’m not so sure about that, either. After Jan 6th and the attack on the Cincinnati FBI office, the identity of the snitch may never be revealed. As Hells Angels say: “Snitches get stitiches”.

      1. Natacha: I doubt Judge Reinhart will unseal the name of the “snitch”. In fact, it may be more than one person. In any case. should Trump actually be charged the identity will eventually be revealed. Speaking of Jared “Kushy” Kushner, he was on Fox yesterday and was asked whether it was “a mistake” for Trump to take all those top secret docs back to Mar-a-Lago. Kushner’s response: “Like I said, I’m not familiar with what was in the boxes but I think President Trump, he, uh, he governed in a very peculiar [!!] way and when he had his {??] documents, I’m assuming he did what he thought was appropriate”. Not a ringing endorsement but it does show Kushner’s loyalty. But Kushner was privy to everything going on in the WH. He knew there were big fights over official docs that needed to be preserved and turned over to the National Archives. He knew Trump destroyed docs he felt might be incriminating. Kushner also probably knew his father-in-law was going to take some docs with him when he left office. Kushner could have blown the whistle back in January of 2021 but refused. “Self-preservation” was Kushner’s motto throughout his time in the WH.

    2. Any document Trump has he declassified. His authority is not challengeable. See 2012 ruling. This is simply continued harassment by an out of control government. May Garland pay for his crimes.

      1. For what I hope is the last time: 1. he DIDN’T “declassify” anything according to John Bolton, his head of National Security, and there’s no written proof of such; you can’t wave a magic wand over a stack of papers and declare them “declassified” l BUT: 2. even if he had, it was still illegal for him to take the documents. Pat Cipolline, his White House counsel, TOLD him he HAD to return the doucments. He went through them and returned some but kept most of them, some of which are the MOST sensitive that we have.

        If, as he says, he had a right to TS/SCI documents, WHY didn’t his lawyer seek to quash the subpoena served on him in June? THAT was the time and place to raise the current baseless arguments you keep hearing on Fox and other alt-right media. He didn’t object, probably because he thought he got away with stealing them.

        1. “[Trump] DIDN’T “declassify” anything according to John Bolton . . .”

          How does Bolton know that? Trump fired him in September 2019, some 16 months *before* he left office.

          You are now free to drop that absurd claim, and trot out another one.

          1. RE:”You are now free to drop that absurd claim, and trot out another one…Natacha and her emotional harangues have been an immediate delete for me for weeks now. Obviously, your mileage varies.

            1. Much of this is trivial to sort out if you remove Trump from the issue and ask how do things work for any generic president.

              Classified information follows presidents everywhere they go all the time. Much of what any president does directly is classified.
              Even the presidents schedule is classified.

              Dealing with classified documents is cumbersome for cabinet members – which is why an entire floor of the state department is a SCIF – with offices for much of the staff. They can work out of the SCIF with little regard for classified document issues.
              Which are dealt with on entering and exiting that SCIF.

              But that does not work for presidents.

              Nutacha is free to change the rules for presidents – though that would require changing the constitution,
              further, I doubt that any scheme she would support that would “get Trump” would also be workable.

          2. Further the NSA is a policy advisor NOT an adminsitrator.
            The NSA does not tuck the current president into bed at night, bring him his warm milk and provide him with his bed time classified reading.

        2. If it were up to Boulton we would be in a bloody war with Iran right now.

          Regardless, Boulton was the NSA. Issues regarding classified documents are administrative not policy, and Boulton’s roll was policy.

          Boulton would have had little to do with what documents the presdident took with him to the east wing at night or onto Air Force one, or to MAL for a weekend.

  5. This attempt to take down Trump will end just like all the others. No amount of heavy breathing will change that. At this point we are used to it, but when we regain power watch out.

  6. Jonathan: Donald Trump is in unchartered territory. When he was president he had WH Counsel to keep him on the legal straight and narrow. Now he is surrounded with only sycophants and pretty incompetent attorneys with little experience in complex criminal cases. That was evident on Monday when Trump filed a motion asking for the appointment of a Special Master to review all the docs seized by the FBI–claiming “executive privilege” over the docs. The first Q is why did Trump wait two weeks to file the motion? Competent counsel would have been in court the next day. Then Trump filed his motion in the wrong court and it lacked fundamentals of a legitimate filing. And claiming “executive privilege” in the motion is an admission by Trump that the materials he took were official government docs–a concession he violated 18USC2071. Not something an experienced criminal would want Trump to admit. Trump thinks he can dictate legal strategy. He is his own worst enemy and why no experienced criminal defense firm will touch him.

    Both you and Alan Dershowitz seem to be carrying Trump’s water over the search. On the issue of “executive privilege” Dershowitz bizarrely argues: “The best thinking is that an incumbent president cannot waive the right of a previous president. It would make a mockery of the whole motion of privilege”. Dershowitz apparently didn’t read the SC’s decision when it ordered Trump to turn over WH docs to the J.6 Committee. The notion that a former can assert “executive privilege” over official docs after he leaves office will be a non-starter by any judge that even agrees to hear Trump’s motion.

    And you think the DOJ should publicly post its whole case before getting an indictment. That could jeopardize a sensitive criminal investigation involving national security secrets. If Hunter Biden were being investigated by the DOJ, something you have long called for, and conducted a search of Biden’s residence, would you demand the affidavit be unsealed prior to any indictment? I doubt it because you know that could adversely affect the entire investigation. So why should it be any different in the Trump investigation–particularly when sensitive top secret docs are involved? In your previous column you claimed AG Garland could only “earn” back public trust by revealing the contents of the affidavit. Funny but the public does trust Garland’s handling of the investigation. A NBC News survey found 57% of registered voters say the DOJ’s investigation should continue. The public trusts Garland and it trusts the grand jury process. I doubt Judge Reinhart will be influenced by any of your arguments when he decides how much of the redacted affidavit to unseal.

    1. Dennis, not only is “claiming “executive privilege” in the motion is an admission by Trump that the materials he took were official government docs,” but one cannot assert executive privilege against the Executive Branch, which includes the DOJ and NARA. It’s a nonsensical argument.

    2. RE:”Jonathan: Donald Trump is in unchartered territory…The constructs of your comments would be a far greater contribution to the discussion absent your editorialization and airy persiflage such as “. And you think the DOJ should publicly post its whole case before getting an indictment? ” or “. Dershowitz apparently didn’t read the SC’s decision..” How do you know what Dershowitz did or did not read? C’mon man!!!!

    3. Both you and Alan Dershowitz seem to be carrying Trump’s water over the search

      This has been explained many times to you and others

      Dershowitz. andTurley are carrying the water for the Constitution, and rule of law. News to the leftists. The constitution protects the People FROM the govt.

      Again multiple times this has been explained. You are sliding inexorably into retard territory.

      1. Iowan2: and WHO protects the people from Donald Trump stealing our TS/SCI documents which he has NO right to possess in the first place and keeping them after the NARA demanded their return? Donald Trump became an ordinary citizen at noon on Jan 20, 2021. It says that in the Constitution. As of that point, he had NO right to possession of presidential documents, especially TS/SCI documents, which are the property of the United States–the National Archives and Records Administration. He still has NO greater rights than any other US citizen to possess TS/SCI documents. The Presidential Records Act, passed after Nixon, says that all of the presidential papers are the property of the United States of America. Trump went through the documents in December, 2021, after months of the NARA attempting to secure his voluntary cooperation to return them. He picked out some to be voluntarily returned, and said “they’re not theirs–they’re mine”, which is a lie. Refusing to further cooperate, a subpoena was served that yielded 15 boxes more plus a false affidavit that all of the documents were returned. Further efforts to obtain voluntary cooperation were not successful, so he forced the DOJ to get a search warrant that turned up 24 or so more boxes. Now, he’s trying to profit politically and financially over this incident for which he is completely at fault, which should piss off any normal person. The argument about “declassification” is a lie, but it doesn’t matter. It is still illegal for him to have taken these papers and to refuse to voluntarily return them upon request. He forced the DOJ to get a search warrant, and then publicized the search, portraying himself as a “victim”.

        You mavens of alt-right media have fallen for the argument that somehow Donald Trump has some sort of right to special treatment, and that if the DOJ carries out its mission to hold everyone accountable under the law, that if they go after Trump, he’s somehow a victim. Setting aside the impeachments, the insurrection, the nonstop lying and his utter failures of leadership, these TS/SCI documents are a different matter altogether because they involve information critical to national defense and our sources and methods of gathering intelligence. Protection of our most-senstivie secrets is not a partisan issue, and the government has an affirmative duty to secure these papers, which are NOT souvenirs or Trump’s failed presidency. In fact, some of them were from Obama’s presidency. Even sitting members of Congress are not entitled to have copies–they have to go to a SCIF (secure facility, where no recording or note-taking is allowed) to even look at them. So WHY did he take them? They are of NO use to him as a citizen, UNLESS he has some malign purpose in mind–like selling them, or displaying them to show off. You should be very afraid that the documents haven’t already been sold, digitized or copied because Trump has literally NO moral compass or even hint of patriotism.

        1. I just scanned the word salad so I’ll simplify

          The President while in office makes the decision as to what is personal, and what is Presidential.
          The President can declassify what he wants, by any procedure he creates. As in. “All documents carried out of the White House are declassified”

          If the National Archivist has an issue, he can file a civil lawsuit. The PRA is civil, not criminal law.

          1. I’ll make it even simpler for you: The Presidential Records Act, passed after Nixon and Watergate, says that ALL “presidential records” are the property of the National Archives. Classification status is irrelevant, and there’s no proof Trump declassified anything: that’s just a distraction. John Bolton said there was no “standing order”, and no such document has been produced. But it makes no difference: all documents are the property of the United States of America. The NARA started trying to get the documents before Trump was put out of the White House, and he began resisting even then. When Trump asked for an opinion, Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel, told Trump he had to return the papers, but he stole them anyway, played games with the NARA when they politely asked for them back, drug his feet, had his lawyer submit a false affidavit, and forced the DOJ to get a search warrant.

            The warrant cited the Espionage Act and other federal laws, not the Presidental Records Act. Refusing to return documents belonging to the National Archives, after request, is a crime.

    4. Apparently you haven’t read US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling on this very subject in 2012. Nor have you read the presidential record act of 1978.
      Also, “It has long been the Supreme Court position, as stated in Morton v. Mancari (1974), that “where there is no clear intention otherwise, a specific statute will not be controlled or nullified by a general one, regardless of the priority of enactment.” The former president’s rights under the PRA trump any application of the laws the FBI warrant cites.”

      1. American. You are correct on all points. Trump has a problem. He continues to hire the worst lawyers money can buy. Why are they not using the same info you provided to end this mess ? Side note The WH press seems to feel entitled to their positions. The next GOP administration should revoke all of their credentials and redistribute them guaranteeing 1 media rep from each state. This would radically alter how White House news is seen by the public.

      2. RE:’Apparently you haven’t read US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s ruling on this very subject in 2012. Nor have you read the presidential record act of 1978….Apparently you have yet to realize that your style is off-putting. “Your rebuttal need offer nothing more than the information you wish to convey without ‘the sales pitch.’ Tiresome.

    5. You clearly watch far too much TV. Why would you assume opinion slingers masquerading as journalists know what they are talking about?

  7. ZZDoc: There is no need to answer, but was your wife born in Europe or America?

    The extreme leftists, whether they suffered or not from the Holocaust, will cause a repetition of the experience if given their way. They are born authoritarians and always want to tell others what to do. Our wonderful experiment is dying because of their actions.

    1. RE:”but was your wife born in Europe or America?..” As previously noted, in a DP community in Southern Italy. Immigrated here with her mother as a toddler. Her father followed 2 years later. Quotas set by nationality were in control then.They were naturalized in the mid-50’s. The only objection my father-in-law had to immigration policy was separating families. It was something he had to endure to his grief. He was forever a Republican and in a sorrowful state about political affairs in his beloved America particularly during the last six years of his life. He passed in the fall of 2021.

      1. ZZDoc, my wife was with her parents when they were naturalized. The one in charge said she could be naturalized later at age 18. She said no way, she wanted immediate naturalization, and she was at that time. She looks at the leftists on this blog and says they are nutcases. She doesn’t care if they are left or right, but rather whether they support the Constitution or treat it as disposable. She cannot understand why they don’t understand the importance of the Constitution.

        1. RE:”ZZDoc, my wife was with her parents when they were naturalized.” Ditto! My wife is, as well, in concert with yours and fiercely so. Of course, what they bring to the table, as the so-called ‘Children of the Holocaust’ is germaine. When survivors speak about Antifa as the ‘Democrat Sturmabteilung’, they speak from the horrific experience of having a German shepherd tearing at your ankle and worse.

          1. Being a survivor’s child, arrested and in jail at a tender age, my wife understands the “Democrat Sturmabteilung”. She also had to rid herself of a bad fear of German Shepards and other dogs.

            Our Democrat friends who supported the party of JFK ought to think about these things. JFK’s Democrat Party no longer exists.

            1. RE:”Our Democrat friends who supported the party of JFK ought to think about these things..” Ditto! My wife can’t keep it calm when she has to deal with that lot. She poses the question…’Are you still happy with Biden, now?” ….and they say ‘Yes’.

              1. Our wives have similarities. As you probably already know, there are books written about the children of Holocaust survivors. Vacationing in the islands, when we were a lot younger, we met a couple for less than 15 minutes and decided to eat dinner together. We didn’t speak about anything revealing, but when we went to get dressed for dinner, I told my wife that I thought she was a survivor child. I was right.

  8. Anonymous the Stupid, thank you for thinking about me every moment of your day. Yesterday when I got to my computer for a quick look before leaving, I noted a slew of posts from you that lasted the entire day and kept coming before bedtime. Fortunately, on many, you used an address to erase your comments from the blog. If you hadn’t done that, the day’s blog would have been as thick as a telephone book. I can’t respond to all so this one response will have to do.

    You were a busy bee posting nothings day and night. Your mom wanted me to pass this along to you, ‘make sure you stop for a few minutes to eat.’

    Thanks again.

  9. anyone go to jail for the Russian Hoax…the biggest crime in History.
    Meanwhile the slowest investigation in history operated in total secrecy the “Durham” investigation took another baby step yesterday…planned wrap up….Durham’s retirement in 2040

  10. lets be clear….DC is LOST! The DOJ, FBI, DHS, IRS, CDC, FDA, etc are 100% Corrupt
    The only hope is a Republicans win and them cutting 50% of all Federal Government then most the remaining 75% of DC Fed Gov to the Heartland!

  11. The raid and the aftermath of the raid, are starting to gel into a clear picture

    This is a mirror image to Impeachment 1, Where Schiff shepherded a dubious second hand account of a perfectly normal phone call, into articles of impeachment. It was a complicated path. Vinman needed to get the phone call into evidence. He started by taking his talking points to his boss, who told him there was no there there. Took it to a IG, (maybe state Dept) and the IG took it back to the White House, All the while, informing Schiff, but Schiff couldn’t do anything. So the talking point was taken to the CIA IG, But he had no jurisdiction over the White House. But he got things moving, and because of that, the Intelligence IG was required by law to inform the committee.
    The rest is history.
    Impeachment launched by an anonymous whistle blower, relaying second hand information.
    (the above is from memory, but close)

    Now we have the archivist, being led by the White House, (memories of the National Assc of School Boards lending their letter head to a letter written by the White House, sent to Garland, who launched a team to spy on parents attending local schoolboard meetings.) being used to claim Trump had top secret documents. But months fell away from the calendar until we got closer to the mid term elections before DoJ acted.

    Two things.
    The President determines the difference between Personal documents and Presidential Documents.
    The President can declassify what ever he pleases.

    1. Ipean2 says,

      “ Two things.
      The President determines the difference between Personal documents and Presidential Documents.
      The President can declassify what ever he pleases.”

      Uh, no and no.

      The law determines what are presidential records and what’s obviously personal. Trump doesn’t get to decide unilaterally. That’s why he’s in big trouble.

      Trump’s excuses are just that, excuses that don’t prevent him from being indicted.

      1. The law determines what are presidential records and what’s obviously personal.

        Yes there is a Presidenial Records Act. It is civil not criminal. Since you know the PRA so intimately you will make quick work of citing Exactly Who would overule the acting President in a conflict. The National Archives is an Executive Branch Agency.

        Get to work

        1. In this case, if Trump argues that the FBI took a personal record that is not covered under the warrant (which only covers government documents), a court will decide.

          1. If it was in the Presidents possession, by the framework of the PRA, it belongs to the President. The Archivist can file a civil suit it he has a question. There is no jurisdiction for the DoJ.

            1. *former President.

              Also, you’re mistaken that anything in his possession necessarily belongs to him.

              More to the point, the items in question are now in the possession of the DOJ. Some will be returned as outside the scope of the search; this already occurred with Trump’s passports. But for those that are inside the scope of the search, if Trump believes that they should instead be in his possession, his only legal option is to convince a judge of that (or multiple judges, if there’s a ruling and it’s appealed to higher courts).

              The Archivist has no need to file a civil suit, as the items are already in the government’s possession.

              1. The Archivist has no need to file a civil suit, as the items are already in the government’s possession.

                My point being, the DoJ never had jurisdiction, The Judge should never have granted a warrant. ALL the documents were at best under the purview of the PRA. A law of civil enforcement. For the precise protection against a corrupt govt raiding the home of political rivals

                1. You personally believe that “the DoJ never had jurisdiction, The Judge should never have granted a warrant.” The judge disagrees with you, and it’s his opinion that matters legally. Again: Trump’s lawyers can challenge his ruling, and even appeal that to higher courts, but your personal opinion about it simply doesn’t matter legally (mine doesn’t either).

                  As for “ALL the documents were at best under the purview of the PRA,” all your claim shows is that you’re willing to pretend to know things you don’t actually know.

                  1. Iowan2: The DOJ cited three criminal statutes in the cover sheet for the warrant. AND, you haven’t even SEEN the affidavit, but already know that a judge “should never have granted a warrant”? Based on what? Hannity. He took TS/SCI documents. That’s not disputed. He lied about having them. That’s been proven. He forced the DOJ to confiscate them after the NARA tried for over a year and a half to get him to volunarily turn them over. That’s been proven. What are you relying on? Your discipleship to Donald J. Trump, the worst person ever to occupy our Oval Office? .

                    This is a perfect example of the fact-immune discipleship brought about by alt-right media. So, it’s never going to matter what Trump does–even stealing TS/SCI documents, lying about them, or maybe even selling them–the DOJ can’t go after him because the only reason would be political–he’s a victim–right?

                    1. Based on the fact that the warrant is a general warrant which our founders opposed and that opposition is reflected in the constraints in the 4th amendment which this warrant violates

                      No afadavit can make a fascially unconstitutional warrant valid

                    2. There is to date no evidence trump possessed classified documents of any kind

                      There are multiple claims
                      A claim may be true
                      Or not
                      There were claims in the FISA warrant for carter page
                      Those claims ultimately were false

                      So far Trump has been more accurate than the FBI/DOJ

                      You can believe what you want
                      But a claim becomes a fact or not
                      Depending on evidence

                      We do not know what documents FBI etc believes were classified
                      And unfortunately may never know

                      But it appears increasing likely
                      The documents at the root of this were the collusion delusion documents Trump publicly
                      Repeatedly and by executive order declassified
                      If that is the case we are watching an attempted coverup by Biden and doj/fbi

    2. “Now we have the archivist, being led by the White House . . .”

      This latest hoax to “get Trump” proves at least three things about the Left: 1) That it is bereft of ideas. 2) That it needs to create a “circus,” to deflect from its policy failures. 3) That its leadership has no moral compass.

    3. Your memory is off.

      You’re relying on a court case that doesn’t apply, both because the facts are different and because district court rulings don’t serve as precedent.

      You’re assuming that Trump declassified the documents in question, when there’s no evidence entered into the court docket by Trump’s lawyers showing that, and the alleged crimes do not depend on the classification status.

      Continue sticking your head in the sand, as you do regularly.

      1. You’re assuming that Trump declassified the documents in question, when there’s no evidence entered into the court docket by Trump’s lawyers showing that,
        Procedure to declassify is just that, Procedure. Not law. There is NO law about classifying or declassifying information. That power rests 100 % in the executive Branch

        1. IF Trump’s lawyers are going to make that argument, THEN they actually have to make it. They have not. Your personal opinion about it is legally irrelevant to this case.

          1. The judge should have asked the DoJ to prove jurisdiction.

            The DoJ is corrupt (spying on parents attending schoolboard meetings) and aided by corrupt judges.
            Rule of Law only applies to protecting Democrats.

            1. None of your opinions there change the fact that IF Trump’s lawyers are going to make that argument, THEN they actually have to make it. They have not.

        2. The documents were NOT declassified. Declassification is a process that involves the agency that generated the document. After declassification, the agency must mark the document “declassified”, which then makes it available to the world at large via a FOIA request. AND, documents pertaining to national defense cannot be declassified. NO ONE has ever seen or heard of Trump’s lie about a “standing order”, including John Bolton, Trump’s head of national security.

          BUT, the biggest point is that even IF the documents had been declassified, they still belong to the United States of America and must be returned upon demand by the NARA. Trump did return a handful on request, and 15 boxes in response to a subpoena, but never sought to quash the subpoena, and had his lawyer lie about all of the documents having been returned. Trump made up that little fairy tale about a “standing order” because he or his incompetent current counsel don’t realize that it made no difference–he still must return the documents upon request by the NARA. Failure to do so is a criminal offense. Trump is just an ordinary citizen now. He has NO right or authority to do anything other than comply with the law.

          The biggest thing is–why won’t he just shut up and go away like every other former President has done? His massive ego is the reason–his mental illness requires him to keep his face out there, in front of the cameras, griping and complaining all of the time about being a “victim”, promoting the Big Lie, and soliciting money, even though he is not a declared candidate, which means that he can spend the money however he wants to. The American people spoke in November, 2020–we told Trump to go away, but he won’t. He had to be threatened with eviction before he would leave the White House, and wouldn’t attend Biden’s inauguration, unlike every other predecessor in recent history. Now, we find out he stole TS/SCI documents, refused to return them, lied about returning them, forced the DOJ to get a warrant, and is now profiting politically and financially from this. NO OTHER U.S. President has ever behaved like this, and it’s tearing us apart He’s on the news every single day. He keeps trying to pretend to be relevant, to be important, sort of like an over-the-hill former movie star who just won’t accept that their time in the spotlght is over. And, the disciples keep on believing in him–why? Weren’t trashing the economy, starting a trade war with China, botching the pandemic, resulting in an estimated 130,000 unnecessary deaths, shutting down the country, businesses, factories and schools for 2 years, and the insurrection enough for you Trump disciples to see that he has no leadership abilities? Now, he’s stolen our most-sensitive national secrets–for what? Ego? To Sell? To Leverage? What does it take to make you Trumpsters wake up to reality? Oh, and one other point–it was just disclosed that Trump had one of his minions try to coerce the FDA to approve Hydroxychloroquine for COVID even after studies showed that it was not only ineffective, it made it worse. ANYTHING for that ego. ANYTHING not to be proven wrong.

          1. Joe Biden is president right now. Legitimately or otherwise.
            I beleive he is in his home in Delaware right now. If not he will be in a few days.
            Unlike any other person in the the US government the president (and VP)
            are Never truly off work. A nuclear strike could occur at anytime on only the president can authorize a response
            he could be drug out of bed at anytime, and have to make a decision whether to launch a counter strike.

            It is with absolute certainty that wherever the president goes – truckloads of classified information follows him arround.
            Presidents might get to relax a little. They do not ever really get time off. Myriads of issues must be dealth with all the time.

            If Biden has a stroke and Kamala becomes president or acting president – has Joe violated the espionage act because he now purportedly is in possession of top secret documents – the ones that are following him arround all the time ?
            If he dies – does Jill become a criminal because there are top secret documents at their delaware home ?

            When Joe Biden leaves office on Jan 20, 2025 – will he suddenly become a criminal because classified documents are still at his delaware home ? Or because when GSA cleared out the WH they transported classified documents to his home ?

            The moment you frame this independent of Trump it becomes clear that those of you on the left are clueless about the law.
            And you do not care.
            Your objective is to “get Trump” – by whatever means necescary.

            As Sam Harris noted recently – he would be OK with the media ignore the corpses of children in Hunter Biden’s home if that would thwart Trump’s re-election.

            Sam Harris is a very smart person. He is greatly respected, he is regarded as moral,
            and yet Harris would be willing to burn everything he beleives to ash, sacrifice every principle, abandon the rule of law to “get Trump”.

            If Harris would do so, nearly all of the left would likely committ heinous crimes to “get trump”.

            Trump is far from perfect, but he is not this countries problem.
            On net he was a good president – the best in the 21st century – not a great one – the presidents in the 2st century suck.
            He is not a threat to democracy, or the last step before the brownshirts. That is far more likely the left.
            He is not an existential threat to the country. He is unfortunately not even an existential threat to bad ideas and policies.

            1. RE:”Joe Biden is president right now…Precisely. It appears to me, judging from his responses to the press to questions on the matter, that he’s appears miraculously astute enough and tuned to the possibility that he could be hoisted by his own petards in future and make it worse for his successors.

            2. “Sam Harris is a very smart person. He is greatly respected, he is regarded as moral,
              and yet Harris would be willing to burn everything he beleives to ash, sacrifice every principle, abandon the rule of law to “get Trump”.”

              I have very little knowledge of Sam Harris. or why anyone would hold him in high esteem if “get Trump” is more important than everything else. Maybe he is an excellent writer that satisfies his readers based on the “get Trump” rhetoric, it can’t be based on rational thinking.

              1. Harris is a founding member of the IDW – the Intellectual Dark Web. Which is mostly diseffected leftists noting that the woke nonsense we are engaged in leads to hell. ‘

                But like many many people he has a radically distorted view of Trump.

                In a different way this is true of Bill Barr.
                Barr has many times and recently said he supports Trump’s policies. But that Trump is his own worst enemy.

                Barr is under the delusion that if Trump was different in character that all the policy gains would have been possible.

                That is FALSE. Mitt Romney is a good man, as was John McCain, or Kaisich or myriads of other “moderate” republicans.

                They are also all LOSERS. I do not mean that in a nasty way. But Trump won because of who he is, and he suceeded because of who he is. Romeny did not win and could not have governed as Trump even if he did.

                More and more republicans are adopting Trump’s tactics – because in much of the country (not all) those win.

                People are tired of being beaten up by the left.
                As Lincoln said of Grant – I need him – he fights. Robert E. Lee defeated many great union generals.
                Bloody Grant the Drunk destroyed him.

                Right now about 40% of the country wants Grant. Another 40 wants saved from these woke idiots.
                Biden did well because he was sold to the far left as a stealth radical – actually more as incompetent and being managed by Leftists that could be trusted to manage him in power – and that is what we got. But he was sold to the center as a unifier and moderate, as almost Trump without the sharp edges. That was a lie.

                79% of he country beleives that Biden won by chicanery – maybe not outright fraud – but close enough.
                That is really bad.

                What surprises me is that he has done so bad as president – how does anyone still support him ?

                1. RE:”What surprises me is that he has done so bad as president – how does anyone still support him ? You have to hate the other side worse. That’s what I’ve learned from a friend of mine who voted for Biden. He’s making precisely the same decisions for the coming cycle in both the gubernatorial and senatorial contests in our state and not supporting the incumbents. It may be fair to say that such persuasions are what motivate the electorate more than a careful evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications and a ‘what’s in my best interests’ conclusion. In the case in question, I find it difficult to understand how the vested interests of a 73 yo ophthalmologist who is still practicing medicine are going to be supported by the challengers in these contests or the Democrat party.

          2. Natacha writes: “to coerce the FDA to approve Hydroxychloroquine for COVID even after studies showed that it was not only ineffective, it made it worse.”

            Not true, of course. But when they intentionally over dose the patients in the ‘study,’ then that will yield the desired result. Another Fauci ‘special.’

          3. “The biggest thing is–why won’t he just shut up and go away like every other former President has done?”

            Because he actually loves this country and is willing to fight for its survival and our freedom.

          4. “He’s on the news every single day. He keeps trying to pretend to be relevant, to be important, sort of like an over-the-hill former movie star who just won’t accept that their time in the spotlght is over.”

            Biden’s cabal is keeping him in the news. Ultra MAGA. Fascist MAGA. Trump this. Trump that. They WANT the distraction of “Trump Trump Trump” as they surreptitiously implement thier globalist leftist Progressive radical communist agenda that the American people do NOT SUPPORT.

        3. This just in, Jimmy Carter declassified ALL govt documents his last day in office. He just announced it. NO MORE SECRETS!

  12. Some of yesterday’s political cips shifted more to a “it’s political” approach (eg Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, pundit Sean Hannity in his 5′ opener), focused on a letter [1] Archivist Debra Steidel wrote to Trump Lawer Even Corcoran. They didn’t touch then President Barack Obama’s Executive Order # 13,489 [2]: ncumbent president had a final say over past presidents Presidential Records and acted through the NARA (Professor Turley offered it takes about applying a “Special Master” and what AG Garland could have done differently):


  13. One of the early leaks was the claim published in the WP []that the DOJ thought that Trump had “documents relating to nuclear secrets”. The source was anonymous “persons familiar with the investigation”. But these supposedly well-informed persons could not describe the documents, nor present even one detail about their contents, nor reveal whether any such documents had been recovered from Mar-a-Lago. In attempting to justify the search on this basis, the WP says: “Material about nuclear weapons is especially sensitive and usually restricted to a small number of government officials, experts said. Publicizing details about U.S. weapons could provide an intelligence road map to adversaries seeking to build ways of countering those systems. And other countries might view exposing their nuclear secrets as a threat, experts said.” That sentence contains three rationales, all of which are dubious. Isn’t a President part of the small group entitled to review such documents? What evidence suggests that Mr. Trump was about to “publicize details”? If the documents related to another country, how would their disclosure hurt this country? Even if these rationales were valid, they did not justify an unannounced invasion of Trump’s home instead of a letter or email communication to his representatives from the DOJ. It is hard to avoid the suspicion that the primary purpose of this leak was to frighten the American public.

  14. When you understand that the primary purpose of the FBI raid is to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the President again, all the contradictions, selective leaks, lies, misdirection, and excessive use of force make perfect sense. It’s all part of the same pattern of Democrat behavior over the last 6 years targeting Donald Trump. The Department of Justice and FBI bureaucracy (and the bureaucracy of every agency in the federal government) is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats.

    1. Yes that Democrat Rod Rosenstein was clearly out to get Trump when he appointed Robert Mueller.

      1. appointed Robert Mueller.

        The special counsel was appointed to big footed the investigation. Mueller was chosen because he is demented and his reputation quieted the masses for a time. and due to his decline, Mueller would not get in the way of he Trump haters at Justice.

        1. And what exactly did those ‘Trump haters’ in Trump’s Justice Department do with Mueller staying out of their way?
          The Special Counsel was appointed by someone Trump himself appointed. It had nothing to do with any Democrat, contra the comment above to which I was responding.

          1. justifying that something is fine because ‘Republican’, is just exposing the person as wholly ignorant of how the DC swamp works to protect its grift. R &D may serve some small purpose. But the facts support a large swath of Center right politicians and civil servants were anti Trump.
            In short, meaningless.

          2. “[The Russia hoax] had nothing to do with any Democrat . . .”

            Apparently, you felt like ignoring the phony documents used to rationalize the “investigation,” and the various “insurance policies.”

        2. RE:”Mueller would not get in the way of he Trump haters at Justice…” If it were to be shown that it was Andrew Weissman who actually ran that entire gambit my suspicions would be proved correct. Weissman’s subterfuge with Enron/Arthur Anderson made him the perfect choice precisely because he was unanimously overturned by the SCOTUS.

        3. Starting from Square #1: I thought it was reported at some point that employees of the GSA packed the stuff into cardboard boxes & sent those boxes to Palm Beach. None of this current story adds up right for me… and then it emerged that this story is being brought to us by the same crew who fabricated the FISA warrant.

          1. It’s also been reported that Trump personally directed some of what was packed and sent. Plenty has been reported where one report contradicts another report. If we’re patient, hopefully the court will get to the truth of it.


        It was confirmation bias. It’s really as simple as that. Even though the lawyers and agents involved in the investigation could not find the smoking gun evidence they were sure was there somewhere showing that Donald Trump and his odious minions conspired with America’s enemies to steal the 2016 election from its rightful winner, Hillary Clinton, they were absolutely certain that’s what happened, and still probably believe that’s what happened. They believed it fervently before the investigation ever began, and it poisoned the objectivity and the legitimacy of their work throughout.

        Every aspect of Trump’s Presidency was poisoned by confirmation bias—from the news media, from academics, from the Washington D.C. culture, from the popular culture—stretching back before he was nominated. He was a bad guy, that’s all, and everything he did or said was filtered through that jaundiced perception. It is impossible for anyone to succeed in any job, and definitely not the hardest job in the civilized world, burdened with that handicap.

    2. It’s clear that Trump committed a crime when they had to ask him to return classified documents last January. Why didn’t he return them all? Why doesn’t he say what he kept until now, why he kept them, and what is the title of these documents? Instead he resorts to his usual scam: “Send me money.”

        1. Judge Cannon’s response, politely telling Trump’s lawyers that they’re incompetent:

          “PAPERLESS ORDER denying without prejudice 5 6 Motions to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consents to Designation, and Requests to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for M. Evan Corcoran and James M. Trusty. Local counsel is instructed to refile the motions in strict accordance with Local Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing the Admission, Practice, Peer Review, and Discipline of Attorneys. A sample motion can be found on the Court’s website at Signed by Judge Aileen M. Cannon on 8/23/2022. (dsy) (Entered: 08/23/2022)”

          “PAPERLESS ORDER: The Court is in receipt of 1 Plaintiff’s Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief. To facilitate appropriate resolution, on or before August 26, 2022, Plaintiff shall file a supplement to the Motion further elaborating on the following: (1) the asserted basis for the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction, whether legal, equitable/anomalous, or both; (2) the framework applicable to the exercise of such jurisdiction; (3) the precise relief sought, including any request for injunctive relief pending resolution of the Motion; (4) the effect, if any, of the proceeding before Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart; and (5) the status of Plaintiff’s efforts to perfect service on Defendant. Signed by Judge Aileen M. Cannon on 8/23/2022. (AMC) (Entered: 08/23/2022)”

          1. Anonymous. Once again thx for providing Judge Cannon’s order that explains why Trump’s desperate attempt is likely to fail. He definitely need more competent counsel!

      1. Did you say, “scam?”


        “To protect Obama and Clinton, sanitize the language”

        “Throughout Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s massive report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation are lots of strange things. One of the weirdest is the extent to which the FBI went to make up words and phrases to disguise reality. An early draft of the 2016 FBI report on the email scandal was reportedly subjected to linguistic surgery to exonerate the former secretary of state, who at the time was the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton was originally found to be “grossly negligent” in using an illegal email server. That legalistic phrase is used by prosecutors to indict for violation of laws governing the wrongful transmission of confidential government documents. Yet the very thought of a likely President Hillary Clinton in court so worried the chief investigator, FBI Director James Comey, that he watered down “grossly negligent” to the mere “extremely careless.” FBI investigators also had concluded that it was “reasonably likely” foreign nations had read Clinton’s unsecured emails. Comey intervened to mask such a likelihood by substituting the more neutral word “possible.”
        Former President Barack Obama was found to have improperly communicated with Clinton over her illegal server while she was in a foreign country. Obama had denied that fact by falsely claiming that he never knew of her server until much later, after it was publicized. The FBI hierarchy under Comey tried to hide the embarrassing details of Obama’s conduct. As a result, the FBI deleted Obama’s name from its report. In its place, the FBI inserted the laughable “another senior government official” — as if the president of the United States was just another Washington grandee who had improperly communicated on an illicit email server. According to Comey’s congressional testimony, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered him not to use the supposedly incriminating noun “investigation” in connection with his investigation of the Clinton emails. Instead, she instructed Comey to use the benign-sounding “matter.” One of the oddest mysteries of the IG report is the FBI’s delay in addressing the fact that disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner had a number of Clinton’s private emails on his unsecured laptop. They were all forwarded to him by his wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton. Their Washington-insider marriage had been widely publicized. Yet Comey, the nation’s premier public investigator, claimed he had no idea that Weiner and Abedin were married. Comey would have the inspector general believe that Abedin had forwarded numerous emails from Clinton, some of them classified, to a mere acquaintance. Stranger still, Comey asserted his ignorance of the Weiner-Abedin marriage in an Orwellian manner: “I don’t know that I knew that Weiner was married to Huma Abedin at the time.” Translated, that means Comey claimed that he was not sure at one point that he was sure at another point that Weiner was married to Abedin, at least at the time when the emails came to his attention. Therefore, he did not act as he should have.”

        – Chicago Tribune, Jun 21, 2018 (Condensed)

    3. Anonymous. is. a. moron.

      “ When you understand that the primary purpose of the FBI raid is to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the President again, all the contradictions, selective leaks, lies, misdirection, and excessive use of force make perfect sense.”

      It only makes sense when you’re deluded into thinking whatever kool-aid you’re drinking.

      The FBI’s purpose is to enforce the law and investigate. Trump obviously broke the law and now he’s stupidly admitted he intentionally did by declaring those documents are his. The law says otherwise. I thought Trump supporters were all about following the law. It seems that with the scandal of epic proportions it’s not supposed to apply because trump is above the law.

      “ The Department of Justice and FBI bureaucracy (and the bureaucracy of every agency in the federal government) is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats.”

      Yeah because the FBI only hires based on party affiliation. It seems anonymous took a master class in stupidity and ignorance.

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