Garland’s Leaky Ship: the Justice Continues an All-Too-Familiar Pattern of Demanding Secrecy While Leaking Information

Below is my column in the New York Post on the opposition of the Justice Department to release of even a redaction affidavit in the ongoing controversy over the raid at Mar-a-Lago. As this litigation unfolds (including a key filing today), the Justice Department has been reportedly leaking some of the very same information to the press. In addition, National Archives and Records Administration released a letter contradicting claims of the Trump team, including refuting claims of cooperation or transparency by the former president. There has never been a more important time for Attorney General Merrick Garland to show leadership in plugging his leaky ship while ordering the release of a redacted affidavit. As discussed below, the release of substantive portions of an affidavit can ordinarily be made without compromising confidential informants or undermining the investigation. It could well support criminal allegations or contradict the former president as being claimed by unnamed sources. However, he has waived objections to the release and there is a clear public interest in greater transparency.

Here is the column:

This week, a curious scene will play out in a Florida courtroom. A federal magistrate will be asked to uphold what are expected to be extensive redactions of the affidavit supporting the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago. The judge, however, will be able to read an array of the same details at breakfast in newspaper accounts leaked by the government.

The feds have maintained that absolute secrecy is essential to protect their investigation and national security while reportedly leaking some of the very information the affidavit contains. It is an all-too-familiar pattern for some of us who have litigated national-security cases against the government.

The Washington Post and The New York Times have published a series of leaks clearly designed to put Donald Trump and his team on the defense in the media, including claims that he was hiding sensitive nuclear-weapons material and details on how the search was prompted by video surveillance outside the storage room at Mar-a-Lago.

Most recently, a Times report disclosed that the Justice Department recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings, citing multiple sources connected to the investigation. The leak further revealed that the government collected more than 150 documents marked as classified in January and another 150 in June and in the August raid. It also recounted specific meetings and individuals involved in past discussions.

The Times story made the purpose of the leak evident when reporters concluded that the divulged information “suggested to officials that the former president or his aides had been cavalier in handling it, not fully forthcoming with investigators, or both.”

This is precisely the type of information the government has refused to release under a claim that any disclosures would materially endanger the investigation and national security.

In addition, both the Trump team and the National Archives and Records Administration have released accounts of the communications leading up to the raid. NARA put out a letter from May 10 that suggested the Biden White House was involved in the controversy and detailed how Trump sought repeatedly to block the archives from sharing documents taken from Mar-a-Lago with the FBI.

Despite the leaks and these public accounts, the Justice Department is still implausibly insisting that no substantive information can be released in a redacted affidavit. These affidavits commonly have sections on the case background that can be released in redacted form without compromising sources, including confirmation of how the FBI presented facts the Trump team and NARA allege.

There are also common legal sections that discuss the basis for probable cause. The government alleged that Trump was “unlawfully” holding material that he claims to have declassified. It references presidential papers Trump holds, but the ability of presidents to retain documents under the Presidential Records Act remains a matter of intense debate.

On both the legal and factual background, a redacted affidavit could reveal whether this information was presented fairly and accurately. It is a reasonable concern for many in the public given the record of the FBI and the Justice Department in falsifying information or misleading courts on prior Trump investigations. During the Russian-collusion investigation, some of us flagged Justice officials using the presumptively unconstitutional Logan Act. The legal sections could reveal both the basis and nexus used to establish probable cause of criminal acts. It could well support the government and show not just contradictions of the claims of the former president but criminal acts. Yet, there is no reason why some of the factual and legal background cannot be released in part.

These sections could also shed light on why the court approved a warrant that was ridiculously broad. It allowed the FBI to seize not only any box containing any paper with any classification marking, but then allowed it to take every other box stored with that box. It also allowed the seizure of any paper created during the Trump presidency. It had all the selectivity of a cyclone. The legal section of the affidavit could disclose how such a seemingly limitless warrant was justified under the law.

Some of these sections could also explain how the department justified this extraordinary action very different from how it treated past figures like Hillary Clinton and her associates who resisted inquiries into classified material kept on unsecured servers, including top-secret material. There were also allegations of efforts to influence investigators.

These are legitimate questions that could be answered through the redacted affidavit or simply an independent Justice Department disclosure. Attorney General Merrick Garland has had at least four opportunities to take modest steps to assure the public on the department’s motives and means in this controversy. This includes the use of a special master to sort through the documents seized in this overbroad search. Garland failed to take any of these steps as he lashed out at those who question his department’s integrity.

The fact is that affidavits are routinely released after charges to the defense. Though it’s certainly less common before charges, this is a unique circumstance that justifies greater transparency while recognizing the need to protect confidential sources and methods. The Justice Department does not deny it can release a redacted affidavit but insists any material would be so limited and disconnected as to be incomprehensible.

That simply doesn’t appear to be true. It is plainly implausible that these sections cannot be released in some form without compromising confidential sources or the already publicly known investigation. Garland cannot ignore his department’s checkered history in Trump-related investigations or the contrast in treatment with past investigations like Clinton’s classified emails. That does not mean this investigation is baseless or that there were no crimes committed. But with modest disclosures, Garland can earn the trust of the public rather than simply demand it.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School.

278 thoughts on “Garland’s Leaky Ship: the Justice Continues an All-Too-Familiar Pattern of Demanding Secrecy While Leaking Information”

  1. I see Hilary Clinton played a little legal game with one of the Kardashians, and she lost. I wonder who’d win if they had a contest for the biggest booty, who’d win that one.

  2. Meanwhile, back in the real world of individual citizens, the southern border is a humanitarian disaster of unimaginable scale, purposely engineered, violent crime has significantly risen, dangerous drugs are freely flowing, law enforcement is understaffed and under assault, inflation has negatively impacted every American in a significant manner, the Afghanistan debacle has significantly weakened the influence of the United States. There are too many disasters to list. How to fix it? “I know, let’s march out our propaganda division and blow up a lot of things. Let’s stir up the pot! Let us create chaos in an unprecedented manner!”

    Inside the cloud of confusion, when one connects the dots, they will realize that these people are not dumb. These actions and their timing are purposely premeditated engineered and executed. The sitting President of the United States is clueless. He does what he is told to do. He reads from the teleprompter what he is told to read.

    The main way to fight propaganda and all its many dangerous tentacles is to recognize that it is occurring and diligently seek out facts and context and sift through the mountains of bull excrement. The propagandists gaslights their victims. They seek to divide people and sort them out, to weaken them, make them feel helpless, to doubt themselves. They have become so casual and indifferent to their methods they sometimes don’t bother to hide their motives. The trolls come out on blogs and websites and incessantly beat their monotonous message over and over. It makes a person think, who are these people? Do they even have a job? Or is this their job and they work for the government?

    If a person wants to remember how life was in the Untied States 15 years ago or earlier, just go back and watch movies and read books from that era. Then, compare it to what is being trotted out on social media, movies, television programming, etc. Think about the sequence of the Rocky Movies. In the first movie, he was hungry and an underdog. The second the same. In the third, he was cocky and getting soft. It is our immigrant story. It is much the same in America and the western world. We are victims of our affluence and have taken our precious freedoms for granted. We are a melting pot of people that other parts of the world rejected. Our success as a nation and as a people is a miracle and it is the genius of our way of life and government. The individual citizen is the boss. The politicians work for us, or they did. We are not to tip our hat to them. They should be the ones who tip their hat at the ordinary working citizens.

    It is imperative that we keep our eye on the ball.

  3. No matter what part of the affidavit used by the DOJ to secure.the warrant to search Donald Trump MAL estate for classified materials is released today by the Magistrate Judge, you will find fault with the redacted document. I would bet the farm on that. Some of your readers think you are an unbiased commentator on juridical and political issues. However, one look at the majority of the comments on your blog shows to whom your writings appeal. They appeal overwhelmingly to anti-Biden right wingers generally and to the Trump crowd particularly,. The Trump crowd knows you to be a fellow traveler, one of their very own, despite your using more elevated language and a polished rhetorical style. All of Biden’s recent accomplishments are put aside while yiu deal with Hunter Biden alleged wrongdoing. You are fighting their fight and you know it. Time to take off the mask, Jonathan.


    1. “All of Biden’s recent accomplishments . . .”

      You mean he’s now able to put on his pants all by himself?

      Baby steps.

  4. Should we trust the FBI. They interfered in the 2020 election. Leftists learn now that the government is involved in censorship indirectly. When the FBI asks you to do something, that isn’t a suggestion.
    Zuckerberg says FBI pressure led Facebook to censor Hunter Biden laptop story

    1. “Zuckerberg says FBI pressure led Facebook to censor Hunter Biden laptop story”

      First the Left’s fascist control of Twitter. Now this.

      Anybody who cannot see a connection between those two events is either in a coma or is an Apologist for fascists.

      Still believe that the 2020 election was not corrupt?

  5. The question is do you want to have the FBI and the Justice Department leaking selective leaks if a case is being made against you? The next question that must follow would be do you respect a policing agency or a prosecutor who leaks information to the press about your case? Do you think such agencies are operated by people of the highest moral character or are you understanding that moral character is absent in the minds of those who run these agencies of power? It is a time for choosing a different coarse than the way of what ever means justifies the ends to boil the eye of the newt.

  6. who from NARA and GSA packed up the records and okayed their transfer to Mar-a-lago?

    1. Neither the NARA nor the GSA “packed up the records” OR “okayed their transfer to Mar A Lago”. Just another alt-right media excuse and lie. According to protocol used with Obama and his predecessors, the departing office holder leaves the documents for the NARA, which has legal entitlement to them. Trump just stole them and fought against returning them.

    1. You might consider leaving the spoonerisms to their quintessential purveyor, Darren Smith.

  7. Be prepared for an affidavit that is a pack of lies. Don’t expect resolution from this clown show.

  8. This is precisely the type of information the government has refused to release under a claim that any disclosures would materially endanger the investigation and national security.

    There is more. Today’s WSJ is reporting the outcome of the affidavit hearing.
    The following is instructive as to the players leading the raid and the identity of the leaker to the leftwing news outlets, aka Russian Disinformation Misinformants

    At a hearing last week, Jay Bratt, chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export-control section, said that the affidavit is “very detailed and reasonably lengthy” and that the matter’s “national-security overtones” outweigh the public’s interest in having it made public. He also said the exercise of redacting the document would pose a burden on the government.

    a burden….. how rich. Jay Brat has quite a history, and friends at DOJ with potential conflicts of interest. There was literally no reason to conduct the raid, seeing that Bratt met with Trump in early June and was provided access of everything by Trump himself. He even left Trump’s residence without fanfare and did nothing thereafter for months. This from the leftwing theatrics of nuclear codes and compromising national security. Americans are being manipulated yet again.

    Sources told RealClearInvestigations that Jay Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in Justice’s national security division, who happens to be a Democratic National Committee donor, has been coordinating the Mar-a-Lago investigation with Alan Kohler, who heads the FBI’s counterintelligence division……

    Bratt, the top counterintelligence official at Justice, traveled to Mar-a-Lago in early June and personally inspected the storage facility while interacting with both Trump and one of his lawyers. Trump allowed the three FBI agents Bratt brought with him to open boxes in the storage room and look through them. They left with some documents. After leaving, Bratt made a request to Trump’s lawyer for increased security at the facility and asked to see surveillance footage from the security cameras. The lawyer complied with the requests. Months went by before the Justice Department took the politically explosive step of sending FBI agents unannounced to Trump’s home, seizing documents, photos, and other items not just from the storage facility but from multiple rooms on the property, including the former president’s office.

    According to Federal Election Commission records, Bratt has given exclusively to Democrats, including at least $800 to the Democratic National Committee. The sources said he is close to David Laufman, whom he replaced as the top counterintelligence official at Justice. An Obama donor, Laufman helped oversee the Russiagate probe, as well as the Clinton email case, which also involved classified information.

    A Senate investigator told RCI that Laufman was the “mastermind” behind the strategy to dust off and “weaponize” the rarely enforced statutory relic – the Foreign Agents Registration Act – against Trump campaign officials, a novel legal move that the investigator noted is similar to the department’s current attempts to enforce the Presidential Records Act against Trump – which is a civil, not a criminal, statute – by invoking the Espionage Act of 1917.

    Laufman signed off on the wiretapping of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which the Department of Justice inspector general determined was conducted under false pretenses involving doctored email, suppression of exculpatory evidence, and other malfeasance.

    Suddenly resurfacing as a media surrogate for the Justice Department defending the Mar-a-Lago raid, Laufman has been a key source for stories by the Washington Post, CNN, and other outlets.

    So it appears the leaker might be Laufman, the same guy who lied about Russia-gate.

    1. “There was literally no reason to conduct the raid, seeing that Bratt met with Trump in early June and was provided access of everything by Trump himself. He even left Trump’s residence without fanfare and did nothing thereafter for months.”

      Outstanding comment. They need to have a compelling and documented answer for exactly this question. I’ve been wondering about this since this whole thing began.

    2. The only possible explanation is that the informant is telling the FBI that Trump deliberately withheld documents from the search. How many Col. Vindmans can there be? Anyway, that possibility suggests they will claim grounds to indict Trump.

    3. Oops. The other possible explanation is that Brat found the documents in June but quietly left them in place and instructed the informant to claim Trump had withheld them. We can’t take anything at face value with the Deep State.

      1. Brat found the documents in June but quietly left them in place

        Yes. Something like this.

        We know the DoJ, and their henchmen, FBI, are nothing but opperatives for the Democrat Party. But it keeps the public eye away from slow motion Joe, and the train wreck he is masterminding.
        It is clear this is all timed to smear Trump and All Republicans before midterms. Like yesterday, Charlie Christ went on a rant and called all Republicans haters and he doesn’t want to represent them, he would rather lose than govern ALL the people of Florida.

        1. You make a lot of false claims.

          Crist (not Christ) said “Those who support the governor should stay with him. I don’t want your vote. If you have that hate in your heart, keep it there.”

          You equate DeSantis voters and Republicans. Those sets overlap, but they are not the same. And it’s not a statement about governing, but about voting, “retard.”

          1. And it’s not a statement about governing, but about voting, “retard.”

            Letting your emotions rule your logic I see.

            Governing is EXACTLY the goal of Crist. Why run for office if not to lead the the State,…wait for it…. but to GOVERN. Governing ALL the people of the State. Even the simplest of simpletons know enough to avoid alienating HALF the voters (Desantis has ~50% approval)

            Tossing around the word, retard, almost always boomerangs on people flirting with that precise mallady

            1. Only an idiot thinks that the general population is the same as the set of voters, given the fact that some people in the general population are not eligible to vote and the fact that only a proper subset of eligible people actually vote.

              You now admit that you’re talking about “alienating … voters,” not about governing. You still can’t bring yourself to admit that it wasn’t a claim about all Republicans.

              The word “retard” is in quotation marks because YOU are the one being quoted. Nice to know that your own use of the word boomerangs on you.

            2. BTW, I found a more complete quote from Crist, and it’s even clearer that you’re lying about what he was arguing.

              He said “Those who support the governor [DeSantis] should stay with him and vote for him, and I don’t want your vote. If you have that hate in your heart, keep it there. I want the vote of the people of Florida who care about our state: good Democrats, good Independents, good Republicans. Unify with this ticket. Those who are haters, you’re going to go off in your own world.”

  9. I don’t understand what JT is complaining about. The redacted what-cha-ma-call it is due out tomorrow.

    Looks like a just-to-have-something-to-write to me…

    1. I don’t understand what D.B. Benson is complaining about.

      Looks like a just-to-have-something-to-write to me.


      That was a cheap shot, huh?

      My bad.

  10. (OT)

    Aimee Harris and Robert Kurlander pleaded guilty today to stealing Ashley Biden’s diary, transporting that stolen property across state lines, and selling it to Project Veritas.

    According to the pleading, Harris told Project Veritas that the diary was stolen property, and PV wanted her to steal more of Ashley Biden’s property for them.

    1. Based on the content of the above it sounds like Anonymous the Stupid or a wannabe Anonymous the Stupid is lying. I didn’t bother reading either link, but did a quick word search of the documents. Nothing can be trusted coming from one with an anonymous label.

      1. You’ve got an anonymous label, buddy, and you sound pretty stupid making claims about something you admit you haven’t read, so you must be Anonymous the Stupid or a wannabe.

        1. Such low intellect from one using another’s icon. If someone says that a person gave something to a place and neither proper name is listed in the report, one need not go further than the 10 second look. If you are too stupid to know that then at least you have a reason for the stupid things you say.

          Anonymous the Stupid was lying again. He does that but he is your size so return playing with him.

          1. You sound more and more stupid buddy. I’m not using anyone else’s icon, nor could I if I wanted to, which I don’t. In case you’re not aware, unless you set up a Gravatar account and choose your icon, the icon is generated from a hashed value of your email address.

            At least you explained your earlier ignorant comment: you searched on Project Veritas’s name, when the norm in these kinds of documents is to give uncharged entities a general moniker, in this case, the “Organization,” along with “Employee-1” and “Executive-1.” But anyone who’s paying attention knows that it’s Project Veritas.

            Play with yourself. You certainly don’t have the intellect to play with me.

            1. The underlying problem is that Anonymous the Stupid used names not mentioned in a scenario that is dubious. We don’t know what transpired, who supposedly tried to purchase the Diary, or if it is stolen property. The Diary could have been carelessly left behind. We have seen stories made up before by leftist figures so one has to look at these things knowing that most of this type of thing were disproven in the past.

              If Anonymous the Stupid were honest, he would have stated the names as if they were his opinion not fact. He didn’t do that, and you swallowed that problem hook, line and sinker. That foolish decision you made makes you as much of a liar as he since you wish to jump on his bandwagon.

              When one has the intelligence of a frog as you do, they shouldn’t jump so fast into that pot of water sitting on the stove. You aren’t even intelligent enough to create a meaningful alias.

              However, Anonymous the Stupid is worse for he tried to convince people by lying. That is his nature, and yours is to wallow in whatever extrement he leaves behind.

              1. I don’t know who you think “Anonymous the Stupid” is, but I was responding to an anonymous commenter who said stupid things in his or her 7:50 and 8:47pm comments..

                We do know what transpired, who purchased the diary, and that it is stolen property, because the people who stole it, transported it across state lines, and then sold it to Project Veritas have pleaded guilty to it.

                I’m not lying about anything. It’s all over the news. If you’re not aware of it, then you don’t want to be aware of it. Here’s a Fox News article since you’re too lazy to look it up before pretending that we don’t know these things,

                I consider you a troll, and your comment above is a good illustration of why. If you don’t like it, you’ve got options. Stop trolling or ignore me.

                1. You linked it to Project Veritas which was unnamed. Whether it is in the media or not doesn’t change the circumstances. The important things have been left out. One of those things is the name. O’Keefe and his lawyers do not do that type of thing.

                  We know the left creates all sorts of incidents that are untrue, so before sliming get your facts straight.

                  Anonymous the Stupid is well recognized on the blog though sometimes there may be an error. However, Anonymous the Stupid has created his own persona. If someone wishes to mimic him anonymously and is mistaken for him, the name still applies.

                  For clarity’s sake, I was not sure whether Anonymous the Stupid made the initial comment or not and I made it clear I wasn’t sure. Here is what I said:

                  “Based on the content of the above it sounds like Anonymous the Stupid or a wannabe Anonymous the Stupid is lying.

                  There are wannabe Anonymous the Stupid out there, but most of the lying and deception comes from Anonymous the Stupid. If an anonymous chooses to add to the stupidity and roll in ATS’s excrement, they too are Anonymous the Stupid.

                  (I don’t search for the posts previously written. If you have something to say, say it.)

    2. Yea, a big deal, The Full Power of the DoJ landing on a couple of kids and forcing a plea.
      I cant figure out what makes this a federal crime.
      About the same time, we have a whistle blower reporting to Senators Grassely, and Johnson, that FBI brass ordered FBI investigators to seal up the laptop and not to look at it or allow others in Govt access.

      1. If you can’t figure it out, “retard,” that’s surprising, since the indictment clearly identifies the federal law, 18 U.S. Code § 371, and names the crime, “Conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property.” See the word “interstate”?

        The whistleblower’s allegation should be investigated.

        1. finding an abandoned diary when moving into a rental and keeping it, is a long way from stealing. But, again, with the full weight of the DoJ meat grinder upon you, a plea is understandable. It does not prove a thing.

          1. It was stored at a friend’s, not abandoned, per an arrangement with that friend to store them items. They pleaded guilty to stealing it. Your denial does not prove a thing.

        2. Yet the property was not stolen.

          Amy Biden left it behind.

          Regardless under no circumstances is this a big deal.

          1. John, that was my initial understanding. Based on the deals made and the DOJ not abiding by the rule of law, I am not sure of what happened with the diary or even if it was stolen.

            How do you rectify the competing questions. PV is innocent of any wrong doing and is squeaky clean. It has to be since most of what they do is an open book.

            1. The PV stuff is interesting – because FBI has done much the same as they are doing with Trump and with other former Trump staff. Individually these raids stink. In total they stink to high heaven.

              The PV case is moving slowly – but from what I am aware they are taking on the DOJ and bit by bit winning.

              PV is david to DOJ’s goliath – but DOJ would not be the first Goliath they have taken down.
              PV does not lose in court. They have an incredible record.

              DOJ is actually stupidly trying to claim they are not journalists.

              PV is highly partisan. But they are also incredibly effective. Their undercover and whistle blower stuff is great.
              60 Minutes used to do stuff like this – no more.

              Regardless, Democrats are rightly terrified of PV, and the Biden Admin has been trying to use this Diary thing to take them down.

              I would note – because it is relevant to so many of these stories we have enormous precedent in the Pentagon Papers cases.
              DOJ is on the wrong side of the law. SCOTUS slammed the government over the Pentagon Papers for prior restraint.

              Lets presume the diary was actually stolen – which i have heard no real evidence of.
              The pentagon papers were stolen too and a far more serious issue.

              Regardless, What the F are the DOJ and FBI doing stepping into a missing Diary for a member of the presidents family ?

              If there is an actual theft – this is a local law enforcement matter – the FBI is not the presidents personal police force.
              There is no claim there was any national security issue.

              Frankly this is not even a criminal matter. She is probably entitled to her diary back – but that is a CIVIL case not a criminal one.

              The two pedaling the diary so far do not appear to be straight and narrow people. SO WHAT ? There still is no crime here and they looked to profit because this thing fell into their hands.

              I would note that PV bailed on the Diary – they were given a few pages ann d said “No Thanks:” – and I beleive PV notified the Biden’s that this was floating arround.

              The couple also tried to Hawk it at MAL – and were again told “No Thanks”

              Anyway my impression is DOJ/FBI/Biden is stepping in it every way possible.

              Their going after PV is probably as big a deal as going after Trump – see Pentagon Papers.
              But I doubt it will play out that way.

              Ultimately I think all of this stuff fizzles in the long run.

              What have there been – hundreds of lawsuits and prosecution of Trump ? I do not think there are 4 still left – and those are going nowhere. All of this stuff quietly dies.

              I do not think that FBI/DOJ intended to make abig deal of the MAL raid – unlike most everything else they did not leak it to the press. I think they intended to go in take a few boxes hopefully make NARA and the whitehouse happy and hope the whole thing caught no ones attention – or was a tiny story.

              I think Trump and his people dealt with it brilliantly – I am not even sure they did not goad Biden into this mistake.
              I think Trump understands that his own base and lots of independents do not trust the DOJ/FBI.

              The WH made this worse by denying involvement – and now memos indicate they were involved from the start.

              I think Trump wanted this news story. I think he understands it gives him the oportunity to get infront of people.

              And the WH/DOJ/FBI are in a lose lose.

              They can’t drop this which I think was their initial intention after recovering papers,
              But if they prosecute they MUST win or they are covered in schiff.

              I am also very highly suspicious this is the Collusion Delusion documents – and if that is the case – the whole thing is abuse of power. It is actual obstruction, it is a coverup.

              There are too many clues that lead towards this being that.

              I would also note that Trump and his lawyers have been very effective and very calm about this.
              They are behaving like they have nothing to worry about.

              BTW according to one of the attorneys the Boxes that NARA took with them the first time included several boxes of Golf Balls, and a Golf Jacket and things like that.

              Anything is possible, but this smells alot like the collusion Delusion to me.
              Idiot young left wing nut attorney’s at the WH and DOJ and partisan hacks at FBI making the law up as they go, in an effort to “get Trump” completely clueless.

              I think that Trump has been moving relatively slowly and carefully and thinking about each step. That they are tearing down Biden./DOJ/FBI drip by drip

              First it is an armed raid by 30 agents,
              locking Trump’s lawyer out of MAL
              Then they take his passport and deny they did only to have to admit they did later.
              We have the story about cooperation from the start followed suddenly by a raid without warning.
              We have the fight over making the warrant public – that was a win win for Trump.
              While the allegations are serious – the proof required is too – and they are not close to any of those charges.
              The claims they can not show the affadavit because it would expose their case – what were you doing raiding MAL if you do not have a strong enough case.

              I did not expect Trump to win on th special master – though it looks like he will.
              But I do not think it mattered – they point of the counter suit was to make the DOJ look bad, not win it.

              Contra left wing nuts here I do not think Trump has any legal risk.
              This is all a PR game and Trump is winning it.
              Biden’s presidency is becoming about Trump.

              The mid terms are about Trump.
              Republicans looked like they had a red wave, then like they did not, and now it is slowly looking like a wave again.
              Polls are about to change to likely voters which will probably add several points to republicans.

              Democrats who have had a reputation my entire life fro being better at messaging that republicans are screwing up the messaging, the politics.

              There are lots we do not know – and as with the Collusion Delusion we once again have left wing nuts feverishly waiting for the arrest of Donald Trump.

              Bu if I were to put money on this – DOJ tries to make this quietly go away.

              I really think this is about the Colusion Delusion documents.
              And This eventually blows up on DOJ/FBI/Biden.

              I think Trump will try to appear calm – the female spokesperson lawyers he is using are doing well.

              But this becomes bigger AFTER the election.

              1. “PV is david to DOJ’s goliath”

                Remember David’s sling was the equivalent of a 45 caliber pistol and Goliath was slow moving and vision impaired possibly from a pituitary tumor.

                I have been up close. O’Keefe is squeaky clean and his attorneys are on the ball. AS you say, his record in court has been incredible.

                1. I am generally a fan of PV.

                  I do not share all their views.
                  But I am happy someone is doing actual investigative undercover journalism.
                  If those on the left wish to do the same – go for it.
                  While I think the balance of insanity is tilted heavily to the left today – I do not give a schiff if some left wing nut investigative journalist exposes actual malfeasance or hypocracy by some on the right – or anyone.
                  Go after libertarians if you want. Exposing hypocracy is always a positive.

          2. Ashley (note her name) Biden left a bunch of her belongings in the care of a friend at that friend’s apartment, with an arrangement that she’d come back for them later, and some of them were stolen from that apartment by Aimee Harris, who has pleaded guilty to stealing them, to transporting the stolen property across state lines, and to selling them to PV. She has also stated under oath that PV attempted to get her to steal, transport, and sell other items of Ashley Biden’s.

            Have whatever opinion you want, but get the facts straight.

            1. And yet those are not the FACTS.

              If you think statements in a plea deal are facts – you are an idiot.
              Statements in a plea deal are not even usually true with respect to the defendant – even though they are supposed to be.

              Citing a plea deal as fact is just ignorant.

              You should know better.

            2. With Respect to PV, no charges have been filed, DOJ/FBI had to turn over the materials they confiscated to a special master.

              PV chose not to buy or publish the diary. They did authenticate it.

              They were assure that it was not stolen and so far we have no evidence beyond the plea deal that it was.
              But even if it was stolen – that would be irrelevant – please read the Pentagon Papers supreme court case.
              Journalists may publish stolen top secret information that comes into their posession and there is nothing the government can do about it.

              I am not aware ever of a journalist being charged for something they published.

              I would further note that the fact that the FBI and DOJ are in this case smells to high heaven.

              The FBI does not investigate the theft of diaries. DOJ does not prosecute people for stealing diaries.
              That is what we have normal law enforcement for.

              I do not personally give a schiff about some diary of some politico’s relative that does not address actual malfeasance by that politco.

              I am told the diary was published. I know no one left or right who has read it or cares.

              The Big deal is that DOJ/FBI were misused by Pres. Biden on what is at best a personal matter and at worst a petty crime that local police are responsible for – and likely would have ignored.

            3. I have the actual facts straight.

              You do not seem to know what is and is not a fact.

      2. More of the Mueller SC nonsense. democrats and their fascillitators in the DOJ/FBI converting politics into crime.

        As I understand Biden left the diary – accidentally abandoned it.
        PV decided it was a hot potato and refused to touch it.
        An effort was made to sell it to the Trump campaign that would not touch it either.

        There does not seem to be an actual crime here. There certainly is not one of consequence.

        Does anyone think that DOJ would be hounding someone who found Ivanka Trump’s diary ?

          1. My understanding is wrong – why ?

            Because Joe Biden used the DOJ/FBI as his personal police and prosecutors to hunt down and pummel into a plea deal some a skeezy couple looking to make a buck on A politico’s daughter’s abandon diary.

            BTW, all reporting on it is that it was abandoned at a friends house.

            We can debate for decades whether it was subsequently “stolen”
            But there is zero debate this was not a DOJ/FBI matter.
            And little debate that but for the fact that a Biden was involved – it would have been ignored by law enforcement.
            Probably legitimately.

            If you do not want your diary published – do not lose it.

            Most of us do not have the DOJ and FBI to pummel others into confessions for us.

              1. “I already told you why in another comment. Pay better attention next time.”
                I am hard pressed to find a post by any left anonymous that fallacy from end to end,
                devoid even of actual factual assertions much less reasoned argument.

                Though I would note your claims would be easier to test if you were atleast posting under a pseudonym,.

                By posting anonymously you abandon credibility, as well as history.
                It is not the rest of our job to guess which posts belong to which anonymous.

  11. Judge Reinhart has ordered the affidavit to be unsealed in part and to remain sealed in part, with the redacted version to be made available tomorrow by noon. I anticipate that some people will be disappointed, as he notes “… I find that the Government has met its burden of showing a compelling reason/good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit because disclosure would reveal (1) the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, (2) the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and (3) grand jury information protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e). …,” so none of those parts will be unsealed.

    Full order:

  12. “Most recently, a Times report disclosed that the Justice Department recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings, citing multiple sources connected to the investigation. The leak further revealed that the government collected more than 150 documents marked as classified in January and another 150 in June and in the August raid. It also recounted specific meetings and individuals involved in past discussions.

    The Times story made the purpose of the leak evident when reporters concluded that the divulged information “suggested to officials that the former president or his aides had been cavalier in handling it, not fully forthcoming with investigators, or both.”

    This is precisely the type of information the government has refused to release under a claim that any disclosures would materially endanger the investigation and national security.”

    Turley as usual is being quite disingenuous with the facts. This doesn’t point to DOJ leaks. Why couldn’t it be coming from Trump’s staff? They are been the ones who have been talking to the media the most and have displayed the most incompetence in dealing with this problem. Turley surely couldn’t be this ignorant. Trump’s team has been “leaking” a lot of information to the media and it is much more likely that these “leaks” are coming from trump’s staff who are “sources” of these reports.

    The affidavit won’t show as much as Turley hopes or wants it to show. Turley should know that there will be a LOT of redactions since there is still an ongoing criminal investigation on Trump. Turley is just feeding the “rage” of his already deluded followers by insinuating that all these “leaks” are coming from the DOJ. He’s enabling the Fox News narrative that is trying mighty hard to keep attention away from Trump’s bigger legal problems.

    1. Svelaz,

      None of these were classified. You quoted directly the truth that these documents were not classified

      They were “marked” classified. Pay attention. NO REPORTING is claiming this is Classified info.

      There is a very good reason. President Trump submitted a bunch of stuff he wanted declassified, following protocol. The affected agency came back and said they refused to declassify the info. Trump sent it back and ordered them to return immediately to the President unmarked, declassified documents. The affected agencies slow walked that process, so the President took those marked, but declassified documents with him, as he left office.

      1. You have no way of know which of the items were or were not classified.

        It’s also irrelevant to the alleged crimes, none of which depend on the items being classified. You keep deflecting to it because you don’t want to discuss the actual alleged crimes.

  13. Turley missed something important.

    The affidavit should be released w minimal redactions now.
    While he pointed out that its rare to do this before charges are filed… we have a potential situation here where no charges will be filed. Ever.
    There is a reasonable belief that the overreach was intentional as a way to not only spy on Trump, but if there is anything noteworthy and can cause damage to Trump, it will be leaked.

    Turley recognized that the DoJ/FBI intentionally leaks and leaks like a sieve.
    Yet stops short of recognizing just how real the potential of this being a fishing / spying expedition and that a leak could be more damaging that an actual indictment.


    1. Turley is insinuating that the DOJ is leaking information without proof that it is coming from the DOJ. He’s playing the distraction game to keep attention away from the increasingly damaging revelations of Trump’s violations of the espionage act.

      These “leaks” Turley is talking about are not coming from the DOJ. The release of the NARA letter came from one of Trump’s own allies. Turley seems to be conflating these “leaks” which are more likely coming from his own “people” than the DOJ.

  14. This whole affair reminded me of a famous two-word statement from Winston Churchill “TERMINOLOGICAL INEXACTITUDE”!

  15. independent investigator on Comey for prosecution under the Espionage Act including a raid of his house and the attorneys and co workers that participated in the leak.

  16. President Trump DEclassified all and I believe him. Doesn’t President Trump or anyone have the Constitutional right to face their accusers?
    And not after the prosecutor gets through with them.

    1. “President Trump DEclassified all and I believe him. Doesn’t President Trump or anyone have the Constitutional right to face their accusers?
      And not after the prosecutor gets through with them.”

      The president does NOT have unilateral power to declassify anything. This has been pointed out numerous times by those who actually deal with these kinds of issues. When Trump is eventually charged THEN he can exercise his right to face his “accusers”. He has to be indicted first. That’s how it works for everyone.

  17. Here is reminder how FBI leakers of classified information are treated. The Inspector General issued a scathing report saying that James Comey both anonymously leaked details of classified memoranda to the New York Times (and others), but took those classified memoranda with him after he was fired by the FBI. The matter was referred by the IG to the DOJ. [, pp. 54-61] Guess what happened. Nothing. [] It is not even clear that the memos were returned. Yet the mere possession by Trump of documents that may or may not be classified, or which may be personal rather than “Presidential”, justifies a despoilment of his home and the threat of prosecution under the Espionage Act.

  18. Trump claims there is a deep state out to get him. First there was the accusations of the Ukrainian call that ended when Trump released the full transcript. Then the Mueller investigation shown to be based on a known lie from day one proved him correct again. The actions taken by Garland back Trump as long as the lack of transparency continues. In trying to defeat Trump they are making the case for him stronger. They will take a thoroughly unlikeable person and make him a martyr for government overreach and propel him back in the Whitehouse.

    1. Uh, Tony: Trump was impeached for trying to leverage aid to Ukraine that had been approved by Congress into ginning up false allegations against Joe Biden. The “accusations” didn’t end–the call proved how treasonous Trump is. The Mueller investigation proved that Trump obstructed justice by not cooperating. Trump was NOT exenorated–several of his campaign insiders went to prison over it. Trump has already been proven to be a thief and liar. He stole documents after his White House counsel told him they were the property of the NARA, and he has resisted efforts for over 1 1/2 years to get the documents back.

      1. NUTCHACHACHA, the impeachments must have been very frustrating for a frustrated birthing-person such as yourself.

        All Hat No Cowboy!

        Your fellow communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) got you all stimulated but failed to generate the coup de grâce of climax.

        So sorry for you.

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