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. “Since day one, Garland has used DOJ as a political weapon.

    He’s been the DNC’s lawyer suing GOP states over election laws. He sent the FBI after parents who attended school board meetings. And he let leftists harass Justices at their homes.

    He should resign in disgrace.” ~Sen. Tom Cotton

  2. This is a quick 3 minutes. I almost never go to video clips, but this one is worth it

    Attorney and former Constitutional Law Clerk for Justice Gorsuch, Mike Davis, highlights the reason why the U.S. Dept of Justice and FBI will never allow their fabricated political case against President Trump to ever reach a courtroom

    This is why the warrant had to be shopped to a partisan, magistrate Judge in order to get it signed. In a real criminal case, the evidence gathered would never be allowed in court. But the DoJ has no intention of ever allowing the lies in the affidavit to be subjected to impeachment, by cross examination.

    1. Superb video Iowan. I wish I had a transcription. The questions raised are the ones that ATS cannot answer and why he dances around the subject while linking to spin.

      Unless the left can present proof what Davis said is wrong, the case is closed based on prior actions such as FISA, the Steele Dossier, etc., that destroys the FBI’s credibility. The only thing remaining open is illegal or, at the very least, inappropriate fascist actions by the government not based on American values.

    2. It is standard practice that when something is filed in a federal court, and, BTW, the fiing would be done electronically, not in person, it is RANDOMLY assigned to an Article III judge (in this case, a Trump appointee) and a RANDOMLY assigned magistrate judge who handles routine matters. Selection is done by the computer, and cannot be manipulated.

      So, whatever alt-right media personality told you that Magistrate Judge Reinhart is a partisan, and that the DOJ and FBI “shopped” for him is a LIAR. This is the best they can do in response to the clear criminal case against Trump–complain that the Magistrate is partisan, given the herculean efforts made to get Trump to cooperate, the clear pattern of obstruction and intentional withholding of documents belonging to the NARA, and the lying about all of the documents being returned?

      1. And whatever alt-left media personality told you that there is a clear criminal case against Trump is a LIAR. Go pound sand.

    3. Once again, he mistakenly focuses on whether the documents were or were not classified, when the alleged crimes do not depend on that. He is also dishonest in focusing on dicta in DC District Judge ABJ’s ruling that have ZERO precedential significance. ZERO.

      He is mistaken that it’s not possible to “obstruct investigation into non-crimes.” Martha Stewart, for example, went to prison for obstruction despite not being convicted of an underlying crime. It’s really astounding for a former SCOTUS clerk to be so wrong about a simple legal issue like this.

      He is mistaken when he says that “it is legally impossible for President Trump to have … violated the PRA.” It’s not legally impossible, in part because Trump is no longer President.

      He claims “there are no allegations …,” when he has zero knowledge of what’s been redacted.

      He asks “what was so urgent” and seems not to have paid attention to the fact that Trump had already been found to be in illegal possession of:
      “-ORCON = “originator control”
      -NOFORN = “no foreign nationals” (should see these documents)
      -HCS = HUMINT (human intelligence) Control System.
      -SI = COMINT (communication intelligence, or intercepts) Special Intelligence” documents (quoting Mark Hertling’s explanation of the abbreviations used in the affidavit). And Trump still had documents he wasn’t supposed to have and was not securing them properly.

      He also fails to address the fact that Trump’s lawyers have not made any of the arguments he made. For example, they haven’t claimed to the court that the documents were declassified or that they were Trump’s personal copies, legally in his possession.

      If you believe that clip, you’ve been snookered.

      As Natacha pointed out yesterday: if these were Trump’s personal copies and it was legal for him to possess them, why did he return 15 boxes of them to NARA earlier this year?

      1. And Trump still had documents he wasn’t supposed to have and was not securing them properly.

        If the crimes do not depend on classification, then stop citing classification.

        All those definitions are meaningless….because they are NOT germaine to the warrant.
        Which then begs the question, how exactly does the DoJ have any jurisdiction. The PRA is civil not criminal

        1. I didn’t cite classification. I said “Trump still had documents he wasn’t supposed to have and was not securing them properly.” Nothing in that refers to classification. For example confidential human intelligence information — whether classified or declassified — is national defense information that Trump is not supposed to have and that he wasn’t securing properly.

          “All those definitions are meaningless….because they are NOT germaine to the warrant.”

          Absolute BS. The cover sheet of the warrant LITERALLY says “willful retention of national defense information,” and those definitions all pertain to national defense information.

          You’ve got your hands over your eyes.

          National defense information.

          National defense information.

          National defense information.

          How many times do I have to point this out?

          1. There is no way to prove the President has national defense information. None of which is worse than all that Clinton did. But again, no proof. Anything taken in the raid will be tossed because the warrant has glaring flaws violating 4th amendment rights.DoJ has no intention of issuing an indictment. Muller indicted all those Russians, and one showed up to challenge, his case some how evaporated.

            1. Trump can challenge the warrant on 4th Amendment grounds, but only a willfully ignorant person would conclude that he’d win that case. I already gave you a link to law professor Orin Kerr’s legal discussion of it, citing relevant caselaw.

              And of course there’s a way to prove it: testimony under oath, and if necessary, showing the relevant documents under seal to a judge with a sufficient clearance.

              As for an indictment, we’ll have to wait and see. But your argument is that no one can ever be indicted for illegally having national defense info, which is clearly wrong, since it has occurred more than once. An example:

      2. He is also dishonest in focusing on dicta in DC District Judge ABJ’s ruling that have ZERO precedential significance. ZERO

        Aren’t you the one yammering on about Judge Carter?

  3. It makes one wonder if this administrating thought that there were documents that are damning to the FBI/DOJ or the Biden Administration. They chose a magistrate who had just recused himself from a case of Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, et al. on 22 June 2022 citing 28 U.S. Code §455. which “disqualifies: (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

    In other words, they judge shopped. Simple as that. The one they chose has documented bias.

    Secondly, If this were a squeaky clean search, the FBI/DOJ would have narrowed the search warrant. Instead they created a broad category and went in with essentially a vacuum cleaner. Thirdly, they would have assigned a taint team that had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation to sift through the information, document what was taken before the investigators could see anything. By not doing that, they have tainted the investigation and damaged their integrity.

    Is the FBI/DOJ this sloppy and unprofessional? No! Not the real men and women of the FBI. Is there another motive? One such motive might be that the Biden administration is concerned that the 45th President perhaps had in his storage area something that might be damning. The small cadre for bad actors have done a pretty amazing job in the past six years of harming the Bureau’s reputation. They must know that there are holes in the methods and protocol the used so large that they could drive a truck through them. If they know that this will be thrown out, then why drop normal procedure? Why wait 20 months? Why wait even more weeks when the decision was made if it is an all fired emergency? Why evade the press? Why was the President and the Director of the FBI coincidentally on “vacation” when this occurred?

    Look at the extent and intimidation that they went to in order to secure Ashley Biden’s diary. The Biden WH sent the FBI on another errand to clean up another Biden family scandal. How frustrating this must be to the vast majority of the highly trained agents who watch in dismay. The DOJ/FBI in coordination with the willing press have done everything in their power to kill the investigation into the father and son “Big Guy” corruption. The laptop is only one piece of a much larger array of evidence that has emerged in this protracted and bizarre story.

    The character in the movie, Disclosure, was clueless to the deeper plot against him until he had a little guidance from “A Friend.” I wonder, when this all comes out in the wash, what will we ultimately find? Will more FBI/DOJ whistleblowers step forward and be heard? I know one thing for certain, this has not been handled professionally onmany levels. We are witnessing a breach of decorum that has dishonored and tarnished the Office of the President of the United States and it has been perpetrated by this administration. They have opened the door for a future administration raiding the homes of other Presidents, such as Bush, Clinton, Obama and Biden. “For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

  4. But you don t post what I said….how convenient you can’t prove it….so we remain where we are. Whatever. You suuck….bc you know I spoke the truth on the matter and still won’t post it. Just ask Obama if he kept proof he killed bin laden! Ask Bush if he pesky the planes broke down….they both kept proof…..And they both house classified shit. So trump is nothing knew. New. Flipping news and keeping docs for a future defense. Is nothingnew. Yet trump puts 15 boxes…..the govt only returns @200 pages classified. Probably were I told you so papers just like Obama and Bush kept. But we worry about mash petal.

    1. Jaelyn,

      You could successfully address the reason your comment did not post by your future refraining from profanity. That’s the most convenient option available to you.

  5. So much for kash petal….And protecting reputations….they basically called him a liar. Isn’t one of their rules to protect ppl involved? And their reputations.? He needs to sue them for defamation. No matter other things….they called him a liar. Not just in the affidavit….But as released. Called him a liar. Tarnished him…why? Because he analyzed the law? And to them that’s a threat. How are these ppl even in power? Oh the insurance policy? What was the insurance pokicy! We have never been told….except only 5009 or less sex actually pretend to run out country. The coup already happened.

    1. Recall that the DOJ did not want to release the affidavit at all, and the judge ordered it. You cannot sue the government for defamation, and I bet Patel would have a hard time proving their statements false, much less maliciously false.

  6. I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer from Southern California and have written numerous search warrants. In the Ca system the affidavits and warrants were taken to the “on call” judge for review and signature. I don’t know if the fed has the same system but wonder if the magistrate on the Mar-a-Lago warrant was the on call judge or if he was judge shopped by agents who knew him?

    As far as the warrant it appears to be overly broad in it’s scope. Per attachment B.

    a. Any physical documents with classification markings, along with any containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are located, as well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the aforementioned documents and containers/boxes;

    The warrant would give the officers the authority to search/seize the items of evidence. They would have the time to search every box. They would not be authorized to seize any other contents, unless they were illegal/contraband or seize any other boxes simply because they were stored together. This would make the warrant overly broad in its scope. The taking of the non-evidence items or other containers simply because they were in the same area is not justified even if it was to show dominion and control because those items could be photographed and not taken. There is no justification to allow them to be taken to an off property location to be searched per an officer safety concern.

    It would seem that this would be why a special Master should review the entire affidavit and the warrant and any of the property taken. The IG should also inquire whether or not the DOJ photocopied all of the documents.

    1. Trump’s argument for a special master is executive privilege items. However, a President cannot assert executive privilege against the Executive Branch, and by law, executive privileged items are presidential records that belong with NARA once the person’s Term ends. So far, there is no reason for a special master. Maybe his lawyers will come up with a better argument in their new filing later today.

      1. Where have you been? He absolutely has personal records protected by… client privileges (subject only to opening is violate the law). And then it’s the ethical duty of lawyer to report. He has spouse privelge…And clergy privelege….And executive priveledge. And declassification ultimate authority. These could have gone to civil court…..But the chi wanted to fish pure and simple. About jan 6. This is all a drag net re Jan 6….. But if they really bad anything… connect….they needed to tell the judge that……merely reacting stuff as though it’s c!assified….is subterfuge….what after kash petal did they block out? And on what basis! ???

    2. Magistrate Judge Reinhart was nominated by Trump, and there’s no proof of any bias by Judge Reinhart against Trump. You are not an attorney or a federal prosecutor so I trust the judgment of those who were directedly involved in this case for the 1 1/2 years during which they tried to get Trump to voluntarily cooperate when deciding whether the scope of the request was appropriate. It is standard practice to take a whole box when part of the box contains specifically-designated items subject to seizure. In the 15 boxes Trump decided to voluntarily turn over in February, there were newpapers and magazines mixed in with classified and top-secret documents, so the boxes were not organized and parts of documents may be jumbled around and separated. Some of these documents are very large–one such document could fill an entire Banker’s Box or more. It’s not up to the seizing agents to read through each doment to make sure it is complete or to try to figure out if there were pages missing. Their job was to seize anything designated as subject to the Presidential Records Act. Plus any boxes containing any NARA documents may have had a label describing the contents on the outside into which other things were placed or removed–such as Trump’s passports getting mixed in with classified documents. If the box is labelled as containing something that isn’t there, that would be important evidence, but it’s not the seizing agents’ jobs to figure this out. CCTV footage shows that people at Mar A Lago moved papers from box to box, so it’s important that every box containing any responsive documents be taken and sorted through later on. The FBI returned non-responsive items even before Trump went on a tirade, including his passports.

      I don’t care whether the DOJ copies documents, but I DO care whether Trump, a guest, a pool boy, maid, guest or other unauthorized person copied the documents.

      1. Reinhart wasn’t nominated by Trump. Magistrate judges aren’t Article III judges. Reinhart — like other magistrate judges — was chosen by the district judges in his district (some of whom were nominated by Trump)..

        1. 28 U.S. Code §455. Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge
          (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

          The remainder of the law is easy to look up.

      2. It’s not up to the seizing agents to read through each doment to make sure it is complete or to try to figure out if there were pages missing. Their job was to seize anything designated as subject to the Presidential Records Act

        The PRA is civil law, not criminal law. DoJ is far outside its ken

        1. The warrant didn’t cite the PRA as the basis for probable cause. It cited the Espionage Act. Look at the warrant.

          Bottom line is: there really isn’t any defense for Trump to have stolen the documents in the first place, refusing to return ALL of them when requested, lying about having returned them, and forcing the DOJ to get a warrant. Even Alan Derschowicz and Karl Rove admit that the search was valid and there’s enough to charge Trump. Of course, all we hear from Turley is crickets after he said that releasing the Affidavit would lay questions to rest.

          1. Natacha – section c to Exhibit B to the search warrant describes the following documents to be seized: “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021 [,]” So, any PR (as determined in the discretion of the FBI agents on the spot), and other any document in the same boxes, or in any boxes “found together” with the boxes containing any PR, were to be seized. Basically, everything could be seized. The question is why potentially deadly force was being used to obtain probably innocuous documents that could simply have been requested in writing or in a private visit. The NYT was never invaded to recover the Pentagon Papers, Hillary Clinton’s residence was not invaded to recover her illegal server used to transmit official State Dept. business, and James Comey’s residence was not invaded to obtain confidential memos he took when he was fired.

              1. For such clear motivation, they took their sweet time. Remember, this is a person with full security clearance.

      1. For those who haven’t read Wheeler. She is great for leftists because she is a good spinner. The only problem is repeating her spin requires more than Anonymous the Stupid has in the intelligence department. That is why he stopped quoting her in the past. Take note how he uses a link without any explanation. A sure sign of a mind that cannot think for itself and doesn’t understand what he is reading.

        1. Actually, you just dislike her political views and want to be spoon fed. Tough luck.

          1. You can post her link all you want, but we note you have difficulty repeating what she has to say. That means, ATS, that you are too Stupid to do so and she is spinning a yarn that isn’t easily transferred. It’s both and has been proven before.

            From Wheeler: “There’s a redacted paragraph that may describe the basis for suspecting obstruction. A later sentence in the probable cause paragraph describes that there likely will be evidence of obstruction at MAL.”

            Wheeler reads the tea leaves of what is redacted. Does she remember FISA and the lies? No. Does she remember the Steele Dossier? No, but she can read the tea leaves of the redacted parts that hide what the FBI does not want anyone to know. Could it be that the FBI is doing what they did with FISA and the Dossier? This type of tea leaf reading is what Anonymous the Stupid thinks to be good evidence. Then Wheeler adds her own language “there likely will be evidence of obstruction” but existing facts do not prove that while there is proof of compliance by Donald Trump.

            The above spin is what Anonymous the Stupid accepts as solid fact as he works his argument into his fantasy world of deceit and lying.

            1. “Does she remember FISA and the lies? No. Does she remember the Steele Dossier? No”

              You’re deluded. She’s written columns about both.

              1. Wheeler may have written columns about the Steele Dossier and FISA but seems not to remember that all were based on lies. She is now trusting that the FBI acted completely above board. One has to be a bit whacky to repeatedly see an agency lying and then indicate total belief in the same agency.

                Whacky commentary is what you rely on. That is your choice. It is OK but whacky.

                  1. If you have, you can tell us about them. If you don’t. I guess that means you didn’t read those columns. I don’t spend much time with Wheeler, but I did spend time when you brought her up in the past. You made a fool of yourself and Wheeler.

                    1. You want to be spoon fed. You’re a baby, but I will not be your nanny. You made the claim and it’s YOUR job, not mine, to test your conjecture against the evidence.

                      I’m guessing you must have had people comment negatively about your intelligence that you’re so defensive about it with so many people.

                    2. You have the fear that people won’t recognize you as intelligent. Based on what you write I understand why. I never question my own intelligence. It isn’t necessary. I succeeded in life past my own desires.

                      However we keep noting how you and the left underestimate the intelligence of Trump, so you are the last one to judge.

                    3. LOL. I have no worries about my intelligence at all. I find it hugely amusing that a biased, dishonest, average-intelligence troll like you claims that’s a weakness on my end.

                    4. Why would you worry about intelligence when you live in a dream world created by lies and deceit?

      2. All of the article ignores the power of the President to declassify. Also avoids citing SCOTUs decision that have ruled the President alone determines what is personal, and what is presidential.

        That means all of this is nothing but a diversion

        1. What “SCOTUs decision that have ruled the President alone determines what is personal, and what is presidential”? Please do name the SCOTUS ruling. Or have you suddenly elevated ABJ to SCOTUS? If so, you’re misrepresenting her ruling yet again.

          “All of the article ignores the power of the President to declassify.”

          That’s false. She noted that the affidavit includes “A link to the Kash Patel post where he claimed Trump had declassified documents,” and she linked to her previous discussion of the declassification claim:
          Perhaps you were just too lazy to click on the link.

          Also, Trump hasn’t claimed in his legal filings that he declassified the documents that were taken. Perhaps his lawyers didn’t do it because it’s not true. And as I’ve repeatedly pointed out: the criminal laws in question apply whether or not the materials are classified.

          1. Makes no difference, None of this is anything but more Russia Russia Russia,(we’re serious this time, really, R U S S I A)

            The Kash Patel piece is nothing. No facts present in the article add to any discussion. I did notice the FBI called him a liar, with no evidence.

            One legal filing no one is talking about is the Definition of terms preceding the unsealing of the affidavit. No definitions touching on Nuclear.

            There is no requirement for the President to make any formal statement in order to declassify information. By the Presidents actions, information becomes declassified.

            There is nothing that disputes the Presidents absolute power to declassify.

            1. Trump is free to argue that they were all declassified, but as of yesterday, his lawyers have NOT claimed that, and for the umpteenth f—–g time: the alleged crimes do not depend on whether or not the documents were classified.

              Marcy Wheeler: “The affidavit lists 793e, meaning they’re saying Trump was NOT authorized to have these docs. (793d would be if he was authorized to have it).”

              Mark Hertling, commenting on what was found in the original 15 boxes handed over to NARA this year and were not properly secured:
              “For those interested:
              -ORCON = “originator control”
              -NOFORN = “no foreign nationals” (should see these documents)
              -HCS = HUMINT (human intelligence) Control System.
              -SI = COMINT (communication intelligence, or intercepts) Special Intelligence
              Just wow. This is jaw dropping.”

              That means that some of those may identify CIA informants, and his having these inadequately secured puts people’s lives at risk, especially at a property were foreign nationals have been found wandering around. The DOJ had told Trump to secure the remaining documents in a single room — secure storage that is regulated by law — and he did not.

  7. OT: Oops. Looks like another Trump business is going to fail.

    “ Former President Donald Trump’s Twitter knockoff Truth Social stiffed a contractor in the latest sign of financial “disarray” at the troubled social network, according to Fox Business.

    Truth Social, which is headed by former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is in a “bitter battle” with RightForge, the network’s web host and one of its largest vendors, over $1.6 million in unpaid bills, according to the report.”

  8. Hey Turley! Here’s an issue that should get your full attention. It seems the continued march towards full government censorship has reached school newspapers in Nebraska.

    “ Administrators at a Nebraska school closed down the award-winning student newspaper just days after an edition that included articles and editorials on LGBTQ+ issues.”

    “ Officials overseeing the district, which is based in Grand Island, have not said when or why the decision was made to eliminate the student paper. But an email from a school employee to the Independent cancelling the student paper’s printing services on 22 May said it was “because the school board and superintendent are unhappy with the last issue’s editorial content”.

  9. “This was an Overly Broad Search Warrant, [,,,] this Judge Made a Mistake in Signing Off on this Language” (2’49” – 3’16”) [1]

    Jonathan Turley is a regular guest at “Your World with Nil Cavuto”, aired on FNC weekdays from 4 to 5pm [2]. In a (long) 9’20” he analyzed the DoJ’s effort to keep the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit private.

    Media outlets nationwide talk now for three weeks about the most prominent “search warrant” and the secrets of linked “affidavit”.Did they? No, most of their viewers are not connected to legal terms and might heard about affi what? for the 1st time in her entire life. Instead, they talked about this: Former President Trump stole 300 or 700 how knows? official top secret government owned documents, some nuclear files have the potential to blow up our nation. And then, as he left office 19 months ago to whom did he pass the nuclear codes over? In short: A “Clear and Present Danger” [3]. And maybe there is much more to come until midterm election day.

    When all have settled, some questions may remain (and will stay unanswered after affidavit will be unsealed in part:

    1. Why did a document dispute about presidential records ended up in a high-profile investigation (see letter from Acting Archiver Wall to Trump Lawer Evan Cocoran on 5/10/22)?
    2. Why did President Biden wave his predecessors’ Executive Privileges?
    3. Why did AG Garland personally got his stamp on an overly broad search warrant approved by a Magistrate Reinhart, who has an unfavorable opinion of Trump?
    4. Where # 45 personal records also seized (see eg Civil Action No. 10-1834 (ABJ ruled by DC Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/1/12)?
    5. Why did # 45 wait two weeks to take legal actions, why didn’t he challenged the search warrant itself and why didn’t he ask Constitutional Lawyer David Rivkin (wrote a WSJ op-ed together with his colleague Lee Casey) for representation?

    On a side note: Following a victory in appeals court, “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington” (CREW) publish DoJ memo (written by Steven Engel and Ed O’Callaghan) that was quoted by AG Bill Barr about obstaction of justice by then President Trump [4]

    [2] Yesterday was a busy day for him because he also weighs in on the opinion show “Hannity”.
    [3] released 18 years ago with Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in leading role.

    1. “1. Why did a document dispute about presidential records ended up in a high-profile investigation”

      As the warrant cover letter makes clear, it involves “willful retention of national defense information,” and “obstruction of a government investigation,” not just presidential records.

      “2. Why did President Biden wave his predecessors’ Executive Privileges?”

      Trump cannot assert executive privilege agains the Executive Branch. It’s a contradiction in terms.

      “3. Why did AG Garland personally got his stamp on an overly broad search warrant…?”

      It’s not “overly broad”: (Kerr is a conservative law professor)

      And Garland likely made “the buck stops here” decision because he recognized that searching a former president’s club would be controversial.

      “4. [Were] # 45 personal records also seized?”

      We don’t know, but if things were seized that are outside the scope of the investigation, they’ll be returned, just as Trump’s passports were.

      As for #5, you can only guess, but it doesn’t suggest competence.

      As for the memo from Barr, it’s shameful. He was essentially arguing that if someone successfully obstructs an investigation, preventing the government from gathering enough evidence to bring charges, it’s not really obstruction, because there was no crime charged.

      1. As I outlined, the memo was written by Steven Engel and Ed O’Callaghan. The former served as Assistant AG for the Office of Legal Counsel (formerly worked for “W”, the latter served as deputy assistant AG of the National Security Division (formerly public face of Sarah Palin in “Troopergate”). The memo also passed the desk of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein (formerly chief federal law enforcement officer of MD, appointed by “W”).

        AG Bill Barr’s (R) involvement in this matter: He ran after RECOMMENDATIONs presented on page 9 of the file: “[…] the evidence [..] is not sufficient to establish that the President commited an obstruction-of-justice offence.”

        On a very personal note and in light that Professor Turley and Bill Barr have been friends for decades: Barr was AG during “W” tenure & accepted then President Trump’s nomination for a 2nd tenure. I am puzzled that he still retaliates and plays in the hands of his political opponents.

        1. Bill Barr’s involvement is that he requested that they write the memo, he formally approved it, and he acted on it. He is ultimately responsible for it.

        2. Charlotte:


          2. WHY DID HE KEEP SOME CLASSIFIED, TOP SECRET AND EVEN HIGHER CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AFTER TURNING OVER 15 BOXES? If, as his defenders are trying to claim, he had some right to keep them, then why did he turn over any documents at all? And, in the 15 boxes of materials he voluntarily turned over, there were magazines and newspapers co-mingled with top secret national defense documents.

          All of this is just more of Trump’s egotistical need to get attention and his narcissistic refusal to do anything other than what he wants to. He is the entire cause of this controversy.

      2. “obstruction of a government investigation,

        There should be no investigation, since the PRA is civil and not criminal law. And nothing was being obstructed. Talks were on going.

        1. You have zero idea what was being investigated. For all you know, it was witness intimidation in Sharpiegate. You look like a fool pretending to know things you don’t know.

          1. I am making the assumption there is no crime. That is a very constitutional position.
            The DoJ and the FBI on the other hand have a history of lying to judges.

            1. There is zero reason to assume that there is no crime. There are 3 alleged crimes that form the basis for the warrant.

              Trump also has a history of lying to judges, but unlike you, I look at his statements to the court on a case by case basis.

      3. Trump cannot assert executive privilege agains the Executive Branch. It’s a contradiction in terms.

        Past Presidents can assert executive privilege. But that power stays with the office, and not the person. The existing President must deny the assertion, or it stands. Most Presidents have honored a past Presidents assertion of Privilege.

        1. Learn to read!!

          Trump cannot assert executive privilege against the Executive Branch.

          The DOJ and NARA are part of the Executive Branch. He cannot assert executive privilege against THEM. It is a contradiction in terms to assert executive privilege against the Executive Branch.

            1. Link to the letter you’re referring to, and I’ll read it. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re confusing the waiver for the J6 Committee (which is not the Executive Branch) with a waiver within the Executive Branch. Because you’re not super attentive to relevant details.

      4. He was essentially arguing that if someone successfully obstructs an investigation,

        Trump never obstructed. He afforded himself full Constitutional protection and power provided by the Constitution.

  10. I want to point out the IDIOTIC MOTION that Trump’s lawyers filed in the wrong district literally asking for the RETURN OF U.S. GOV’T DOCUMENTS TO DONALD TRUMP’S POSSESSION!
    That’s like a bank robber filing a Motion to Return the stolen bank cash back to the bank robber.
    A few days ago, Donald Trump’s whacked out attorneys filed a motion in a federal court 60 miles from the presiding court near Mar-a-Lago, attempting to do a little forum-shopping but the judge wasn’t trying to hear it.
    Trump’s motion was so discombobulated the judge gave Trump until today to file another motion explaining what in the Sam Hell are they doing, filing this nutty, substandard senseless Motion for a Special Master in her court.

    1. When the left continuously talks about Trump especially the Stupid things one knows they are in trouble. This is the Biden years. One school system no longer lets teachers go based on seniority. They have become openly racist and state firings will occur based on color.

      “whacked out attorneys filed a motion”

      This is the type of stupidity we have to listen to from the left.

  11. Been reading Turley for several years now, and something jumps to mind today:
    – Turley thinks, fights, argues and believes in the system (of law) we live in. He is very good at pointing the flaws and cracks, and correcting directions taken by using the rule of law as foundation and basis for his logic. It’s normal and what is expected of him (and us, plebes who live within the realm of the law)

    – The opponents have no interest in this realm of law. They act, argue, speak and lie ignoring completely the system that Turley (and us) live in. He (and we) are never going to win such battle.

    It’s like one team playing football using the rules of football, and the other ignoring the rules and referee. You cannot have a fair football match in such conditions…

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