DOJ Fatigue: Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room?

Below is my column in the Hill on the difficult schedule facing Special Counsel Jack Smith in the prosecution of former President Donald Trump. He is also facing a greater problem of public perception. While critics often speak hopefully of “Trump fatigue” among voters, prosecutors are dealing with a Justice fatigue. A new poll shows that less than a majority of citizens believe Trump was correctly charged. An ABC/Ipsos poll found that 48% of Americans think Trump was rightfully charged while 35% do not think he should have been indicted. Another 17% was unsure. Prosecutors were likely hoping for more than a plurality given the details of the indictment. Worse yet, according to the poll, 47% of Americans think the charges against Trump are politically motivated. These polls indicate that Smith is not exactly singing to an empty room . . . but it is far from full.

Here is the column:

In his public statement following the release of the  44-page indictment against former President Donald Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith gave the rote declaration of ethical and nonpolitical conduct by his team. But one line stood out: “My office will seek a speedy trial on this matter.”

Smith is not just a man on a mission; he’s also a man on a deadline. Every criminal defendant is entitled to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment. Under the federal law, a speedy trial would start within roughly two months.

There is a reason Smith would love to see an August trial. If the litigation pushed the trial within a few months of the election, most judges would delay it until after Nov. 5, 2024. That would mean that Trump could avoid a conviction and, if elected, he could give himself a prospective pardon. That would mean that there would be no judgment against him.

Smith knows that the Sixth Amendment is designed to help defendants, not prosecutors. Moreover, defendants routinely waive their right to a speedy trial because they need time.

Trump needs time in a bad way, and his lawyers would be insane not to waive. In fact, Trump just lost two more lawyers on the day of the indictment’s release.

More importantly, this indictment is a heart attack on a plate. The team has much to do after the hyperventilation passes.

The problem for the defense is that it must run the table on all 37 counts. The government clearly count-stacked to maximize the chances of a conviction. With a 76-year-old client, the defense attorneys have to play a perfect game. Even one conviction on these counts could bring a sentence of 10 to 12 years.

Moreover, the indictment is full of legal jump-scares in the form of pictures and transcripts. Like most people, jurors are visual creatures. Pictures of potentially classified documents being stored next to the commode will leave a lasting impression.

Most damaging is the audiotape that is transcribed in the indictment. On the tape, Trump tells two individuals interviewing him for a book that he has a classified Department of Defense document regarding an attack on Iran. Trump admits that it is secret and “as president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”

This is damaging on various levels. For one thing, it contradicts his prior claims to have declassified all of the documents. It also suggests that the government has a motive for trial.

Although many pundits bizarrely claimed that Trump was intending to sell classified material, the government suggests a more straightforward motive: The documents were trophies for Trump. The indictment portrays him as bragging about his possession of the attack plan.

For almost two years, I have written that the most serious threat against Trump would come out of Mar-a-Lago. That torpedo has now hit. Trump’s team is fooling itself if it does not recognize that this has caused damage below the waterline.

All indictments tend to diminish with time and adversarial process. As of this writing, we have not heard yet from the defense on these allegations. However, the indictment is full of quotes from lawyers and others made under oath or to federal investigators. If false, either would be grounds for criminal charges.

It could also get worse. Trump’s aide, Walt Nauta, has also been charged. According to reports, the Justice Department pressured Nauta and his lawyer for him to flip as a government witness. Indeed, the defense has charged that prosecutor Jay Bratt suggested that the Justice Department might sink Nauta attorney Stanley Woodward’s application for a federal judgeship unless his client cooperates and changes his testimony.

This indictment is clearly designed to concentrate Nauta’s mind on cooperation. If he were to flip (as the person who allegedly moved or concealed these documents), Trump would face a potentially insurmountable case.

The problem for the Justice Department is that it has made itself unbelievable in the eyes of many in the public. After years of overt bias and targeting of Trump, polls show that the majority of Americans view the FBI as a politically compromised organization.

The use of this type of speaking or “talking” indictment is clearly directed more at the public than at the court or the defendant. The Justice Department usually prefers a bare-bones indictment, to withhold a full account of its evidence before it has to turn it over to the defense. Smith wanted to show the public that it can trust the government, despite its behavior over the last seven years, as shown most recently by the report of Special Counsel John Durham.

This is also the reason Smith turned this indictment into a virtual picture book for public consumption. The Justice Department has left little room for trust among many citizens, and Smith is hoping that these images can change that perspective.

But this indictment is likely to do better in the court of law than it does in the court of public opinion. Just as many have Trump fatigue, many also have DOJ fatigue. This is the third consecutive election in which Trump is being hounded by allegations of crimes. It was immediately preceded by a clear political prosecution in New York State. In other words, the DOJ may have long ago lost the room for this production.

That does not mean that Trump can face this deluge of 37 counts and come out dry. The odds favor the government in this type of case.

Yet the question is whether there will be a case to prosecute after November 2024. Indeed, whatever the merits of a self-pardon, Republican candidates are already indicating that they would also consider pardoning Trump themselves if they are elected.

That is why Trump may have a better chance running on this case than defending against it.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

298 thoughts on “DOJ Fatigue: Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room?”

  1. Ever notice how closely Smith resembles Hunter Biden? Just wondering. It may explain a lot.

  2. Jonathan: Donald Trump raked in a lot of money at his fundraiser following his indictment in Miami on Tuesday. How much? A whopping $6.6 million! In a post Trump proudly proclaimed: “REALLY BIG FUNDRAISING, EVEN GRATER POLLS, SINCE THE RADICAL LEFT INDICTED HOAX WAS INITIATED BY THE MISFITS, MUTANTS, MARXISTS & COMMUNISTS! THANK YOU!!!”.

    Trump’s rant included a new enemy. We know about the “misfits”, the “Marxists & Communists”. But the “MUTANTS”? Who are they? Are they the Mutant Ninja Turtles–like “Karai”, “Donatello” or “Leonardo”–all trained by their sensei Master Splinter? Perhaps you are someone on this blog can explain what “MUTANTS” Trump has in mind.

  3. “If the federal government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” –Milton Friedman.

    Fatigued? Yes. Regarding the current President of the United States, a good IRS forensic tax auditor could make short work of determining how a person on a government salary and with a very modest net worth statement could live in the lap of luxury as he does. When it doesn’t add up, it usually means it doesn’t add up. If you spend enough time looking with the numbers, they will tell the truth. Millions and millions of dollars and thousands upon thousands of man-hours have been spent on investigations, impeachment proceedings in Washington and it usually comes to nothing, perhaps a slap on the hand, especially if the person being investigated is part of the D.C. fraternity or sorority.

    This fiasco is fueled entirely by political motives. Nothing more. This has been in the works from before the 45th President of the Untied States was elected. This process and the scores of other lawsuits are all to teach him or anyone who dares upset the Washington D.C. elite’s corruption a hard lesson.

  4. Is there any way we can take Trump out of the equation to better understand the legal issues here? I don’t care about this enough to read the Presidential Records Act and all the other falderal that would be required BEFORE even reading the indictment but let’s just say this is about President Bartlett

    So apparently anyone on the White House grounds or even looking through the fences could see dozens if not hundreds of boxes of (presumably) paper being moved out of the White House between 1/7/2021 and noon 1/20/2021. Was that legal? Could Jeb have taken them back to his farm in NH? If so, what’s the next question I should be asking? If not, why did they let Jeb leave with all those boxes without saying anything?

    1. Assuming there is some rules as to how/when Jeb can take those boxes to the NH farm, who supervises Jeb in that process while he is still the President. How do we know what was in the boxes when they left DC between 1/7/2021 and 1/20/2021? Is there a chain of custody thing on these documents?

      In fact, if Jeb were later charged with unlawfully possessing say hmm 37 documents how do we know they were in DC during those two weeks. Maybe Jeb took them to NH during season 3? Or conversely maybe they were never even in his White House office but were put in the boxes by someone on the helicopter? Or in the farm in the ballroom? Or by the poor Filipino cook that used to wait on Jeb. Or…

  5. Jonathan: Predictably, after his arraignment in Miami, Trump flew back to his third-rate golf resort at Bedminster and gave a bizarre and fact-free fiery speech to his adoring MAGA supporters–to get them to cough up more money for his defense fund. Here is part of Trump’s speech: “A corrupt sitting president had his top political opponent arrested on false and fabricated charges of which he and numerous other presidents would be guilty, right in the middle of a presidential election [??]in which he is losing badly. This day will go down in infamy [ Roosevelt would be rolling in his grave!] and Joe Biden will forever be remembered as not only the most corrupt president in the history of our country [projection?] but perhaps even more importantly, the president who together with the band of his closest thugs, misfits and marxists [????] tried to destroy American democracy…I will appoint a real special prosecutor [ like John Durham?] to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and the entire Biden crime family”. The MAGA assembled at the candlelight dinner at Bedminster roared their approval. The only thing missing was a “Heil Hitler”-like salute.

    Now I know what you are thinking. Good criminal defense attorneys would tell Trump to tone down the fiery rhetoric. Keep a low profile and don’t taint a potential jury pool. But Trump is no ordinary criminal defendant. He often ignores his attorney’s advice and makes statements that get him in more legal trouble. Just ask E. Jean Carroll. So in an effort to nail down the 2024 GOP presidential nomination Trump will rant and rave the rest of this year and next–desperately trying to keep the spotlight on his campaign.

    So in the .0000001 chance Trump wins the election next year what can we expect? The greatest “weaponization” of the FBI/DOJ ever seen in this country. It will be like the Nazi trials that purged the German government of all the opponents of Adolf Hitler. Trump will go after Joe and Hunter Biden, AG Garland, Jack Smith, all the DOJ leadership and FBI agents who searched Mar-a-Lago–maybe even the Democratic members of the House Jan. 6 Committee. No stone will be unturned looking for all the “misfits and marxists” in the government. Now that will be a “witch hunt” of epic proportions!

    1. Dennis,

      Grow up and chill out.

      The Trump prosecution is blatantly political.

      No one is going to jail.

      Not Hillary, Not Joe, Not Hunter, not Trump, not the myriads of thers that Prepublicans can identify who should be going to jail.

      At the surface this is entirely about the 2024 election.

      Joe is NOT the most corrupt US president ever – that distinction goes to Johnson.
      Maybe Harding is a close second.

      But neither Harding nor Johns =on were actually caught with their hand in the cookie Jar.

      Biden has been CAUGHT. We are WAY WAY WAY passed the idiotic claims of left wing nuts.

      Anywhere in the US – outside the Peoples Republics any half way competent prosecutor could convict the Bidens.

      But it would be all for naught.

      In a bit more than a year Biden is going to issue massive numbers of pardons – win or lose.

      And If Trump is not elected in 2024 – The courts will likely toss this pile of garbage – if they do not do so sooner.

      Beyond th eelection – it is about whether the corruption in DOJ/FBI/ the rest of the Deep Stat is getting cleaned up.

      Democrats have made a political mess of our government.

      In my perfect world – Democrats would get their asses kicked in 2024 and voters would make it clear that the weaponization of govenrment was a bridge too far.

      Unfortunately I doubt that will happpen – I expect democrats to lose a close election. But not unfortunatly because voters are angry over politically weaponized government

      And if the voters do not fix the problem – then those in power must – regardless there MUST be a price to pay for this.

      And if the only way Democrats can learn is to be victims themselves – so be it.

      Despite the 2016 “lock her up” rhetoric – Trump did not go after Hillary in 2017.

      He could have. It woudl have been trivial to appoint an SC. And Clinton would have been TOAST.

      There has no been a worse or more indefensible espionage act case at that level of government EVER.

      I do not know whether I beleive Trump will go after Biden.

      Biden is already old and decrepit. Regardless, he will pardon himself on the way out the door and there is not likely anything Trump can do about that.

      But the rest of the Democratic party – and those in the “deep state” are all fair game.

      Turn About is fair play.

      BLM founders have embezzled millions.
      Antifa is unarguably a terrorist organization.

      A significant portion of the top tier of the Executive branch is easy to fire.
      Even if those get replaced by left wing nut subordinates – they will be quaking in their boots, and the promotion removes them from civil service protections against firing.

      It is not possible for Reublicans to clear the Executive branch of corrupt woke left wing nuts.
      But it is possible to put the fear of god into them.

      The vast majority of left wing nuts are impotent. It is only those who are not, who need purged for the moment.

      I do not care much about Trump personally – or Biden.
      But I do care about purging this nonsense from our government.

      No US government agency should EVER be seeking to censor anyone for speech that is not demonstrably criminal – child pornography.
      That is already a crime – multiple ways.
      Even the suggestion of political censorship violates the hatch act.
      Actually participlting violates the constitution and 18 U 1983 – depriving people of their civil rights under color of law.

      The FBI should not be taking the license numbers of people protesting at school board meetings, or attending churches.

      The FBI should not be SWATTING prolife protestors (or any other political protestors).

      We do not have to agree on policy to agree that we can not use government to persecute those who disagree.

      That YOU defend this nonsense is despicable.

      I was livid over HUAC and the Communist blacklists – that mostly Republicans were behind.
      I was appalled to find that the FBI was infiltrating civil rights groups.
      I was not alive when Wilson went after Eugene Debb’s but it was disgusting and unamerican.
      I have fought to allow the KKK and Actual Nazi’s to have the freedom to protest – while counter protesting at their protests.

      That people like YOU and our current president and AG would target parents angry over their school boards curiculum choices.
      Or people who regularly attend church, or pro-life protestors I find revolting beyond beleif.

      This is unamerican. This is fascist, marxist, the stuff of Stalin or Mao or Hitler.

      I was appalled by the Kanaugh protests – but aside from the violence – I fully support the right of people to protest.

      I have fought for all but the violent J6 protests here – and I am STILL waiting for the actual proof that Trump supporters started the violence.

      Regardless, political protest sometimes turn violent – that violence should be punished. But not even close to what we have seen democrats do.

      Short of Murder -= Arson is one of the most serious criminal offenses we deal with – typical sentences are 10years are more.
      Two left wing nuts political protestors who throwugh molotov cocktails into police cars got 15m and 18m suspended respectively.

      That is Wrong. There is not a single J6 protester that did anything workse – and you idiots are cheering 18tr sentences – for what – Disagreeing with you politically ?

      It is the absolute right of every american citizen to speak out against our govenrment. It is their absolute right EVEN IF THEY ARE WRONG.
      The 2020 election was a revolting lawless mess that should be remembered with disgust forever,
      But had it been conducted perfectly in the sunlight and the results were a REAL landslide for on candidate – the other candidate and supporters have the absolute right to protest, to claim the election was stolen to march on the congress, to rant and rave. And it si the duty of GOVERNMENT to allow those protests – while preserving the peace – with MINIMAL interferance with the protestors.

      I was appalled by the Clinton Pu$$y that protestors in 2017. But aside from the violence and arson they conducted protesting was THEIR RIGHT.

      It is not treason or insurrection to oppose the government. And any actually legitimate government does not need to lock up those who protest it.

      What we are seeing from Democrats is unamericna. \
      It is reminiscent of Hitler and his brown-shirts.
      It is german Nacht und Nebel gestapo conduct.

      Legitimate government should ALWAYS be afraid of the people.
      The people should NEVER be afraid of their govenrment.

      This must be fixed – and if the only way is to give Republilcans 4 years to extreact vengence on you until you learn how harmful your conduct is

      Then turn about is fair play.

      1. @John,

        First Biden is probably the most corrupt if you count his 40+ yrs in Congress.
        Second, Biden is officially the worst POTUS in the history of this county.

        Only Carter and Obama are cheering that fact since they are no longer running in the bottom w him. (Joe is at a new level all to himself.)

        1. Biden is not likely the most corrupt US president ever. Johnson is likely much more corrupt.

          But Biden has been caught.

          Carter Botched Iran – but he was actually a quite good president otherwise.

          There is an interesting duopoly between Carter/Reagan and Hoover/ FDR

          Both groupings are painted as opposites. – But nearly all the “new deal” was pioneered by Hoover. Conversely a significant portion of Reagans progreams came from Carter.
          Cater was the most deregulatory president ever.
          Reagan desrves credit for continuing the Fed Policies that ended stagflation and brought about the great moderation. Thbe longest continuous prosperity in US history. But the policies were started by Clinton

          1. “Reagan desrves credit for continuing the Fed Policies that ended stagflation and brought about the great moderation. Thbe longest continuous prosperity in US history.”

            No offense meant, but like so many times before in history Reagan stole from the middle class & small businesses to bail out the NY/EU Globalist Banking Trash.

            IE: Paul Volcker, he admits it later on in life.

            So please stop saying this as we’re past this cycle’s middle ground again, but this time it’s far worst. That’s why McCarty agreed to no limit Debt increase .

            1. While I do not want to get into the details of your claim,

              The FACT is that no president is perfect,

              as christians say “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god”.

              Again – without addressing your specifics – Reagan did LOTS of things I disagree with.

              As did Trump.

              I have repeatedly rated Trump a B-/C+ president.
              He is still the BEST president of the 21st century – Bush, Obama, and Biden are absymal.

              I would further note that whether ounder Volker or today the FED effort to reign in inflation will have winners and losers.
              You may well be correct – that some of the winners are people I think should burn in h311.

              But continued inflation is bad for nearly all of us. And we have only one means to bring inflation under control that works.

              If that benefits some group that I loath – so be it.
              I am not cutting off my nose to spite my face.

              The best solution would be not to have inflation in the first place.
              Get money supply out from Fed control and subject congressional spending to the discipline of the free market.

              But that is not happening.

          2. I’m Ck’in out, but 1 thing I’m cite’n, something, Volcker states to the public his biggest regret in life is the he should have foreclosed & liquidated all the Globalist Banking Trash including JP Morgan.

            They’re forever know to millions of us as “FRS Dead Beat Squatters !”

            1. I am not familiar with the specifics you are refering.

              But at a different time – the government should have stayed out of “the great recession”.

              While I do not think that the recession would have been anyworse.

              The depth of a recession is determined by the scale of the prior malinvestment. it is not an endless avalanche to ruin absent government stepping in.

              But even if it had been worse – the moral hazzard created by the bailouts – even just the persception of bailouts is stil with us.

              BTW I do not care much about “global elites or any other alleged group of evil or good doers depending on yur persective.

              All I care is that they – like all of us are barred from government rentseeking.

      2. John Say: So you don’t know whether Trump will “go after Biden”? He said that plainly in his speech Tuesday night to his supporters. Don’t you trust in Trump’s promises? Trump has always promised a lot but never delivered. But in this case I trust Trump. That’s because vengeance and retribution are in Trump’s DNA.

        It’s pretty clear you don’t trust the DOJ/FBI because you think it has been “weaponized” under Biden to go after Trump. That has been Prof. Turley’s mantra for months. And you have internalized that claim without Q. If SC David Weiss charges Hunter over the tax and gun problems will you say that is a “political prosecution” of the son of a sitting president? You can’t have it both ways. The DOJ doesn’t charge someone because of their party affiliation. As pointed out in a previous comment the DOJ has recently successfully prosecuted others for holding on to classified material. The thing that makes Trump’s case particularly egregious is that he refused to turn over all the docs he took and then lied and obstructed the FBI/DOJ investigation. Do you really think Trump should get a pass simply because he is the former president or the leading GOP candidate in next year’s election?

        The cases of Mike Pence and Biden’s retention of classified material don’t even come close to Trump’s criminal acts. Both Pence and Biden’s immediately returned all the classified material they negligently kept. The DOJ is not going to prosecute Pence. You don’t see the Dems clamoring for Pence to be prosecuted, do you? So why is the GOP demanding Biden be prosecuted? Because it’s election season and the GOP is trying to undermine the Biden campaign. It’s all about politics–not the law. Don’t you see that?

        Finally, the Dems did not make a “political mess of our government”. It was Trump who “weaponized” the FBI/DOJ to attack his political enemies. He misused the pardon power by giving pardons to his friends and political allies who had been convicted by juries of serious crimes. If you don’t see the difference you are the one who needs to “grow up” and get a reality check!

        1. “So you don’t know whether Trump will “go after Biden”? He said that plainly in his speech Tuesday night to his supporters. Don’t you trust in Trump’s promises?”
          No I do not. Trump has failed to keep many promises. He as an example did NOT go after Clinton, he called her after the election and told her that he was not going to do so.

          I do not trust that Trump will do everything he says.
          I do trust – based on experience that he will do significantly more of what he says than most politicians.

          “Trump has always promised a lot but never delivered.”
          Correct – no president ever, no political candidate ever has delivered on everything they promise.
          But Trump has done better than any president in my lifetime. He has done better than any politician in my lifetime.

          Chris Christy is correct – Trump did not get the mexicans to pay a single peso for the wall.
          But Pres. Trump did keep more of his campaign promises than Gov. Christy did.

          “But in this case I trust Trump. That’s because vengeance and retribution are in Trump’s DNA.”
          By EVIDENCE it is democrats – and specifically those like Schiff,
          Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden whose DNA includes lawless retribution.

          IT is Clinton who famously has an enemies list that no democrat and few others want on.

          It is Biden who has said – “No one Messes with a Biden”
          It is Biden who told Ukriane to fire Shokin or face the consequences.

          It is Biden who has actually gone after political enemies.
          It is Biden who lead a massive censorship campaign.
          It is Biden who is targeting ordinary people whose views he disagrees with.

          It is also the LEFT who has done and supported all these things and more.

          It is near certain that when the GOP takes power in 2025 – there will be consequences for those on the left.
          To the extent those consequences fall within the law and the constitution – there is no question of their legitimacy.

          Trump or DeSantis can clean house in the executive – and they should. It MAY be retribution to clear out those who acted unethically, illegally, and unconstitutionally. Nor is there anything incorrect about prosecuting those who violated the law.

          At the same time I have zero expectation that any republican is going after Joe Biden criminally.
          Despite the fact that they can legitimately do so.

          But I do expect – even demand that Republicans absolutely crush the lawless conduct that has been growing within the executive branch of government fed by the lawless left. Including prosecuting and convicting some of those involved.

          “It’s pretty clear you don’t trust the DOJ/FBI”
          Correct – nor do the majority of americans -0 only 39% of republicans trust the DOJ/FBI and only 45% of independents do.

          Only those on the left are unable to grasp reality.

          “because you think it has been “weaponized” under Biden to go after Trump.”
          False – my trust in the FBI has been low my entire life. My trust in govenrment has been low my entire life.
          Adn h\I have a lifetime of excellent reasons for that lack of Trust – whentehr it is the abuses found by the church commission, or myriads of examples of bad, and unconstituional conduct over my lifetime.

          Whether it is the spying on Civil Rights groups, The Ruby Ridge warrantless search and seizure, as well as the illegal shoot to kill order, Whether it is the egregious conduct at Wacco, Whehter it is the weaponization of theFBI against Richard Jewel, or Ivens, or a long long long list of other instances of weaponization of government against enemies political and otherwise. Just recently SCOTUS told EPA no they can not effectively steal individuals property without due process, and without compensation – I beleive that was a 9-0 decision. In a separate 9-0 decision they barred government from Confiscating more from taxpayers than they owed.

          I can cite numerous examples of egregious conduct by Comey, or Mueller, or Smith – long before Trump was a wet dream of theirs.

          I do not trust these institutions generally – because they have a long record of untrustworthy conduct.

          We just learned in the past couple of days that FBI has been illegally surveiling hundreds of thousands of americans without a required warrant.

          And I do not trust specific individuals within those institutions – because of their past and president illegal, unethical, unconstitutional and immoral conduct.

          You could bot out everything related to Trump in the past decade – and my distruct would be undimeninished.

          The FBI/CIA/DOJ/DHS/… did not just go after Trump in their election rigging and censorship campaign in 2020.
          Among many other things they censored people – right and left over Covid.

          Frankly they have been know to target Democrats – who are not supportive of enhancing their power.

          While I think the Deep State is atleast partly supportive of the woke agenda – that has very little to do with their conduct.

          They are the self licking ice cream cone. They are all about protecting and expanding their power – by any means necescary.

          Hillary was protected – not because she was a democrat – but because she was friendly to the power of the deep stte.
          Trump, parents protesting school boards, are attacked – not because they are republicans – but because they are a threat to the power of the deep state.

          These people are lawless and self serving. In the past Republicans like Cheney have supported them.
          Today they are in a symbiotic relationship with the left that is harmful to all of us.

          Trump is merely ONE example of their misconduct.

          “That has been Prof. Turley’s mantra for months.”
          Again read my remarks above. Turley is FOLLOWING me – not leading me. Adn he has a long way to go to reach my lifelong fully justified fct based distruct of govenrmnet.

          “And you have internalized that claim without Q.”
          Are you an idiot ? What – my mind was poisoned by the Church comision 50 years ago ?

          The evidence that “the deep state” is corrupt and untrustworthy is life long and damning.

          Do you really want to argue that there is not a very very very long history of the deep state lying to us all, or acting lawlessly ?

          Once upon a time – those on the left were with me on this misconduct.

          It is YOU that have changed – not I.

          “If SC David Weiss charges Hunter over the tax and gun problems will you say that is a “political prosecution” of the son of a sitting president?”
          No, I will want to know why Weis is not pursuing the FARA, Money laundering, and bribery cases.

          I could care less about the gun case and the tax case. Neither needed and SC. Both should have been prosecuted long ago.
          Hunter should have gotten his slap on the wrist – 6 years ago. Spent a few months in jail paid some fines and gone home – atleast for the gun and tax issues – as well as the sex trafficking case.

          “You can’t have it both ways.”
          I have not asked for it both ways – I expect that DOJ – and not at the SC level would have long ago prosecuted Hunter on the solid charges specific to Hunter that it has. We expect DOJ to do its job with respect to this. But for the fact that Hunter is Biden’s son – he would have been tried convicted, sentenced jailed and released by now.

          I expect the FBI/FOJ to prosecute actual crime. I do not expect that the prosecution of Hunter Biden should have come to the attention of the director of the FBI or the AG of the US, or required a Special Counsel.

          EXCEPT as it relates to any conspiracy involving public corruption such as with his father. That is very serious. That has been very serious for a long time.
          The evidence has been excellent for a long time, and is growing. Yet, nothing is being done.

          Nor is my distrust of the “deep state” specific to weaponized politics. Though that is at the fore now.

          The Jewel and Iven’s cases had nothing to do with democrat/Republican politics. Cases like spying on americans – long past, recent past and present, are nominally political – though mostly not in the left right sense. Spying on civil rights groups, MLK, or the egregious misconduct at Ruby Ridge or Wacco or with the Bundy’s was political – but not in the Republican/Democrat sense.
          The Censorship of the Truth regarding Covid – went beyond the DOJ/FBI and targeted many on the left – though more on the right.

          That said – absolutely there are weaponized politician issues. Several of the investigations of Hillary Clinton required indictment. I doubt that her espionage act violations would result in jail time – but it would have resulted in conviction. Adn Hillary Clinton DESERVED to be prosecuted as the criminal she was and removed from public life. it is Not republicans fault that Democrats nominated one of the most politically corrupt americans ever.
          It is not Republicans fault that Democrats violated their own rules to do so.

          Republicans did not take out Hillary – she did that to her self.

          Do you actually have no standards at all ?
          Kenn Starr has asserted he had plenty of Damning evidence of criminal conduct involving Hillary.
          But he did not go after Hillary – because he was not appointed to investigate the First Lady.
          And indicting and convicting her served no legitimate IC related purpose.
          Regardless, Hillary is involved in a long long list of criminal and politically corrupt acts for decades – including numerous ones targeting other democrats.

          “The DOJ doesn’t charge someone because of their party affiliation.”

          Dennis – inarguably the DOJ frequently investigates and prosecutes for CORRUPT reasons. Those do not always favor democrats over republicans – that phenomena is recent and mostly reflects the threat republicans increasingly pose to the power of the deep state.

          But DOJ/FBI as an example is not going to investigate Liz Chenney -despite the fact that she is a republican. And DOJ/FBI’s unwillingness to investigate Chenney js to do with her support fot the Deep State – not her views on Trump.

          “As pointed out in a previous comment the DOJ has recently successfully prosecuted others for holding on to classified material.”
          Correct. but that does not alter the FACT that even over the past decade THOSE prosecutions have been politically biased.
          The most significan breach of national security and the most egregious flaunting of the espionage act – since John Walker was by Hillary clinton – yet not even an indictment. You are correct – members of the military routinely go to jail for relatively minor infractions.
          This has nothing to do with DOJ/FBI – they are handled by the UCMJ and the military tribunals.
          Arguably several of those prosecutions are egregious – but they are not thus far politically or otherwise corrupt.
          There is actual politics in military justice – but it mostly has nothing to do with classified documents prosecutions Nor democrats and republicans.

          As to significant prosecutions outside of the military – those DOJ/FBI were uinvolved in – absolutely those demonstrated a weaponiszation of law enforcement.

          Duetch Berger, got slaps on the wrist. Clinton did not even get that.

          While I do not think Pence should be prosecuted – and probably not Biden from his VP docs – the only classified document case involving elected officials more egregious than Biden was Clinton.

          So far your “evidence” against Trump is that he waved documents that may have been classified in front of a jornalist.
          That is it. That is not actuall a crime – even if the document was still classifed. Trump did NOT provide classified information to journalists.

          Holding a classified binder and waving it arround is not actually a crime.

          Trump may or may not have had classified docs at MAL, He may or may not have legally owned them.
          In arguably he posessed them legally. Under the most favorable arguments – Biden could have ordered them returned – if they were classified AND they were government property. And to do so hBiden would have had to order their return and go to court to get it. That did not happen.

          You are accusing Trump of legally possessing classified documents and moving them arround without his extremely secure home.
          None of that is a crime.

          There is absolutely no possoible arguemtn that Sen Biden VP Biden VP Pence or Sos Clinton are not much more egregious;

          None of these coud legitimately have classified docs in the places theywere found.
          None could declassifiy them.
          None could obtain classified docs without violating the law.

          There is no such thing as an exceutive order of the Vice President, or an Executive order of a senator or Secretary of State.

          I would further note YOUR PRA claims cede the fact that Presidents are different.
          Secretaries of State do not own the documents of their department – and never have.
          Vice presidents do not.
          Senators own their documents – but can not own or posess classified docs outside of a SCIF.
          Senators, Secretaries of State and VP’s can not get classified docs out of a SCIF without violating the espoinage act

          There is no senators or Secretary of States records act – there is no need. They have no claim to ownership or even unfettered access.

          Of Course you are weaponizing law enforcement. That is what it means when you disregard the law and constitution to target enemies.

          The Biden admin and Democrats are not weaponizing Govenrment because they are legitimately prosecuting crimes.

          The are weaponizing government – by using law enforcement unconstitutionally to target political enemies.

          No one is saying that DOJ can not go after Republicans who violate the law – though we expect them to also go after simiarly situated democrats.

          I do not know if George Santos is actually guilty of anything besides lying to voters. But if he is – he should be prosecuted.
          Bujt the allegations against Santos are less consequential than those against AOC or Waters and possibly Pelosi.
          Yet we see no prosecution there, not even an investigation.

          Following the law blind to the politics of those you prosecute – and not CREATIVELY is not going to get you in trouble with me..

          When it is self evident to all but left wing nuts – that the president of the united states hasw likely taken many bribes and personally profited from the abuse of his government power, and yet there is nothing – and the evidence is that those in government are actively thwarting investigation
          While at the same time pushing novel and never before used legal claims, and rejecting exsisting case law to prosecute those they do not like for likely non crimes,

          Yes,. that is political corruption.

          Durham found massive political corruption.

          It is self evident that has not changed.

          It is time to start impeachment hearings.

          “The thing that makes Trump’s case particularly egregious is that he refused to turn over all the docs”
          That is not how the law works.

          You have inverted the law in multiple ways to pretend you have a distinction that is NOT part of the law.

          You are not innocent of assult if you appologize after words and give the baseball bat to the police officer.

          You are not guilty of assault because you re3fuse to turn over the baseball bat – if you never hit anyone with it.

          Trump has an excellent claim to own the documents, to have declassified the documents, to have legitimate access to the documents.
          Biden, Clinton, Pence – nor any prior person involved in a Classified docs case has any of these claims.

          If ONE of those claims is true – the DOJ’s case implodes.

          And frankly it is likely ALL of them are true.

          Nowhere in US criminal code is asserting your innocent a crime.
          It is not a crime – even if you are wrong.

          “he took and then lied and obstructed the FBI/DOJ investigation.”

          There is no legitimate injvestigation.

          As noted repeatedly – you STILL do not have a credible allegation of a crime, and you never have.

          You have claimed the PRA does not matter – yet Trump is not being charged regarding non-classified docs.
          Why ? Because the PRA does matter.

          Because theft requires taking something you neither own, nor have a legitimate right to possess.

          Independent of the PRA – expresidents by Obama’s EO have legitimate rights to posess classified documents.

          Do you have an order by Biden changing that – AND notification to Trump ?
          You do not – and that would not be sufficient.

          Further unarguably presidents can give others – including themselves access to classified documents or government documents while president.
          Presidential orders survive the president and last until recinded by the current president.

          Do you have an order by Biden rescinding Trumps direction to take documents to MAL ? Was that order conveyed to Trump ?
          You do not – but even that is not enough.

          When a president removes a classified document from a secure setting to an insecure one – that declassifies the document – that is long established.
          And declassification is not reverse-able.

          Are you trying to claim that When Trump gave the russian ambassador classified information – that did not declassify it ?

          Your the one making unusual and illogical claims.

          There is no argument that the president has the power to order documents classified or not to be moved anywhere,
          Not that presidential orders magically vaporize when they leave office.

          I have not heard a credible claim from anyone that PResident Trump on Jan 20, 2021 at 11:59
          Did not have the power to order documents moved anywhere. to declassify them or to order them declassified.

          I have not heard an argument that having done so, 1 minute later such order becomes void, and documents that were legitimately transfered and or declassified are magically now illegal and reclassified.

          You wonder why Trump fought this tooth and nail ?

          Of course he did. Biden, NARA, DOJ have behaved LAWLESSLY.

          If you beleive that JW V. NARA is wrongly decided – or Wrongly represented – go to court.

          ABJ still serves in DC.

          The Biden Admin did NOT go to court – ever. They Sudiously avoided going to court.

          That is evidence of corrupt intent.
          That is evidence they KNEW they would lose.

          They have gamed this into a criminal prosecution.

          “Do you really think Trump should get a pass simply because he is the former president or the leading GOP candidate in next year’s election?”
          No – that was Democrats argument when they impeached Trump- so Democrats are stuck with it.

          MY argument is there is no crime. Because there is not.

          “The cases of Mike Pence and Biden’s retention of classified material don’t even come close to Trump’s ”
          That is correct, They are all MUCH worse. VP’s have very very limited ability to posess classified docs outside of a SCIF.
          VP’s and Senators can not order Classified docs moved wherever they wish. Presidents can.

          It is unarguable that the Docs at MAL got their LEGALLY. There is no credible claim that Trump was not allowed to send Docs to MAL.
          As president he could send whatever he wanted there. Nor was he obligated to send it to a SCIF. He could order GSA to send these Docs to the pool at MAL
          or to Buckingham Palance if he wished – so long as he was president.
          Biden can do exactly the same now.

          Conversely VP Pence and VP Biden STOLE classified documents. There is some very limited power of VP’s to send papers that may qualify as personal back to their home at the conclusion of their terms. VP’s and ex VP’s also have virtually limitless ACCESS to classified documents. But only in a SCIF.
          They must request documents and they must fully conform to the Espionage act and Executive orders.
          Regardless, there is no legal way for VP Pence or Biden to get a Classified document at their home outside of a SCIF.

          As I understand it today the NORM is that NSA provided them with an air gapped(no possible connection to the internet or any other network, no USB, no CD no printer or serial ports) laptop with classified documents on it with biometirc login that they are obligated to keep in a SCIF when not in use.

          Presidents have no such obligations at all. Presidents can take classified documents to bed with them, out on a boat, in a golf cart, wherever they please – and the can send them wherever they want.
          Ex-Presidents have all the same requirements as Ex-VP;s with regard to documents they REQUEST, But if they already have the document in their possession – there is no law or requirement of any kind that they can not keep it and do as they please.
          They obtained the document legally – classified or not.

          I am not making theseclaims up – the constitution and the law do.

          “Both Pence and Biden’s immediately returned all the classified material they negligently kept.”
          They did not “negligently keep classified docs. These were sent to their homes. That was an ACT of Theft.
          They can attempt to prove that was inadvertant – but classified docs must be singed in and out by everyone EXCEPT presidents.
          There is a record of what they posessed. Further they have binders that armake it OBVIOUS the docs are classifed.

          Much has been made of the fact that as president Trump tore up classified docs, Flushed them down the toilet, ripped them out of binders – PResidents can do that.
          No one else can. Arguably if a president takes a classified doc from a binder – it is declassified.
          If anyone else does that it is a crime.

          Regardless, there is no way that Pence and Biden packed up their docs without someone noting that they were packing classified docs.
          VP’s can not do that. This is worse for Biden – who moved the classified docs multiple times.
          Your “negligent” rather than criminal claim – requires that they were moved and no one noticed the binders.

          It is probable that neither Biden nor Pence moved the documents themselves. They directed someone else.
          That person HAD to be aware of the binders, and if they were that person committed a crime.
          If they were ordered to do so by Pence or Biden – then Both committed a crime.

          Conversly if Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump or Biden orders someone to transfer a classified document somewhere (while president) that is not a crime.
          That is just an order by the president.

          “The DOJ is not going to prosecute Pence.”
          I do not think they should

          But you are WRONG in your claim that Biden and Pence are less culpable than Trump

          In order of culpability from high to low.
          Hillary Clinton – inarguably the queen. She had no authority to take classified documents anywhere, she directed staff to transcribe classified documents from a SCIF to get them into her email That is both a crime and a conspiracy. Tens of thousands of federal records were involved – a minor crime. Thousands of classified docs were involved – a significant crime. Clinton’s docs were in electronic form – that makes every single copy an additional crime.
          Treansfering them from paper to an email is a separate crime. Sending them to someone over the internet is a separate crime. IF that person did not have a security clearance – a separate crime. If that person did and failed to report the receipt of classified material – that is likely a crime.
          Storing them on her email server – is a separate crime. Everytime that server was backed up and a new copy created – a separate crime.

          When I say separate crime – that is for each and every classified email. It is likely that Clinton could easily have racked up a 30,000 count espionage act violation.

          Further – Clinton recklessly made her docs available on the internet – that is not only a separate crime it is one with a higher punishment.

          Next is Biden. It is likely that Biden directed that the documents that were found were moved. It is highly unlikelythat someone in GSA packed classifed binders into boxes to ship to a Warehouse in China town without being ordered to do so – that is a crime. VP’s do not have the power to transfer classified documents to insecure locations. Only presidents have that power. Biden can do that now. But he can not do it retroactively.
          The Biden docs were moved repeated – each move is a crime.
          There is no question the Biden docs are classified – VP’;s have very limited declassification power.

          You keep using the word negligent. implying this is not intentional. You can negligently forget to return a classified doc to a SCIF.
          You can not negligently move it across country multiple times. Someone did that intentionally – likely Biden directed that.
          Regardless someone did.

          Finally Biden’s Senate doc is in a class all by itself. We only know of one Classified senate doc – because Biden’s udel papers – thousands of boxes, have not been searched. But so far we have one doc. There is no way a Senator gets their hands on a classified document outside of a SCIF without committing an intentional crime. There is no negligence at all. It is hard to imaging a way in which Biden got a classified doc as senator without PERSONALLY and KNOWINGLY committing a crime. But his lawyers are welcome to try to argue such a scenario. I can not think of one.
          And again – every move is a crime. Further becaue Sen./ Biden had to know he was posessing classified docs – he need not have moved them himself – still a crime on his part.

          Pence comes next. It is a handful of docs, after arriving in Pence’s home they do not appear to have ever been moved. They were in sealed boxes – so clearly Pence never shared them with anyone. I do not think Pence recieved those docs inadvertantly – but PEnce has the best possible claim for that.

          By far the least culpable is Trump. First and foremost – PRA, no PRA, any scenario you can concoct – Presidents ALONE can order the transport of classified docs from a secure location to an insecure one. Arguably that declassifies them – and this DIES entirely. Regardless if Trump identified the docs he wanted moved and GSA moved them – likely scenario – NO ONE committed a crime. government employees can move classified docs at the direction of the president.

          So we have barely touched on Whether Trump declassified these, or whether he owns these – and you have already lost.

          There is and can not possibly be a crime for a president to transfer classified documents to himself or anyone else.

          So that is Trump’s FIRST and absolute defence. And you can not get arround it.
          If you can win the argument that transfering the documents does not declassify them – AND you can win the argument that Trump does not own them – both very difficult claims for Smith to win. MAybe you can make an argument that moving the documents arround at MAL was a crime – but that would require moving them to an even less secure location. Any change that does not alter their safety – is not a crime.

          Again If and only iff you win the declassification argument and the personal property argument – you can claim that actually providing access to the documents to someone without a clearance is a crime. But that is going to be a reach. Further waiving a classified binder in front of a journalist is not a crime.
          Giving the binder to them to read might be.

          My guess is under the circumstance most favorable to DOJ/Smith – shooting the moon on the law – which is not happening. You might be able to get 2-3 counts.
          That is a tiny fraction of what you get with Biden.

          But you are almost certainly losing the claim that these documents were classified.
          Moving them declassified them.

          You are going to lose the ownership claim – the caselaw is clear – president own whatever WH docs they want – classified or not.

          And finally – you still lose the whole enchalada because of a lack of criminal intent.

          Neitehr Biden no Pence nor Hillary Clinton have any plausible reason to beleive what they were doing was not a crime.
          Trump does and he likely is right.

          If Biden takes a copy of the presidents daily brief – walks into the WH lobby, picks a visitor at random and sits down with them to go over the PDB, and then lets the guest take the copy of the PDB with them – did President Biden violate the espionage act ?
          The answer is NO!! – the president can not violate the espionage act while president. All national security power constitutionally is vested i the president.
          He can do as he please with classified docs. The only oversite of a presidents handling of classified docs is impeachment. That is it.

          Using my Biden example again – what if Biden does this on the last day of his presidency – giving the doc to a WH visitor as 11:59 just before his presidency ends.
          Still not a crime.

          While the examples are slightly absurd, the argument I am making is an obvious reductio ad absurdem – if the president has the power to do absurd thengs with classified documents – he has the power to send them to his later self who is no longer president.
          The presidential order is valid, and must be followed, and the results must be legal.

          Nor is there any practical way to have a president where this is not true.

          But you are free to try – that requires changing the constitution – but go for it.

          “You don’t see the Dems clamoring for Pence to be prosecuted, do you?”
          Correct – charging Pence woudl make it impossible not to charge Biden.

          Further – no one think Pence is a serious contender for a future president.
          There is no reason for Biden to take out Pence.

          All you are doing is undermining YOUR argument.

          Trump the least culpable is the most prosecuted – because he is the greatest threat.

          I doubt the Biden DOJ would risk prosecuting any political candidate for anything that the expected to defeat handlily – it is just not worth the risk.

          But Trump terrifies you. And he terrifies DOJ and the FBI – and he should. There is not a candidate that is more likely to deeply clean house.

          And many people strongly support trump BECAUSE he will clean house.

          “So why is the GOP demanding Biden be prosecuted?”
          The GOP is not demanding Joe Biden be prosecuted he can’t be while president, and we all know he is pardoning himself on the way out the door.

          What Republicans are correctly demanding is that the law be applied consistently.

          There is far more than enough to investigate Joe Biden for bribery. Everything Comer has done – the DOJ/FBI should have done long ago.

          As to Trump – the DOJ has actual crimes to prosecute – like the Fraud and embezlement at BLM
          Or the arson’s at preganacy clinics.

          What they should not be doing is investigating and prosecuting non-crimes, just because they are scared.

          “Because it’s election season and the GOP is trying to undermine the Biden campaign.”
          Of course they are – that is also why Trump is being prosecuted. But there is a difference – the Trump prosecution is itself a crime.
          Congress investigating government – even with a political agenda is legitimate oversight.

          I would further note – Congres has the power to investigate anything in government they wish. They do not have the power to prosecute.

          Conversely DOJ does NOT have the power to investigate whatever they please – they may only investigate and prosecute credible allegations of crime.

          They do not have that.

          ” It’s all about politics–not the law. Don’t you see that?”
          No, each specific thing we are talking about is unqie and must be examined as such.

          DOJ is free to prosecute Trump for credible allegations of crimes.
          But you do not have that. Further Trump is a private citizen and government has no power to williy nilly investigate private citizens – politically or otherwise.
          Not republicans, not democrats – not DOJ, not congress.

          Convrsely Joe Biden is president. The conduict being investigated by Congress is conduct under the color of law – official acts of VP Biden.
          Those are fair game for Congress. They are fare game whether republican or democrat, But they are limited to investigating those things with a nexus to government. Public corruption is solidly within the domain of congress to investigate.

          “Finally, the Dems did not make a “political mess of our government”.”
          oF COURSE THEY HAVE.

          “It was Trump who “weaponized” the FBI/DOJ to attack his political enemies.”
          How so ? Mean tweets are no an abuse of power.
          When did the Trump DOJ go after Democrats without any basis ?

          Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the public corruption – the abuse of govenrment power of VP Biden.

          If Trump was bribed by Ukraine as president – I would expect Biden to investigate.

          “He misused the pardon power by giving pardons to his friends and political allies who had been convicted by juries of serious crimes.”
          ROFL – the presidential pardon power is unreviewable – Every single president has pardons that many of us are offended by.
          Do you honestly beleive that Joe Biden is not going to pardon Hunter ? Himself ?
          You are off in lala land.

          As to Muellers prosecutions – that ship has sailed. There was no collusion delusion – that was a HOAX concocted by Hillary – and FBI and DOJ knew that in August 2016. Mueller was conducting a lawless and illegitmate investigation. Muellers prosecutions were weaponized politics.

          BTW we are seeing the same with Jackie Smith. SC lawyers told the GJ that if Trump’s lawyers refused to waive priviledge that merely proved Trump was guilty – innocent people waive priviledge – that is an ethics violation. SC lawyers have told Trump lawyers and other witnesses that they would be prosecuted for non-crimes if they did not violate privelege or change their testimony – that is witness tampering and that is extortion.

          And that is the miscondut Mueller engaged in.

          And what are the serious crimes that Trump associates were convicted of ? Papadoulis got a date wrong after 80 hours of questioning in which he was not allow to refer to his own records.
          Stone failed to note exclupatory evidence in his testimony before congress. Testimony that Democrats did not allow him to review and correct.
          He was also convicted of things that NEVER HAPPENED. That is how bad DC courts and juries are.
          Manafort was convicted over a dispute over the way he characterized a loan to himself on his taxes – something he had resolved with the IRS until Mueller stepped in. He was also convicted of violating FARA – something he actually did not do. Manafort did NOT lobby the US government for foreign governments.
          He hired and paid Tony posesta to do that for him That is legal Podesta is the one required to comply with FARA.

          Mueller convicted no one of anything serious, and he did so from an investigation that was in violation of the constitution. Government may not uyse a known hoax as the foundation for a criminal investigation.

          Mueller was the poster boy for weaponized politics – until now.

          I would further note that Mueller is not some johny come lately to the corrupt DOJ/FBI game – Mueller has been a key figure in Decades of government abusive and illegal investigations.

          “If you don’t see the difference you are the one who needs to “grow up” and get a reality check!”

          I do see the difference – Mueller was corrupt, and lawless. That has been established.

          It is basic criminal law that the fruit of a poisonous tree is itself poison.
          The Mueller investigation was without foundation. Honest courts would have thrown out these cases at the start.

          I would note that a NY judge did slapp Mueller in his one attempt to prosecute russians.

          A russian company that Mueller thought would run away chose to stay and assert their innocence – and Mueller lost so badly he could not even get a trial started.
          The judge required him to provide atleast one bit of evidence for every element of every crime he alleged to proceed.
          Meuller could not do so and the case was dismissed.

          Personally Trump should have issued more pardon’s
          He should have pardoned Assange – and likely would have but for republican senators threatened to abandon him in faux impeachment Deax if he pardoned assange.
          Trump also was contemplating pardoning Snowden – which he also should have. But that was less likely.

        2. Deniis please cease the efforts at reading my mind.

          I have been very clear – recently and over that years -T that I do not trust government.

          That is nothing new, and has nothing to do with anything recent – except possibly making that distrust a tiny bit larger.

          I do nto trust government under Trump. I merely distrust it less than under Biden.

          i find it very interesting that the people we are all supposed to Trust – that many republicans Trust – the Smith’s and Comey’s and Meullers, and …

          Are all people who demonstrated they were corrupt and abused their power – long before Trump.

          if you wish to argue that they are not inherently distrustworthy because of right left politics – absolutrely.

          I do not think Smith or Mueller or Comey or …. are about democrat vs Repubican.

          They are about THEIR POWER – and whichever party is protecting and expanding that power gets their support.

          Republicans – deviating slowly from the past are increasingly distrustful of government. That is making them a huge target for the very people I do not trust – with good reason. It is making Republicans our best hope for purging their corruption. And bnecause TODAY democrats have chosen to be on the side of the power grubbing elites rather than ordinary people – that makes Democrats the enemy and the party of immorality.

          Republicans and democrats have each made their own beds.

          The fight to disempower the corrupt “deep state” is never ending and difficult.

          It is also the only moral position.

          Democrats have made a deal with the devil in return for power.
          \That is a corupt deal – so why should it surprise that there is so much democrat corruption.

    2. Wouldn’t that be awesome if Trump revealed who is really behind all these indictments? But truthfully, if Trump said, yeah I changed my mind, I’m not running for President. Do you think all those indictments would disappear? I’m thinking, yes. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

  6. Jonathan: As I pointed out in a previous comment, the DOJ doesn’t first consult the polls when making charging decisions. Whatever the polls show, and that is in dispute, the DOJ follows the law–not the polls. It’s not a popularity contest!

    That said, on Monday Joe Scarborough was on a tear against the NY Post that you often quote in your columns .Scarborough held up a copy of a Post headline that blared: “Trump indicted but…WHAT ABOUT THE BIDENS?”. Scarborough was having none of the “whataboutism” argument and offered this advice to the Post’s readers: “The signal is, we have a guy, as president, who has committed the worst crimes in the White House and outside the White House, of any chief executive in the history of this republic”.

    Judging from some of the many comments on your blog there are a lot of loyal readers of the Post. There are a lot of “whataboutism” adherents. WHAT ABOUT THE BIDENS? they shout. “Selective prosecution” and a “double standard” when it comes to Trump. Senate Ted Cruz says the DOJ is acting like a “Banana Republic” in going after Trump and is violating the “rule of law”. We no doubt will hear a lot of these false comparisons in the course of the Trump criminal case.

    Few on this blog have apparently taken the time to read Jack Smith’s 37 count “speaking” indictment of Trump. Even you admit that Trump might well be convicted on some of the serious charges. It’s hard to argue Jack Smith is engaged in “selective prosecution” of the former president that the DOJ doesn’t routinely prosecute in other cases. Earlier this month John Birchum, a former Air Force intel officer, was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for unlawfully retaining more than 300 classified docs. It’s ludicrous to say Birchum should go to prison but Trump should get a pass when he committed similar offenses and then obstructed government attempts to recover all the classified material.

    So, no, Jack Smith is not applying a “double standard” when it comes to protecting government classified. Anyone who commits serious criminal offenses will be prosecuted. No person is above the law–not even a former president!

    1. You are using Scarborough as an expert witness.

      Regardless, the Durham report destroy’s YOUR claim.

      DOJ is obligated to blindly enforce the law. It is not allowed to treat Clinton differently from Trump or Biden differently from Trump.

      As Durham already established – DOJ has NOT applied the law equally in the past – it has done so with massive political bias.

      That is political corruption. It is illegal and it is unconstitutional.

      And are you actually stupid enough to be arguing that it is a GOOD thing that government is violating the equal protection fo the law or its duty to execute the law and constitution without favor ?

      As I have noted repeatedly – there are several giant differences between Trump and Pence and Biden and Clinton.

      Only Trump was president at the time his documents were ordered to his home.
      Biden was not, Pence was not Clinton was not.

      Presidents can order classified material declassified and/or moved anywhere.

      There is ZERO doubt that the docs at MAL arrived there legally.
      There is ZERO doubt those at Clinton’s home. Pence’s home, Biden’s home and other places did not.

      Only presidents can declassify at whim.
      SoS clinton could not, Sen. Biden could not, VP Biden could not , VP Pence could not.

      You can ignore the fact that DJ won JW v Biden and the claim that presidents can give themselves any WH docs they want.
      Regardless, however broad or narrow the power of presidents to make personal WH docs – that is a power ONLY of presidents.
      Not SoS Clinton, not Senator Biden, not VP Biden, not VP Pence.

      Trump has a long list of defences that Biden and Pence and clinton do not.
      Including a very solid claim of ownership.

      1. John Say: Boy you stay up late writing your comments! But you are sleeping at the switch. You falsely claim:

        “There is ZERO doubt that docs at MAL arrived there legally:…and

        “Only presidents can declassify at whim”

        You are wrong on both counts. Trum never had a “solid claim of ownership” over any of the official docs he took with him to MAL. Read the Presidential Records Act. It makes clear ALL presidential records belong to the government–to the American people. So Trump didn’t “legally” have any claim of “ownership” of the docs. Cite anything in the PRA that entitles a former president to keep official records when he leaves office. Just ask Pence and Biden. They understood their obligations under the PRA and returned everything!

        And Trump never took any formal steps to declassify any classified doc before he personally packed it at the WH. Unless you erroneously think he could do that by just “thinking about it”. In audio recordings, that not doubt Jack Smith will play for the Miami jury, Trump admits he was holding docs that had not been declassified.

        Here’s my advice. Don’t try to right all your insane stuff at 4:27 in the am! It has clouded your mind.

        1. 44 USC 2295 gives the “former President ” guaranteed, unlimited access, which includes possession.

          1. At the conclusion of his presidency Obama directed GSA totake truckloads of his presidential records to an abandoned grocery store in Chicago.
            Where he publicly promised the would be scanned and archived andput on the internet for everyone to access.

            This was done with great fan fare – the news covered the tractor trailers of documents traveling from washington.

            There is some confusion about things that occured subsequently – it appears that either immediately or within a year – GSA took over the lease on the building,
            and eventually NARA contracted with the Obama foundation to take over the preservation of those documents.

            What is inarguably True is that NARA was not empowered to do whatever they wished. That the government did not “own” the documents.
            That Obama still – through this day exercises a great deal of control over them. And that even today NARA needs Obama’s permission to perform the purportedly PRA mandated duties.

            If as the left claims – the PRA gives ownership to the government – on Jan 21, 2017 the convoy would have been stopped, NARA would have told GSA what to do with the documents and Obama could go pound sand.

            There would have been no need for a contract between the Obama foundation and NARA.

            Contracts specify an exchange or rights. – What rights does the Obama foundation have that NARA needs if the govenrment owns the docs ?

            The answer is none.

            This prosecution rest on a unique interpretation of the ownership and control and access of presidential records that is a historical and at odds with the law.

            Contra to the claims that Trump is above the law – the left is trying to claim that the law ONLY applies in this unique way to Trump.

        2. Deninis I deleted a long reply.

          Your not going to listen away.

          My advice to you:

          Read the constitution.
          Read the PRA – all of it.
          Can I prove what I said about the PRA from the PRA – yes – read it. All of it.
          Find the case law or some general principles of property law.
          You can not take ownership of something by magic incantations.
          Property law is just about the oldest and most well developed form of law.

          It is stupid to think that one clause in a law passed by congress will magically alter ownership.

          Regardless, read,

          And quit listening to people who have been repeatedly wrong.

          Regardless this is going to be a dud.

          The first poll I have seen has 80% of people seeing this as a political prosecution.
          I do not think this will ever see a jury. But if it does, it will be in a place Trump and Biden split 50:50 in 2020 and that republicans won in 2022.
          It will be in a place where it is likely that 1/3 of the jury will be cuban or venezeaulan’ fleeing from actual tyrants.
          This is not going to impress them.

          I gave you 3 reasons this entire thing collapses.
          From other sources I have learned a half a dozen more.
          And Smith must win them all – and Smith’s track record on big cases is abysmal. Further Smith and several of his lead attorny’s have been previously cited by the courts for ethical violations. One cost the government 600,000 in fines.

          And these are the people you trust ?

      2. 44 USC 2205.

        Unlimited, guaranteed access by a “former President ”

        No restrictions and no limitations imposed by the statute.

        Designates allowed to be shown documents.

        1. The text of one clause in the PRA says that presidential records are the property of government.

          In property law – ownership is NOT determined by words. It is determined by the legal rights you have regarding that property.
          Controll, posession, …. are all independent rights. If you retain sufficient collection of rights – you OWN the property.

          Consistent through the PRA access, custody. limits to access are specified.

          The direction that the PRA gives to NARA – who can access, what those limts are is NOT consistent with government ownership.
          It is consistent with government CUSTODY – and that is the languaged used in the PRA in several places.

          The courts have thus far found that the PRA is constitutional and its provisions work constitutionally if and only if we conclude that NARA has Custody – though it does NOT have the power to TAKE CUSTODY, and the former president OWNS the docs.

          That arrangement is consistent with MOST of the text of the PRA AND with the constitution.

          Any other arrangement is NOT.

          That is the reason that those on the left are in erorr in placing absolute authority in a single clause in the law.

          I would further note that the left errs further for a variation of the same reason.

          A crime has occured and can be convicted when each and every element of the crime is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

          As an example murder is not the use of force to kill someone. It is an intentional killing, that was unavoidable, and that was not justified.
          Self defense and defense of others preclude murder.

          The PRA is not one clause. – which is what the left is fixated on.
          It must be considered as a whole along with the constitution and other law.

          Your claim of a clear reading of a single clause is not the entirety of a crime or even establishing who owns something.

          And you can not criminally establish theft unless ownership is CLEAR.

    2. Deninis you are inside a bubble. Smith has a poor track record as a prosecutor. He has never been good on the law. He has lost numerous high profile cases

      But we are learning more. We are getting information from Grand Jury witnesses that Smith’s attornery’s engagted in numerous significant ethical violations in front of the grand jury that would result in their getting disbarred if they were on the record. Further we are learning more about Smith’s team. One member of the team engaged in misconduct – that is the same as what is being alleged now that resulted in DOJ being fined 600K in a Florida case, It involved spying on Defense attorney’s. Making false claims that they were criminally conspiring with defendants to breach priviledged, Coercing witnesses to lie.

      So that we are clear – this was NOT a case involving Trump in anyway. And the question is why is this persone still practicing law, still employed by government, Still working for the DOJ and why in gods name would Smith bring someone with these major ethical problems onto his team ?

      These are the people you are defending.

    3. Why would anyone be interested in what Joe Scarborough said ? Really ?

      If we are going to make this all about what talking heads say.

      Here are Tulsi Gabbard’s comments on this

      Or you can watch Tucker Carlson’s remarks on Twitter. Carlson is routinely getting 100m views on Twitter.
      This is more than the combined ratings of the entire collective left and right for any entire night. That is more than all fox hosts, all msnbc hosts, more cnn hosts,

      If you are going to engage in appeals to punditry – you should atleast use pundits that people actually watch.

      I would further note though media pundits are not inherently credible, ratings are atleast an indirect measure of credibility.

      Routinely 100M people watch what Tucker Carlson has to say. That is more people than voted for Joe Biden. It is a significant portion of the number that voted for Biden and Trump combined.

      Regardless, while ratings or views are NOT logical proof or the truth of what various people say. They are absolute proof of the extent to which they are trusted by others.

      Joe Biden – not so much. Joe Scarborough – not so much. Tucker Carlson is trusted more than all other media talking heads combined.


    4. No person is above the law – but you are a moron if you think that the espionage act can and does apply to the current president of the united states.
      Whoever they are.
      If it did it would be unconstitutional. \\
      you quite literally can not make the government work if it did.

      Anything that a president did that was legal while they were president remains legal after they leave office.

      I can not think of a single law – or a workable legal system in which an act that was legal at the time it was performed becomes criminal merely as a consequence of the passage of time.

      But that is YOUR argument.

      The LAW as I have presented it – is not Trump specific – it has been understood that way for the entire history of the US.

      National Security is a power delegated explicitly to whoever is president – not Congress.
      There are excellent practical reasons for that. But if you think it should be different – change the constitution.

      What constituttes NAtional security information is determined by the current president. Thi sis why the classification and declassification process is laid out in executive orders – not law. Because it is the domain of the president.

      The Espionage act does not and can not define what constitutes a national security infromation – constitutionally that is the domain of the president.

      Again you are free to try to change that if you beleive it should be otherwise. But that is hwo the government of the US is currently constitutionally structured.

      The current president can classify or declassify information – that determination is NOT subject to judicial review, and the only power congress has over that is impeachment. The president can classify and declassify however they please – again subject only to the congresses power of impeachment.
      Congress can not – and never has made laws governing how a president classifies or declassifies information. NEVER – it is outside their power.

      The president can delegate his power to classify to others – making whatever rules he wishes thatHHEY must follow – Obama’s EO on classified Dcouments is the current binging directive on classification/declassification. It is LAW for every single member of the executive branch from the VP down to the lowest janitor

      EXCEPT the current president. You quite litterally end oup with a massive logical disaster if you try to make the executive orders of a president binding on the current president.

      THEREFORE CONSTITUTIONALLY therte is absolutely no classification process of declassification process that is binding on the current president
      PERIOD – trying to pretend otherwise not only violated the constitution – but it instantly results in a logical contradiction. And no law is valid if it is not valid under the rules of formal logic.

      The power of the president with respect to national security is limited to their actions while president.
      Biden could not classify or declassify anything prior to 12 noon Jan 20, 2021. Trump could not classifiy or declassify anything after 12 noon Jan 20, 2021.

      Trump was the current president up tyo that moment and could do anything the current president could do right through that moment.
      Biden was not the president until that moment. As FDR told Hoover neatly 100 years ago – The US has only one president at a time.

      That president has all powers of the president.

      Any constitutional actions of the current president while they are president are by definition LEGAL. PERIOD.

      The President prior to Jan 20, 2021 transfered documents to MAL. That is a fact, that is a legitimate constitutional excercise of presidential power.
      The direction of the president at that time is all that is needed to REQUIRE the constitutional actions directed to occur.

      Subsequent presidents can change the directives of prior presidents. But they can not undo what has already happened – that is more than a matter of law and constitution, it is a matter of logic and fact. They can not change the already in effect consequences of prior presidents actions.

      A president can not undo the pardon of a prior president.
      A president can not undo the declassification of a prior president.
      A president can not undo the transfer of property of a prior president.

      Future presidents can stop the directives of past presidents from being continued.
      They can not undo what has already happened.

      Trump’s papers were ordered Transfered to MAL while President.
      That order was constitutional,. legal and any consequences of that order that actually occured can not be undone.

      Further even the stoping the directives or past presidents from being continued requires the current president to act.
      Obama’s EO on classified documents remains in effect today – because neither Trump nor Biden have altered or rescinded it.

      Though both were free to do so.

      Information that Johnson declassified 60 years ago – remains declassified. The same with Reagan, Clinton Obama, and Trump.

      That ship has sailed – courts have repeatedly ruled on that. And we are talking about major scotus decisions that are estabished precident for decades even centuries.

      The transfer of these documents to MAL by Trump was ordered while he was president. That transfer is unarguably legitimate and legal.

      Trump came into possession of all of these documents constitutionally and legally. PERIOD.

      Trump’s posession of the documents does not magically become illegal on Jan 21, 2021.

      Trump has claimed that these documents are his property.
      Whetehr you like it or not the burden is on the Biden admin to prove otherwise – and has been since this started.

      Not only is that a requirement of the constitution, the law, but it is also a requirement of logic and reason.

      You correctly note that Trump can not declassify documents telepathically.

      As I noted above Biden can not undo the prior acts of Trump without explicitly doing so by some form of executive order – if he has the power to do so at all, because some consequences of an executive order are faite acompli.

      Biden can not undo Trump’s declassification of anything – just as no one can undo biden’s declassification.
      The courts have long ago ruled that declassification is a one way street. That even illegally making classified information public irreversibly declassifies it.
      That a president providing classified information to someone not authorized to possess it – declassifies it.

      The same is true of ownership. If a president owns his own WH documents – subequent presidents can not undo that.
      If a president has the power to convey ownership of WH documents to himself – subequent presidents can not undo that.

      You say the president is not above the law – THAT IS THE LAW.

      But lets presume for a second that Trump’s transfer of these documents to himself did NOT declassify them.
      That it did NOT transfer ownership – the law and constitution and US tradition and rights presume the opposite – and if that is NOT try – the PRA becames an unconstitutional and self contradictory mess.

      But lets presume that your argument is correct – for the sake of argument, and that Biden has to power to reverse it.

      ONLY the current president has the power to undo the directiives or a prior president.

      NARA can not undo the orders directives actions of a prior president on their own.

      Trump’s direction to transfer these documents is an executive order – just like every other directive of any president.
      It may not be a formal numbered executive order – but it is an executive order – none the less.

      Trump ordered these documents to be taken to MAL. By law and constitution if that can be undone at all – Only a subsequent president can do so and only by similar order. That can be an informal order – but just as Trump will have to – and with certainty can trivially prove he ordered documents transfered to MAL.

      Smith will have to prove:

      That doing so did not declassify them.
      That Trump did not otherwise declassify them.
      That doing so did not transfer ownership to Trump.

      But that is not all he will have to prove.

      He will have to prove that President Biden ordered the retreivabl of these documents, AND that he was legally and constitutionally able to do so.
      That the actions of Trump did NOT constitute an irreversable fait accompli.

      Bided can not undo declassification.
      Biden can not undo Trump’s ownership by executive order.

      Maybe he can undo Trumps possession – by executive order.
      But he can not do so clairvoyantly – and no one else in the federal govenrment has the power to undo the directive of a prior president.

      DOJ can not undo Obama’s executive order on classified documents. While Trump is president – only Trump can do that.

      NARA can not undo the declassification, transfer of ownership – or even the simple posession of documents that were accomplished at the direction of a prior president.

      Thi sis true if that president transfered them to his own posession.
      It is true if that president transfered them to someone else’s posession.

      As an example – NARA can not retrieve the classified information Trump gave tot he Russian ambassador after Trump is out of office.
      In fact – even Biden can not accomplish that.

      Regardless only a president can undo the constitutional and legal direction of a president.
      Even congress can not do that. Even the courts can not do that.

      There are some circumstances – not all that many in which a current president, the courts or congress can stop the past order of a prior president from continuing.
      But only by explicit action.

      Smith will have to prove that a Court – legitimately terminated Trum[‘s posession of these documents.
      Or that congress did so – again legitimately, or that Biden did so – legitimately.

      NARA does not have the power to do so.
      The DOJ does not have the power to do so.

      And no one has the power to do so retroactively.

      And absolutely none of the above applies to the actions of Sen. Biden, VP Biden, VP Pence or Sec State Clinton.
      But the above DOES apply to Pres. Clinton, Pres. Obama, and Pres Trump.

      The past effect of constitutional directions of a current president can not be reversed. Further the directive remains in force until an authroity – congress the courts, or the current president alters or ends that directive.

      Obama’s EO on classified documents continues to remain in effect.

      Unless you have an act of congress, and order of the president or an order of the courts recinding Trump’s order transfering these documents to MAL and giving expresident Trump posession – you can not have a crime. Even by YOUR read of the espionage act and the PRA.

      Whether Trump owns these documents – whether they are classified – they arrived in his posession legally, and his posession of them remains authorized.

      And either no one at all, or no one Congress, the courts or the current president can terminate the legal order of a past president.

  7. Jonathan: Judging from the low turnout it appears Trump’s call for all his supporters to show up for his arraignment in Miami did not get much traction. Kari Lake promised no one is “going to hurt, lay a finger on our president”. She was no where to be seen in front of the courthouse. Neither were the Proud Boys or other groups that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. Their ranks were decimated by trials and convictions that will put them behind bars for years. Just a bunch of mostly older white people and one young guy dress in an American flag holding a long pole with a pig’s head impaled at the top. Pretty low key and a pathetic display by MAGA supporters. Where were the “300 million” Kari Lake promised?

    Despite your claim of “DOJ Fatigue” that was not on display in the courtroom yesterday. The DOJ was there in full force. Even Jack Smith showed up and stared at Trump throughout the arraignment. Trump refused to look at Smith–just staring down at the defense table.

    Walt Nauta, Trump’s co-defendant, was there but his arraignment was put off because his attorney is not authorized to appear in federal court in Miami. Judge Goodman ordered the parties to agree on a list of of witnesses that Trump will be prohibited from talking to during the course of the litigation. Nauta will no doubt be on the list. But how is the Court going to enforce any witness contact prohibitions? Nauta is Trump personal aide and was seen at the Versailles Restaurant, the famous venue on Calle Ocho in “little Havana”–the center of the Cuban exile community that supports Trump. The Trumpster wants to keep Nauta close and “loyal”. He knows the DOJ will likely try to get Nauta to “flip” against his boss. Like any Mafia Don Trump knows that if that happens the game is over–game, set and match! So Trump is going to have long conversations with his aide to prevent that from happening. How will the Court prevent that?

    1. Dennis: thank you. Alt-right media has an answer for EVERYTHING when it comes to Trump failing to meet expectations. They claim that the reason for the low turnout in Miami is not because of lack of enthusiasm, or even that some of the disciples did read the indictment and realize the danger that Trump has exposed us to– but the reason is fear–fear that the DOJ and FBI will “again” (according to their theory) plant operatives to spy on them and/or unfairly arrest them “just like they did on Jan 6th”. What’s amazing is that the disciples buy this whackadoodle BS.

  8. The Constitution requires that Americans be treated equally under the law, meaning a prosecutor may not target someone for criminal investigation because he happens to be a political opponent. And then there is the Clinton Sock Drawer Case, in which the judge said ex-presidents should be given extremely wide deference in the handling of presidential records whether they are classified or not.

    Which makes a person wonder why a prosecutor as brilliant as Jack Smith would bring forth such a weak case. I guess a sharp mind does a prosecutor no good if, instead of using it, he is guided by politics and emotion.

    1. Miller: Trump has already been the beneficiary of special treatment–didn’t have a mug shot taken–was let out on his own recognizance, even though it’s not clear that he still may possess classified documents. No one else would have received this treatment. Trump announced his “candidacy” early to provide an argument that he’s once again the victim of political prosecution.

      And, for what I hope is the last time: THERE IS NO “CLINTON SOCK DRAWER CASE”. The BS “Judicial Watch” filed a lawsuit to try to force the NARA to obtain a copy of a taped interview Clinton did with an author who was writing a book on presidential history. The author taped the interview and gave Clinton a courtesy copy. The tape was the property of the author, and had nothing to do with Presidential business because it was a book about presidential history and didn’t record any of Clinton’s official acts as President–so it wasn’t subject to the Presidential Records Act. That was the ruling of the Court that threw out the BS lawsuit. Stop repeating this lie, please. The documents Trump stole were classified records, he had no right to take them, he had no right to refuse to return them, he had no right to disclose the contents to anyone, and he had no right to lie about any of it.

  9. I remember watching Jack Smith try Va Guv Bob McDonnell on bribery charges here in Richmond before Judge Spencer. It was a battle of the prigs.* Here was Smith railing against political corruption all the while working for the world’s biggest offender (and not just recently with the TDS – a certain cross-dressing bully ring any bells?) and McDonnell’s counsel railing against … injustice … er … something … as his client sat there stone-faced as though he was the victim here. ** Smith won that battle after the jury was shown the Rolex the guv’s wife bought him with coerced loans. But true to form, SCOTUS bailed McDonnell out and Smith was apoplectic. Smith also blew the slam dunk case against crooked lawyer John Edwards in what can only be described as the head scratcher to end all head scratchers.

    Here’s hoping history repeats. Three times the charm, Jack!

    * “prig, noun, a self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if superior to others.” Love that word.
    ** McDoneel, while a prosecutor in Va Beach and of course a politician on the make, was known as a “no deals, hang ’em all” kinda proseuctor. Seems karma does exist.

  10. Professor Turley, you’re a law professor.. Instead of giving the talking heads false balance nonsense to blather on and confuse the public with, you should be explaining why this case is bogus.

    Just one example: “Trump lost two attorneys”. This is misleading and you know it. His lawyers were conflicted out by the very arguably inappropriate breach of attorney-client privilege in the course of an “investigation” into a non-crime (and by the way along with threats to them and their families).

    And re Nauta — he moved boxes. Did he have X-ray vision to know what was in them? Boxes delivered to Mar-a-Lago by the GSA and containing Trump’s personal property, everything from birthday cards to misc. articles of clothing as well as papers. (And apparently not even the 31 pieces of paper subject of this bs prosecution.

  11. DOJ fatigue? I’ve got politics fatigue. All these Trump, Biden, and Hunter articles are making me nauseous. The fine points of the law are more interesting, IMHO.

  12. In earlier times, the Democrat Party supported race-based slavery, race-based schools, race-based colleges, race-based housing, race-based restaurants, race-based hotels, race-based transportation, and race-based medical care.

    As of 2023, the Democrat Party supports race-based hiring, race-based career advancement, race-based federal contracts, race-based college admissions, race-based college dormitories, and race-based college graduation ceremonies.

    There is no more racist organization in the history of the United States than the Democrat Party, whose policies will be perpetuated if its efforts to illegally remove Trump from the 2024 presidential race are successful.

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