UPDATE --- Trump: RELEASE THE DOCUMENTS NOW!
Late Thursday night, President Trump issued a statement calling for immediate release by the 'Justice' Department of documents relating to Monday's raid on Mar-A-Lago, "even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years."
"This unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement is inappropriate and highly unethical," he also said. He pointed out that the rest of the world is watching this. He's right, of course --- and how surreal it must seem to those around the world, watching our country as it appears to be imploding. Truly, the initials "DC" now stand for "damage control."
FBI leaks wild cover story for Mar-A-Lago raid to WAPO
Yes, Attorney General Merrick Garland finally made a brief statement on Thursday regarding Monday’s pre-dawn FBI raid on Mar-A-Lago. He was about an hour late to the podium, and attorney Harmeet Dhillon remarked, “It looked like a hostage video to me.” Garland’s statement answered very few questions –- and, of course, he didn’t take any from reporters. We’ll dissect it, but first, I’d like to preface the discussion with something bestselling author and DILBERT creator Scott Adams said Thursday morning, before Garland’s appearance in the afternoon:
“What do you do when you have a completely reasonable expectation –- not a requirement, I mean I can’t impose a deadline on the government –- but wouldn’t you say that 48 hours is a perfectly reasonable standard for somebody to say something? I would even allow that maybe they could follow up later, add some details they forgot, but, SOMETHING. Now, what do you do in the absence of that something?
“It doesn’t take long to tell the truth,” Adams said. As he explained it, we started out in “Phase 1,” a time to let the feds clear this up, allowing that we were all in “the fog of war.” Since they haven’t done that –- and I would say even though Garland has since made his short statement, they still really haven’t –- we’re now in “Phase 2,” meaning we’re beyond giving them the benefit of the doubt. “It’s obvious at this point,” he says, “that whatever we hear will be just cooked-up bullsh--.”
Accordingly, THE WASHINGTON POST, late Thursday, released a new story sourced (leaked) by “people familiar with the investigation” saying there was “deep concern among government officials about the types of information they thought could be located at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago club...” It might be very sensitive, highly classified information about weapons systems –- as in, nuclear –- that could fall into the wrong hands. A former DOJ official reportedly told WAPO that “the type of top-secret information described by the people familiar with the probe would probably cause authorities to try to move as quickly as possible to recover sensitive documents that could cause grave harm to U.S. security.”
Why do we think this was cooked up? Let me count the ways: First, the story fell into the aforementioned “Phase 2,” meaning they’ve had time to realize their Soviet-style raid had backfired spectacularly and make up a big cover story. Second, if such dangerous material really is out there, YOU DON’T LEAK THAT KNOWLEDGE TO THE MEDIA. Third, a highly public raid just isn’t the way to handle this; you’d work behind the scenes, strictly with people who have the highest security clearances, perhaps Republicans on the intel committees. (Garland did say that they try to use “less intrusive means” where possible, providing a good bit of unintentional humor to his little speech.) Fourth, everyone in the Trump camp has said they were being 100 percent cooperative, their stories all jibe, and they seem quite believable.
Fifth, if the material is that sensitive, you don’t drag out negotiations for months. Sixth (and it’s a big one), the intel community has lied about Trump so much, for so long, we can pretty much assume they’re lying now. Seventh, what does material THIS dangerous and highly classified have to do with the National Archives? It doesn’t belong to the National Archives. Eighth, this new tale makes a particularly good cover story because the feds don’t have to actually show us the evidence --- why, it’s far “too sensitive”! If they’ve realized the raid didn’t turn up what they were really looking for, such as material bearing on January 6, they can just maintain that this was about classified defense documents, which, of course, they can’t show anyone. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Joe Cunningham at REDSTATE says, “If even a sliver of this story is true, we’ve got a big problem on our hands.” He’s right about that, though it’s NOT accurate to suggest, as he does, that Trump supporters would defend him no matter what he did. Still, right now we have every reason to think the feds are making this up and leaking it to WAPO to cover their own backsides. That would be business as usual for them.
Former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes, speaking with Shannon Bream late Thursday, was not buying this new story, either. “This makes me really angry,” she said, “because you have Chris Wray and the attorney general come out today with statements lauding the people at the FBI and the Department of Justice: ‘you can trust them, they have integrity, they protect the American people, they just do their job.’ And while that is true for a lot of them, we know from the last six years, it is not true of all of them...and now you have LEAKS, [from] ‘people familiar with the probe’...That means agents involved in the probe or the DOJ lawyers. It can’t be anybody else. And so they are leaking now to try to damage, again, the President, to make President Trump look bad, to make their investigation look necessary and important. If it really is necessary and important, then, by God, release the affidavit so we can all see the allegations that were made, instead of letting this ‘nuclear secrets’ garbage just sit.”
She allowed that there was “a chance” it’s real, but “give the last six years, can we really trust the leakers to tell us the truth? I don’t. I just don’t.”
Adams made another good point about why it’s hard to believe the DOJ: If they could be proud of what they had done, if it had really been a good idea, “they’d be talking about it all day long,” he said. “...Who doesn’t tell you they did good work?” I would add that if this were the case, Biden would be taking victory laps and bragging about it as much as he’s bragging about “zero” (right) inflation. Instead, he’s gone on a trip, distancing himself both figuratively and literally. On the other hand, we’d point out that Garland admitted he’d “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant.” So, is he proud of that or just trying to appear proud?
But Garland worded that very carefully. He didn’t say he approved the manner in which the search warrant was carried out, only that there would BE a search warrant. (He also said he would unseal the warrant, not the much more informative affidavit that underlies the warrant.) And though Biden has claimed he had no knowledge, THE NEW YORK TIMES reported in April that Biden had told his aides he wanted Trump prosecuted: “Mr. Biden confided to his inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted...he has said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6.” (Of course, that gives us yet another reason to suspect the raid was really about J6.)
Adams said that at this point, we can “lock in an assumption that there has been criminal or inappropriate activity [by the feds].” In other words, “Phase 2 is the assumption of guilt.” That’s not to say they couldn’t come out at some point and given a good reason for what they did, to make us say, “Oh! I wish you’d said that earlier. But I get why you waited.”
Of course, first we’d have to have reason to believe them.
In his extraordinarily inadequate statement Thursday, Garland painted law enforcement as the victim now, facing threats of violence. A few thoughts:
1. Garland equates merely criticizing the FBI with fomenting violence against them. The FBI –- in fact, any institution –- cannot be above criticism. Criticism is not “domestic terrorism” –- it’s essential and protected free speech –- and we’ll continue to proclaim our disgust with the ‘Justice’ Department while strongly condemning all violence towards law enforcement, as morally wrong and simply boneheaded. We know there are individual FBI agents worthy of our respect and gratitude –- in fact, let's hope they’ll become whistleblowers!
2. Trump supporters have more real respect for law enforcement in our pinky fingers than the left ever thought of having. They’ll pretend to care if they think it helps them, but we’ve seen they're bent on destroying the reputation of law enforcement, as part of their strategy to sow chaos. It takes a really twisted world view to say conservatives are the ones against law and order and equal justice, but that’s actually what they’re saying. And the strain is showing.
3. We know we’re on the right track when our criticism draws knee-jerk accusations of racism and such, because it means that’s all they’ve got. As Brian Kilmeade reported Thursday night, a commentator on ABC News rushed to Garland’s defense to say his attackers are “fascists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, militia organizers, calling for violence as they always have done, against Jews.” Jews?? Funny, I’m highly critical of Garland, yet I’ve been to Israel about 50 times, am an outspoken friend to the Jewish people and to Israel...and had no idea Garland was Jewish, anyway. Who even thinks about that? ABC News reporters, I guess.
Moving on…Pam Bondi, former attorney general of Florida, said Thursday that when people don’t comply with subpoenas --- never mind that the Trumps say they were complying --- “you either issue a new subpoena or you do a motion to compel. Why wasn’t that done in this case?” Also, Bondi pointed out that the warrant was signed on Friday but not executed till Monday; the wait doesn’t make sense to her if this was urgent. And for documents, you don’t go in with guns; “you just send a couple of agents and show the warrant. They knew Trump was away, with only a “skeleton crew” at the house. “You go in, you go to the safe, you go to the office, you get the documents you need. Done.” Instead, what they did was literally “an execution on land, on sea, by air.”
She said that, counting sea and air, there actually were HUNDREDS OF AGENTS --- all with firepower. “They thought Donald Trump would look like a common criminal,” she said, “but it backfired on them. The American people have seen what they’ve done, and they’re disgusted by this.”
John Solomon delivered quite a blockbuster Thursday evening: that Joe Biden’s ‘Justice’ Department has been holding documents on Russia “collusion” that were lawfully declassified by President Trump on January 19, 20221, his last full day in office. Those documents were supposed to go to the National Archives, where Solomon was going to go through them. But he claims they never got there. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had been asked to send them to the ‘Justice’ Department, so apparently he did.
Solomon has also confirmed –- through six sources –- the two statutes that served as “legal predicate” cited in the affidavit supporting a search warrant. The first one, he told Jesse Watters, covers theft of public documents covered by the Presidential Records Act, typically a misdemeanor covered by a fine. The second one involves mishandling of classified information. There’s nothing about January 6 here. “That’s what they spent 12 hours inside Mar-A-Lago doing,” he said.
He compared this with the situation Hillary faced when she got a subpoena to turn over documents and two years later, more were found in the White House residence that she hadn’t turned over. “Know what didn’t happen?” he asked. “Thirty agents didn’t storm into the White House and search that compound.”
He continued: “And a couple of years ago, when Hillary did the same thing on her classified emails, they let [Clinton attorney] David Kendall gather them and put them in a safe...they didn’t treat the President the same way as they treated Hillary Clinton, in...two specific instances.”
Consistent with this is a story from former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence specialist Terry Turchie, who led the Unabomber task force at the DOJ and who told Jesse Watters last night that when Garland was involved in the investigation of the Unabomber, he refused to sign off on a warrant to search the Unabomber’s, um, lair (?) It finally took Attorney General Janet Reno to approve that. So, the Unabomber is off limits but a cooperative former President is fair game? Where are we in this country?
A new poll shows voters who identify as Independent are wising up to this, with more than half of them, along with three-quarters of Republicans, believing Trump’s political enemies are behind the raid. Sadly, three-quarters of Democrats –- you know, Trump’s political enemies –- still prefer to think it’s the work of the “impartial justice system.” They actually do. I’d love to see Democrats’ reaction if it were Donald Trump’s DOJ raiding Barack Obama’s home to get back all those millions of documents he took away with him. But, of course, Trump wouldn’t do that.
In light of that, I’ll leave you with a bit of hilarity, this excerpt from Garland’s statement:
“Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the ‘Justice’ Department is doing. All Americans are entitled to the even-handed application of the law, the due process of the law, and to the presumption of innocence.”
RELATED STORY: Anyone who wonders why President Trump exercised his Fifth Amendment rights in a New York courtroom last week should take a look at this transcript from the GLENN BECK show. Look at all the lawfare that’s still being thrown at Trump. Lawsuit after lawsuit.
Given that he, well, has a lot on his plate right now, given that his home has just been raided and all, it would be impossible for him to prepare for this testimony. If he said one tiny thing that was incorrect, inconsistent, or even unintentionally misleading, they’d indict him for perjury. The very thought makes them salivate like Pavlov’s dogs. Better just not to say anything and let his legal team handle it.