UPDATE --- Dershowitz: If Trump had declassified the documents, then search warrant is “VOIDABLE.”
Alan Dershowitz, appearing on Friday night’s HANNITY TV show, said this:
“First of all, if it is true that these were declassified, then the ‘Justice’ Department must immediately file an amendment to its request for a search warrant. It must disclose this new information to the judge –- unlike what happened under the FISA, where they failed to disclose this new information. If in fact these materials were declassified, then the search warrant, the application for the search warrant, and the affidavit, if it didn’t include this information, it would have to be VOIDABLE at this point.”
As reported below, we know now that Trump had a “standing order” that all the documents he took to Mar-A-Lago were to be declassified. He, as President, had the full authority to do that. In other words, none of the “classified” documents the FBI confiscated were actually classified. This raid on the home of a former President, who by all appearances was being cooperative, might be the FBI’s biggest screw-up ever, and that’s saying a lot.
And if this monumental error isn't enough, Dershowitz goes on to say there are “so many issues.” Just to cite one, the Espionage Act of 1917 was used to prosecute “dissidents,” he said, and civil libertarians hated it. “Now,” he said, “the same people who opposed the Espionage Act are jumping up and down saying, ‘Wow! We can now get Trump!’” They don’t even care if it’s a statute they would otherwise hate. And as we’ve seen, Democrats like Marc Elias would eagerly use a law passed by Congress to unconstitutionally add qualifications to run for President, just to keep Trump from running. There was a time when Democrats cared about civil liberties; now, they seem to care only about getting their way.
ORIGINAL - Right now, thanks to the ‘Justice’ Department –- and, I would argue, the White House –- the “DC” in Washington DC really DOES stand for “damage control.” The DOJ/FBI should drop their sham “investigation” of the former President and apologize for being led by a pack of Trump-deranged fools.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but keep in mind there are people so infected by Trump Derangement Syndrome, who hate him SO MUCH, that they’ll do anything, and I mean anything –- even try to charge him with espionage against the United States –- to stop him from becoming President again. Even that’s too good for him, they believe; he’s got to be imprisoned and maybe even executed for...something. This is hate beyond reason, the hate of Orwell’s “Two-Minutes Hate,” except it's 24/7. If what you’re hearing about the raid on Mar-A-Lago has you scratching your head, this reality explains it.
Heck, they already tried to say he was a Russian agent, secretly in league with Vladimir Putin. If they could go to all the effort they did to try to tar him with that lie, raiding his home on ginned-up espionage charges isn’t much of a leap.
Strangely, the Trump they hate bears little resemblance to the real man. The man they hate is fictional. Trump sent some petty tweets, but mostly the man did a fine job as President, in spite of the obstacles constantly shoved in his way. A lot of us didn’t know how great we had it then, compared to America now. I digress.
Perhaps you’ve already seen the tweet from ex-NSA and CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden (originally tweeted by MSNBC contributor Michael Beschloss), featuring a photo of actual spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for espionage in 1953 after selling secrets to the U.S.S.R. His caption: “Sounds about right.” This is the level of sickness we're dealing with.
Former DOJ prosecutor and Trump attorney James Trusty explained to Jesse Watters Friday that a marking of “C” or “TS” on a document means only that at some point it was “classified” or “top secret,” not that it currently is, or that possession of it is “even remotely a violation of any law.” The marking remains as part of that document’s history.
Also, the report that there was a “breakdown” in negotiations about the return of materials and that this is what justified the warrant is, according to Trusty, “whole-cloth fiction, not true at all.” (We were right in thinking the word “breakdown” was so vague as to be meaningless.) All President Trump and his lawyers did, Trusty said, “was to accommodate free exchange, give them boxes, let them see things, put locks on, and all of that was just washed away like it never happened, by a pre-dawn raid that lasted nine hours.”
He pointed out that the Department of ‘Justice’ got “a personal tour” of Mar-A-Lago and were told to feel free to look around. At the time, the DOJ’s only follow-up was to ask them “to put a second lock on the basement facility that was already locked –- within a premises that was locked, that was guarded by Secret Service.” They gave no indication at that time, according to Trusty, that there was any problem.
By using the sinister term “espionage,” the DOJ deliberately gave mainstream media their magic word. Sure enough, the media ran with it. But it will come out, Trusty said, that Trump was “fully cooperative, and that this whole notion of an emergency is a joke.”
Give Watters credit for noting that the Espionage Act is what the Obama administration used to target journalist James Rosen. They used it as a pretext to spy on him but did not charge him. It was the same with Hillary, investigated under the Espionage Act for having classified documents on her private email server but not charged. (Recall also that she skated after destroying massive amounts of evidence, but that’s not the Espionage Act. That's obstruction of justice.)
It occurs to me that, even though Hillary is making light of the raid now and cheekily selling “BUT HER EMAILS” hats, she might want to consider that this story is strongly reminding us of what SHE DID while she was Secretary of State. We haven’t heard much about it since she lost in 2016, but now it’s all fresh again. And there’s one big difference: the Secretary of State doesn’t get to decide what’s classified and what is not, while the President absolutely does.
So, what do we do? Even most Republican legislators aren’t speaking up. Ned Ryun, founder of American Majority, said this on Friday: “I’m convinced that demented weasel, Merrick Garland, is going to try and get Donald Trump indicted by a rigged DC jury before the midterms, and in these times, we don’t need ‘strongly worded letters,’ we don’t need worthless ‘oversight hearings,’ we need defund, dismantle, and people need to go to jail.” It’s the lack of consequences, he said, that allows this to continue. And he blames a lack of Republican leadership.
All this week, Margot Cleveland has been working overtime –- as have we, come to think of it –- to look at the Mar-A-Lago raid from all angles. For your weekend reading, we’re providing links to all of her commentaries. We found it amusing that even her last piece before August 8 was headlined, “Georgia Prosecutor Targeting Trump Bases Filing On Fake News.” Well, of course she does --- he's always targeted based on fake news!
The day after the raid, Cleveland posted a commentary called “Search Warrant Or Not, Americans Have No Reason To Believe The Raid On Trump’s Florida Home Was Justified.” It runs through some history of the FBI’s overreach to “get” Trump and his allies, saying this is why we shouldn’t trust this from the FBI now.
“So, no,” she writes, “Americans do not need to wait for Garland or Wray to explain the basis for the raid; and we do not need to defer to the court that issued the warrant. The same deep state willing to lie and connive to destroy a presidential campaign and the president will be willing to do so again to destroy a former president and a potential future presidential candidate.”
“The lesson has been learned,” she continues. “The question now is what to do, besides dismantling FBI headquarters.” Well, at least we know we have to do that.
Two days after the raid, she posted a piece called “FBI’s Trump Raid Reinforces Deep-State G-Men As The Bad Guys.” In light of the immediate backlash from conservatives, it warns that the bureau would “exploit the backlash to target conservative organizations and to find some isolated extremists to entrap Whitmer-style.”
Cleveland says that with the raid of Trump’s home, “FBI headquarters has made it clear it still sees Trump and conservatives as the enemy.” As I have said, they would LOVE to see attacks on law enforcement by even just a few misguided conservatives, so they can paint roughly half the country as violent extremists. No matter how exasperated you are, that would make things infinitely worse.
Three days after the raid, Cleveland posted “Four Possible Reasons the FBI Raided A Former President.” This one wonders just how clueless the FBI had to be make such a huge miscalculation. She argues that the modern FBI has been “systemically politicized,” to the extent that “decision-makers likely heard no dissenting opinions, and the echo of their own leftist right-think rendered them oblivious to how middle America would react to a search of the residence of the former President.”
They hate Trump so much, she hypothesizes, they assumed Americans would be fine with a raid on TRUMP’S house. But most Americans were objective enough to see it as a raid on a former President’s house, and we got cold chills. Cleveland’s piece also explains some of the finer points of the legal basis the FBI needs to search a private home --- especially the private home of a political rival. If they wanted to fish for documents relating to January 6, they needed that “classified documents” allegation to get their warrant.
Four days after the raid, she posted “FBI Director Calls Legit Criticism Of Corrupt FBI ‘Violence,’ But We Weren’t Born Yesterday.” This was posted after Wray offered a terse statement focusing not on what the FBI had done but on “unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI.”
As we said of AG Merrick Garland’s statement yesterday, Wray’s words equate criticism with violence. “In a country founded on “first freedoms,” Cleveland wrote, “foremost of which is free speech, Wray’s statement proves shocking.” She also derided Wray’s attempt to call legitimate criticism of the bureau “unfounded” after their stunning misconduct during “Crossfire Hurricane” and the Hunter Biden laptop scandal --- not to mention the kid-glove treatment Hillary got.
Cleveland says it’s because of this misconduct on the part of the FBI “that Americans doubt the legitimacy of the FBI’s decision to search the former President’s home.”
Did you know that commentator Paul Sperry has been permanently suspended from Twitter because of what he said about the Mar-A-Lago raid? Here’s what Sperry tweeted:
Funny, don’t remember the FBI raiding Chappaqua or Whitehaven to find the 33,000 potential classified documents Hillary Clinton deleted. And she was just a former secretary of state, not a former president.
DEVELOPING: Investigators reportedly met back in June w Trump & his lawyers in Mar-a-Lago storage rm to survey docs & things seemed copasetic but then FBI raids weeks later. Speculation on Hill FBI had PERSONAL stake & searching for classified docs related to its #Spygate scandal.
So now Sperry is permanently banned from Twitter. Oh, in case you forgot, the current deputy general counsel at Twitter happens to be James Baker, who used to be general counsel at the FBI under James Comey. Jonathan Turley says, “As we approach the critical midterm election, Twitter’s censorship cadre appears to be ramping up controls on what views can be expressed or read.”
Count Turley among the many observers who want to see the affidavit that FBI agents put before Judge Reinhart to show “probable cause” and get their warrant. Turley tweeted, “...Given the growing controversy over the necessity of the raid, this is one circumstance where the release of the affidavit is warranted. Rather than allow such questions to fester and grow, early and total transparency would seem in the public interest.”
Right away, legal analyst Andrew C. McCarthy had a hunch that this raid was a pretext for seizing every bit of material they could in hopes of finding something to tie Trump to some January 6-related crime. Several days later, with the unsealing of the warrant signed by Florida Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, McCarthy still thinks that’s the strategy, and that this isn’t really about classified materials at all. He says that to his mind, “this warrant allows them to take everything that is a presidential record, regardless of whether it is marked as classified information or not, which, to my mind, not.”
To get a search warrant, McCarthy explains, there has to be probable cause that a statutory crime has been committed. So they listed three crimes, all involving classified information. Yet the warrant says they can take any records –- not just classified ones –- from the first day to the last day of Trump’s term of office. ANYTHING. This warrant gave them a big wide net for their fishing expedition.
By the way, Trump says he declassified all the documents and that if investigators had wanted them, “all they had to do was ask.” They’d been at Mar-A-Lago in June; why didn’t they just take them then? Trump tweeted this on Friday: “Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-A-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request...”
Consistent with that, John Solomon at JUST THE NEWS reports that Trump had a “standing order” while he was President to declassify documents taken to Mar-A-Lago. This was so that Trump could continue working while he was there. “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States,” Trump's office said in a statement. “The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated BY THE PRESIDENT, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”
Former top aides acknowledged that the President’s power to declassify was absolute. Solomon’s report is a must-read.
Finally, we’ve heard nothing more about that bizarre WASHINGTON POST story, obviously from FBI leaks, about the dangerous top-secret documents likely pertaining to nuclear weapons. A Trump spokesperson tweeted, “The Biden administration is in obvious damage control after their botched raid where they seized the President’s picture books, a ‘hand-written note,’ and declassified documents. This raid of President Trump’s home was not just unprecedented but unnecessary --- and they are leaking lies and innuendos to try to explain away the weaponization of government against their dominant political opponent. This is outrageous.”
Also, the General Services Administration has issued a statement reading in part, “Responsibility for making decisions about what materials are moved from the White House rests entirely with the outgoing President and their supporting staff.” So, can we all take a reality check now, and think about how we’re going to reform the ‘Justice’ Department? The world is watching us, and it's not a good look. China is likely getting ready to invade Taiwan while in America, frenzied anti-Trump morons bat crazily at a laser light.