By the time you read this on Thursday, the hearing on whether the FBI must release the affidavit they used to get a warrant to search Mar-A-Lago may already have taken place in West Palm Beach. The presiding judge at this hearing: you guessed it, the same magistrate judge who granted the warrant in the first place, Judge Bruce Reinhart. President Trump wants everything out in the open; the feds emphatically do not, and that really should tell you all you need to know. Trump attorney Alina Habba has said she expected this judge to rule for the FBI and keep the affidavit secret.
But while the FBI has been adamant that they need to keep the affidavit secret to safeguard their investigation, they’ve been leaking their own preferred narrative like crazy, and the story keeps evolving. At first it was about historical documents that belonged at the National Archives, but that just didn’t seem to warrant a massive raid on Trump’s home. The claim that he had classified material was disputed by the President, who said he had declassified it all. So they leaked a follow-up fairy tale to the WASHINGTON POST about Trump having “dangerous nuclear secrets,” but that didn’t sell, either, especially after we found out they’d been debating for months on conducting the raid. So they moved on from that fake story and leaked a new, updated one to NEWSWEEK.
Journalism is so easy now! It’s essentially just taking dictation from “high-level intelligence officials” and printing what they want you to print. It doesn’t matter if what you write turns out to be wrong. And if it’s damaging enough to Trump, congratulations; you get a Pulitzer.
Anyway, now we hear from writer/stenographer William M. Arkin at NEWSWEEK that Trump has long been “hoarding” documents dealing with “a variety of intelligence matters of interest to the former President...including material that Trump apparently thought would exonerate him of any claims of Russian collusion in 2016 or any other election-related charges.”
So, let me get this straight. Trump, after being FRAMED for “collusion” with Vladimir Putin (which would be treason) and having Democrats, media and the intel community coming at him from every side, decided he’d better hold on to exculpatory material? How dare he defend himself from fake “Russiagate” charges!
This new story is the feds’ attempt to cover for why the warrant –- which was so overbroad as to violate the 4th Amendment –- gave them access to “all” the documents from Trump’s entire presidency. You see, they weren’t actually SEEKING all the documents! No, no, they were only SAYING they were, to protect their source! Quoting NEWSWEEK: “To justify the unprecedented raid on a former president’s residence and protect the source who revealed the existence of Trump’s private hoard,” the story reads, “agents went into Trump’s residence on the pretext that they were seeking all government documents, says one official who has been involved in the investigation. But the true target was this private stash, which ‘Justice’ Department officials feared Donald Trump might weaponize.”
Tell me, if their reason for getting an unconstitutionally-broad warrant was to protect their source, why did they turn around and leak the story about the “stash”? By leaking their knowledge of this “stash,” they remove the cover the warrant had supposedly provided to the source.
Also, if they’re arguing before Judge Reinhart that it’s important not to leak names mentioned in the affidavit, why did sources from the investigation give three of those very names to Maggie Haberman at THE NEW YORK TIMES, who printed them?
By the way, Haberman was part of the team that won a Pulitzer for their coverage of the fake Trump-Russia “collusion” story. They should do the Walk of Shame to wherever they have to go to return it.
As I’ve said many times, I am not a lawyer, nor is anyone on my team, but we don’t see why Trump, as President, couldn’t declassify and even retain documents that would back up his defense against “Russiagate” allegations, or any other allegations. The only reason we can see for why they raided his house is to sweep up everything in sight --- an unreasonable search and seizure if we ever saw one --- and get it out of his reach, to prevent him from using it in his own defense and/or revealing things he knows about the ‘Justice’ Department.
In breaking news Wednesday evening, John Solomon found a case from 2012 that supports our view. The issue was whether some audio tapes made by President Clinton could have been designated by him as “personal.” A decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that “a President’s discretion on what are personal vs. official records is far-reaching and solely his, as is his ability to declassify or destroy records at will.”
Read Solomon’s report and you’ll wonder anew how the ‘Justice’ Department could even think about doing what they have done.
Anyway, NEWSWEEK’s sources still incorporated the earlier “nuclear materials” narrative, but it now takes a back seat to the clever new “personal stash” narrative. This excerpt shows how it has evolved: “The two U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation tell NEWSWEEK that while some of the intelligence documents might have dealt with nuclear weapons, that was not the main focus. Donald Trump kept documents that interested him...It wasn’t the subject matter per se that was of interest to ‘Justice’ as it was the fear that Trump might ‘weaponize’ the information, including for personal gain, the official says.” See what they did? Trump did have nuclear materials, but they’re “not the main focus.”
NEWSWEEK (to their credit) also quotes a former Trump official who says, “Trump was particularly interested in matters pertaining to the Russia hoax and the wrongdoings of the deep state...I think he felt, and I agree, that these are facts that the American people need to know.” He also might have wanted to use them in his 2024 presidential run, the source said.
So….President Trump declassified and held on to documents relating to the Russia hoax and the deep-state, after he’d been falsely accused of Russia “collusion” and endlessly investigated by a corrupt intel community. The nerve of him!
The sources told NEWSWEEK that the decision to raid Trump’s home was prompted by concerns that he might move the documents OR –- and I think this is more likely –- that he might “use” them, “revealing secrets or...intelligence sources and methods.” Sorry, but if he declassified them while he was President, it’s within his authority to do that. Bureaucrats shouldn’t be able to stop him. And if Trump wants to use sunshine as a disinfectant, I say let the sun shine in.
As for Trump’s possession of “classified” documents, even a CNN legal analyst was clear that he had the authority to declassify them, period. And it doesn’t even matter if paperwork wasn’t filled out.
Aaron Kliegman at JUST THE NEWS has an eye-opening report on what sure looks like a long and growing “enemies list” --- Trump allies who have been “probed, raided, handcuffed, charged and jailed by the ‘Justice’ Department.” Read this, and you won’t wonder why Trump might have wanted possession of material that protects him.
Finally, civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillon said Wednesday in an interview with Tucker Carlson that if we could see the underlying affidavit for this raid, “we would find something very disturbing.” She bases this feeling on the Russia Hoax and “all the other hoaxes out of this DOJ and FBI.” There’s a pretext for this fishing expedition, she said, and “once you have a lawful search warrant, and you gather materials...you can use those materials, even if they have nothing to do with the underlying crime.” She says even material covered by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege might be used in the January 6 investigation. “...If the goal is to sort of keep your opponents out of competing fairly for the White House, they could be used for that purpose.”
She sees this happening to Trump with many in the “chattering class” cheering it on, and worries about what will happen if there’s a change in power in our government, “if ever.” She sees that in her three decades of life as an attorney, this is “the most dangerous and divisive time” she has seen, “politically and legally.” She also made the same observation we have: that our enemies around the world are watching this chaos and will be happy to, say, invade Taiwan while we continue investigating and jailing each other.
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Comments 1-10 of 20
08/21/2022 03:44 PM
This administration is lawless and shameless! We trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon our God for trust and justice to prevail.
08/20/2022 10:30 PM
Just read Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals" it will make this stuff all a lot clearer.
08/20/2022 07:03 PM
Crooks our government is full of crooks. Starting at the top.
The FBI is the biggest. How can you get justice when they can not
even spell it. Democrats are against Trump and the American people.
08/20/2022 10:00 AM
Where the blazes are all of the CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN Representatives? Even DeSantis didn't comment on the ILLEGAL search and seizure of the President's RESIDENCE in HIS state and with the OCCUPANTS being out of the state for the summer! There is no level too low for the scheming deep state! They are just mad because President Trump opened up a lot of the sheeple's eyes! I, for one, am sick of this CROOKED LEFTIST AGENDA! I voted in my first election in 1980, my Dad had been a life long Democrat until that election. He never voted Democrat again, and I never have and never will vote blue! Like Dan Bongino says: "Republicans may not be the answer to all of the problems, but democrats sure are the cause of them!"
08/19/2022 11:28 PM
If you have read anything you know that the request for the release of the affidavit was made by NYT and WaPo. You also know that Trump's lawyers could have filed to request this release at any time but they chose not to. Why is that?
Why haven't you realized that Don is in this for one reason; to maker money. He is a phony con man and you are a prime target that he has conned. The day will come, sooner or later, where he is cornered. And, in typical Trump fashion, he will blame anyone and everyone for another "witch hunt". But the evidence will be incontrovertible. This guy has been a scum bag his entire life. He has zero interest in your religion (and many people question your commitment to Christian ethics) and yet you and too many other evangelical types are totally committed to the fraud. Please re-evaluate your commitment to this crook.
08/19/2022 08:23 PM
With all respect for the author of the just the news piece, the justice system is not two tiered. Rather, it is two sided. Two tiered suggests some sort of commonality, some sort of movement, is possible between the two. I call it two sided as in both a barrier between the two so that one class of people is treated differently from another, and as in viciously duplicitous.
08/19/2022 07:40 PM
"Unconstitutionally broad warrant"? Please. You just can't see what a phony crook Don is. Why has every President complied with the rules but you want to exempt Don? Do you really think every effort to get him to follow the law is a "witch hunt"?
Do you really think he knew nothing about his CFO trying to avoid paying taxes on his earnings? Oh you fail to mention that mess because you have no where to go with denying the felonies or the likelihood of Don's complicity. And, if he didn't know, what kind of incompetent fool as CEO would he be? It would make you wonder what activities he didn't know about in the oval office.
I would think that, by now, you would have seen through this man's character. Of course, criticizing him would then harm your daughter for having worked with a defended a man who always has alternative facts and is always a victim. Just try changing the name in all these allegations from Trump to Clinton and tell me how your column would read.
Carol J Mathews
08/19/2022 01:29 AM
I am more concerned with the rumor of a family member spelling the beans. My pick, as with others I have read, is Jared. I do not trust him to much. He has an ax to grind about his father going to prison for business dealings and Pres. Trump has skirted the edges with business dealings using leagal means but using those same means in ways few business persons know how to do and stay within the laws. He would also like to get out of the lime light and do his own thing business wise and personal. It has to be very hard on the family constinantly being under the spot light. Hunter gets by with anything and they will get jail of a t not crossed.
08/18/2022 08:58 PM
The harder the democrats go after Trump, the deeper I dig my heels in for Trump and I will vote for him again.
08/18/2022 08:17 PM
IMO you are making a terrible mistake (at this point) to portray the "FBI Rank & File" as virtuous. That ship sailed a long time ago by virtue of their collective actions. So, "14" (or .0004%) whistle blowers have come forward -- 14,000+ whistle blowers SHOULD be coming forward. The Rank & File are executing their executive's orders.
They are not innocents!
Would you work for a completely corrupt and lawless organization? I think not. The equivalent would be Mike Huckabee working for an openly anti-Christ organization - without leaving their employ.