Posted by Curt on 13 August, 2022 at 3:57 pm. 22 comments already!


Thread via Margot Cleveland:

Search warrant & schedules has been bristling me & I finally figured out why–we are getting lost in what was taken & what was listed as susceptible to seizure & NOT the criminal provisions on which warrant was based.
I’m still ruminating here, but what I see is NONE of the three criminal statutes used to justify the search require materials to be “classified”. Yet, both NY Times & Washington Post directed everyone to idea of Trump keeping classified info & list of what was taken highlighted that too. But look at the three statues:
Espionage Act’s plain language does not require material related to “national defense” to be classified. (Preliminary research confirms my reading but want to dig deeper).

Second criminal provision, also doesn’t distinguish between classified and unclassified.

Nor does the third. And IN FACT the third isn’t concerned about Trump’s possession of it, but his “destruction” of it.

So the “classified” “top secret” is an emotive red herring. The search was authorized NOT because Trump allegedly had top secret information (which he says he didn’t b/c he declassified). But under the statutes, it doesn’t matter. And whether classified or not, the second statute cited, seems to make Trump taking anything that is considered “Presidential Papers” from White House, whether classified or not; whether the archivest (sp?) has a copy or not.

And the first statute makes “national defense” the issue, again whether declassified or not, and could include things such as pictures of Trump by military equipment etc., and that would seem to reach “personal” as opposed to non-presidential papers. So, if I’m reading the statutes correctly, all DOJ has to do is show judge that Trump had kept Presidential Papers, which would clearly cover anything that was ever classified (unless copies are exempt???), b/c those are gov’t property & go to archivist. And there is a separate statute specifically related to classified material. So why wasn’t that used?

Why was the “espionage act” used instead/in addition? It doesn’t need to be classified under espionage act and it doesn’t need to be Presidential Papers. And why is “Obstruction of Justice” part of this which deals with destruction NOT the keeping? My gut is that DOJ wants a crime to prosecute Trump with and it appears keeping Presidential Papers qualifies, but they also want to get him for “destroying” evidence but for what?
What was the underlying “investigation or proper administration of justice” that DOJ is claiming he is seeking to obstruct?
Here I think they are digging for Trump’s post-election & January 6 communications and if missing “ah ha,” he obstructed justice.
I’m still noddling this but my big take-away is the entire “classified” focus is misplaced. Trump is the man & they found the “crimes”.
But “classified/top secret play to the public & distract from the entire goal. And the obstruction tells you the breadth of investigation is much beyond Trump keeping Presidential Records. And on that point, it would seem that any document that WAS classified at some point between 2017-2021 would be definition be a Presidential Record, and viola a crime to keep. This still stinks but odor skunk & not cat pee.
So what about GSA packing & shipping? First, I don’t have sources on that so am answering from hypothetical: IF GSA packed & shipped everything then crime 2 is a problem b/c Trump didn’t “remove”. Did he “conceal?” Doubt statute allows “conceal” to mean “keep” especially if he showed gov’t folks where he had them stored. But what if he told GSA to pack & ship? (Then “caused” to be removed.) But what if he had “copies” shipped? Ah, now we get to a legal dispute over what statute means. short answer is courts are split although I believe better view is copies don’t count under statute (b/c copies aren’t listed while they are for other statutes and b/c purpose of statute is to protect gov’t access to info/material. (Law geek aside: Lang as in Lang/Booker is main case on copies & I use to cite that all time in early post-Booker years & never realized crime at issue. HA. Yeah, law dork bit there.
So lots of questions: Did Trump “remove” or GSA? Did Trump tell GSA to ship? Were they copies? AND in warrant application what did DOJ tell court b/c more I look at 2071 more iffy it b/c as basis for search. And I keep coming back to WHY: Frankly, only thing that makes sense is to find the crime for the orange man. And NONE of this “classified” or not matters. What matters is did Trump remove documents?
ICYMI 12 hours post noodling, this thread is solidifying as my assessment DOJ/FBI have man and have now decided on crime(s) and for those whose brains work faster than my fingers, read this:
(thread via Jason Foster)
More recent historical context for current events.
According to @Newsweek, the “road to the raid” on a former President’s home began with NARA and National Archivist David Ferriero.
I have some experience dealing with him.🧵
1. (…)

He sidelined NARA’s independent watchdog on paid admin leave for 2 years, a needless waste of taxpayer money that also ensured less oversight of his agency at the time. (…) Here is Mr. Ferriero’s letter to @ChuckGrassley from September 2015 responding to Qs about what he did (or didn’t do) about Hillary Clinton’s secret, offsite email server. (…)

Mr. Ferriero did not take a muscular approach to retrieving those federal records, “deferring to the State Department review” instead.
“We do not believe that it is appropriate or necessary at this time for NARA to request that the Attorney General initiate an action.”

And under Mr. Ferriero, NARA had never conducted an inspection of the State Department’s records system because it did not “warrant an inspection.”

Clinton’s lawyer had a thumb drive containing classified material from her server.
But, hey, no big deal. No warrant. No raid. No team of FBI agents.
After all, his “law firm is taking ‘appropriate measures’ to secure the files.” (…)

The Archivist of the U.S. serves indefinitely (no fixed term). It has not been considered a partisan position before. But, based on Mr. Ferriero’s statements upon resigning earlier this year, it seems he saw his role in partisan political terms. (…)

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