National Security expert and former editor-at-large of Foreign Policy Magazine David Rothkoph has taken to the pages of The Daily Beast to urge the nation’s press to not use the shorthand phrase “documents case”when reporting on drumpf’s indictments that are saturating the airways today and, presumably for some time to one, as this is exactly the framing that drumpf and his lawyers would prefer, as if Trump’s theft of thousands of sensitive national security documents was simply a case of a government official accidentally possessing a few documents he perhaps should not, and not an existential threat to our national security that it is.

“With the hammer of the U.S. justice system seemingly poised to come down at any moment on our already disgraced, twice impeached former President Donald Trump, it is vital we frame the case or cases filed against the president the right way.

Failure to do so misrepresents the crimes that he is alleged to have committed and understates the threat Trump continues to represent.

This means that my brothers and sisters in the media and the D.C. commentariat need to stop referring to the former president’s theft of classified documents vital to our national security as merely “the documents case.”

Even as short-hand, it makes it sound as though Trump were being charged with a bureaucratic slip-up, a mistake in shifting a few pieces of paper he moved from the White House to his southern temple of excess in West Palm Beach. It is a framing that serves the former president’s defenders, and allows them to equate it to other instances in which government documents ended up in the homes of former officials—but were quickly returned as soon as the mistake was discovered.“

To bolster his case for not reporting this as some sort of bureaucratic slip up, Rothkoph sites numerous instances when Trumps behavior threatened our vital national interests such as turning over sensitive information about Israeli defense to the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador in the actual Oval Office and the blackmail he tried to consummate against Ukraine to obtain electoral advantage, which, of course you are all aware of…

But Rothkoph also supplies a framing of the issue which he prefers, and will serve the nation’s interests better than the “sloppy paperwork” construct that the press, and drumpf himself, seem to prefer:

“Donald Trump is not simply a clown, a fraud, an incompetent, a former game show host, or a sloppy, vulgar, golf-and-fast-food-loving doofus. Yes, he is all those things. But they are not the aspects of his character—or his behavior—that are important here.

He is, above all, a threat. He is a danger. He is tied to our worst international enemies and a threat the FBI director calls the greatest we face (domestic terror).

His trials should not be seen as political spectacles or some new twisted Trumpian reality show. They should be seen as an effort by our system to protect us, to take a dangerous man off the streets, to reduce the threat to our nation, our children, our allies, our values, and our institutions that this one malevolent, profoundly corrupt man poses.“

Hear, hear, David.

If “shorthand” is needed to created headlines for these indictments let them reflect the threat drumpf constitutes better than merely continuing to frame this as a mere “mishandling” of documents.

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  1. Now let’s wait and see how the MSM covers this. My money is on “documents case” being the preferred nomenclature from most if not all media outlets. Media outlets failed us in the past and continue to do so now. To expect them to do right by our country today is just silly.

    • Msm. Funny but read this scifi book series by Alan cole and Chris bunch. Set in future with an eternal emperor… absolute power corrupts absolutely. Worlds of special forces (assassins mostly) and a mirror into USA politics in 70s and 80s and into 90s. Msm: corrupt … hmm… lazy…. Hmmm. Easily bought off with ACCESS and stories ($)… hmmm. Sounds vaguely familiar. Oh yeah. One book in series: all about politics (return of the emperor). And voting machines and computers… well read the series on “sten”. A guilty pleasure. One of authors: served in Vietnam as a LURP.( long range patrol if memories are okay 😬). Oh yeah books… translated into… Russian. Yeah. Need any help into American psyche…👀🤦🏻‍♂️. Oh well. I am sure cia has books and books on ….

  2. “National Security Case” seems to me the proper and accurate way to refer to this. We are talking about THEFT of classified information, documents, maps, perhaps even communications recorded electronically. Just what was STOLEN, and worse disseminated and if sold for how much we will never know. By we I don’t mean regular folks like you and me who even if we once had a clearance (I once did decades ago) but even national security experts doing the damage assessment.

    It’s correctly pointed out by some legal talking heads that classified or not it was illegal for Trump to STEAL documents that should have been turned over to the National Archives (and in the classified materials stuff see it gets returned to the proper agency) but it goes beyond all that. First, Trump fought every step of the way to keep from giving back what he STOLE. That’s Obstruction of Justice. But the fact that some of what he STOLE was classified and in some cases at the highest level is both appalling and hugely damaging to national security.

    So again, since it’s highly doubtful there would be any indictments if classified information wasn’t stolen calling this the National Security Case/Charges seems appropriate.

    • Theft of USA secrets for $. Two billions worth. ——> see not that hard or long. Geesh and I am a math/science/history/geography geek or nerd or…. Well rounded educated and not lazy corrupt corporate hack??🤔🤔🤷🏽‍♂️

      • You’re referring to what we’re pretty damned sure we know. Jared DID suddenly get a huge infusion of cash to bail him out of his disastrous decision to purchase that building in NYC (oh the irony of the street # being 666!) and some other investments. His own family real estate firm was on the verge of bankruptcy. He was properly denied a security clearance by the professionals who make such determinations and Trump overrode them and Jared made damned sure to get his very own copy of every PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) and while Trump famously blew them off Jared didn’t! Still, knowing something and having hard evidence that can be presented in court are two different things and getting the evidence, hard evidence of not just huge sums of money changing hands but evidence it was due to Jared selling classified information is unlikely to be obtained. Not that people including prosecutors aren’t trying. Still, that’s Jared and not Trump.

        Like you I have no doubt Trump has already sold/traded classified information for some type of personal gain. Getting the evidence is tougher and here’s the really depressing part – prosecutors may have it but can’t use it because doing so would reveal methods and sources (people – who would be killed if found out) would be necessary to make the case in court. It’s happened before and will happen again – forgoing some provably charges because the proving would be too damaging to our national security. It’s one ugly Catch-22 that sucks big-time but that’s the way it is.

  3. Even Rachel Maddow, speaking with Lawrence last night, fell into that trap, or at lest acknowledged it, saying (not her exact words so I may be overstating) that there appeared to be little difference between what Trump** did on the one hand and what Pence and Biden did on the other..

    But I think this may be exactly whythe Espionage Act doesn’t mention “taking” or “theft” of ducuments, only “willful retention.” The Act itself implicitly make that distinction.

    Incidentally, it also doesnot mention “classified” documents, only documents related to “natinal defense,” So calling it the National Security Case would be quite appropriate. But don’t expect the media to come up with that, unless they are pushed by pressure from us (and maybe not even then.)


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