From where I’m sitting, reporter Devlin Barrett of The Washington Post is the equivalent of Michael Schmidt at at The New York Times. Both of them have intricate networks of sources, some buried deep, and when they speak, you can take it to the bank.
Since shortly after the FBI raid on Mar-A-Lago, thanks to reporting from both papers we know that among the classified documents the FBI found were some of the most secret documents the United States has, including nuclear secrets from an opposing power. What we didn’t know was who and what.
Well, wonder no more. According to Barrett’s industrious sources,some of the documents contained electronic intelligence on The People’s Republic of China, while other documents dealt with Iran’s potential nuclear capability for its existing missiles. Both documents were rich in sources and methods of collection. This is a potential national security nightmare scenario, which is why the DOJ was on its hind legs to get those documents back under their control again.
Sensitive electronic information regarding China’s national security. If China could lay their hands on those documents, they could analyze where it came from, and shut those sources down, sources the US had spent years developing and implementing. If Iran could get their hands on our intelligence information, they could begin a trace investigation on any sources in Iran with access to those secrets, possibly placing the lives of human assets the United States has in Iran at grave physical risk. And Traitor Tot had them laying around in desk drawers and closets in his personal residence of a publicly accessible club. And oh yeah, he hires foreign nationals on work visas to work his schlock resort. What could go wrong?
I have long believed, and written, that with the gusto with which the DOJ was pursuing recovering the Trump stolen documents, that there was little doubt that they would criminally charge him. This was surely a bridge too far, even for a cautious and institutional Attorney General like Merrick Garland. Now that we know what His Lowness actually had in plain sight at Mar-A-Lago, I can’t believe it’s anything but a foregone conclusion at this point.
In their request for the original search warrant, the FBI and DOJ listed 3 potential criminal violations Trump had committed, and was continuing to perpetrate. We’ll briefly review each one, and learn just how totally screwed The Cheeto Prophet really is.
The first charge was for criminal violations of The National Defense Act. I love this one because it’s so damn broad. Basically, if the government decides that a document is related to national security, mere possession of the document lands you in the diaper pail. If the DoD decides that menus from the Pentagon cafeteria are national defense documents, and you have one hanging in a frame on your wall without proper authorization and approval, say hello to 5 years in the federal slammer.
Batting second in the lineup is Criminal Obstruction of Justice. Another no brainer. Trump first denied to the National Archives that he had any documents, and after the DOJ got involved, denied that he had any classified documents. After Trump returned 15 boxes of documents to the National Archives, he had a lawyer lie in an official statement that there were no more classified documents at Mar-A-Lago. That lawyer is now lawyered up and talking to the DOJ, and employees at Mar-A-Lago are telling the FBI that Trump personally ordered them to remove boxes of files from the storage locker and take them to his personal residence, and then personally sorted through the boxes, deciding what to keep and what to send back. To quote the beloved Mr Rogers, Can you say fait accompli boys and girls?
Batting cleanup is criminal violations of The Espionage Act. That one is so simple that a first year law student could prosecute it for extra credit. Under the Espionage Act, the simple possession of classified documents can land you with 20 years in the federal pokey. And The Trumpster Fire was caught red handed in unauthorized possession of Classified, Top Secret, Secure Compartmentalized Information documents. Trump’s lega toddlers have continued to argue that this whole thing is nothing more than a document storage dispute. Yet one of the first things that President Biden did when he plunked his ass behind the Resolute Desk was to vacate all of Trump’s national security clearances. Trump spent 4 long years sleeping his way through Presidential daily Briefings that weren’t written in Crayola nad had pictures of Thomas the Tank Engine liberally sprinkled throughout. Trump loves Thomas. But ignorance is no excuse under the law, especially for one who should have been totally informed.
This is a case that is literally begging to be taken before a grand jury, and indictments issued. But the beautiful thing is that these charges make a wonderful peacekeeper case to get Trump into the judicial system and stop the statute of limitations. The DOJ has all the time in the world to work on the seditious conspiracy and defrauding the United States charges stemming from January 6th. And that doesn’t even count Fulton County DA Fani Willis perp walking his dumb orangutan ass down to Georgia on voter fraud and RICO charges. On the upside, Trump may still have time to order some Trump branded handcuffs. Don’t touch that dial.