The interesting thing about Donald Trump is that he has always believed his own press. This goes back to the days when he was his own press agent(s), John Barron and David Dennison. He would call into the National Enquirer — or Forbes, same difference, as far as he was concerned — and announce how Marla Maples said he was the greatest sex she’d ever had and/or how he was a billionaire.
It was all hocus pocus but when Trump was done planting his disinformation for the day, he believed it.
For the past few weeks Trump has been touting a particular conspiracy theory online, two actually. 1) All the other presidents walked out the door of the White House with whatever they wanted and it’s totally legal; 2) The documents he took to Mar-a-Lago are his. He’s told himself this, and more importantly, his buddies at Breitbart, Epoch Times, you name it have told him what he wants to hear, and he believes it. He’s a true believer and this is what that looks like.
That came shortly after this one.
Huh? Whuzzie talkin’ bout? I know. I know. Now if it ended there, it would just be another day, another delusion in the life of Donald Trump. What distinguishes this situation is that he’s dragging the Supreme Court into it. New York Times:
Former President Donald J. Trump asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to intervene in the litigation over documents marked as classified that the F.B.I. removed from his Florida estate, saying that an appeals court had lacked jurisdiction to rule on the matter.
Although the Supreme Court is dominated by six conservative justices, three of them appointed by Mr. Trump, it has rejected earlier efforts to block the disclosure of information about him, and legal experts said Mr. Trump’s new emergency application faced significant challenges.
The new filing was largely technical, saying that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, had not been authorized to stay aspects of a trial judge’s order appointing a special master in the case.
“The 11th Circuit lacked jurisdiction to review the special master order, which authorized the review of all materials seized from President Trump’s residence, including documents bearing classification markings,” the application said. […]
The ruling was skeptical of Mr. Trump’s arguments. “We cannot discern why plaintiff” — Mr. Trump — “would have an individual interest in or need for any of the 100 documents with classification markings,” the panel wrote.
The panel said Mr. Trump’s suggestion that he may have declassified the documents was legally irrelevant.
“Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was president,” the panel said. “But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents.”
The panel added that the question did not figure in its analysis. “The declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal,” the decision said.
That seems to be the gravamen of Trump’s dispute, is that if he declassified the documents then they were his, and that is patently absurd. The law does not read that way. He has been told that. But in his Through The Looking Glass fashion, the statutes mean what he wants them to mean. This absurd posture hasn’t worked for him before, but he still pursues it.
Mr. Trump has had decidedly mixed success in earlier efforts to keep his presidential and business records from law enforcement officials and congressional investigators.
In January, the Supreme Court refused his request to block the release of White House records held by the National Archives concerning the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, effectively rejecting his claim of executive privilege. The court let stand an appeals court ruling that Mr. Trump’s desire to maintain the confidentiality of presidential communications was outweighed by the need for a full accounting of the attack.
If history is to be our guide, SCOTUS may not give Trump what he thinks they will or what he wants.
In 2020, while Mr. Trump was still president, the court ruled that he had no absolute right to block release of financial records sought by prosecutors in New York.
“No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. Justices Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.
And here’s the bottom line: Trump can demand whatever he wants to, but right now NARA has told the House Oversight Committee that it hasn’t gotten back all the records from Trump’s administration that should have been transferred under the Presidential Records Act in the first place.
Ergo, at first blush it appears that Trump is trying to control the narrative so that he can continue to make money from fundraising off of MAGA. After all, he can’t overthrow the government without somebody’s bankroll, right? Right.
And never lose sight of the fact that we are now 35 days out from the midterm election. Talk about a roller coaster ride on steroids, that’s the e-ride ticket we all bought, whether we knew it or not.