This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted by in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The Justice Department says it has uncovered efforts to obstruct its investigation into the discovery of classified records at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate. (Department of Justice via AP)

Trump’s ‘Dress Rehearsal’ May End Up Being His Swan Song

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It might have been a good idea for Donald Trump to have studied the occasional civics class or read a book about government. He might have gotten the concept that a United States president is the steward of the government, a caretaker for a period of time, and not the person who owns the joint and everything in it. Trump’s concept of the office of the president is the latter notion, unfortunately.

Trump had a number of documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago that he decided that he didn’t want to give back, according to the Washington Post, and he had his valet and others do a little dance with them around Mar-a-Lago. They took documents where Trump asked them to be taken and in contravention of what the FBI had specified, about how the documents should be handled. This may prove to be Trump’s undoing, right here.

Two of Donald Trump’s employees moved boxes of papers the day before an early June visit by FBI agents and a prosecutor to the former president’s Florida home to retrieve classified documents in response to a subpoena — timing that investigators have come to view as suspicious and an indication of possible obstruction, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump and his aides also allegedly carried out a “dress rehearsal” for moving sensitive papers even before his office received the May 2022 subpoena, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a sensitive ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors in addition have gathered evidence indicating that Trump at times kept classified documents in his office in a place where they were visible and sometimes showed them to others, these people said.

Taken together, the new details of the classified-documents investigation suggest a greater breadth and specificity to the instances of possible obstruction found by the FBI and Justice Department than have been previously reported. It also broadens the timeline of possible obstruction episodes that investigators are examining — a period stretching from events at Mar-a-Lago before the subpoena to the period after the FBI raid there on Aug. 8.

The timing of him moving the boxes around may indicate Trump’s intent towards the material, such as an intent not to give the material back. Trump, meanwhile, has been saying that he did a “blanket declassification order,” about which Bill Barr has said, “I don’t think that argument is going to fly.”

One of the reasons that Trump wanted to keep certain documents, or so it is speculated, is to see if he could sell them. It never occurred to him that he didn’t have that right, either. The way Trump saw it, everything he got his hands on in the White House was fair game for him to take as a souvenir and do with it what he would.

Right now it’s being bet upon which indictment will be next: 1) Will there be a charging decision made in the classified documents case? 2) Will Jack Smith indict Trump for his actions on January 6? 3) Will the Fani Willis matter in Georgia be the next shoe to drop?

And Trump knows a second indictment is coming. That’s why he had two of his lawyers send a letter to Merrick Garland suggesting a meeting two days ago.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Remember the Mission Impossible TV series? If Merrick Garland had hair one on his a$$ he’d have gotten some old rig from the CIA (they probably had such things for real) or had the techs make one. Then he could have recorded a reply on that little reel-to-reel tape machine. Then have a DOJ type hand deliver it to Trump down there in FL and get his butt the hell out of there at a run. And what would Garland say to Trump?

    “Hi Donald. Merrick here. I got your letter. It took a while before I could stop laughing. And again when I shared it with my top folks at our daily meeting. Everyone says thanks for giving them a good laugh by the way. As for the request about your lawyers meeting with me, I know you watch lots of news on your magic tee vee box, and know I’m a rule of law type guy. I know that’s strange to you that an Attorney General, the top law enforcement official in the country takes the rule of law seriously. And follows the law. By law I can’t go mucking around in Jack Smith’s investigation. Again, I know you don’t care about such things. My predecessors you installed in office and the way you ordered them to do such things is proof of that.

    All I can say is this: If Jack Smith comes to me with charges he wants to file I will review them. If they are appropriate under the law and if he’s got sufficient evidence that a reasonable lawyer and prosecutor feels have a strong chance of leading to a conviction in court I will approve his request. If not, I will reject it. Simple as that.

    However, if it means that much to you I will at least see your attorneys and even you. if charges are filed all of you will be in court. I’ll sit in the aisle seat behind my prosecutors during your arraignment. And when the session is over and the judge exits I promise to nod at all of you and wish you luck! I’ll leave it to you to decide if I’m kidding or not.

    This tape will now self destruct. (Followed by it doing so just like in the old Mission Impossible series)

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has.

— Margaret Mead