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Thread: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

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    Default FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Along with the frenzied shrieks of the Trumpistas, there's a buzz circulating that the raid was aimed at super-classified nuclear documents that had been sold, or were soon to be sold, to the Saudis.

    That would make sense of Trump's reluctance to go after the killers of Jamal Kashoggi and likewise the Saudi pledge of $2 billion to a nebulous investment fund set up by Jared Kushner, which now appears to be a way to launder payment for the nuclear info.

    If true, it would certainly expose Trump to charges under the Espionage Act, along with several other laws.

    Probe into Donald Trump's interactions with Saudi Arabia has resurfaced following a report FBI agents who raided the former president's Florida residence were seeking documents related to nuclear weapons.

    Citing anonymous experts in classified information, The Washington Post said the search showed concern among U.S. government officials about what kind of information could be located at the Mar-a-Lago Club and whether it could fall into the wrong hands.

    Attorney General Merrick Garland said he approved the decision for the search warrant at the resort. The Justice Department has filed a motion to make the warrant public, which could happen on Friday afternoon.

    While the Post said these sources provided no further details over whether the documents were recovered, what the information was and which countries it pertained to, the raid has focused minds on an investigation released in February 2019. That House of Representatives report highlighted whistleblowers' concerns with the Trump Administration's "efforts to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia," and was tweeted on Thursday by Judd Legum, who runs the Popular Information newsletter.

    "We don't know why Trump took classified nuclear docs," Legum said in a follow-up tweet. "But certain nuclear information would have very high economic value to Saudi Arabia and other governments."

    That committee report made a number of accusations against the Trump administration, including that it tried "to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia." This was without congressional review and in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act that restricts the export of U.S. nuclear technology.


    https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trum...n-post-1733182
    Last edited by Chip; August 12th, 2022 at 06:14 PM.

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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    So scary. If those documents were declassified (he had that authority while President but not since), there'd be an official record of that (it's part of the declassication process). Needless to say, he shouldn't have any classified, no less TS+, documents at Maralago. I'm surprised, though, that it took this long for document control to flag this material as missing.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Much ado about nothing.

    In a perfect world for me, the Dems would finally be successful in finding some trivial technicality to prevent him from running again. He's gone but he's still got his crowd fired up and we end up with some mix of DeSantis, Noem and Grennell for the next couple of decades.

    More likely, this is how you get more Trump.

    It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.
    - Thomas Sowell

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Much ado about nothing.

    In a perfect world for me, the Dems would finally be successful in finding some trivial technicality to prevent him from running again. He's gone but he's still got his crowd fired up and we end up with some mix of DeSantis, Noem and Grennell for the next couple of decades.

    More likely, this is how you get more Trump.
    David Brooks agrees. He asked if the FBI just re-elected Trump.

    This is not a nothing burger investigation as some of the materials were marked “classified/TS/SCI” . Any reasonable person would ask why these materials were taken.

    From Heather Cox Richardson today...
    "After days of attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department by former president Trump and his supporters for the Monday search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, today a federal judge unsealed the search warrant and the property receipt for that search. The warrant shows that agents were investigating whether Trump violated the Espionage Act.

    The property receipt reveals that agents reclaimed for the United States more than 26 boxes of documents, including ones labeled “classified/TS/SCI,” which means “top secret/sensitive compartmented information.” This is highly classified material that is available only to those necessary to the project, and must be discussed, used, and stored only in secure locations because its release to the public would cause “exceptionally grave” damage to our national security.

    Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb, who is also an anchor for the right-wing One America News Network, signed the property receipt.

    Even before the release of the warrant, Trump had offered a number of excuses for taking documents to Mar-a-Lago and then keeping them despite a subpoena for their return. First, he blamed FBI agents for planting them on the premises, riling up his base against the FBI. That effort continued today: before the judge unsealed the documents, it appears Trump leaked them to Breitbart, which published them without blacking out the names of the agents who executed the search warrant, evidently intended to menace them.

    Then he claimed that while he had taken only a few documents, former president Barack Obama had taken 33 million. This afternoon, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) put out a statement clarifying that it took possession of all Obama’s presidential records when he left office in 2017 and that it moved about 30 million unclassified pages of them to a “NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the P[residential] R[ecords] A[ct], former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his administration.”

    Now he and his allies are saying that he declassified all the documents he took out of the Oval Office, so the recovered documents were no longer classified. The fact they were not marked declassified, as required, was simply because White House counsel didn’t get the paperwork done.

    But there is a process for declassification; a president can’t just say something is declassified. Further, as legal analyst and former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa clarified, a president cannot unilaterally declassify nuclear secrets.

    Legal analyst Joyce White Vance said, “Even if this is true & it holds up (I’ve got significant doubts) what does it say that Trump declassified materials that put our national security in grave danger? And that the Republican Party continues to support him?”
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; August 13th, 2022 at 06:15 AM.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    The entire constitutional power of the executive is vested in one person. All offices and officers of the executive branch derive their authority from that one constitutional position (the presidency). Doesn't matter if it's Trump or Obama, Harding or Adams.

    If, while sitting as the president, he said they're no longer classified; there's no higher authority to clear it with.

    Much ado about nothing.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    If he had declassified the materials, the classified markings would have been removed.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    If he had declassified the materials, the classified markings would have been removed.
    Administrative silliness that doesn't have anything to do with the power of the presidency, other than the authority to administrate is derived from him. If he simply says they aren't classified, then they aren't.

    Who knows though, maybe the Dems will find a friendly DC or NYC court and squeak this one through.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Apparently, that is not how it works. If something is no longer top secret, you take off the stickers. However, violations of the Espionage Act, is behind the inquiry brought by the National Archives. Maybe this has nothing to do with it, but given Trump's history and carelessness, the cause of concern is not unexpected.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Yes Chuck, that is one of several narratives too.

    It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.
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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Occasim's Razor is operative. Given the former president's history, what would a rational person think is the simplest solution aka what's going on? Has an honest public servant type person been persecuted for political purposes or is this an example of comeuppance?

    As Maurine Dowd just wrote, "One of the more delicious aspects of this is that Merrick Garland, the man Mitch McConnell kept off the Supreme Court, is now the one who could bring Trump to justice.".

    Who'd-A-Thunk?
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; August 13th, 2022 at 10:56 AM.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Occasim's Razor.
    Oc·​cam's razor | \ ˈä-kəmz-
    less commonly Ockham's razor

    Definition: a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

    William of Occam (also spelled "Ockham") didn't invent the rule associated with his name. Others had espoused the "keep it simple" concept before that 14th-century philosopher and theologian embraced it, but no one wielded the principle (also known as the "law of parsimony") as relentlessly as he did. He used it to counter what he considered the fuzzy logic of his theological contemporaries, and his applications of it inspired 19th-century Scottish philosopher Sir William Hamilton to link Occam with the idea of cutting away extraneous material, giving us the modern name for the principle.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict...'s%20razor

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago


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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    If he simply says they aren't classified, then they aren't.
    False.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    If he simply says they aren't classified, then they aren't.
    False.
    Really? Who must a sitting president ask to declassify a document? What process must a sitting president go through to get a document declassified? Is there an authority or agency the president requests this from? That authority must be vested somewhere, right?

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    You are missing the point, @dneal. Had the document been declassified, it would not retain the markings. Trump cannot retroactively declassify or say he did so in the past without some supportive documentation or else how would anyone know? I don't doubt a president's authority, but I do doubt he or someone just happened to forget to take off the markings.

    And, had the documents been declassified, the National Archives would be the agency to know. They are the ones seeking the materials. Why ask for a declassified document and why is the Espionage Act being discussed? As a former military person, I would think you would take the possibility of sensitive information being leaked a real concern. As they say, loose lips sink ships.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Chuck, I agree that he can't retroactively declare anything.

    I'm simply saying that a valid defense for him is that he declassified these documents while in office. The markings don't make something classified or not, and they don't weigh against a sitting president (and not just Trump, by the way) having the authority to unequivocally declassify something. JFK's assination? CIA files on UFO's? Any sitting president can declassify whatever they want just by saying so.

    1/3 of the power of the country is vested in whoever sits at that desk. The entirety of constitutional executive power. Where the buck actually stops. Truman relieved MacArthur. He also ordered dropping two atomic bombs on a country we were at war with.

    Whether or not that same office has the power to declassify at an utterance or stroke of a pen is even something to quibble over is remarkable.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    You are missing the point, @dneal. Had the document been declassified, it would not retain the markings. Trump cannot retroactively declassify or say he did so in the past without some supportive documentation or else how would anyone know? I don't doubt a president's authority, but I do doubt he or someone just happened to forget to take off the markings.

    And, had the documents been declassified, the National Archives would be the agency to know. They are the ones seeking the materials. Why ask for a declassified document and why is the Espionage Act being discussed? As a former military person, I would think you would take the possibility of sensitive information being leaked a real concern. As they say, loose lips sink ships.
    Yep. Where I worked, Document Control checked the location of every classified document at our location every 6 months ("working papers", the classified documents created for brief usage such as analysis by one person, have a 6 month shelf life after which they must be either disposed of or logged into the system). One declassified document can cause many derived documents to become declassified. This all needs tracking. The president can classify/declassify virtually any info, but the related document(s) must be properly marked and recorded as a result.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Here's an article from NYT discussing declassification. It says the real issue isn't the classification, it's what the contents are, how they were (mis)handled, and other implications.
    Presidential Power to Declassify Information, Explained

    While it is legally irrelevant, former President Donald J. Trump claims he had declassified the top secret files the F.B.I. seized at his Florida residence.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/14/u...documents.html
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    Last edited by Lloyd; August 14th, 2022 at 11:30 AM.
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    A: It can be.
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    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Trump didn't declassify any of that shit. He's changed his story three times. He's a lying rat who doesn't care about rules and regulations and national security.

    The Executive does not have the unlimited power to do so whatever they want, even with classification and the handling of documents. The description of the powers and responsibilities of the presidency also stipulates that they must follow the law. Well, turns out that there are laws governing behaviors with documents. Awe shucks, the president isn't a king.

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    Default Re: FBI Raid at Mar-A-Lago

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Trump didn't declassify any of that shit. He's changed his story three times. He's a lying rat who doesn't care about rules and regulations and national security.

    The Executive does not have the unlimited power to do so whatever they want, even with classification and the handling of documents. The description of the powers and responsibilities of the presidency also stipulates that they must follow the law. Well, turns out that there are laws governing behaviors with documents. Awe shucks, the president isn't a king.
    You don't know what he did or didn't do any more than I did.

    Again - "I'm simply saying that a valid defense for him is that he declassified these documents while in office."

    You're right that "the executive does not have the unlimited power to do so whatever they want..."; right up until you get to the reality. First one is that for classified information, the president is the final authority.

    None of this shit is even new. Dems tried this angle before with the "he revealed classified info to the Russians" nonsense in 2017.

    This rabid Trump obsession is going to get him reelected.

    It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.
    - Thomas Sowell

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