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Author Topic: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2  (Read 247400 times)

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5712 on: August 13, 2022, 11:42:25 PM »
Trump's Mar-a-Lago search woes 'seem to have come from his legal team': Guardian reporter

Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, Guardian congressional correspondent Hugo Lowell offered an alternative explanation over how FBI agents knew what to look for when they showed up at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this week to take into custody multiple boxes of documents stolen from the federal government.

Speaking with host Alex Witt, Lowell was asked about the possibility that there is an FBI informant in the former president's inner circle who has been assisting the Department of Justice.

"Have you heard anything that validates speculation that there might be an informant within the Trump ranks?" host Witt asked.

"I've certainly heard that Trump world is very much wary of the fact that there may be an informant," Lowell responded. "And certainly there have been a number of people who have left Mar-a-Lago and the Trump team in recent months -- that's what's feeding the speculation."

"But you know, according to the New York Times today, and also our own reporting from this week, a lot of this has come from the Trump lawyers themselves," Lowell pointed out. "I mean the Times reporting that one of Trump's lawyers signed a document that said they've turned over all of that material and we heard as early as Tuesday that the Justice Department grew concerned about that classified material at Mar-a-Lago as a result of interactions with the Trump's lawyers."

"So a lot of this seems to have come from Trump's legal team, " he suggested.


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5713 on: August 13, 2022, 11:46:33 PM »
Meanwhile on Russian TV they are once again bragging that Trump works for them, and gave them high level US secrets. And morons still want to make the claim there was "no Russian collusion".

Julia Davis @JuliaDavisNews

Meanwhile in Russia: Putin's mouthpieces on state TV are taunting America about "Top Secret" documents sought during the raid of Trump's estate, which they claim had to do with the newest nuclear weapons developed by the US and gleefully imply that Moscow already got to see them.


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5714 on: August 14, 2022, 12:08:58 AM »
Donald Trump's lawyers likely to face criminal charges for 18 U.S. Code § 1001 for lying to DOJ about possession of classified documents.

Also: Mar-a-Lago had a SCIF that could hold classified intel - but they used a regular storage area instead.

BURIED LEDE: A person close to Trump reached out to a DoJ official Thursday to pass along a message from Trump to Garland. Trump wanted Garland to know he had been checking in with people around the country and found them to be enraged by the search.

New Exclusive from The New York Times:

Trump Lawyer Told Justice Dept. That Classified Material Had Been Returned

The lawyer signed a statement in June that all documents marked as classified and held in boxes in storage at Mar-a-Lago had been given back. The search at the former president’s home on Monday turned up more

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5714 on: August 14, 2022, 12:08:58 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5715 on: August 14, 2022, 11:02:24 AM »
'Shameful and disgusting' Republicans slammed for inciting violence against law enforcement officers

Late Thursday, the president of Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association lashed out at Republicans who have been attacking the FBI and Department of Justice employees for their part in serving a warrant for classified materials at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort earlier in the week.

Since FBI agents descended on the former president's Florida home at the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, Republican Party lawmakers have been raising a fuss that has included calls to "defund the FBI" as well as calling for investigations and purging of DOJ officials if the GOP takes control of the House in November.

With that in mind, the Washington Post reports that Larry Cosme issued a statement stating the GOP lawmakers making threats about "coming for you" is far beyond the pale.

While noting a Cincinnati man attacked an FBI field office -- and subsequently died -- Thursday afternoon with the assault directly attributed to the violent rhetoric against the department due to the Mar-a-Lago investigation, Cosme stated, "The rank-and-file officers on the street and agents, they are career employees that … cherish the Constitution like the average American."

He added, "So for them to be attacked by these individuals that believe something else — or they’re believing, you know, someone’s rhetoric that’s uncalled for — to me, it’s shameful and disgusting.”

The Post report adds that Republican National Committee head Ronna Romney McDaniel is also at fault, pointing out that she inflamed conservatives with an op-ed for Fox News insisting, "Trump targeted by Biden administration, and they can do it to you, too.”

The report adds, "The FBI is not the only target of such rhetoric: Republicans this week have also been warning Americans that an army of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents is 'coming' for them, as Democrats seek to boost the tax agency’s funding and ability to pursue tax dodgers. Many in the GOP have zeroed in on the fact that certain special agents carry guns, casting them as a threat or falsely suggesting the IRS is arming tens of thousands of new employees. Treasury Department officials have said the proposed funding is meant to target high-income tax evasion."

Read More Here:

Trump puts a target on the FBI: Cincinnati gunman shows danger posed by an endless supply of dupes

The main reason that Donald Trump is forever turning Republican campaign events and conservative conferences into fascistic rallies featuring two-hour stemwinders is that he's a champion narcissist with a vampiric need to feed off the adulation of blockheads. But a major secondary reason is what happened on Thursday, when a deranged Trump supporter named Ricky Shiffer fired a nail gun at the FBI offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, before getting killed in an hours-long standoff with the police.

As reporters covering right-wing extremism swiftly documented, before much of it was taken down, Shiffer was all wound up by Trump's lies about the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago Monday, lies that have been amplified and validated by right-wing media outlets like Fox News and much of the GOP establishment.

"Kill the FBI on sight, and be ready to take down other active enemies of the people," Shiffer apparently posted on Truth Social, a Trump-owned social media site, according to Andy Campbell of HuffPost.

"Well, I thought I had a way through bullet proof glass, and I didn't. If you don't hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it'll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me," Shiffer allegedly posted on Trump's site, right after the nail gun attack, according to NBC News.

The saddest part is that, while Ricky Shiffer took it to the next level, he's far from alone.

Truth Social was set up in large part to give Trump, who was banned from Twitter after inciting the January 6 insurrection, a platform to keep up his stream-of-consciousness bigotry, lies, and conspiracy theories. It also, under the guise of "free speech," serves as a clearinghouse for fascist sentiment and violent rhetoric. As with Trump's rallies, much of it is about keeping his followers on the hook by making them feel close to their hero, an illusion he knows how to strategically bolster. In May, for instance, Trump endorsed a post by a user fantasizing about "civil war." It raised alarms about how Trump is still inciting violence, but also, crucially, it allowed his followers to believe that he reads their social media posts and cares about them.

Keeping these people hyped with lies and conspiracy theories, all meant to feed their ridiculous persecution complex, is mostly about Trump keeping the fountain of cash and worship turned on. But, as the January 6 committee has carefully demonstrated, Trump is also keenly aware that these folks are well-armed and awash in violent fantasies, making them a weapon he can wield to intimidate those he has a quarrel with.

"They put their faith, their trust, in Donald Trump ... he deceived them," Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said during a July 12 hearing of the committee. The hearing featured testimony from Stephen Ayres, who was convicted of rioting on January 6 at the Capitol, and who feels remorse over his role in it. He portrayed himself as a dupe of Trump's, testifying, "I felt like I had horse blinders on, I was locked in the whole time."

Keeping these people hyped with lies and conspiracy theories, all meant to feed their ridiculous persecution complex, is mostly about Trump keeping the fountain of cash and worship turned on.

Trump is once again tapping his supporters as a violent resource for intimidation against Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI with his lies and public tantrums over the document search. While he is careful to avoid direct calls for violence, Trump's tactics rely on the universal understanding that his supporters are unhinged and armed maniacs, many of whom, as Ayres testified, are so caught up in their fantasies of "civil war" that they aren't thinking about the consequences. Trump's hyperbolic language about being "persecuted," for instance, was amplified by his stooges, such as Steve Bannon and Alex Jones, who floated false claims that the FBI was targeting Trump for assassination. Everyone knew that the chance of one of Trump's supporters going off like this was high. Indeed, after January 6, we can know that Trump himself frequently hopes his words have exactly this effect.

Trump's magic trick with his followers is convincing them that they're in on the con, when, in fact, they are his marks. Take his inciting speech on January 6, for instance. He made sure to wedge the word "peaceful" into it so that he had something to point to later when people correctly accused him of sending a violent mob to ransack the Capitol. The audience for that speech definitely heard the quotation marks around the word "peaceful," and understood that it was a CYA move to keep Trump out of trouble. I'm sure it was quite thrilling to many of them, to be part of one of Trump's schemes to slide away scot-free, covered by the legal magic of that disingenuous use of the word "peaceful."

In fact, they got so caught up in the drama of Trump's clever *ss-covering, however, that they didn't stop to consider that his was the only *ss covered by that bad faith deployment of the word "peaceful." Once his followers actually rioted, the word "peaceful" did nothing to protect them, only Trump. Of course, you cannot claim intent to be peaceful when you're the one beating cops with a flagpole.

I have no doubt that Trump's followers are deeply invested in his neo-fascist movement and stick by him because they think he's the single best shot they have of creating the authoritarian state they desire. However, in their fanaticism, they keep missing the part where Trump always puts Trump first, and so often his machinations are more about serving his personal interests than their movement.

This situation around the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is looking to be an example of this.

We still don't know why Trump was squirreling away illegally-held documents from the U.S. government. Reporting from the Washington Post suggests that nuclear secrets were in the boxes Trump was refusing to relinquish to the feds. There are a lot of uses that Trump could find with such information to achieve his personal goals, but it's hard to imagine how hanging onto it serves the wants and needs of his supporters. Whatever higher cause Shiffer deluded himself into thinking he was following, we can bet "helping Trump hang onto nuclear secrets" was not among them.

Yet Trump is out there now, claiming it's a "hoax" that what he's hoarding is related to nuclear intel. Because even he knows that even his most delusional supporters are going to think twice about being Trump martyrs for the "cause" of letting Trump hang onto some pricey info that serves his interests but not their movement.

The saddest part is that, while Shiffer took it to the next level, he's far from alone.

The FBI and the judge who signed the warrant have been deluged with threats from Trump supporters. These people aren't acting like maniacs because they want to make sure Trump has a box of valuable information he could sell on the black market. They are telling themselves a story about how Trump is some great MAGA hero that is being persecuted by the deep state. The QAnon folks are clinging to this bizarre hope that Trump is about to expose an international ped*philia ring and that's why the FBI is going after him. Some of these people know that their cause is fascist. Some are just delusional. But none of them are facing up to the fact that the number one "cause" that Trump is using them to protect is his own sorry *ss. Trump wants what he wants, often for petty and selfish reasons, and doesn't care how many of his followers he has to feed into the gunfire to get his way.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5716 on: August 14, 2022, 11:23:43 AM »
Feds obtained surveillance footage showing boxes being moved after discussions with DOJ: report

Donald Trump's possession of documents marked with top secret classification at Mar-a-Lago was the focus of another bombshell report published online by The New York Times on Saturday evening.

"Last year, officials with the National Archives discovered that Mr. Trump had taken a slew of documents and other government material with him when he left the White House at the end of his tumultuous term in January 2021. That material was supposed to have been sent to the archives under the terms of the Presidential Records Act," Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush reported. "Mr. Trump returned 15 boxes of material in January of this year. When archivists examined the material, they found many pages of documents with classified markings and referred the matter to the Justice Department, which began an investigation and convened a grand jury."

A subpoena was reportedly sent in the spring demanding the return of the classified public records.

On June 3, Jay I. Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in the DOJ’s national security division, visited Mar-a-Lago and the newspaper reported "Bratt and his team left with additional material marked classified, and around that time also obtained the written declaration from a Trump lawyer attesting that all the material marked classified in the boxes had been turned over."

The subpoena for the records' return was not the only subpoena DOJ sent in the case.

"The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room," The Times reported. "That activity prompted concern among investigators about the handling of the material. It is not clear when precisely the footage was from during the lengthy back-and-forth between Justice Department officials and Mr. Trump’s advisers, or whether the subpoena to Mr. Trump seeking additional documents had already been issued.

Read The Full Report:

Mar-a-Lago smoking gun footage may mean DOJ may not have recovered all the classified material: legal experts

Donald Trump's legal predicament may have worsened, legal experts said, after a bombshell report published Saturday evening by The New York Times.

"The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room," Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush reported. "That activity prompted concern among investigators about the handling of the material. It is not clear when precisely the footage was from during the lengthy back-and-forth between Justice Department officials and Mr. Trump’s advisers, or whether the subpoena to Mr. Trump seeking additional documents had already been issued.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti noted the story and tweeted, "It sounds like DOJ has reason to be concerned that it *still* may not have recovered all of the classified material taken by Trump."

Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks said, "obviously that raises many questions since it was false. If true, FBI couldn't have left with 21 more boxes in August."

Law Prof. Rick Hasen wrote, "Do any of us doubt that someone besides Trump or someone in Trump's orbit who lied about possessing such documents and didn't give them back would already be held in custody pending further proceedings?"

Attorney Pam Keith said Attorney General Merrick Garland "still hasn’t detained or even questioned Trump. People are acting like that’s normal or justifiable. Given what we know, It’s INSANE!!"

"So what’s the excuse today for Trump not being arrested?" Keith asked. "I stand by my conclusion that Garland is too scared."

Bestselling author Don Winslow wanted Trump indicted long ago.

"What happened when Donald Trump was not indicted for 50 years? He became President of the United States and committed four more years of crimes," Winslow wrote. "When does it stop?"

Bill Kristol, who served as Vice President Dan Quayle's chief of staff said, "Whoa. Let me amplify. WHOA."


Armed Trump supporters hold protest outside FBI Phoenix offices Saturday

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Holding various flags and guns, supporters of former President Donald Trump gathered outside the FBI’s Phoenix offices on Saturday to protest what they call an “illegal” raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida earlier this week.

This week brought an “unprecedented” number of threats against FBI personnel and property, law enforcement sources tell CNN. In the days following the search, violent threats against the bureau began surfacing online, with posters writing, “Garland needs to be assassinated” -- referencing Attorney General Merrick Garland, who “personally approved” the decision to seek a warrant -- and “kill all feds.” Additionally, the biography and contact information of the federal magistrate judge who signed the search warrant was wiped from a Florida court’s website after he too became the target of violent threats.

In a separate incident Thursday, a man who was believed to be armed with an AR-15 rifle and a nail gun tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati field office. He was killed hours later after a standoff with authorities. Although the suspect’s motive has not yet been identified, he had been known to the FBI because he had an unspecified connection to the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol and because he had associates within a far-right extremist group, two law enforcement sources told CNN on Friday.

Court papers show that the FBI recovered documents labeled “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The papers released Friday indicate the seized records include some marked top secret and “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets, and those that, if revealed publicly, could cause “exceptionally grave” harm to U.S. interests.

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5716 on: August 14, 2022, 11:23:43 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5717 on: August 14, 2022, 11:41:25 AM »
Disbelief as foreign press covers Trump’s classified documents scandal

The international press has been following Donald Trump’s classified documents scandal and four key countries may have significant national interests at stake if any of the information was compromised.

"When Donald Trump's Florida home was searched earlier this week, it unleashed a political firestorm unlike anything in recent memory," British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) correspondent Gareth Evans reported. "The FBI took 11 sets of classified files in total, including four that were labeled 'top secret'. Three sets were classified as 'secret documents' and three were 'confidential.'"

The cache also included files marked "TS/SCI", a designation for the country's most important secrets that if revealed publicly could cause "exceptionally grave" damage to US national security.

On the other side of the world, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was also covering the scandal under the headline, "Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago was a 'nightmare' environment for housing classified documents, experts say."

"Early in his presidency, he spontaneously gave highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation while he was in the Oval Office, US officials said at the time. But it was at Mar-a-Lago that US intelligence seemed especially at risk," the Australian network reported.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed former Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary McCord.

"Even just retention of highly classified documents in improper storage — particularly given Mar-a-Lago, the foreign visitors there and others who might have connections with foreign governments and foreign agents — creates a significant national security threat," said McCord. "Clearly they thought it was very serious to get these materials back into secured space."

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) used the headline, "Trump under investigation for Espionage Act violations, FBI search warrant reveals."

"US media speculated they feared nuclear secrets could get out without urgent action," CBC reported.

Radio New Zealand (RNZ) featured the headline, "FBI removed top secret documents from Trump's home, Justice Department says."

"FBI agents took more than 30 items including more than 20 boxes, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Trump's ally and longtime adviser Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property showed," RNZ reported. "Numerous federal laws prohibit the mishandling of classified material, including the Espionage Act as well as another statute that prohibits the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. Trump increased the penalties for this while he was in office, making it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison."

These four countries may have important self-interest in whether the documents were compromised. Included in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago in January were reportedly "signals intel" information.

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States together form "The Five Eyes" — which the UK Defense Journal describes as the "intelligence alliance of the Anglosphere."

"The Five Eyes was formally founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, through the multilateral agreement for co-operation in signals intelligence (SIGINT), known as the UKUSA Agreement, on 5 March 1946," UK Defense Journal explained. "Initially, compromising only the UK and the United States, it expanded to also include Canada in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, all of these last three English-speaking countries, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and with similar political systems when compared to Britain. Thereby, the ‘Five Eyes’ term was created from the lengthy ‘AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/ Eyes Only’ classification level that included the ‘eyes’ that could have access to high profile papers and information."

Watch the BBC's report on Donald Trump below:

Russian propagandists claim Moscow has been 'studying' Mar-a-Lago nuclear documents 'for a while'

Russian propagandists stated that if former President Donald Trump was indeed hiding classified documents related to nuclear weapons at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach, Florida, the Kremlin has already seen them.

Russia 1 host Evgeny Popov issued his taunt hours after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida unsealed the warrant that the United States Department of Justice obtained ahead of what Trump called the "raid." The warrant revealed that Trump is suspected to have violated the Espionage Act.

"Turns out that the investigation against Trump has to do with the secret documents from the White House, related to the new development of new nuclear weapons by the US," Popov said.

"The FBI isn't saying what kinds of weapons or what they found at Trump's estate. Obviously, if there were any important documents, they've been studying them in Moscow for a while," Popov continued. "What's the point of searching?"

Watch below:

Maggie Haberman @maggieNYT

NEW: The surveillance footage the DOJ subpoenaed was for a 60-day period. According to a person familiar with the footage, it showed that after one instance in which the DOJ was in touch w Trump's team, boxes were moved out of the storage area.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5718 on: August 14, 2022, 09:45:32 PM »
Editorial: Why would an ex-president who doesn't read want boxes of documents at his home?

Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pause during a walk at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., in April 2017.

Amid all the Republican outrage and threats over the FBI seizure of purloined government documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound is a tricky little question: Why did an ex-president known for his aversion to reading even need access to about two-dozen boxes of documents that belonged to the federal government and reportedly contained top secret material?

Trump has long been known to get bored easily and neither has the time nor patience to pore through thick folios of written materials. His preferred information medium is television, where people talk and big headlines scroll across the bottom of the screen.

When it came to sitting through morning national security and intelligence briefings at the White House, aides say Trump quickly lost interest. “He didn’t process information in any conventional sense,” wrote Michael Wolff, author of multiple books on Trump. “He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-literate.”

Trump reportedly walked out in the middle of his national security briefings or canceled them altogether. Aides began boiling down his briefings to visuals and graphs. He would interrupt briefers telling him about spies and foreign military movements by asking, “Who’s winning?” Even after officials actively sought to “dumb down” his briefings to keep his attention, his mind drifted elsewhere, according to accounts in The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York magazine and The Atlantic.

Against that backdrop, the existence of perhaps 25 boxes full of government documents, reportedly including top secret material, in a Mar-a-Lago basement seems particularly curious. Why would Trump want them at his private residence when he didn’t like to read and had no legal right to possess them? Since it’s highly unlikely that Trump lugged the boxes of documents to Mar-a-Lago by himself, who helped him and what was their clearance level to handle such sensitive materials?

Trump certainly had to grasp how serious it is to unlawfully retain classified documents since he spent years attacking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for diverting official emails to her private server. And after the FBI collected 15 boxes full of documents at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Trump must have had a good reason to hide the existence of another 10 boxes. It was only after an informant tipped off the FBI to the additional boxes that a federal judge authorized last week’s search.

Trump might have wanted to keep the materials as mementos or perhaps for reference if he wound up hiring someone to write a book under his name. Or perhaps the materials contained information he wanted to keep permanently hidden for personal reasons. Regardless of the justification, the documents were never his, and Republicans who are apoplectic over the FBI search should first be asking why it was ever O.K. for him to break the law in the first place.

‘It worried people all the time': How Trump’s handling of secret documents led to the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search

Trump’s cavalier approach to sensitive documents, and his lack of preparation to depart the White House, landed him in an FBI investigation, sources say.

When it finally dawned on Donald Trump in the twilight of his presidency that he wouldn’t be living at the White House for another four years, he had a problem: He had barely packed and had to move out quickly.

West Wing aides and government movers frantically tossed documents and other items into banker boxes that were shipped to a storage room at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida along with other, previously packed records set aside by Trump, sometimes erratically so, according to two sources with knowledge of Trump’s move and records issues.

There, in that Mar-a-Lago room, some of the boxes contained documents with sensitive materials that the federal government appears to consider so important to national security that FBI agents Monday took the unprecedented step of executing a search warrant at the home of a former president to seize them. The records comprised 11 sets of classified documents, including some that were labeled secret and top secret, according to a property receipt from the search.

Trump’s style of handling White House documents has been described by people who worked for him as slapdash and ad hoc, contributing to the debacle he now faces. He was known to rip up records that aides would have to retrieve from trash cans or from the floor and tape back together, according to former aides and multiple reports.

“It worried people all the time,” John Bolton, one of Trump’s former national security advisers, recalled in an interview.

“Trump had a habit of grabbing intelligence documents,” said Bolton, who has been a sharp critic of the former president. “God knows what he did with it.”

The criminal investigation into how sensitive records moved from the White House to Trump’s beachfront club writes a new chapter of his political biography. It’s a story of his impulsive instincts and disregard for established rules or norms that repeatedly created trouble for him in office and now may jeopardize the 2024 election bid that he could launch at any time.

Three separate criminal investigations swirl around the former president: the records case, the probe concerning his role in the attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, and his effort to nullify Biden’s victory in Georgia, a crucial swing state.

In the run-up to Congress’ certification of Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump acted as if he had won the election — he hadn’t — and did little to ensure a smooth transition, according to the source familiar with Trump’s move who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the records investigation.

The source said that it was only after Jan. 6 — two weeks before Biden’s swearing-in — that he began to make serious preparations to vacate the White House. And the process was a mess.

“It was a chaotic exit,” this source said. “Everyone piled everything — staff, the White House movers — into the moving trucks. When they got to Mar-a-Lago, they piled everything there in this storage room, except for things like the first lady’s clothes. Everything in a box went there.”

“He didn’t care. He didn’t care about the boxes. He was in a dark place at the time, if you remember. He didn’t even unpack things,” the source continued. “Over time, the staff moved them back in. If you had brought him into that storeroom, and asked, ‘Which are your presidential papers?’ he couldn’t tell you.”

But Bradley Moss, an attorney who specializes in national security law, said the search warrant executed by the FBI raises a question as to whether Trump knew he had sensitive documents and was keeping them from the federal government.

“Whether he was obstructing or whether it was Trump being Trump is the big unknown,” Moss said.

According to advisers, confidants and former aides, Trump is a “pack rat” who tends to leave the actual packing to underlings. At the end of the day, they clear his desk of paperwork — notes, scribbles, newspaper clippings, printed-out-emails, the new tree alignment for a golf course, a new grill for Mar-a-Lago — and the contents are placed in a box on the floor.

When filled, the box is removed by an aide and stored elsewhere. When he travels, an aide sometimes brings boxes along.

It was no different when he was president: Trump would board Air Force One or his Marine One helicopter, and his body man or valets would be toting boxes packed with briefing papers he’d ripped from binders, random papers that someone might have handed him, press clippings, defense memoranda, daily intelligence briefings or other classified material, according to former White House aides.

“They cover the gamut of everything,” a former White House aide who witnessed the spectacle said, declining to comment on the record because of the federal investigation.

Another former White House aide said that Trump was never much concerned about record management.

“He’d have no awareness,” this person said. “When he was done with a piece of paper, he’d rip it up and throw it on the ground. That was his way of saying he’s done … [but] the narrative [that] he was ripping up documents like he was his own personal shredding machine is not accurate — he’d rip it in half, not usually into a thousand pieces.”

Sometime last year, the National Archives reached out and asked Trump to turn over documents he was supposed to relinquish under the Presidential Records Act, a statute meant to preserve records for posterity, according to the two sources familiar with the chaotic move to Mar-a-Lago and records issues. Trump initially said he had already given over everything, but then he checked and found some records during the 2021 winter holiday and turned them over, the sources said.

But in January 2022, the National Archives insisted that more records were missing, and Trump provided 15 boxes worth. Some, however, contained classified information and the agency then referred the matter to the Justice Department for further investigation, setting up a June meeting that resulted in still more records being turned over to the government.

Trump’s representatives said they believed the matter was closed, and that all documents had been rendered. After the search and the rendering of documents in June, one of Trump’s lawyers signed a document indicating Trump had no more "responsive" records — records that fit the scope of what was requested — according to The New York Times, which cited four sources with knowledge of the document. NBC News has not independently seen or confirmed the document.

But the FBI collected subsequent information that indicated there were more sensitive documents, leading it to get a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago Monday.

At least two dozen FBI agents executed the search warrant and carted off more boxes and records, according to the search warrant’s property receipt. The Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment for this article. In an unusual public statement Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland called for the unsealing of the search warrant and property receipt and said federal law and department rules prevented him from providing further details as to the basis of the search.

Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich said Trump had “great care” for the handling of presidential records and blamed the General Services Administration, which manages and supports the basic functioning of federal agencies, for a haphazard move.

When Trump first took office, his administration had a loose system for controlling the flow of paper to and from the president, according to former White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the federal investigation. He was getting documents that didn’t go through the national security process or any other.

When John Kelly became White House chief of staff in the summer of 2017, he said he would remind Trump about the importance of abiding by the Presidential Records Act. A newcomer to public office who was accustomed to running his business his own way, Trump chafed under the regimen, Kelly said.

“When I got there,” said Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, the staff secretary was “taking stuff out of the trash cans and taping it back together. That continued while I was there.”

A former senior White House aide who was there at the time told NBC News that internal procedures tightened for a bit, but there was invariably slippage.

“We had something approximating a process,” this person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing criminal investigation. “He’s a total pack rat, keeps all sorts of stuff.”

Trump could be cavalier about material, crumpling up his papers or tearing them into pieces and leaving them on the floor, the former aide said.

Trump also saved sentimental items, advisers said. He would ask to keep items that were fun to show off: classified surveillance photos or letters from foreign leaders, like France’s Emmanuel Macron, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, they said.

Trump seemed especially fond of his correspondence from Kim. Bolton, in an interview, mentioned a letter that Trump had gotten from the North Korean leader and said that “John Kelly took it from him and we put it back in the right place.” (Kelly confirmed the account). “We gave Trump a copy of it back. He had a habit of taking stuff and you’d never see it again.” (Some of the documents contained in the 15 boxes retrieved in January included correspondence from Kim, according to The Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the contents.)

At the height of the 2020 campaign, Trump was also keenly interested in all of the records relating to the government’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He sent out a tweet ordering all such  documents immediately declassified.

But when media organizations tried to gain access to the records, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows argued in court that the records were not instantly declassified. After he left office, Trump was unaware that the records hadn’t been declassified and angrily swore at Meadows, according to a Trump adviser.

“What the f---, Mark?” Trump screamed on the phone, according to the adviser who heard the exchange.

By the end of his presidency, Trump had come to believe that his word alone could declassify any record in any way he wanted and that he didn’t need to follow standard rules for records management. Many scholars and lawyers disagree, but they are in accord on one point: Following policies and procedures is a best practice for avoiding some of the problems Trump is now facing.

“The reason you create a paper trail is so that people can go back and say, ‘Here’s the document, here’s the memo from the White House counsel. I declassified these documents, specifically laid out on this day when I was president,’” said Charles Stimson, a senior fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation and a former federal prosecutor.

“It becomes murkier when a president says, ‘I looked at a box and I declassified everything in that box.’ Technically, he can do that,” Stimson said. “But the better course of action is to identify the document, make a contemporaneous memo through the White House counsel, the chief of staff or an aide who has clearance to see those documents and have that declassification memo.”

Trump did none of that for many of the records.

In applying for the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, the FBI cited three laws concerning federal records that don’t specifically require the documents in question to be classified, which could make it tougher for Trump to raise his defense of presidential declassification powers, according to Moss and other attorneys.

On Thursday, just hours after Garland spoke and said he had personally authorized the Mar-a-Lago search, The Washington Post reported that FBI agents were looking for classified documents related to nuclear weapons, citing people familiar with the investigation. NBC News has not independently verified The Washington Post report, and Trump denied it, though on Friday he inaccurately suggested it wouldn’t be unprecedented for a former president to possess nuclear-related documents.

Here's why Democrats are holding their fire as Trump's world falls apart after the Mar-a-Lago search

During a panel discussion on CNN's "Inside Politics" on Sunday morning, it was noted that Democratic lawmakers are remaining, for the most part, very subdued in their attacks on Donald Trump in light of his burgeoning legal problems after the Department of Justice sent FBI agents armed with a warrant to his Mar-a-Lago resort.

With the walls closing in on the former president as he faces DOJ scrutiny, a House select committee investigation, multiple civil cases in New York City, and a special grand jury in Georgia looking into election tampering, CNN host Phil Mattingly asked the Washington Post's Leigh Ann Caldwell why Democrats aren't piling on.

"You are very well-sourced on the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill," the host prompted. "I have been kind of interested to watch how Democrats have responded to date on this. It's been a little more cautious and I think they think it's damaging and not a good thing in any way, shape or form."

"But you haven't seen the kind of jump-all-in, he's going to jail, when are they going to be marching him out of Bedminster or wherever he is at this time? Why?" he asked.

"Well, they have held back because, first of all, they were also taken by surprise with this," Caldwell replied. "No one knows all the facts yet. We have a lot more information now than we did last Monday when this [the Mar-a-Lagon search] happened. But throughout this process, Democrats also know [Attorney General] Merrick Garland very well. They know how thorough he is and they have trust in him and the Department of Justice."

"So they are just going to see what happens because they also think the Republicans are overreaching by far here," she elaborated. "They jumped to conclusions so quickly after this search was announced on Monday night and they think Republicans are kind of sowing their own seeds and could regret a lot of their statements depending on what moves forward."

"And, as far as Donald Trump is concerned, Democrats still think Donald Trump is the best Republican nominee for Democrats to run against. They think he is politically weak, not only with Democrats but with moderate and independent voters as well," she added.

Watch below:

JFK Assassination Forum

Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5718 on: August 14, 2022, 09:45:32 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5719 on: August 14, 2022, 09:58:14 PM »
Rep. Eric Swalwell @RepSwalwell

Did Donald Trump steal top secret documents? Yes.

Should that distract from the fact Democrats just capped your Medicare prescription drug costs at $2,000? No.

John Pavlovitz @johnpavlovitz

I'm not afraid of violent right-wing terrorists trying to intimidate good people into silence.
I'm afraid of too many good people allowing themselves to be intimidated into silence by violent right-wing terrorists.
We are the vast majority. This is our home. They can't have it.

Sarah Reese Jones @PoliticusSarah

Adam Schiff on Trump's claims that stolen documents were declassified, "The idea that 18 months after the fact Donald Trump could simply announce, well, I'm retroactively declassifying or whatever I took home had the effect of declassifying them is absurd."