Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Voronwë the Faithful
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Never, because even if Trump as Commander in Chief was subject to a military tribunal (which I doubt), this is involves conduct when he was a private citizen. The only way it would become a matter for a military tribunal would be if active military officers were implicated. The only two people that I have heard might be implicated other than Trump are Kash Patel and John Solomon, though others who had access to the material might be implicated. Or maybe no one will be, including Trump.

JOHN SOLOMON AND KASH PATEL MAY BE IMPLICATED IN THE FBI’S TRUMP-RELATED ESPIONAGE ACT INVESTIGATION
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

If you are interested in one possible scenario of what might happen to Trump, check this out:

Ex-NSA contractor charged in massive breach of secret documents

ETA: Here is the indictment in the Martin case. Trump could be charged with a lot more than this:

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap ... 2.33.0.pdf
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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When I first saw this, I honestly thought it was true. :help: He could be that mean and petty!
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Like I said, I thought it was real until I noticed it was from The Onion! :nono:
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Ah, I see. The argument will be that anything they didn't turn over had been declassified, or if that doesn't work, that the FBI planted anything that was still classfied.

That Times story apparently also implies that Trump tried to pressure Garland on Thursday by having an associate contact Garland's office to let him know that Trump's supporters were enraged that the FBI had searched Mar-a-Lago.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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As I think I might have said before, there are two problems with the argument that Trump declassified everything. First, it is not sufficient to just say that he declassified everything; there is a process that needs to be followed, which was never followed. He can't declassify things now that he is not president. More importantly, it doesn't even matter whether he did or did not. 18 U.S. Code § 793 -- known as "The Espionage Act" -- does not refer to "classified information," it refers to "information respecting the national defense." Trump haphazardly declassifying material does not make it no longer related to national defense. And, of course, if there really was nuclear information, that information cannot be unilaterally declassified by the president. As for obstruction, the reports seems to acknowledge that the material was still marked as classified, so even if Trump had haphazardly "declassified" the information it still would have been obstruction for them to claim that all material marked as classified was returned when in fact it was not.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Here's a helpful look at an actual declassifiction process (of Russia investigation documents) that Trump directed in the last days of his presidency. (Note that most of the second through tenth posts in that thread, although they lack quotation marks, are quotations from Trump's January 19, 2021 memo which is attached to the first post.) It demonstrates that Trump knew how to declassify materials -- but he didn't do anything like that as regards the stuff he took to Florida.

Also, despite Trump's memo, those materials still have not been provided to Congress, which could mean that:

(1) Is understood that a memo like that one is a statement of intent but not a final order; or

(2) The FBI determined that everything in those documents needs to remain classified as per the exceptions that Trump's memo acknowledge; or

(3) The FBI's review is still ongoing; or

(4) President Biden subsequently re-classified that material.

And by the way, Biden could have done the same thing with the material Trump took to Florida -- if Trump had declassified it in the first place. But again, there's no proof that Trump did that. It's like the Doomsday Machine in Dr. Strangelove: it serves no purpose if no one knows that it exists. (This point actually is more important than the example above. Presidents don't have to follow a process. But Trump's Jan. 19, 2021 shows that he knew there was one.)
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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It gets even crazier. John Solomon is now claiming:

New twist in FBI raid: Trump had 'standing order' to declassify documents taken to residence

Think about what this claim means. They are now claiming that any material, no matter how sensitive, automatically became unclassified as a result of being brought to a less secure location. The mind boggles.

ETA: More crazy: Marjorie Taylor Greene files articles of impeachment against Garland
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:08 pm It gets even crazier. John Solomon is now claiming:

New twist in FBI raid: Trump had 'standing order' to declassify documents taken to residence

Think about what this claim means. They are now claiming that any material, no matter how sensitive, automatically became unclassified as a result of being brought to a less secure location. The mind boggles.
Maggie Haberman and other reporters indicate that they've asked various Trump administration officials about this, and none of them remember any such standing order.

I like Asha Rangappa's point about the claim floated by some Trump defenders a few days ago that Trump didn't even have to say that the materials were declassified, but merely by having them taken to Mar-a-Lago, he demonstrated that he believed he had declassified them, and that's all that counts. By that logic, Rangappa notes, President Biden merely has to believe the documents have been re-classified for that also to be true.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Yes, that does punch a hole in the theory that Trump could simply use his authority as POTUS to wish a material into being declassified. Under that theory, Biden, as the current POTUS, could wish the classification back into being and that whole defense of Trump's actions crumbles to the dust it came from.

Presidents aren't kings. That's why paper trails and procedures and laws about records exist. Trump had boxes of material in his residence he had no right to have. It belonged to his former employer, not to him. When he refused to give it back, he put himself on the wrong side of the law.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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A part of me thinks Trump believed the presidency would be restored to him at any moment and that he was entitled to everything (no matter that such documents don't belong to him personally but to the American people/the institution of the presidency). I don't buy that highly sensitive material just 'happened' to make its way to Mar-a-lago. That things were sheer chaos, I believe. All four years.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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RoseMorninStar wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 7:20 am A part of me thinks Trump believed the presidency would be restored to him at any moment and that he was entitled to everything (no matter that such documents don't belong to him personally but to the American people/the institution of the presidency). I don't buy that highly sensitive material just 'happened' to make its way to Mar-a-lago. That things were sheer chaos, I believe. All four years.
This would not surprise me, given how some of his most ardent fans STILL believe the 2020 results can be over-turned and Trump reinstated and Trump himself demanded that the WI 2020 results be somehow decertified in response to a recent court ruling applicable to the 2022 elections and beyond. Never mind there are no legal mechanisms for any of this. There's money to be made from these fever dreams, which is why grifters like the My Pillow Guy are hanging on.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by N.E. Brigand »

We've been citing Marcy Wheeler a lot, so here's one more interesting observation she's made: one reason that the Dept. of Justice wanted to see Mar-a-Lago surveillance video may be that the government regulations (which Wheeler cites) concerning the storage of top secret documents in a non-secure location require that someone with the proper security clearance must inspect the storage area every four hours. If Trump was told this and didn't do it, that's one more security violation.
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Donald Trump says that the FBI also took his "three passports (one expired)." Why would he have (at least) two in the first place? Would he had one passport as a private citizen and another one as the president? How does a president go through customs and immigration, anyway? And if presidents do get a separate passport, do they get to keep it after leaving office?
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Re: Trump Espionage and Obstruction Investigation

Post by Dave_LF »

N.E. Brigand wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:33 pm Donald Trump says that the FBI also took his "three passports (one expired)." Why would he have (at least) two in the first place? Would he had one passport as a private citizen and another one as the president? How does a president go through customs and immigration, anyway? And if presidents do get a separate passport, do they get to keep it after leaving office?
I don't repeat twitter rumors here because I'm in no position to gauge their accuracy, but a number of people earlier today were saying law enforcement was concerned T was about to flee the country. Wondering now if that was because they got a kaleidoscope view of this story before it broke.
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