Nuclear secrets and cocktail napkins, the Attorney General thinks you’re stupid and should otherwise go screw

The FBI is investigating a former President and future candidate for espionage, but neither the Attorney General nor the President feel any explanation at all is required on their part.  Instead, they plan to treat this unprecedented occurrence like a jay-walking ticket, pretending there aren’t massive conflicts of interest and political ramifications that come with claiming Trump is a spy.  The absurdity is getting difficult to believe…

After three days of intense pressure from Republicans and even some Democrats, Attorney General Merrick Garland finally made a formal statement on the FBI’s unprecedented raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.  The substance of the statement, such as it was, can be summed up in a single sentence:  The American people are idiots and they should simply fuck off.  Generally, I refrain from foul language on this blog, but some situations simply cry out for a little profanity.  The Department of Justice has stumbled into a massive conflict of interest, one where a Democrat President and his handpicked Democrat Attorney General, are conducting multiple investigations of the likely 2024 Republican nominee complete with early morning raids backed by 30 some odd armed agents that apparently entered the former First Lady’s dressing room.  They have not bothered to explain themselves in any meaningful way, other than unsealing a warrant that prompts more questions than answers.  They believe President Trump violated the Espionage Act, that a man supported by millions of Americans is in essence a spy for a foreign power interfering with US military operations.  They will not share what probable cause exists for this absurd belief, precisely what evidence they’re looking for, or whether they think convicting Trump of even a process-related crime, such as the additional obstruction and destruction claims in the warrant, disqualifies him from running for President in the future.  Instead, Attorney General Garland believes you should simply trust an organization that has already falsified warrants against former President Trump for colluding with a foreign power, and keep your mouth shut.  Rather than answer questions, he decided to take umbrage at anyone who feels the FBI might be acting improperly in this matter. 

Ironically, the Attorney General began his remarks not by promising transparency and accountability, but by insisting he would make no more remarks, saying “Since I became attorney general, I have made clear that the Department of Justice will speak through its court filings and its work.”  He continued to tell us what we already know, that the “search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause.”  What this probable cause to believe Trump is a spy might be, he refused to discuss, claiming “Federal law, long standing department rules and our ethical obligations prevent me from providing further details as to the basis of the search at this time.”  He spent the rest of his brief comments informing us how trustworthy and all around awesome the FBI is under his watch, don’t you dare question any of their actions.  These statements could’ve been written by a low-level intern cribbing them from the FBI website or Google’s latest chatbot, so bland and boilerplate we’ve heard it all a thousand times before.  “Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing.  All Americans are entitled to the even handed application of the law, to due process of the law, and to the presumption of innocence. Much of our work is by necessity conducted out of the public eye. We do that to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations.”

In other words, the burden is on you, the average American voter, to trust they are acting appropriately.  The “department does not take such a decision lightly” and “it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken,” without actually describing what other means were pursued in this matter.  If you are still concerned, the mainstream media helpfully assured us that this is all completely normal. In fact, CNN’s Chris Cillizza believes this statement was a smashing success. Somehow, the Attorney General “struck back” and has called Republicans has called the Republican bluff, even as “its worth noting that Garland didnt go full ham on Trump and release the affidavit, which outlines all of the particulars informing the investigation.” You dont say? Perhaps Mr. Cillizza and others should be asking themselves what else Garland was supposed to say in the absence of any meaningful information.  We take these situations incredibly lightly and jump to the most intrusive means possible?  Is that a winning statement? When the Attorney General insisted, “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked.  The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants. Every day, they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them,”  was there really any chance hed say he works with a bunch of thugs and wannabe despots more suited to the Soviet-era KGB?

Ultimately, the boring banality of these statements was designed to distract from a stunning lack of any real information that might address the obvious, important questions fair-minded people have been asking about the Department of Justice’s unprecedented actions against a former President and likely 2024 contender.  The Attorney General failed to acknowledge the obvious conflict of interest:  He was handpicked by Democrat Joe Biden and he’s personally approving raids of the leader of the opposition party and potential future competitor.  Everyone understands that no one is above the law and the wheels of justice must turn whether a Republican or Democrat is in office, but what steps is the Attorney General taking to assure the American people the process is fair, impartial, and without political influence when Trump represents their opposition?  He also mysteriously refused to state his department’s position on whether a conviction of even a low-level crime would bar President Trump from seeking office again, meaning he might well believe he has the power to influence the Republican field and affect the democratic process.  He’s just not saying it.  Presumably, he will speak in court, when it is too late to debate the issue and do anything about it.  In the meantime, we’re supposed to take a potential charge of espionage seriously with no evidence presented so far.  What probable cause do they have for such a serious accusation?  What additional evidence were they looking for that can prove it?  What other, less intrusive methods did they consider and attempt before the raid?

Rather than answering these obvious questions, the Attorney General prefers to hide behind the flimsy shield of not commenting on ongoing investigations, as though this were an ordinary legal matter and the political ramifications weren’t inherent and unavoidable, and as if he doesn’t frequently comment on other investigations like January 6th whenever he likes.  Apparently, President Biden and the Attorney General have plunged the country into a political crisis the likes of which we have not experienced in 246 years, but surely we’re supposed to expect it to be treated as your run of the mill jay-walking case.  We should pay no attention to the deluge of leaks about the investigation either, meaning his underlings are happy to speak to their preferred media outlets, giving new meaning to the phrase “talking out of both sides of your mouth.”  Before the release of the warrant itself on Friday, an anonymous story in The Washington Post set the stage, claiming the raid was justified because Trump was in possession of classified nuclear secrets.  “Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation.”  The Post wrote this despite their own previous reporting on the dispute between President Trump and the National Archives which expressed no such concerns.  So far, the former President has turned reams of materials, indexed at about a hundred pages, only a small portion of which was classified.  “The inventory of unclassified items in the boxes that were recovered earlier this year from Mar-a-Lago is roughly 100 pages long, according to a person familiar with that document. Descriptions of items that were improperly taken to Mar-a-Lago include a cocktail napkin, a phone list, charts, slide decks, letters, memos, maps, talking points, a birthday dinner menu, schedules and more, this person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the ongoing investigation.  There is a separate inventory for just the classified materials that were taken to the former president’s Florida residence, this person said. If the unclassified version of the classified inventory were organized in the same way as the inventory of nonclassified items, it would be about three pages long, according to this person.”

The investigator in charge of securing these materials, Jay Bratt, met with Trump and his legal team as recently as June 3.  Mr. Bratt followed up with an email five days later.  “We ask that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all the boxes that were moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago (along with any other items in that room) be preserved in that room in their current condition until further notice.”  Trump’s attorney, Evan Corchoran, replied “Jay, thank you. I write to acknowledge receipt of this letter. With best regards, Evan,” and promptly locked the door.  Is it just me or is there no mention or concern about nuclear secrets?  Does this exchange strike you as the sort of thing one would write if our nuclear arsenal was at stake and a former President had turned spy against his own country?  Don’t worry, just lock the door on your way out and don’t let any Russians or Chinese in.  Three weeks later the Trump team received a subpoena for surveillance footage, presumably to verify compliance, and the former President dutifully obliged once again, but now we’re supposed to believe he was storing the nuclear codes next to the cocktail napkins?  Once again, not to worry:  The Washington Post has an expert in these matters that can assure you this is all totally normal because Trump might be selling these secrets on the black market.  “Experts in classified information said the unusual search underscores deep concern among government officials about the types of information they thought could be located at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and potentially in danger of falling into the wrong hands.”  This appears to be the root of the espionage claim.  The act itself prohibits people from “obtaining information, recording pictures, or copying descriptions of any information relating to the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information may be used for the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”  In other words, Donald Trump is a spy for a foreign power.  He purloined these documents with plans to injure the United States.  Somehow, we’re expected to take their word on all of this without the slightest bit of evidence.

Consider for a moment what would have to have occurred for this story to be true.  First, President Trump packed up the nuclear information to begin with, which was apparently stored along with birthday dinner menus and phone lists.  It is true that the President has carte blanche access to classified information, but the government has reams and reams of it, aircraft carriers worth of materials.  These items are not generally stacked up in the Oval Office, the West Wing, or the Private Residence where any casual visitor can peruse national secrets, except in this case.  Next we have to assume that President Trump, or one of his lackeys because I highly doubt Trump does his own packing, took them on purpose.  This wasn’t merely a clerical error.  It was some kind of plot, the goal and outcome of which is completely undefined and unknown, as what precisely is an out of office President going to do with nuclear secrets and why would he give them to a foreign power?  We know it must’ve been on purpose because of point three:  The President, upon discovering he possessed these secrets, refused to hand them back.  Let’s say a classified file was accidentally boxed up with the President’s personal effects, as we all know it’s easy to mix things up during a major move, akin to items from your kitchen making into a crate with your bedding.  It can’t be an accident in this case, however, because President Trump would have been informed of the presence of these purported nuclear secrets, those less intrusive means the Attorney General referred to, and refused to hand them back.  This brings us to the fourth point:  If he refused to hand them back, he must’ve had some kind of plan for them.

Thus, the former President is rendered the equivalent of a Bond villain, stealing secrets and selling them on the black market, or somehow using them for his own nefarious purposes.  I would be remiss to bypass what might be President Trump’s motive for such a scheme.  He remains the most dominant politician in the country.  He leads every Republican party primary poll to the point where many assume legitimate contenders like Ron DeSantis won’t even run if Trump announces.  His personal approval rating is higher than President Biden, and he leads the current occupant of the Oval Office in the great majority of recent polls.  In short, he’s the current favorite to be sitting in the Oval Office again as of January 2025, but for some unexplained reason, he’s going to destroy all that because he has a secret nuclear plot to unhatch in collaboration with a foreign power.  If this sounds far fetched, the stuff of movies and fantasy rather than reality, a conspiracy straight from the latest spy novel, you are certainly not alone, especially when you consider the alternative explanation:  The Department of Justice under a Democrat Administration is politically biased against a Republican former President and likely future candidate, the FBI is out of control and has become overly aggressive in these matters in general, or simply incompetent to the core.  Honestly, which scenario is easier to believe, that half the country supports a James Bond villain for President or the Department of Justice can’t be trusted for whatever reason?  The Department of Justice could, of course, help clear this matter up by providing the transparency such a perilous, potentially dangerous political situation entails.  Instead, Attorney General Garland prefers to treat you like a moron and tell you to go fuck yourself, while his boss, President Biden says absolutely nothing, declaiming any and all knowledge of the situation.  One can’t help but wonder why they would do that in the first place, but what am I, a conspiracy theorist?

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