FBI materials seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home included 90 empty folders

Revelation raises possibility that some of government’s most highly sensitive documents may still be unaccounted for.

Among the items the FBI retrieved from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort this month were 90 empty folders marked classified or for return to the White House staff secretary or a military aide, according to a detailed inventory of items made public on Friday.

The Guardian

House Subcommittee: Trump Politicized Pandemic

Washington, D.C. (August 24, 2022) – Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, released a staff report revealing extensive new evidence of the Trump White House’s relentless pressure campaigns targeting the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) coronavirus response. 

“The Select Subcommittee’s findings that Trump White House officials deliberately and repeatedly sought to bend FDA’s scientific work on coronavirus treatments and vaccines to the White House’s political will are yet another example of how the prior Administration prioritized politics over public health. As today’s report makes clear, senior Trump Administration officials undermined public health experts because they believed doing so would benefit the former president politically—plotting covertly with known conspiracy theorists to dangerously push a disproven coronavirus treatment, bullying FDA to change its vaccine guidance, and advocating for federal investigations into those who stood in their way. These assaults on our nation’s public health institutions undermined the nation’s coronavirus response—and are precisely why we must never again settle for leaders who prioritize politics over keeping Americans safe.

House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis

The Psychiatrist Who Warned Us That Donald Trump Would Unleash Violence Was Absolutely Right

Trump has a psychological profile that is common among violent offenders. “There is typically a developmental arrest caused by early trauma or abandonment,” Lee says. “As adults, they still act like children in the playground; convinced that might makes right, they often can’t stop bullying others. “Trump’s mother, Lee points out, became chronically ill when he turned two, and his father was cruel and emotionally unavailable, repeatedly urging his son to be “a killer.”

“Most Americans do not have direct experience dealing with people who commit violent crimes. But we do. And we could tell that someone who boasts about sexually assaulting women and says that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it was likely to evolve into a president who would severely damage the nation’s public health.”

Mother Jones

Trump’s Attorney Says He and His Family Watched the FBI Search in New York via Security Feed

Though he wasn’t in Palm Beach, Donald Trump was watching as federal agents executed a search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this week, with one of the former president’s attorneys saying he watched via a live feed.

“I think the folks in New York — President Trump and his family — they probably had a better view than I did. Because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch,” Trump attorney Christina Bobb said in a Thursday interview on right-wing media network Real America’s Voice, per Business Insider.

MSN

The Mar-a-Loco Rat

With each passing day, it becomes harder for a casual observer to distinguish between the post-presidential life of Donald Trump and that of late-season Tony Soprano.

In the past week alone, Mr Trump’s home has been searched by the FBI as part of an investigationg into his handling of classified documents, he has pled the Fifth in a separate case into his business dealings in New York, and now, according to several reports, he is trying to flush out a rat in his orbit.

“Trumpworld is abuzz with speculation about which close aide or aides has ‘flipped’ and provided additional sensitive information to the FBI about what former President Trump was keeping at Mar-a-Lago,” Axios reported this morning, citing several sources.

Yahoo News

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

At least one lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump signed a written statement in June asserting that all material marked as classified and held in boxes in a storage area at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club had been returned to the government, four people with knowledge of the document said.

The existence of the signed declaration, which has not previously been reported, is a possible indication that Mr. Trump or his team were not fully forthcoming with federal investigators about the material. And it could help explain why a potential violation of a criminal statute related to obstruction was cited by the department as one basis for seeking the search warrant used to carry out the daylong search of the former president’s home on Mondayassified and held in boxes in storage at Mar-a-Lago had been given back. The search at the former president’s home on Monday [8-8-2022] turned up more.

NY Times

FBI Warrant and Receipt Released

The warrant accuses Trump of violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793 (Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information) , 2071 , or 1519.

USC 2071: Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

USC 1519: willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Link to pdf copy of the warrant and the receipt

Trump: Security Risk

The F.B.I. search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday was a dramatic coda to years of tumult between Mr. Trump and American intelligence and law enforcement agencies. From Mr. Trump’s frequent rants against a “deep state” bent on undermining his presidency to his cavalier attitude toward highly classified information that he viewed as his personal property and would occasionally use to advance his political agenda, the relationship between the keepers of American secrets and the erratic president they served was the most poisoned of the modern era.

Mr. Trump’s behavior led to such mistrust within intelligence agencies that officials who gave him classified briefings occasionally erred on the side of withholding some sensitive details from him.

In August 2019, Mr. Trump received a briefing about an explosion at a space launch facility in Iran. He was so taken by a classified satellite photo of the explosion that he wanted to post it on Twitter immediately. Aides pushed back, saying that making the high resolution photo public could give adversaries insight into America’s sophisticated surveillance capabilities.

He posted the photo anyway, adding a message that the United States had no role in the explosion but wished Iran “best wishes and good luck” in discovering what caused it. As he told one American official about his decision: “I have declassification authority. I can do anything I want.”

NY Times

FBI Raid at Mar-a-Loco

Trump benefits from announcing raid on his home, can paint himself as the ‘victim’.

  • The FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm.
  • Sources told The Washington Post the FBI searched as officials believed Trump withheld documents.
  • PR and political experts say Trump benefits from announcing the raid because he can paint himself as a “victim.”

Business Insider

Movie at the Ellipse: A Study in Fascist Propaganda

On January 6, Trump supporters gathered at a rally at Washington DC’s Ellipse Park, regaled by various figures from Trump world, including Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani. Directly following Giuliani’s speech, the organizers played a video. To a scholar of fascist propaganda, well-versed in the history of the National Socialist’s pioneering use of videos in political propaganda, it was clear, watching it, what dangers it portended. In it, we see themes and tactics that history warns pose a violent threat to liberal democracy. Given the aims of fascist propaganda – to incite and mobilize – the events that followed were predictable.

Read more at JustSecurity.org (it’s a chilling read)