The Presidential Records Act

WSJ No basis for search?

The Presidential Records Act is actually somewhat different than I thought it was. Now I understand why Obama could have his records in Chicago. Presidential records belong to the Archives, but they need not be in their actual possession. That’s why Obama’s can be in Chicago supervised by NARA but not actually at the NARA facility.

Two Constituional lawyers explain why Trump couldlegally have those records in his possession for several years.

It’s worth reading to understand the issue better, and explains why the FBI went to a magistrate instead of a real Federal Judge who would not have been fooled.,

152 thoughts on “The Presidential Records Act

  1. Well, you are very slow to understand. For some reason. Obama’s LEGAL relationship with NARA was explained several times when you people LIED about Obama getting away with something that Trump was being prosecuted for.

    It was NARA that called in the DOJ because Trump was not following the law. And repeatedly refused to comply. No number of “legal scholars” can change that very salient fact.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do not subscribe to WSJ. But I already researched this law when Trump started lying about Obama.

        You people can tap dance all around the facts but they will still be there. Trump took documents he was not entitled to take and refused to cooperate with good faith and gentle efforts to get them back. They got Al Capone on tax evasion. Maybe they will get Trump on pinching souvenirs.

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          1. It IS paywalled for me. I could read the first paragraph and could see where it was going. Not interested. I do not believe that the best lawyers in the DOJ do not understand the law but these Trump apologists do.

            As many of you have pointed out, this affair is a boost to Donald Trump and energizes his base. That rules out any supposed political motive and we are left with the motive being to enforce the law and recover dangerous documents from a risky location.

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          2. FYI, the link bounces back and forth between blocked and not. Sometimes it demands a sign in or sign up and sometimes it doesn’t.

            I accessed it through a different route. As I suspected it is nonsense. The PRA guarantees the former President access to his papers. It does not guarantee that he can have them in his personal broom closet. And it most certainly does not cover uncatalogued and undeclared papers purloined and concealed.

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          3. “Nothing was concealed”

            That is simply false. Trump’s lawyers certified that ALL classified materials had been returned to NARA. In the search eleven sets of classified materials were recovered. Why do you insist on fibbing?

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          4. Trump’s position is that those records were declassified. and he is not bound by the procedures excluded by Obama’s EO, which remains in effect. There are exceptions for some sensitive nuclear documents but there is no reason to believe such documents are involved.

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          5. Trump is full of bull. There are plenty of witnesses that say he never declassified anything. And there are procedures, paperwork, etc. without that, who knows who can have access to what.

            Plus Trump as much as admitted he had top secret, even nuclear, documents because he said Obama took them too.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. WSJ’s explanation establishes that Trump did NOT STEAL the records he had a Mar-a-Lago.

    So, the mystery deepens. The PRA is moot. The three statutes cited in the search warrant are moot. What in the world was the purpose of the raid?

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        1. The other option is that they sought Trump’s copy of Crossfire Hurricane so it could be destroyed.

          Perhaps I was in error in giving them the benefit of the doubt.

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      1. RE: “Political espionage”

        Increasingly, it looks that way.

        I have been thinking the FBI wanted to retrieve Crossfire Hurricane documents. Another possibility is the FBI wanted to find Jan. 6 evidence. But the possibilities are endless, even including UFO or JFK assassination files.

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    1. “Trump files suit.”

      Wow! Who would have seen that coming? LOL!

      Trump’s entire criminal career has been kept going by the huge number of suits he has filed to drive away sex crime accusers, the people he has stiffed, and the people he has defrauded. He has two problems now. One, he cannot buffalo the government with law suits. They have ten lawyers for every one he deploys. And, two, he is such a poor client who regularly does not pay that he is not able to get the kind of top tier lawyers he needs to fight the DOJ.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. “You don’t sue, and expose yourself to discovery, if you have something to hide.”

          Trump has already been exposed to “discovery.” The government already has enough evidence to establish that – more likely than not – crimes were committed. Without any information on the grounds for the suit you are reporting, I think it highly likely that he is now playing the game he always plays – abusing the court system to buy time. And raise money from the suckers.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Trump sues EVERYBODY. He could care less about the idea of discovery, because he will delay, delay, distract and delay some more until the clock runs out.

          You were worried about giving the FBI too much credit. Maybe you should consider that you are giving Trump WAAAAYYYY too much credit.

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  3. So NARA keeps the documents, but allow the president access.

    Ok.

    If they are highly classified, and the president has no longer clearance, what to do? Allow access, or like Obama, keep the secret documents in the DC area in a secure facility? Separate from the non-classified material.

    Ok.

    What the WSJ seems to be arguing is that the president keeps what he wants and allow access to NARA. Classified or not.

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    1. Just as they do with Obama’s documents in Chicago, they have supervision over the documents at MAL. That’s why they asked for the upgraded lock. If I read correctly, he has 12 years. The article did not say anything about copies, but I would assume he can copy them as part of access and keep the copies.

      Trump’s position is that the documents that were in his possession were declassified before he left office. He has absolute authority, while in office, to declassify them(except certain nuclear records which there is no evidence were present.)

      Obama keeps records he DID NOT declassify in the NARA facility in MD. The rest are in his warehouse in Chicago, with NARA supervision. With 33million pages there, it makes sense for NARA to have a branch office there. As far as I know, NARA did not request a brand office at MAL as the number of documents there would not justify it.

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      1. Trump’s position? They either were declassified properly or they were not declassified.

        Most of his aides, including Meadows, say he didn’t. Top Secret special access documents in his closet are no joke or souvenirs.

        Anyway, I am sure his gangs are just standing by to do his bidding again. You know, the “heat”.

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          1. Perhaps, but it means nothing if no one knows.

            If a spy is caught with secrets, his defense would be Trump said they were declassified. Who would know? Trump might deny it, but why believe just him?

            After declassification, a small bureaucracy needs to review, redact and stamp the documents. Without that, it is just his word with no witnesses.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “Perhaps, but it means nothing if no one knows.”

            “No one knows” almost never happens.

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          3. “No one knows” almost never happens.

            It happens every time the President fails to follow the required procedures to (a) document his decision and (b) ensure that de-classified documents are marked as such. An oral declaration or a rage tweet has ZERO force and that is according to testimony given by the Trump Chief-of-Staff in response to a FOIA request re: magically “declassified” documents.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “It happens every time the President…”

            Yeah, like I said, “No one knows” almost never happens.”

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          5. You are simply blathering. It is self-evident that undocumented “de-classification” is nonsense. Markings on documents do not magically disappear.

            Trump’s own government argued as such in court when it refused to act on his October 6th tweet.

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          6. “The markings don’t disappear, but they become inactive the moment the President makes them public or removes them.”

            That is just plain wrong. Look it up. Each document must be treated as classified until it is formally de-classified and so marked.

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          7. The President has ultimate Executive authority.

            Other than for a small subset of nuclear information, what classification procedures are established by Congressional Act?

            None. The most recent update of those procedures is Obama’s executive order, which covers Trump’s use of the documents.

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          8. “The most recent update of those procedures is Obama’s executive order, which covers Trump’s use of the documents.”

            No, it does not. He did not follow the formal procedures required to de-classify ANY documents that he took away.

            The issue is whether documents become unclassified based on informal actions of the President. I say they don’t. You say they do. You are wrong. Dead wrong. And the fact that you are wrong was established in court by the testimony of Trump’s Chief-of-Staff. You cannot wish that away.

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          9. “Per Obama’s EO, the President is not bound by those procedures.”

            Your deliberate obtuseness is really tiresome. I have answered this nonsense a couple of times already. Grow up.

            The procedures in the Obama EO call for detailed consultation with the affected agencies and the obtaining of their formal approval for de-classification decisions. THOSE are the procedures that do not bind the President. He need not follow them. He can issue an order de-classifying anything he wants without consulting anyone.

            BUT, he is bound by the requirement to FORMALLY issue that order and to have the decision propagated down to the level of the documents which he wants de-classified. Documents formerly marked classified remain classified until they are formally marked de-classified with reference to that formal order. This formal requirement was not met by tweets (according to HIS administration) or by his carrying something to his bedroom.

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          10. “The President has ultimate Executive authority.”

            I find it almost amusing that you say that about Trump, but Biden can’t do anything as the Executive.

            Hypocrite much?

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          11. RE: “Markings on documents do not magically disappear.”

            Neither do markings magically make a document classified.

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          12. RE: “You are right. It is not magic. It is how it is done.”

            No, it is not. You are confusing the clerical work of marking or removing markings from sensitive materials with the order to classify or declassify them. You may also be confusing the administrative work of preparing formerly classified material for public release with the act of declassification, which is instantaneous. These confusions lead to all sorts of errors in your thinking in this matter.

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          13. “You are confusing the clerical work of marking or removing . . .”

            No, I am not. The clerical work is necessary for a formerly classified document to become an un-classified document. It is the law and it is common sense. How could you possibly administer such matters without complete documentation? Again, I refer you to what was said in court by Trump’s own people about his October 6th tweet. Since it was not formerly ordered and documented, it did not apply.

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          14. RE: “The clerical work is necessary for a formerly classified document to become an un-classified document.”

            False. You should educate yourself.

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          15. You are misreading your Salon article. In it, Mick Mulvaney says there’s a formal structure to declassifying documents, “You can’t just sort of stand over a box of documents, wave your hand and say these are all declassified. That’s not how the system works.”

            Mulhaney is correct that standard procedures govern the processing of newly declassified documents, but it is wrong to interpret Mulvaney as saying that the standard procedures must be completed or else the declassified material remains classified.

            Both as the supreme classification authority and by his Article II powers a sitting president can in fact just sort of wave his hand and say documents are declassified. There is no evidence Trump ever did that; on the contrary, there is evidence he followed standard procedure rather scrupulously. So, Mulvaney’s observations are somewhat irrelevant.

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          16. “You are misreading your Salon article”

            No, I am not. State secrets are protected by very strict approval, clerical, and accounting procedures. These procedures matter. They cannot just be ignored.

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          17. “Go back and read Obama’s EO on the topic.”

            Nice try, I guess but you are fooling no one. The very idea that classified documents become magically unclassified is laughable. So, if you think there is something there that supports your nonsense, cite it.

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          18. RE: “State secrets are protected by very strict approval, clerical, and accounting procedures.”

            That’s right. State secrets are protected by the classification system. The president and various other classification authorities can legally and properly circumvent the sytem in various ways.

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          19. “The president and various other classification authorities can legally and properly circumvent the sytem in various ways.”

            Sure, but whatever they do it has to be DOCUMENTED. If it isn’t, it did not happen.

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          20. “Trump is hardly at fault if the bureaucrats fail to follow through.”

            Follow through on what? A tweet. Get real. He claims there was a “standing order” that whatever he removed from the Oval Office was automatically de-classified. Of course, that is complete nonsense, but where is this standing order. Nobody can find any record of it.

            Besides, the buck stops on his desk. If people fail in the performance of their duties, that is on him.

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          21. RE: “Sure, but whatever they do it has to be DOCUMENTED. If it isn’t, it did not happen.”

            False, but so what? Trump’s declassification orders ARE documented. See, for example, his Jan 19, 2021 declassification memo. It describes an earlier declassification order with which the FBI complied, plus issues a new declassification and public release order that the new administration has ignored.

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          22. “See, for example, his Jan 19, 2021 declassification memo.”
            Yes, that is the sort of memo he should have prepared for every declassification decision. But he didn’t. And, he was out of office before it could have been carried out and he took with him hundreds of pages of classified documents with no competent authority to complete the de-classification process.

            And, lest we forget, none of the laws cited in the search warrant have anything to do with classified documents. The word is not even mentioned. We are talking about Presidential records and NDI.

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          23. RE: “[Trump] claims there was a ‘standing order’ that whatever he removed from the Oval Office was automatically de-classified…but where is this standing order. Nobody can find any record of it.”

            As I understand it, Trump’s “standing order” amounted to telling White House staff that he didn’t want to hear any objections when he removed sensitive materials from the Oval Office to the residence wing of the White House. That makes sense, since the whole facility is secure. Such an instruction to staff wouldn’t require a formal or documented “declassification order.”

            We need more information on this particular report. It is obvious that no one is in a position to criticize or defend it.

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          24. “Trump’s “standing order” amounted to telling White House . . .”

            I have no problem with Trump moving information to his residence for nighttime work (ha!). The problem is his after the fact and laughable claim that such documents were automatically declassified based on this undocumented “standing order.” That is nonsense. And what happens when he takes them back to the Oval Office? Do they magically become classified again? It does not work that way.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. “That’s why they asked for the upgraded lock.”

        If they had known that the broom closet held Top Secret and Top Secret/SCI documents they would not have been talking about a better lock. They would have taken them away on the spot. Leaving such documents in such a place would be a career-ending mistake.

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        1. You assume too much. The storage area might well have been approved for TS/SCI materials. Only a copy of Mar-a-Lago’s Facility Security Clearance can tell us. It is not unusual for locks to be changed or upgraded in accredited facilities.

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          1. Uh, the discovery of TS/SCI material came AFTER Trump had certified that all such material had been returned. The closet would not have been reviewed on those exceedingly strict standards. The chances that a broom closet in the basement of a semi-public golf club would meet TS/SCI requirements are somewhere between zero and zilch. IMHO. I think you know that too.

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          2. Again, you presume the remaining documents retained that status. What was discovered were documents that at one time classified but which Trump says were declassified when he removed them.

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          3. “Trump says were declassified when he removed them.”

            He can say that until the cows come home. A document remains classified until it has been FORMALLY documented to have been de-classified. This is not hard to understand. You should try harder.

            Trump’s own government confirmed the requirement for those pesky formal procedures when it argued in court that Trump’s mere assertions of declassification were not operative without them.

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          4. “And yet that actual lawyers say different.”
            We know the kinds of things that Trump’s lawyers say. Some of them will be lucky if they only get debarred. When push came to shove over FOIA requests, Trump’s own government told the court that declassification requires the prescribed procedures – not just blather from the President.

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          5. RE: “A document remains classified until it has been FORMALLY documented to have been de-classified.”

            Not true. That is just simply not true.

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          6. “You assume too much. The storage area might well have been approved for TS/SCI materials. ”

            The same could be said of yourself. You do realize that, don’t ya? Or does it only apply to those you disagree with? Until you have proof that the approval was in place, I suggest you stop making it “possible”.

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          7. RE: “Until you have proof that the approval was in place, I suggest you stop making it ‘possible’.”

            Until you have prove Mar-a-Lago was NOT accredited, I suggest you and Mr. Murphy stop assuming it wasn’t. When someone can produce the Facility Security Clearance document, we’ll be able to settle the matter.

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          1. And they had to continue to ask for return of documents that were not supposed to be there. And June 3rd a Trump attorney provided a letter claiming that ALL classified documents had been returned, when in fact they had not.

            I don’t call that supervision; I call that trying to recover that which should have never left the WH, except to goto NARA.

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    2. RE: “What the WSJ seems to be arguing is that the president keeps what he wants and allow access to NARA. Classified or not.”

      That’s about the size of it. A couple of notes might clarify the issue.

      • First, the president never gets or requires a security clearance. This means that he has no clearance to lose when he leaves office.

      • While in office the president has perfect and complete classification authority. He can classify or declassify anything he wishes for any reason and under any circumstances. This means that while in office, the president can give himself permission to retain classified materials after he leaves. That self-derived permission could be called an instance of “declassification.”

      • The president never has the authority of office to commit treason, but so long as any sensitive material he takes from the White House remains secure (and away from our enemies), there is no treason.

      • Finally, the PRA establishes that legal ownership of presidential records transfers to NARA the moment a president leaves office, but the PRA does not mandate that NARA take immediate custody.

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      1. “This means that he has no clearance to lose when he leaves office.”

        It means he has no clearance when he leaves office. The clearance was predicated upon being president.

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        1. RE: “It means he has no clearance when he leaves office. The clearance was predicated upon being president.”

          Not exactly.

          Think of it this way, while in office a president is exposed to all sorts of sensitive information. By electing him, the nation gives the president its permission to know that material, but the president’s memory cannot be erased on leaving office. His exposure to classified material cannot be undone. Accordingly, the permission the nation gives an elected president to know secrets can’t really end when he leaves office.

          When a president leaves office, his need to know new secrets may end. His classification authority certainly ends. But the implied security clearance that goes with the job cannot end.

          Also, an acting president can use his valid classification authority to give himself copies of sensitive information to keep when he leaves office.

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          1. “You forgot accurate.”

            Laughable.

            For all his verbal gaffes and stumbles, President Biden is not in the same league as your hero whose bizarre train of consciousness rants are in a class by themselves.

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          2. “But the implied security clearance that goes with the job cannot end.”
            But, as a private citizen, he is now constrained by those classifications on what he learned in office. He has no legal right to share anything that is classified with anyone – and that includes guests at Mar-a-Lago.

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          3. …”the implied security clearance that goes with the job cannot end”

            Interesting than, isn’t it, that Trump revoked security clearances of former intel officials, who normally maintain them to provide guidance and input to sitting officials, becaue they wouldn’t feed into his litany of bullshit.

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          4. RE: “But, as a private citizen, he is now constrained by those classifications on what he learned in office.”

            He is no more constrained than he was while in office. As I wrote, “The president never has the authority of office to commit treason.”

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          5. “He is no more constrained than he was while in office.”

            Nonsense. As President Trump could AND DID disclose classified information to whomever he wanted. As ex-President he cannot legally do that. He is NOW as constrained as anyone else who has personal knowledge of classified information.

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          6. RE: “As President Trump could AND DID disclose classified information to whomever he wanted.”

            True, he had disclosure authority, but, as we have seen, it was limited by treason and high crimes. His disclosure authority today is still limited by treason and high crimes. He is entitled to share his records with whomever he wishes subject to the same constraint. Of course, no one at present is accusing Trump of treason or high crimes.

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      2. “First, the president never gets or requires a security clearance.”
        We are talking about the ex-President – a private citizen. Past Presidents have routinely received classified briefings from the government. With this one, that had to be stopped. Not trustworthy.

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          1. “True, Biden cannot be trusted to act in the interests of the country by consulting past Presidents as every President before him did.”

            That is an exceedingly silly comment.

            I would venture that President Biden is in regular contact with all reliable past Presidents. Pretending that Trump would have anything of value to contribute to policy decisions that would offset the risk of his betrayal of classified information is a dog that will not hunt. He has proven his carelessness time and time again including this MAL saga where he carted away over 300 classified documents.

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          2. “Biden’s foreign policy is a total train wreck. . .

            Uh, no it is not. The trainwreck is what Biden is recovering from. It was the folly of Trump who kowtowed to Russia, was owned by China, undermined NATO, extorted Ukraine, betrayed the Kurds, undercut the Afghan government, etc., etc. etc.

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        1. RE: “With this one, that had to be stopped. Not trustworthy.”

          Good illustration of your prejudice. Your hatred of Trump is so great that you are willing to change the rules in order to harm him.

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          1. RE: “The evidence of Trump’s carelessness with information is well-known.”

            Carelessness is not a crime.

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          2. “Carelessness is not a crime.”

            Actually, careless handling of NDI is a crime. See “18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information” sub-section (f)

            But whether carelessness rises to criminal proportions or not, it IS a security risk and the reason that Trump does not get classified briefings.

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          3. RE: “See “18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information” sub-section (f).”

            Gathering, transmitting and losing are not carelessness.

            If Trump no longer gets classified briefings, it is because the current administration has judged that Trump has no need to know.

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          4. “Do you have any evidence that critical information in Trump’s possession fell into enemy hands?”

            Uh, that is not the test for the handling of NDI. Read the law.

            Besides, this discussion of Trump’s proven carelessness is with respect to the fact that he is no longer trusted with classified information. As President he betrayed Israeli sources and methods to the Russian ambassador, he betrayed satellite reconnaissance capabilities to the Iranians, he conducted extremely sensitive discussions is public places. Just plain careless.

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          5. You mean like keeping classified information on an insecure private server?

            Remember that the DOJ did not prosecute Hillary even though information she had most certainly fell into foreign hands because that was not proven to be her intent.

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          6. “Remember that the DOJ did not prosecute Hillary even though information she had most certainly fell into foreign hands because that was not proven to be her intent.”

            What a crock. There were a few emails that tangentially and accidentally referenced classified information none of which she sent. They were NOT classified documents such as the ones Trump liberated in the hundreds to be stored in a broom closet.

            There is ZERO evidence that her server was ever penetrated by hackers and plenty that the servers for dot gov were. Your “almost certainly” is pure bull.

            Your whataboutism is as lame as ever.

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          7. But your issues is there is NEVER a negative when it comes to Trump. Get rid of the orange tinted glasses you are looking at things through and come back to reality.

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          8. RE: “There were a few emails that tangentially and accidentally referenced classified information none of which she sent.”

            False. Some of Hillary’s emails contained satellite surveillance images. These are BORN TS/SCI.

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          9. “Some of Hillary’s emails contained satellite surveillance images.”

            I can find no evidence that this true. Unless you have an authoritative cite I will assume it is just another “alternative fact.”

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          10. “Ad Hominem on 2 sources?
            Just admit the error.”

            I have not made an error.

            NEITHER of these sources provides evidence that satellite images were found on the Clinton email server. The aptly name Hotair makes that claim and as proof links to a story on The Daily Beast. If you follow that link you will find the story changes to something else. That there was some discussion of information that had been gathered by satellite. That is very different.

            The second link does not even try to pretend that images were found. It goes straight to the same story as the Daily Beast.

            What has happened here is that there was some discussion on email that made mention of North Korean nukes – information that apparently was gathered by satellite. That grain of truth became the basis for the LIE that there were classified images involved. There were not. But you two are oh so eager to be gulled.

            It is worth noting that there were ZERO documents properly marked as Classified involved with the Clinton email server. There was only a few materials and comments that should have been marked that way but were not. Very different from Trump’s current criminality.

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          11. RE: “NEITHER of these sources provides evidence that satellite images were found on the Clinton email server.”

            Fair enough. Neither source verifies my assertion about images. The first, however, verifies my recollection that satellite images were reportedly found in Hillary’s email. And the second verifies that classifed satellite image data was contained in Hillary’s email.

            Hillary’s “criminality” is exactly the same as the “criminality” you falsely accuse Trump of.

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          12. “The first, however, verifies my recollection that satellite images were reportedly found in Hillary’s email.”

            REPORTEDLY

            Okay, I will be polite and agree that your claim of classified images on Hillary’s server was not a deliberate lie. You remembered a lie you had seen somewhere. Which brings me back to my first response – these sorts of propaganda hate sites are not authoritative sources of reliable information. This is not the first time such sources have fooled you.

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          13. “Hillary’s “criminality” is exactly the same as the “criminality” you falsely accuse Trump of.”

            Hardly.

            We are talking about the early days of email. There was no legal prohibition or policy forbidding the use of non-government email accounts to conduct government business. The only requirement was that any such work be preserved and eventually provided to the National Archive. There was no authority set up to determine what was business and what was personal. That was left to each employee to sort.

            None of the material that made its way onto Hillary’s server through discussions with her staff was marked as classified. It was only through a massive review effort that a tiny percent of exchanges were found to have referenced material that SHOULD have been formally classified. It is clear why no criminal intent could be found and thus nothing to prosecute.

            Trump on the other hand, has mishandled hundreds of formally classified physical documents. His criminal intent is easy to see in his initial action of removing them, his stonewalling of NARA agents, and his failure to return ALL such materials even under subpoena.

            Trying to whine about Hillary getting a pass while poor little Trumpy gets into trouble is a whatabout dog that won’t hunt. As always, he has brought his trouble on himself by his total disrespect for the law.

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          14. “What I am pointing out is that Trump is entitled to the same presumptions as Hillary.”

            And who says he is not getting them?

            The FACTS as we know them show no intent for Hillary and clear intent for Trump. As is always the case with him, he is the author if his own legal problems. He could have worked in good faith with NARA. He didn’t. He CHOSE not to. He thinks laws are for little people, not for him. He has had too little accountability in his sorry criminal life. He is not used to it.

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  4. All this pontificating about loopholes and possession would not be a big deal if Trump had worked with NARA from day one.

    But that is not the case. He ignored them, lied to them and dragged this out for no reason except that he felt like it.

    Then he goes back channel to say that he might be able to turn down the heat. Extortion and threats, just like he did with election officials.

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      1. That is not true. NARA contacted DOJ after the 15 boxes were returned to them in a January. The reason was that there appeared to be classified documents still missing.

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        1. I wonder how many of the documents they sought they already had copies of?

          After all, a memo has a sender and a recipient.

          It seems likely the only documents they would not have already had would have been private, non-government communications, like those between Trump and his lawyers.

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          1. You’re

            Seriously. what it the subset of documents that they don’t already have from another source? That’s how many of Hillary’s deleted emails were recovered, by subpoenaing the other end of the emails.

            What Presidential papers aren’t received or sent from someone else? Personal notes? Are those even covered? It really looks like they had to be looking for things they had no right to, like privileged communications and political communications from after he left office.

            The more I think about it, the more crooked it looks.

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          2. RE: “The more I think about it, the more crooked it looks.”

            I agree. I’d like to know more about how and why NARA contacted the FBI. It could have been routine. I suspect the FBI chose to exploit the report of classified materials at MAL for its own purposes.

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      2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/letter-to-trump-lawyer-highlights-national-archives-concern-over-sensitive-materials-before-mar-a-lago-search-11661271403

        This letter was posted by Trump’s own liaison to NARA. It outlines the efforts over a period of time that NARA tried to get Trump to cooperate and return the documents.

        Note in the article that classified documents were found outside the closet that had a new lock.

        The posted letter was a surprise since it adds more damning information about Trump’s actions to ignore or lie about the documents. And it was posted by one of his most loyal supporters, John Solomon.

        I suspect that before this is over, Trump will have wished he had cooperated with NARA from the get go. Don’t mess with librarians when it comes to proper handling of presidential papers, classified or otherwise.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Yeah that’s it. Nobody is trusted ever, no how, no way.

            Except The Maestro of alternative facts.

            Aside from the obvious ploy to deceive by WSJ, the post was to clarify the extraordinary lengths and courtesies given Trump and he still said “screw you, America. I got mine now beg for it”.

            Or was the letter Solomon posted from NARA fake too?

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Here is a more detailed version of
            the same story.

            https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/23/national-archives-letter-trump-security-00053250?cid=apn

            “I mean, if he had actual special access programs — do you know how extraordinarily sensitive that is? That’s very, very sensitive. If that were actually at his residence, that would be a problem,” said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the House Intelligence Committee.“

            Whether Trump wanted souvenirs, bragging rights, framed wall hangings is moot. SA secrets are real and keeping them in a closet (or worse outside) at a club with hundreds of members coming and going is beyond reckless.

            Confirmation will come, but the letter from NARA shows clearly the concerns with Trumps actions.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. They got some back in January. When NARA went through them they ascertained more classified documents were missing. They got some more back in June when Trump’s lawyer signed a statement stating that was all the classified ones.

            Then came the FBI in August and took more boxes of classified.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. The Filter team has not sorted the documents from the raid yet, so if they’re saying they found something from the raid, the filter team is a sham. Further the issue of a special master is before the court so digging through those files now would be improper and maybe unlawful.

            Like

          5. You said they should call for a special master to protect material covered under attorney-client privilege. The Trump legal team is citing only executive privilege. SCOTUS has already ruled that it no longer exists for the FORMER President.

            Like

          6. The source of the letter is John Solomon. His was an attempt to find a way to exonerate his boss.

            The judge isn’t buying it and has given the Trump legal team until Friday to come up with an explanation. The haven’t cited attorney-client privilege; they have only cited Executive authority, which SCOTUS has already said no longer exists once the POTUS is out-us.

            Like

        1. RE: “This letter was posted by Trump’s own liaison to NARA. It outlines the efforts over a period of time that NARA tried to get Trump to cooperate and return the documents.”

          Not exactly. You can read the letter here:

          Click to access wall-letter-to-evan-corcoran-re-trump-boxes-05.10.2022.pdf

          It notes that “NARA had ongoing communications with the former President’s representatives throughout 2021 about what appeared to be missing Presidential records, which resulted in the transfer of 15 boxes of records to NARA in January 2022.”

          It reveals that NARA discovered classified documents in the 15 boxes of records it received and notified DOJ of the finding. DOJ, in turn, informed Presiden Biden and asked Biden to request NARA to allow the FBI to examine the contents of the 15 boxes.

          More communications occured between NARA and Trump’s representatives. NARA informed Trump’s representatives that it intended to alow the FBI to examine the boxes. Trump’s representatives responded by making a “protective assertion of
          executive privilege.”

          The remainder of the letter explains NARA’s rationale for rejecting the executive priviledge claim.

          All in all, the letter shows that it was the Biden White House, not NARA that fomented this tempest in a teapot.

          Like

          1. “All in all, the letter shows that it was the Biden White House, not NARA that fomented this tempest in a teapot.”

            Bullshit. All Trump had to do was to be forthcoming and honest. It was almost a year after he left office before he returned ANY of the purloined documents. When it turned out that many of them were classified, things got serious but still Trump stonewalled and lied. His behavior was indefensible but that does not stop you people from trying to shift blame to the people upholding the law.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. In other words , like I said, Trump was saying “screw you, America I got mine”.

            He could have sorted out his documents, returned the classified ones and then fiddled with his “privileged” and other keepsakes. No excuse for keep SA documents in a closet with who knows how many had access. Certainly not SA cleared. And neither was Trump after 1/21/21.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. First, do you know for a fact that Trump took those documents to MAL when he left office, or were they already there in his secure office he worked from while in office?

            Like

          4. Of course I know. I was there.😇

            First , we know packing day was chaotic. After all, he didn’t bother much with a transition. And aides and staff were short handed and pissed. You can check that out on line.

            Second, what difference does it make? If he had some documents in MAL and brought in more later, if they are classified, particularly SA, he had no business keeping them. Especially 20 months later.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. Sure. That worked so well during the year or more the Archive was trying to retrieve highly classified documents. NARA tried to keep it out of the press. The warrant was served by unarmed agents in civilian clothes. The SS was notified in advance. Attorneys were present. Trump was notified.

            Trump is demanding that this be in the press, so now it is. Trump published the letter outlining the extraordinary efforts to elicit cooperation by NARA. Trump is also demanding full transparency, which will come. So far every courtesy has been extended. More than anyone else would have gotten under less threat to national security. Much more.

            Meanwhile, Trump is humming Ray Charles’ tune…”Georgia on my Mind”.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. E: “if they are classified, particularly SA, he had no business keeping them.”

            That’s not a good assumption. It makes the same mistake many people made in criticizing Hillary’s possession of SA information. The issue is not possession but unauthorized disclosure.

            Hillary disclosed SA information without authorization by including it in unsecure emails that were transmitted across the internet without protection. Trump has done nothing of the sort. Trump’s storage arrangements may have been deficient in their own right, but they were not in any way comparable to the transmission of classified data on the open internet.

            As the NARA letter shows, there has been no assessment yet as to whether storage at Mar-a-Lago damaged or even potentially damaged national security.

            Like

          7. …”the letter shows that it was the Biden White House”

            Twisted BS. Biden has stayed out of the fray and deferred all decisions to DOJ. Unlike his predecessor, he understands that the DOJ , while under the Executive Branch, is to be independent.

            Liked by 1 person

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