Et Tu, National Review!

https://tinyurl.com/4hwsj8fk

National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy reacts to the NARA letter of May 10, 2022 released by Trump supporter, John Solomon. From the article. . .

“Given that the former president was not responsibly securing the government’s most closely held intelligence, that he was trying to prevent the FBI from examining what he’d returned, that his lawyers were either misinformed about or lying about the classified information still retained at Mar-a-Lago, and that even the issuance of a grand-jury subpoena (with potential criminal penalties for noncompliance) had not succeeded in getting Trump to hand over the remaining classified information, what option short of a search warrant would have sufficed?

He also makes clear that President Biden’s limited involvement in the sorry affair was required by the provisions of the Presidential Records Act . . .

“If, as appears to be the case, it was appropriate for the FBI to conduct this review of Trump records, then the PRA mandated Biden’s approval and his review of any Trump privilege claims. As a result, there is very little upside for Trump in emphasizing Biden’s collaboration with the Justice Department.”

Not exactly “political” nor a “witch hunt.”

Once again, Trump’s legal problems are 100% his own doing.

26 thoughts on “Et Tu, National Review!

  1. Let’s be clear. McCarthy doesn’t actually say that Trump “was not responsibly securing the government’s most closely held intelligence.” Whether McCarthy’s hypothetical is true remains to be shown, at least publicly, and that truth is crucial to determining the validity of the search.

    I certainly agree that Biden’s involvement in this affair was consistent with PRA operations, but it is also suspect because Biden repeatedly denied his involvement. Why did he do that?

    Also, we don’t know what the FBI is looking for in its review of the sensitive documents it retrieved. Is it conducting a standard declassification/release review in accordance with PRA standard procedures, or is it looking for evidence of a crime it has not yet announced?

    NRO’s paywall prevents me from reading all of McCarthy’s remarks, but the quotations provided here don’t really substantiate the proposition that the Biden administration is just following the law. At best, they show that the administration might, theoretically, just be following the law.

    This could be a good thing. AG Garland could use “just following the law” as an excuse, should he decide to drop any criminal proceedings.

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    1. So, whether it is MSNBC or the National Review providing information you simply reject it if it is not what you want to know. I am not surprised. I am very familiar with the “goofy counterfactual obtuseness” you have displayed over the years.

      Biden was involved months before the search as was required by PRA when the FBI demanded to review documents they had already siezed. As McCarthy pointed out, this minor involvement was de jure and was not a choice.

      President Biden has said that it was not his decision to seek the search warrant and that he did not know of it in advance. There is no good reason to not believe him.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. RE; “President Biden has said that it was not his decision to seek the search warrant and that he did not know of it in advance.”

      Sure, if Biden is telling the truth about the warrant, then it was the DOJ acting on its own to obtain the warrant. However, DOJ asked Biden to ask NARA to allow the FBI to examine 15 boxes of Trump documents already in NARA’s possession. Biden must have known that something was up with Trump’s records. Yet Biden claims that he didn’t have “any advance notice. None. Zero. Not one single bit.”

      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-said-he-did-not-have-advance-notice-of-fbi-raid-on-trumps-mar-a-lago-none-zero

      Either Biden is being disingenuous, or he has no awareness or control over his subordinates, or the FBI went rogue.

      No one has disputed Trump’s right to have sensitive documents in his possession. No one has seriously alleged that Mar-a-Lago was an unsecure facility. And no one has alleged that Trump made unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information.

      Consequentially, Andrew McCarthy’s hypothetical remains just that, a hypothetical.

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      1. There is NOTHING in your link that is evidence that Biden was not truthful about not being involved in the DOJ decision to seek a search warrant.

        You would like to attribute his not knowing to some sort of management failure. It would never occur to you that Biden – unlike Trump – has not turned the DOJ into an arm of his political operation and deliberately remains at arms length.

        Of course, he knew that there was a problem getting Trump to obey the law. He had to sign some documents about it under PRA. Months earlier. That is very different than knowing about the search warrant being sought or served in advance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “There is NOTHING in your link that is evidence that Biden was not truthful about not being involved in the DOJ decision to seek a search warrant.”

          Never said there was.

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          1. “Never said there was.”

            Uh, that is FALSE.

            You offered the suggestion that Biden was being “disingenuous” about his knowledge of the DOJ actions. Once again you have trouble understanding what YOU write.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “You offered the suggestion that Biden was being ‘disingenuous’ about his knowledge of the DOJ actions.”

            Yes, I did. I didn’t say he was lying about his knowledge the search warrant.

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          3. “Yes, I did. I didn’t say he was lying about his knowledge the search warrant.”

            Not lying, just being “disingenuous?” Yeah, right.

            When asked by Fox News did he have advance notice his answer was unambiguous . . .

            “I didn’t have any advance notice — none, zero, not one single bit. Thank you”

            You say that claim is “disingenuous.” How is that different than a lie?

            Liked by 2 people

          4. RE: “You say that claim is ‘disingenuous.’ How is that different than a lie?”

            I said the claim could be disingenous, meaning “lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity.” I offered two other possibilities.

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      2. “No one has disputed Trump’s right to have sensitive documents in his possession. No one has seriously alleged that Mar-a-Lago was an unsecure facility. And no one has alleged that Trump made unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information.”

        Uh, there is not one true statement in the bunch.

        I am not sure what you think is “hypothetical” about the National Review piece. The FACTS documented in the letter that John Solomon released are just that…FACTS. McCarthy reacted to those FACTS by concluding that (1) the decision to seek a search warrant was reasonable and (2) President Biden’s minor involvement was simply required by law.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. RE: “Uh, there is not one true statement in the bunch.”

        Why, because you say so?

        RE: “I am not sure what you think is ‘hypothetical’ about the National Review piece.”

        Two things. First, McCarthy makes a living explaining concepts of law to a non-expert audience. Second, your first McCarthy quotation begins with the words, “Given that,” which indicates to me that he is not stating facts, but making a conditional observation.

        Besides, the facts in the NARA letter don’t allege any wrongdoing on Trump’s part, only White House involvement in the matter which was not previously known publicly and NARA’s decision not to honor Trump’s declaration of executive privilege.

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        1. “Why, because you say so?”
          Uh, because they are false statements.

          “Given that” does not mean “If.” It means “Since.” McCarthy is not speaking hypothetically. He is speaking in reaction to FACTS found in the letter that Solomon released.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “‘Given that’ does not mean ‘If.’ It means ‘Since.'”

          As already stated, I read “given that” as synonymous with “Let’s stipulate that.”

          RE: “He is speaking in reaction to FACTS found in the letter that Solomon released.”

          And yet, NARA’s letter doesn’t substantiate any of McCarthy’s hypotheticals in the quotation you provided.

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          1. As already stated, I read “given that” as synonymous with “Let’s stipulate that.”

            Read it any way that floats your boat. The FACT is that National Review was reacting to the FACTS in the letter that was released by Trump partisan John Solomon.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “The FACT is that National Review was reacting to the FACTS in the letter that was released by Trump partisan John Solomon.”

            Never said it wasn’t. I said McCarthy’s hypotheticals in your quotation are not substantiated by NARA’s letter.

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      4. “ No one has disputed Trump’s right to have sensitive documents in his possession…”

        That is not true. The warrant was the result of trying to retrieve our most secret documents being absconded and held by a civilian in a closet at a supper club.

        Now Trump has gone from “they were declassified by me as I left” to “Obama took nuclear secrets too”.

        Not too reassuring either way.

        Few agree that MAL was the proper storage for Top Secret/SA. It may have been OK as long as Trump was president and the place was crawling with SS, staff, aides, etc.

        As far as disclosure of sensitive documents, who knows. No logs. No guard. Unknown folks wandering around the area. Face it, the danger of disclosure to adversaries is why the urgency to retrieve the documents after many, many attempts to get cooperation from Trump.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “That is not true. The warrant was the result of trying to retrieve our most secret documents being absconded and held by a civilian in a closet at a supper club.”

          None of the statutes cited in the warrant concern mere possession of sensitive information. One of the statutes describes “gross negligence” in handling sensitive material, but that is different from mere possession.

          Calling Mar-a-Lago a “supper club” doesn’t mean anything. We know the facility had a SCIF and a closed area for storage (not a closet). Accordingly, Mar-a-Lago must have had a Facility Security Clearance when Trump was president. No one has shown that the FSC has expired.

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          1. Again, Trump was out of office for 20 months. No need for a SCIF. Who is he going to discuss our most critical secrets with? Why?

            No one has shown that the FSC was maintained.

            The supper club means there were hundreds of members, staff, etc. who had no clearance wandering around the facilities.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “Again, Trump was out of office for 20 months.”

            So what? He’s a former president with the privileges and immunities the voters gave him by virtue of his election.

            RE: “No one has shown that the FSC was maintained.”

            Exactly. No one has shown that it wasn’t, either. But cancelation of the FSC doesn’t mean that security was deficient, only that the facility was no longer accredited. This is relevant to the question of whether actual unauthorized disclosures occurred.

            RE: “The supper club means there were hundreds of members, staff, etc. who had no clearance wandering around the facilities.”

            Do you know for a fact that these masses were wandering around in the basement where the storage area was located? My guess is the basement had key-card access, like a hotel and surveillance cameras. These may have been sufficient to meet NISPOM requirements for closed area storage of TS/SCI materials.

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          3. “He’s a former president with the privileges and immunities the voters gave him by virtue of his election.”

            What are they? After all, voters rejected him in 2020.

            “No longer accredited” and “my guess is…key card access”. In other words you don’t know how secure the closet was.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. RE: “In other words you don’t know how secure the closet was.”

            Neither do you, which is why I object when you write falsely about it.

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          5. RE: “What are they? After all, voters rejected him in 2020.”

            Unless Trump is to be treated differently from other former presidents, he has the same privileges and immunities the voters gave him by election. That would include the highest possible (implied) security clearance. As I have explained before, losing an election would cancel a president’s “need to know,” but not the clearance that goes with the office.

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          6. Clearance, perhaps. Need-to-know? For what? HE barely knew what he was SUPPOSED to know while he was in office.

            He had no further need-to-know on the documents in question. Yet here you are, backhandedly giving him a pass for leaving the Oval Office with documents that should never have left.

            Ask his counsel Mr. Cippolone about that.

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          7. RE: “He had no further need-to-know on the documents in question.”

            You don’t know that. Maybe when the search warrant affidavit is published today we’ll learn more.

            Like

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