83 thoughts on “READ: Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit and memo

  1. Thanks for the link.

    Virtually all the evidence supporting probable cause has been completely redacted with the approval of the court. That says to me that this is some serious stuff.

    There is some new information in this affidavit.

    1. The storage facilities at Mar-a-Lago are not authorized for the kinds of materials being held there. We can now stop speculating about that.

    2. Protecting Attorney-Client privilege was part of the search plan presented to the court.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “The storage facilities at Mar-a-Lago are not authorized for the kinds of materials being held there. We can now stop speculating about that.”

      Yes we can. Now the question becomes: Were the storage locations adequate to safeguard the documents? If they were, then it matters less whether they were authorized or not.

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      1. Never give up, eh.

        The answer to your fall back question is obviously – NO! The affidavit shows that these documents were all over the place at Mar-a-Lago. The people trying to deal gently with Trump to get them back had to insist that they at least be concentrated in that closet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “The people trying to deal gently with Trump to get them back had to insist that they at least be concentrated in that closet.”

        You are making some mighty big assumptions based on very little data. Apparently, NARA was content for the documents to be stored in the closet. It wasn’t until DOJ got involved that security of sensitive materials became an issue.

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        1. Uh, I think you have that a bit backwards. NARA was very concerned when the earlier batches they did get back consisted of highly classified documents and then they notified the DOJ.

          They were not content, obviously.

          And, as it turned out, documents were all over the place and blended in with news clippings, letters, etc.

          It will be interesting to find out why Trump wanted to keep HUMINT Top Secret documents at his supper club.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “Uh, I think you have that a bit backwards.”

          Nope. Here’s the timeline from the affidavit:

          January 18, 2021. Moving trucke observed at Mar-a-Lago, thought to be delivering documents transfered from the White House.

          May 6, 2021 (on or about). NARA made a request for…missing PRA records and continued to make requests until approximately late December 2021 when NARA was informed twelve boxes were found and ready for retrieval at the PREMISES.

          January 18, 2022. NARA received 15 boxes of records from Trump.

          Febmary 9, 2022. NARA submits referral to FBI stating that classifed documents were intermingled with other records in the 15 boxes. After initial review of the NARA Referral, opened its ciminal investigation.

          May 16-18, 2022. FBI agents conducted a prelimina1y review of the FIFTEEN BOXES provided to NARA and identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the FIFTEEN BOXES.

          June 8, 2022. DOJ COUNSEL sent FPOTUS COUNSEL 1 a letter…, which stated in relevant part:

          “As I previously indicated to you, Mar-a-Lago does not include a secure location
          authorized for the storage of classified infermation. As such, it appears that since the time classified documents were removed from the secure facilities at the White House and moved to Mar-a-Lago on or around Januaiy 20, 2021, they have not been handled in an approp1iate manner or stored in an appropriate location. Accordingly, we ask that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all of 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 farther notice.”

          I was wrong in one detail. It was not NARA that was content with the storage closet. It was DOJ.

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          1. That is what I said. After the initial batch of 15 boxes, NARA saw the classified documents intermingled and turned the case over to DOJ.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “That is what I said.”

            No. You accused me of getting the chain of events “a bit backwards.” There is no evidence that NARA was, as you said, “very concerned” about the storage of classifed materials. NARA merely allowed the FBI to review the contents of the 15 boxes.

            The puzzle for you to work out is this: If DOJ was concerned about safeguarding classified or sensitive documents, why did it ask Trump’s lawyer “that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all of 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”?

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      3. “Were the storage locations adequate to safeguard the documents? If they were, then it matters less whether they were authorized or not.”

        You are so wrong and you so know it, but you have to keep trying to find a way to justify and defend what happened. You keep trying, but your effectiveness is about a ZERO on a 1-10 scale.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What I can see, two of the most disturbing parts of this story are these:

    Classified documents were found in other places other than the storage room, such as a bedroom. A padlock the size of a Buick would make no difference if the document is not in the closet.

    HUMINT information was part of the classified documents.

    HUMINT is about our reliance on agents in foreign lands. Exposure would certainly endanger our sources and equally damaging is the loss of trust that we can protect our sources.

    Why would Trump feel absconding with these documents was a good idea?

    Dementia, ignorance or criminal intent?

    Whatever Trump’s reasons to take and keep such secrets and refuse to return them after many efforts over months at least a year after leaving office, the possible damage to our security and to lives abroad is very serious. It could cripple our intelligence capabilities for years.

    The Walker spy family might not have done as much damage to our nation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sensationalize much? How do you know said documents are not dated, OBE and declassified by Trump? You and Paul claim to know more than anyone else outside of the FBI, How is that?

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        1. No. You claim speculation is fact. There is a ton of speculation in this debacle. Just because an agent thinks something doesn’t make it true.

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      1. These were documents Trump took with him when he left 1/20. Aides and staff that packed up verified that. Doubtful it consisted of Vietnam era information.

        NARA and the FBI were concerned when they discovered TS/SA were part of the documents they partially retrieved n January and June.

        The affidavit indicated HUMINT info. I don’t think they were worried about WW2 spies.

        Aides, staff and Chief of Staff Meadows all say that Trump did not declassify anything.

        And he whined that Obama took nuclear secrets, so what’s the big deal.

        I just read the affidavit and checked media from WSJ on the right to WAPO on the left and others in between. I also read what Trump had to say and his actions since. No big deal. Just what all folks can read.

        But it is my opinion, and I voiced it. Just like you.

        Does this help?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Why would Trump send illegal classified documents to NARA in the first place if he hadn’t declassified them? That’s like mailing a kilo of coke to the 1st precinct with a return address. Arrest me, please. Doubt it.

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  3. Well, that was a waste of my time.

    The assumption in the non-redacted portion was entirely based on those documents Trump voluntarily turned over already. They presume that because there were items related to national defense in the documents Trump turned over to NARA, that those he still had would be the same, as though Trump’s attorneys turned over random boxes of documents, and made no effort to turn over the stuff that should be.

    One could as easily argue that the presence of questionable documents in those turned over was evidence that such documents were no longer in Trump’s possession.

    Perhaps there is some probable cause in the pages of redacted material, but there is no probable cause in what was released. On the contrary, what was released is evidence there was NOT anything left there.

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    1. Pretty much my take. Since Trump voluntarily turned over 15 boxes of documents which included some with classification markings, it sure doesn’t appear that anyone was trying to hide anything so that leans heavily that all of this stuff had been declassified. Why would they send illegal classified documents back to NARA instead of destroying it if there was anything nefarious in this.

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      1. Maybe they have some probable cause for a search, but it sure the hell wasn’t in the redacted affidavit.

        If anything, what was released would have indicated Trump had returned what they wanted.

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        1. …what was released would have indicated Trump had returned what they wanted.”

          If he had already returned what they wanted, there was no reason to go through the very tedious and well-grounded motions of securing a search warrant to obtain what was still there. Which has been shown to be highly classified documents that has ZERO reason for being there.

          Awaiting the “They are covering their incompetence by taking things not really in the warrant” defense that has followed from you every single time.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re assuming the purpose stated in the affidavit was the actual purpose.

            I do not believe that to be the case. they are kicking over a major anthill with this search and it is not over a few outdated documents.

            The most logical explanation is that Trump had documents showing FBI complicity in the Russia Collusion Hoax they wanted to disappear.

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          2. “But they don’t investigate Democrats.”

            Is it possible for one old doofus to be more full of shit?

            They investigated the Hell out of Hillary Clinton and defied all norms to go public with that fact IMMEDIATELY before the election. Even though they found no indictable crimes. Not once but twice with the rush to announce they were looking at Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Keep telling yourself that. I am sure that Hillary will be surprised by your sentiment. Not to mention several Representatives that have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar…from BOTH parties.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. “The most logical explanation is that Trump had documents showing FBI complicity in the Russia Collusion Hoax they wanted to disappear.”

            There is NOTHING “logical” about that at all. It borders on insanity.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. And yet, they carted of plenty of still highly classified documents with the warrant.

      So the affidavit was correct. There were still classified documents at the club. The redactions were to protect the name or names of an informants who knew there were still classified papers that had not been returned in June.

      One could easily argue that since Trump turned over some boxes in January and NARA saw the highly classified ones and set about trying to get the rest. And they did in June with a lawyer attesting that they were all the classified ones.

      Except for the ones picked up with a warrant in August.

      There is no reason for such highly classified documents to be in a supper club. It makes no difference who Trump was or thought he was.

      At some point, we the people get tired of being hoodwinked. After many months, letters, emails, requests. subpoenas, and lies. And evidently the serious nature of the documents and their importance to our national security was considered important by those who care about America.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “At some point, we the people get tired of being hoodwinked.”

        We the people should stop hoodwinking ourselves.

        For example, you seem to be overwrought by the idea that “highly classified documents” were stored “in a supper club.” Colorful as that sounds, your language is not an accurate description, nor is it necessarily relevant in terms of the law.

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          1. “Highly classified documents is what this entire imbroglio is all about.”

            They give it urgency, but it is worth remembering that the illicit removal of the documents was first noticed because significant historical documents – Obama’s welcome to the job letter and the “love letters” from Kim were missing.

            Personally, I think Trump thought he could sell such documents for a handsome amount and did not want some little bureaucrat – the Archivist of the United States – to claim them on behalf of the American people according to law.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “illicit removal of the documents was first noticed because significant historical documents – Obama’s welcome to the job letter and the ‘love letters’ from Kim were missing.”

            There was no “illicit removal.” There were no “missing” documents.

            If you have ever compiled a formal bibliography you can appreciate how difficult and tedious the Archivist’s work can be. There may have been a custody dispute over the two items you mention, but neither the search warrant nor the affidavit allege that documents were removed from the White House in an illicit or improper manner or that any documents were “missing.” The affidavit asserts that Mar-a-Lago was “not authorized” for the storage of sensitive information, but the DOJ actually “authorized” it for that purpose in a letter to Trump’s lawyer (June 8, 2022) — see my timeline, above.

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          3. “There was no “illicit removal.” There were no “missing” documents.”

            And yet when NARA realized that those particular famous documents which should have been left in the White House but were not there, this whole process began. So basically, you are full of shit. Again.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “And yet when NARA realized that those particular famous documents which should have been left in the White House but were not there, this whole process began.”

            Cite? I’m looking for evidence that those particular famous documents should have been left in the White House, or that the Archivist didn’t know where they were.

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          5. How would the Archivist know. There was no transition. So the documents were tossed in boxes along with untold clippings, letters and other presidential papers and left the White House when Trump took off. The chaotic departure has been described by staff many times over.

            So can you prove that the Archivist did know, but ignored a request to arrange for pick up?

            Liked by 2 people

          6. Thanks.

            Your cite doesn’t justify the statements you made. The documents NARA wanted did not need to remain at the White House, as you claimed. And they were not “missing” in the sense you inferred.

            From your cite:

            “Stern also noted in his emails to Trump’s legal counsel that two classified documents, which were letters from North Korea President Kim Jong Un and former President Obama, were missing from their archival list.

            “We know things are very chaotic, as they always are in the course of a one-term transition,” Stern wrote in the email. “ … But it is absolutely necessary that we obtain and account for all presidential records.”

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          1. So what? Did the woman get anything? More to the point, were there ANY unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information or are any currently alleged?

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          2. “…were there ANY unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information…”

            I imagine the investigation will eventually find out. After 20 months at a Beach club, and as we know from the affidavit, documents were not all in a locked closet. And we have evidence of other people wandering around.

            Give me a good reason we should not suspect that Trump or his associates sent critical information to our adversaries. He could have mailed them, given them to a buddy who was heading overseas, made copies and faxed them.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. You know what was taken in the raid?

        If so, the FBI has released information it should not yet have reviewed pending removal and return of privileged documents.

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        1. The list of removed documents was available just a few days after the search. Remember that the Freedom Caucus had scheduled a “we are outraged news conference” on the Friday afterwards, but cancelled when the list was released.

          Liked by 2 people

    3. RE: “Well, that was a waste of my time.”

      The main thing I learned from the affidavit is that all the fuss is predicated solely on the presumption that Mar-a-Lago is “not authorized” for storage of classified information. Being “not authorized” may be enough to establish probable cause for a search warrant, but I imagine it is far from enough to justify a criminal indictment.

      In Exhibit 1 to the affidavit, Trump’s lawyer argues that — because the president is not “an officer of the United States” — he cannot be charged with the crime of retaining sensitive material in an “unauthorized location.”

      The affidavit does more to weaken DOJ’s position than to strengthen it. If DOJ really wants to make an issue of “not authorized” storage, it will have to explain why it is prosecuting Trump when it didn’t prosecute Hillary for the same thing.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “It was just a pretense for trying to recover the Russia hoax papers.”

          You might be right. The Crossfire Hurricane documents had already been through the first of an iterative declassification review process, and redacted copies had been prepared for public release, subject to agency review of the redactions. Those materials alone could be the basis for the claim that Trump had already declassified the sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago.

          Esoterica aside, the never-Trumpers need to get hep about several things:

          • It is not a crime for a former president to be in possession of sensitive documents.
          • DOJ has not (yet) alleged that Trump failed to safeguard sensitive information in his possession.
          • So far, there is no evidence that Trump, his lawyers or anyone at Mar-a-Lago committed an unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information.
          • As matters currently stand, Trump’s handling of sensitive information is far less troubling than Hillary’s.

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        2. You know this? I am impressed.

          Trump had these papers for about 20 months. They were still in the boxes hastily packed because he had little desire to effect an orderly transition. Clippings mixed with letters and photos interspersed with Top Secret/Special Access documents. And you really think he was waiting for a rainy day to go through them and, voilà, here is the real dossier?

          Why don’t you think he was saving them to extort us or get a nice dacha? Both are more plausible since he has a history that matches perfectly.

          Remember, the scorpion stung the frog taking him across the creek because that is his nature.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. “Waiting on Durham”

            Durham has ONE case still pending. A Russian charged with lying to the FBI about the Steele Dossier. I don’t think that is the kind of disclosure you have in mind since it shows that the FBI was acting in good faith trying to validate its contents.

            You people can keep on waiting for the magic to happen. It has been three years so far with zilch. Maybe something will come up in the next three.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “Why don’t you think he was saving them to extort us or get a nice dacha?”

            Because to think that I’d have to be intollerably stupid.

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          3. Trump was impeached because he tried to extort favors from Zelensky. He is being investigated in GA because, on tape, he threatened and extorted The Secretary of State and election officials. He tried to threaten election officials in other swing states.

            He lives in a nice Beach club now, why not try for something outside the US, away from all these pesky investigations. Makes sense.

            Liked by 1 person

        3. “It was just a pretense for trying to recover the Russia hoax papers.”

          Senility is a terrible thing. That does not even make sense. I would say laughable but maybe pitiable is more humane.

          If there were exonerating papers in Trump’s possession then (a) they would have been leaked by now, and more importantly (b) seizing the originals would utterly fail to suppress their contents. Copy machines, scanners and cameras are a thing now. Duh!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. “Which would be why they searched the whole house, including Melania’s closet. to be sure they got any copies.”

            Bizarre! Or is that one of your jokes?

            The entire content of all purloined documents would fit on a thumb drive or postage stamp sized SD card. The idea that the FBI was looking for copies and thought they could find every one is, well, senile. And if that were really the goal, they would have had to search Trump’s numerous other hidey holes around the world and still have very little chance of success.

            Liked by 2 people

          1. I do not have the investigative powers to uncover the FBI’s complicity, especially as they have already had time to destroy the proof.

            But when you have eliminated the impossible, what remains is the truth, as Sherlock used to say.

            And it is just not possible that what is in the affidavit was the true reason. There may be something else in the pages of redaction, but that is for the FBI to prove.

            My prediction at this point is that there will be no indictment. If there is, the redacted portion of the affidavit will have to be revealed in discovery. The FBI does not want that, so they will destroy what they were really looking for and return the rest to NARA or to Trump, and that will be the end of it.

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          2. You have no proof, yet you continue to spew your delusions.

            “And it is just not possible that what is in the affidavit was the true reason.”

            It just isn’t possible in your warped pro-Trump thought processes.

            If there is no indictment it would be similar to Ford’s pardoning of Nixon.

            BUT, if there is, I am sure you will find a way to blame someone else for TFG’s malfeasance and criminal behavior.

            You say it is the FBI who doesn’t want the affidavit released. Yet once the indictment (if it comes) they will gladly release it as part of discovery. And TFG’s legal team will be hard pressed to do anything about it. By defense releasing it, they will be compromising the case and the judge will have them disbarred.

            Seeing as you are not Director Wray or the ghost of Hoover, you have no idea. You say a lot with ZERO proof and speculate ad nauseum. But it means BUPKES.

            As far as predictions go, I will refer you to your several predictions of election results in the recent past. You really should stop predicting.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. So they planted evidence AND destroyed evidence. Do you realize how stupid that sounds? Career LE agents are not going to jeopardize their careers, pensions, or freedom over something like this.

            You HATE DOJ and FBI doing their jobs when it comes to Trump. But if they are going after a Democrat, ANY Democrat, the God Bless them for they are so righteous in their actions.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. It is not the DOJ’s to act as Biden’s KGB.

            And what Democrats do you think they are going after? Certainly no Biden’s or Congressional insider traders.

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          5. Actually, the DOJ is about as independent as it has been in years. Trump went through AG’s, approved and acting, like shit though a goose, trying to get one to do his personal bidding. He found one in Jeff Clark just before 1/6, who drafted a phony letter to GA saying the DOJ had actually found fraud. Which, as Barr so succinctly stated, was bullshit. Fortunately, White House counsel and staff nixed the idea, probably because they saw prison in the future if that letter had gone out with Clark as acting AG.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. “I do not have the investigative powers to uncover the FBI’s . . .”

            Sick. And not in a good way.

            Even the National Review opined – based on the FACTS in the letter released by Solomon detailing the course of events – that obtaining the search warrant was a reasonable and justifiable response to Trump’s behavior. But not you, you have such special powers of sniffing out “corruption.” Except, of course, when it involves Trump. Your nose fails you on the leader of your cult. Odd.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. “And it is just not possible that what is in the affidavit was the true reason.”

            And why not? Other than because you say so, of course.

            Not long ago, most Americans would say it is not possible that a losing president would spend months trying to overturn an election through extortion, threats, conspiracy theories and violence.

            But it happened.

            Also, most Americans would say it is not possible that a losing president would abscond with the nation’s secrets and store them in a beach club he owns.

            But he did.

            Most Americans would say it is not possible for a losing president to keep presidential papers and classified material after a year’s long effort to get them back.

            But, yet, here we are.

            You haven’t a clue whether Crossfire was even in the boxes of papers. Not one. So why do you insist they are there? Most likely, because that is the right wing talking point, at least for the most MAGA-fied puppets.

            It is highly unusual, almost never for that matter, to reveal an affidavit until there is an indictment. This was an obvious accommodation because of Trump being an ex-president. And in the case of high profile crimes, witnesses will still need to be protected so they can testify. Especially with Trump’s “stand by” gangs that we know are more than willing to get violent if so ordered, as history as shown.

            Liked by 2 people

          8. RE: “Prove it or shut the hell up about it.”

            Can’t prove it, but it makes sense:

            • The affidavit reports that moving vans delivering Trump’s possessions (and documents) from the White House began arriving at Mar-a-Lago on Jan.18, 2021.
            • On Jan. 19, 2021 Trump issued an executive memo ordering the further declassificaition and public release of Crossfire Hurricane documents.

            • On Jan. 20, 2021 Trump officially left office.

            Thus, the Crossfire Hurricane documents had been declassified by an order preceding Trump’s Jan. 19 memo. We know the previous order must have been valid because the FBI complied with it. And we know the Jan. 19 memo confirmed the previous declassification and ordered the documents to be prepared for public release.

            It looks to me like Trump tied up loose ends on the Crossfire Hurricane documents before leaving town, knowing that he had the case files in hand. He did nothing illegal or improper in the process.

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          9. It only makes sense to the delusions of pro-Trump sycophants who live in HIS reality. Which as, we have seen over the past several years, is nowhere near to ACTUAL reality.

            The Jan 10th order was too late to be executed and the next administration, as is there wont, declined to follow up. Crossfire HUrricane docs being ordered declassified on the. day before he left office is brutally idiotic. Ig he really wanted them declassified he would have done it much sooner. I know, “but Durham”. If those documents had anything worthwhile to prosecute anyone, Durham would have finished by now.

            If the FBI complied with the order, where are the documents? They would have been all over right wing media if that were the case. Unless of course they PROVED the issues found in that operation.

            By keeping those documents in his possession, he violated the Presidential Records Act in not turning them over to NARA. Bth illegal AND improper.

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          10. “Can’t prove it, but it makes sense: blah, blah, blah.”

            Milk-out-the-nose funny!
            You must be a charter member of the Fifth Avenue Brigade. (An imaginary organization of silly people who will believe anything Trump does and justify any crime he commits.)

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Right. ZERO proof. Lots of delusional speculation. As I said, if you have no proof, you should not talk about it until you do. And I am figuring you never will, but will continue to toss out so much BS, like ketchup on a dining room wall, until you are dead and gone.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. “Can’t prove it, but it makes sense.”

            That is what Giuliani told the Speaker of the AZ House while trying to overturn a lawful election. “We have theories, but no evidence.”

            According to about 18 former staff and aides, including Trump’s COS, Meadows, Trump didn’t declassify anything. No evidence, no witnesses, no documentation as required.

            Liked by 2 people

          13. “Uh, it is the FBI that doesn’t want the unredacted affidavit released.”

            And they have THREE excellent reasons for that stance:

            1. Trump world is full of gun-toting shitheads who would put the lives of agents, officers, and witnesses at risk. There has already been one such shithead attack on the FBI.

            2. The materials cited in the redacted portions are very high order NDI which we do not want to reveal to other countries. Sources and methods are at risk.

            3. The investigative process is ongoing. The unredacted information will open the door to various means of obstructing justice including witness intimidation and disappearance.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. RE: “Ig he really wanted them declassified he would have done it much sooner.”

            You don’t know that to be true.

            RE: “If those documents had anything worthwhile to prosecute anyone, Durham would have finished by now.”

            You don’t know that to be true.

            RE: “They would have been all over right wing media if that were the case”

            You don’t know that to be true. We know the FBI complied with the original order because the Jan. 19 memo says so.

            RE: “By keeping those documents in his possession, he violated the Presidential Records Act in not turning them over to NARA.”

            You don’t know that to be true.

            You should take your own advice: Prove it or shut the hell up about it.

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          15. RE: “According to about 18 former staff and aides, including Trump’s COS, Meadows, Trump didn’t declassify anything. No evidence, no witnesses, no documentation as required.”

            The Jan. 19 executive memo is documentary evidence.

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          16. If true, then the Crossfire documents never left Washington. The FBI would have been working on redactions to comply with declassification. If that is the case, then the idea that Crossfire documents were the object of the warrant is baloney.

            Liked by 2 people

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