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The Obsessions Over Trump’s ‘Document’s and Clinton’s ‘Emails’ Need to End

The situation, the parallels between Clinton 2016 and Trump 2022, emphasize the hyper-partisanship of our political age – and a glaring lack of principle on ‘both sides.’

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump
Trump and Clinton during 2016 Campaign. Image Credit: Derivative work of File: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg (CC-BY-SA 3.0) and File:Hillary Clinton (24037852830).jpg (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

The ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of sensitive documents has displaced the January 6th Commission – concerning both dominating the news cycle and as the vessel of liberal hopes that Trump will be held criminally accountable for something, anything.  

Personally, I’m having a difficult time tracking or caring about Trump’s handling of sensitive documents.

After seven years of Trump – of endless allegations, investigations, and impeachments – everything sort of blurs together.

Because of the frequency and quantity of alleged wrongdoings, yes, but also because each allegation has the same flavor of vague, desperate longing; endless wishful endeavors hoping to ascribe criminal wrongdoing to the former president – none of which succeed. Today, after the anticlimaxes of Russiagate, the Mueller Report, the January 6th Commission, and everything else, it seems clear: the end goal is not protecting the structures or protocols of our government, rather, the end goal is simply busting Trump

Bust Trump, So He Can’t Run Again

The partisan, hall-monitor-like fixation on getting Trump in trouble has so far succeeded only in giving Trump’s claims of persecution credence. The result is a credentialed martyr, capable of making outrageous claims, like, ‘the election was stolen from me,’ while still sounding plausible to his base. 

The current claims against Trump are distinct in offering insight into liberal hypocrisy. The current claims against Trump, that he mishandled sensitive information, closely mirror claims against Hillary Clinton that dominated the 2016 election. As you may remember, Clinton, while Secretary of State, used a private email server for official communications when she should have been using her State Department email address, which would have been securely maintained on federal servers. Over 100 emails that Clinton sent contained classified information; over 20 of the emails contained “Top Secret” information. Some experts believed that Clinton’s email use violated federal law.  

Liberals, upon hearing that their champion had mishandled classified information, were dismissive, rolling their eyes. “Forget about the emails!” Bernie Sanders declared. Liberals were happy to comply.

Conservatives, on the other hand, especially Trump supporters, fixated on Clinton’s emails. To them, Clinton’s emails weren’t just confirmation that the DNC candidate wasn’t trustworthy – the emails were a criminal offense. “Lock her up!” the hive-mind chanted in unison at each Trump rally. They meant it, too. Put Hillary Clinton in prison because she used a personal email account to send sensitive information. 

Liberals were justly horrified. Are these people deranged? Liberals wondered. Now, however, as it seems clearer and more apparent that Trump did, in fact, improperly store sensitive documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, liberals are salivating at the prospect of finally getting their Most Wanted Man. Liberals aren’t just out to degrade the reputation of their political rival, they’re out to lock him up.

President Trump Delivers Remarks at TPUSA

President Trump Delivers Remarks at TPUSA

The situation, the parallels between Clinton 2016 and Trump 2022, emphasize the hyper-partisanship of our political age – and a glaring lack of principle on ‘both sides.’ It’s simple. A principled, non-partisan observer who believed that mishandling sensitive information was egregious would be upset with both Clinton and Trump. A principled, non-partisan observer who wasn’t especially concerned with the mishandling of sensitive information would be willing to forgive Clinton and Trump. That Clinton and Trump happen to represent different political factions should not be factored into the equation. 

Frankly, I’m not too worried about either Clinton or Trump’s actions. If they broke the law, they should be treated like anyone else who broke that law – I’m sensitive to the idea that they would get special treatment. But concerning the actual laws, I’m inclined to be dismissive. Indeed, neither situation would compel me to chant publicly that someone must be incarcerated. The funny thing is, in Trump’s case, he was the president; he could have just declassified the documents he took to Mar-a-Lago, and then everything would have been legally kosher – a fact that underscores the arbitrary nature of the classified documents system and undermines the indignation of the Lock Her/Him Up, crowd. 

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. What In The World

    September 1, 2022 at 11:01 am

    These two subjects are in no way comparable. You can’t “both sides” this. Hillary Clinton was investigated by the FBI for using an email server that resulted in some spillage. After an investigation by Trump’s own DOJ, they found that there was not a reason to charge her. Trump stole boxes of TS documents and hid them from the FBI when they confronted his team multiple times about it and people like you want it to just go away because “pArTiSan”. Pretending they’re the same makes you look ignorant and shows you don’t understand a thing about this topic.

  2. Dannythinksitsvaccuum

    September 1, 2022 at 11:35 am

    Let’s see. One situation involved a person holding supposed classified documents, (keep in mind a paper document with a classified stamp can be declassified and it will still have the stamp on it. You know, the whole ink on paper thingy)Said documents were offered to government officials and they refused to take and only requested an additional lock be installed on a room with an existing lock. No one could remotely hack those documents.
    Then, instead of issuing a subpoena for said documents the FBI conducted a raid to get them along with attorney-client privileged information, passports, and panties. Everything was above board so much that the affidavit for the warrant has to be 90% redacted and the DOJ doesn’t want a special master to review. In fact, requesting an independent review is obstruction of justice because, well, because it just is.
    Now, the other situation involves electronic devices containing real time classified material that were hacked by foreign powers. When said devices were subpoenaed (weird, no raid needed for these) they were wiped clean (no, not with a cloth) or destroyed with hammers.
    Yep, same exact thing.

  3. What In The World

    September 1, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    The information is out there, bud. You don’t have to believe Trump’s lies. The documents were subpoenaed. Trump fought it and pretended the government didn’t ask when they did. Lucky for us, his “ally” posted the NARA letter for us proving he’s lying.

    There was no declassification stamp on the documents. All of the people who worked for him said this isn’t how the process works and he never even hinted at wanting some automatic declassification process. Anyone who understands classification knows this. There are documents even the president can’t just declassify and they still go through review.

    “No one could hack these documents”. Any foreign agent who went to his golf club could find their way around and find them improperly secured though, assuming he didn’t show it to them on purpose. These weren’t his documents to keep anyway. They’re official government records. Not his personal ones. And no. Obama didn’t do it too. That was another lie.

    The DOJ redacted info/tried to keep the document sealed to protect sources like they would with literally any other case. The only reason he even gets an unsealed affidavit is because he’s a former president. He wants more to find out who squealed on him. You’re his useful little sheep.

    He asked for a special master weeks after the documents were taken. His legal team is incompetent too.

    Stop peddling his lies.

  4. Froike

    September 1, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Danny…Bravo…you read my mind. Hillary violated every Federal IT Procedure for Sensitive/Classified information, putting our Nation’s Security at Risk. Whether she did this purposefully, or as an act of blatant negligence, the result was the same.
    Trump, on the other hand, followed procedures. Yes, we should not discuss The FBI Raid and POTUS Trump’s documents, as it was illegal, poorly executed, and a continuation of The Demonratic Witch Hunt to prevent Trump from running for POTUS again.
    Hillary, should be indicted and jailed!

  5. GhostTomahawk

    September 1, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    The Raid on Trumps house has brought to light ONCE AGAIN the DOJ and FBI are bias in their application and execution of the law. Storm Troopers didn’t show up at Hillarys office or home guns drawn. She came in with whatever she wanted and had coffee and donuts. Her lawyer, also under investigation was permitted to sit in with them. Trump wasn’t home and the FBI knew it. This was a made for media event to smear him and ITS OBVIOUS.

    The FBI doesn’t need to be defunded, it needs to be cleaned out top to bottom.

    When agents are resigning due to bias. It’s a sign of a systemic problem.

    THIS IS THE STORY. The papers and emails/server/hard drives are the methods. The FBI is bias. THE DOJ IS BIAS. This story needs to be run every day all day.

    If anyone thinks it doesn’t then, they’re either participating in it or are benefiting from it in one way or another.

  6. JoeBob

    September 1, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    “Personally, I’m having a difficult time tracking or caring about Trump’s handling of sensitive documents.”

    This one sentence tells me all I need to know about the author’s ability to apply his keen sense of partisanship to equal treatment under the law. It might be preferable for your reputation to find a different lens with a wider view?

  7. GhostTomahawk

    September 1, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    @What in the world…. you’re high. Hillary was running her govt affairs out of a unsecured email that was in her house that WAS HACKED by foreign govts. Idiot.

    Trump didn’t have squat in his house. They’re fishing for a news cycle change because the Biden administration is an epic fail.

    You’re right these 2 things aren’t the same. Hillary broke the law regarding her security clearance because she is reckless at minimum or indifferent at worse. Id go to jail. She had a “matter” and ran for president.

    You’re a flat idiot. It’s like you’re on another planet with the rest of the dems

  8. Silverton

    September 1, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Froike

    Trump, on the other hand, followed procedures.

    Oh yes he followed not US but Moscow procedures

    The adage ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ could not be better explanation for Trump cultists. At least Trump is getting rewarded for cashing in on the whole ‘Apprenticeship 2 The White House’ His followers receive nothing at all for debasing themselves and the cold turkey and self ridicule that is coming when he is jailed will be legendary

  9. What In The World

    September 1, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    @GhostTomahawk Any proof he didn’t have “squat” at Mar-a-lago? Besides him screaming that he’s innocent? Are all the pictures of the boxes coming out and the documents on the floor faked? His own statements about being allowed to have the documents that contradict with every classification policy just don’t exist? The entire investigation is just made up out of thin air to distract from Biden’s climbing poll numbers? Don’t worry buddy. We’re right here in reality when you’re ready to come back from Trumpworld and join us. All you have to do is use your brain for a second and you can escape his cult. We believe in you.

  10. JoeBob

    September 1, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    froike, You are totally devoid of facts. Three emails were found to have security markings and they had been sent to Clinton. Three. Did you get that number? DOJ decided it didn’t rise to a criminal event. Quit trying to conflate two incomparable events. It makes you look really dumb.

    No comparison to the twice impeached thief. How many documents did he steal? He lied to FBI and held back more classified docs. He was given the opportunity to end it by returning the docs. He decided to get cute and lie. That coupled with cooperation from people with knowledge of more documents triggered a search warrant.

    You must be brain dead to be unable to follow the events unfolding. An indictment seems inevitable.

  11. Dannythinksitsvacuum

    September 1, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    “Any proof he didn’t have “squat” at Mar-a-lago?”—-The burden of proof is on the DOJ to prove Trump is guilty not Trump to prove he is innocent. Why is 90% of the affidavit redacted and why doesn’t the DOJ want a special master?

    Bidens climbing poll numbers? Sure, that’s why 99% of Democrats running for office don’t want to be seen on the campaign trail with grandpa Fuzzybrain Gaffagain Shakeshandswithnoone.

    Remember when inflation was 2% and gas was $2.50 a gallon? Yep, that was before Captain Dimentia and his team of handlers was running the show.

    Your guy needs help from a corrupt DOJ and a sycophant news media to maintain his supposed 30% approval rating. Tell me bud, where are all the Build Back Better hats? Maybe they are hard to see in a sea of MAGA hats.

  12. Mario

    September 2, 2022 at 4:13 am

    “a paper document with a classified stamp can be declassified and it will still have the stamp on it”.
    Yeah, but…
    A declassified document MUST have a “declassified by” stamp in it so you can easily realize ‘when’ (optionally ‘why’) and ‘who’ declassified the file.

  13. What In The World

    September 2, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    @Dannythinksitsvacuum Don’t cherry pick. You ignored all the evidence I mentioned right after that statement. Don’t pretend its about “burden of proof” for you anymore. This thread is full of answers to your bad faith questions. There is proof DOJ took documents from Mar-a-lago. They’re putting pictures, statements, and everything else you could want out now except the names of the informants you and your Dear Leader so badly want in that affidavit. No one is stupid enough to think you want that unredacted affidavit for any other reason than reprisals against whistleblowers. Also, Dems don’t need red hats to show loyalty to the country.

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