New documents have recently been discovered, apparently at a storage unit. A search team that Trump himself hired (after a federal judge ordered Trump to look for any more classified material in his possession) found at least two documents, marked CLASSIFIED, inside a sealed box.
The documents were found at a federally run storage facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. When the documents were discovered, the lawyers on Trump’s search team notified the Department of Justice.
Trump is not happy. “Everything should be returned, at once!” Trump said, adding on Truth Social that the “taking of documents” by FBI agents was “ILLEGAL.”
“Under the Presidential Records Act and the very well-established Clinton Socks Case, the raid of Mar-a-Lago by the FBI, and the taking of documents and many other items, was ILLEGAL,” Trump said. “Everything should be returned, at once!”
Tensions in the case appear to be rising. The DOJ has requested that the Trump team sign a sworn assurance that all documents have been returned. Trump’s team has refused to sign such a sworn assurance.
In light of the discoveries made this week, Trump’s team issued a statement saying that Trump and “his counsel continue to be cooperative and transparent, despite the unprecedented, illegal, and unwarranted attack against President Trump and his family by the weaponized Department of Justice.”
Trump’s complaints about being investigated for mishandling classified documents are somewhat amusing; Trump led the charge to investigate Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information via email. Remember? “Locking up” Hillary was a central policy proposal of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Trump doesn’t seem to be enjoying the inverse.
Regardless, the classified documents issue is proving to be another (of many) that highlight people’s allegiance to party over principle.
If you think Trump should be investigated/prosecuted over his mishandling of sensitive documents, then in theory, if you are principled, you should believe Hillary ought to be investigated/prosecuted, too.
The opposite – if Hillary is let off the hook, then Trump should be let off the hook – is true, too.
But of course, in our hyper-partisan environment, you’ve got a sizeable portion of the population who wanted Hillary locked up, yet simultaneously believe Trump is being held unfairly to account (and vice versa) – for roughly equivalent offenses.
That conclusion is most readily possible with a party-over-principle mindset.
At risk of sounding pedantic, I recommend that people adopt a principle over-party mindset.
Anyways, with respect to the specific issue at hand, I personally don’t lose too much sleep over what Trump was doing with CLASSIFIED documents. I also don’t lose too much sleep over which email server Hillary used during her tenure as Secretary of State.
I’m receptive to the argument that the protocols governing emails and documents and phones is somewhat neurotic, overzealous, and ultimately kind of silly. Trump could make this or similar points – but instead, he’s just so whiny, so quick to default to victim-status. Trump’s belligerence and wholesale denial just exacerbates the issue.
Basically, Trump lacks tact.
Now, do Trump’s claims that he is the subject of some form of witch hunt have merit?
Maybe to some extent. I’d like to think that Democrats have not weaponized the Department of Justice. But it seems pretty clear that Democrats decided collectively, roughly seven years ago, that they were going to take down Trump
No. Matter. What.
The result has been a couple of bogus, failed impeachments, a never-ending, anti-climactic inquiry into the Trump’s January 6th behavior, and the sustained (yet inaccurate) perception amongst the right that Trump is an outsider, underdog figure.
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.