An archived story from Gentleman’s Journal dating back to 2016 profiled the multiple homes of now-former President Donald Trump. It noted that Donald Trump bought his Mar-A-Lago club and residence in Palm Beach in 1985 for $10 million. It includes 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms and reportedly “3 bomb shelters.”
It has since been converted into a private club.
Trump’s residence had also previously been profiled in the series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” which put much of the décor in the spotlight.
At the same time, a Washington Post story from 2015 also highlighted the improvements he made to Mar-a-Lago.
None of those reports seem to mention that Donald Trump would use old file cabinet folders as light shades, however.
Still, a few months back, that was essentially the argument Trump’s legal team tried to make in explaining why classified documents were found at his private residence.
Donald Trump and The Lamp Shade Argument
During an appearance on CNN in February, Trump’s attorney Timothy Paralatore said that one folder marked “Classified Evening Summary” was found next to his bed and was used to help the former president sleep.
“He has one of those landline telephones next to his bed, and it has a blue light on it, and it keeps him up at night. So he took the manila folder and put it over, so it would keep the light down, so he could sleep at night,” Parlatore explained.
Parlatore further stressed that documents weren’t in the folder.
“It’s just this folder. It says ‘Classified Evening Summary’ on it. It’s not a classification marking. It’s not anything that is controlled in any way. There is nothing illegal about it.
The argument could be seen as similar to Lizzie Borden trying to use the defense that her axe was needed as a doorstop.
It also doesn’t explain why Donald Trump had reportedly tried to flush some documents down the toilet or torn up others.
At the time, Trump doubled down – by aiming President Joe Biden, and the classified documents found at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.
“Many of the so-called ‘documents’ that the ‘Gestapo’ took in the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, unlike the ‘No Raids of Biden,’ were merely inexpensive and very common folders with words such as ‘Presidential Reading,’ ‘Confidential,’ ‘Classified,’ or other words stamped on the front cover. There was nothing inside of the folders because, during meetings where information was passed out, say at the Oval Office, when finished the papers inside were taken back, but the empty folders were left behind…..,” Trump attempted to explain via his Truth Social platform.
Donald Trump, who has been accused of deflecting from the facts, also didn’t address the fact that more than 100 documents were actually found at his Florida residence.
Trump’s legal team, which seems to have a number of issues to deal with, is now cooperating with the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into the classified documents.
However, Trump’s attempts to explain how the documents – or at least the folders – ended up in his home likely aren’t helping his case in the least.
Would it be so hard to get a different photo without a blue light, or could he not have tape put over the light?
Are we really to believe that a billionaire would instead use an old folder as a shade?
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.