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Crime Donald Trump Espionage Russia

Special Counsel Believes Trump’s Motive For Taking Classified Docs Involved Russia: Report

As he continues to investigate the matter of classified documents former president Donald Trump illegally removed from the White House and took with him to Mar-a-Lago when he left office, Special Counsel Jack Smith is focusing in on Russia as the motive for why the failed ex-president took thousands of secret files and stored them at his Palm Beach golf resort.

In what may wind up being the greatest irony of all, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Murray Waas, Special Counsel Smith and a grand jury he has impaneled believe Trump’s obsession with Russia led him to steal the information.

As he left office, Waas has learned, Trump desperately tried to declassify thousands of pages of secret documents that detailed Russia’s efforts to help defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

But Trump was stymied in his efforts to make the records public, leading the outgoing president to rage to aides that the documents would never see the light of day.

Now, sources close to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation tell me that prosecutors have questioned at least three people about whether Trump’s frustrations may have been a motive in Trump taking thousands of pages of classified papers from the White House to Mar-A-Largo, in potential violation of federal law. One of those people was compelled to testify before a federal grand jury, the sources say.

The sources say that prosecutors appear to believe the episode may be central to determining Trump’s intent for his unauthorized removal from the White House of the papers.  Insight into the president’s frame of mind—his intent and motivation, are likely to be the foundational building blocks of any case that the special counsel considers seeking against Trump.

That has led Smith to take a close look at conversations between the White House counsel, the Justice Department, and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the last frantic hours of the Trump administration.

The sources familiar with some aspects of the special counsel’s investigation further disclosed to me that prosecutors sought information regarding the following issues:   the witnesses were asked about any conversations they personally had with then-president Trump or any of their White House colleagues about the Russia papers; they were asked about conversations between senior Justice Department officials and attorneys with the White House counsel’s office, including two former senior lawyers in the office, John Eisenberg and Pat Philbin, regarding Trump’s presidential order to declassify the Russia papers; and they also were asked about the circumstances surrounding a memo written by Trump’s then Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, the day following Trump’s declassification order, in which Meadows appeared to reverse course and related that the papers would not be released before the concerns of other agencies regarding the Privacy Act were fully assuaged.

“It was very clear from what they asked that their emphasis was on Trump and Meadows,” one person said.

Another former aide to Trump, Kash Patel, has publicly stated that he saw all of the records the disgraced ex-president wanted declassified, telling Breitbart:

 “It’s information that Trump felt spoke to matters regarding everything from Russiagate to the Ukraine impeachment fiasco to major national security matters of great public importance—anything the president felt [the public] had a right to know is in there and more.”

So it was Russia that helped elect Trump, Russia that led to his impeachment, and Russia that may wind up sending him to prison for the rest of his life if Smith’s investigation proves Russiagate was what Trump clung to even after he left the White House.

Right about now, Donald Trump is probably wishing he had never heard of Russia or his BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Espionage

Trump Now Claims He Only Took Classified ‘Folders’ To Mar-a-Lago: ‘A Cool Keepsake’

As if sensing that he’s caught in a legal morass that could well send him to prison for a very long time, disgraced, one-term, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump is now claiming that he didn’t actually take any classified documents with him when he left office. Instead, he says he merely took the “folders” the documents were in as “a cool keepsake.”

The failed ex-president revealed his latest excuse on Truth Social, the social media site he has been using since he was booted from Twitter for repeatedly lying about the 2020 election.

Here’s the first post:

Page 1: The Fake News Media & Crooked Democrats (That’s been proven!) keep saying I had a “large number of documents” in order to make the Biden Classified Docs look less significant. When I was in the Oval Office, or elsewhere, & “papers” were distributed to groups of people & me, they would often be in a striped paper folder with “Classified” or “Confidential” or another word on them. When the session was over, they would collect the paper(s), but not the folders, & I saved hundreds of them…

Minutes later, he added this:

Page 2: Remember, these were just ordinary, inexpensive folders with various words printed on them, but they were a “cool” keepsake. Perhaps the Gestapo took some of these empty folders when they Raided Mar-a-Lago, & counted them as a document, which they are not. It’s also possible that the Trump Hating Marxist Thugs in charge will “plant” documents while they’re in possession of the material. As President, and based on the Presidential Records Act & Socks Case, I did NOTHING WRONG. JOE DID!

If Trump actually believes such a flimsy excuse will serve as a defense if and when he’s criminally charged for the documents he took, then he’s even dumber than we thought.

Also, his attempt to suggest that Biden’s document problems are worse than his is a transparent attempt to shift blame from himself to someone else. That won’t hold up in a court of law, either.

Nice try, Donnie, but we don’t believe a word you say.

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Espionage Social Media

Nervous Trump Pitches A Fit As Judge Ponders Making Him Swear He Doesn’t Have More Classified Docs 

If there’s one thing failed, one-term, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump fears more than any other when it comes to legal proceedings, it’s swearing under oath to tell the truth because he knows he lies so much that doing so opens him up to being charged with perjury.

So it should come as no surprise that what a federal judge is contemplating, according to the New York Times, has the Donald in an absolute tizzy.

A federal judge in Washington was set to hear arguments at a closed-door hearing on Friday about whether to force a representative of Donald J. Trump’s presidential office to swear under oath that there are no more classified documents at any of Mr. Trump’s properties, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The judge, Beryl A. Howell, is also being asked to decide whether to impose financial penalties or issue a contempt finding if no one from Mr. Trump’s office agrees to formally vow that, to the best of their knowledge, all of the classified materials he took from the White House when he left office last year have been returned to the government.

That was all it took to send Dotard Don into a full-scale ALL CAPS meltdown on his failing Truth Social site.

Translation: I’M TERRIFIED AND I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW IT! MERRICK GARLAND IS BUSTING MY BALLS IN COURT AND I NEED TO VENT SO MY FANS WILL SEND ME MORE MONEY I CAN SPEND ON BULLSHIT LIKE RUSSIAN HOOKERS AND A PRIVATE PLANE!

Judge Howell’s ruling hasn’t yet been handed down, and it likely won’t be until Monday at the soonest, but Donald is already trying to get ahead of the inevitable bad news that will force him to either tell the truth for the first time in his life or go to jail.

Poor Dotard. He simply can’t believe karma is catching up with him.

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Espionage

DOJ Studying Two Federal Cases As They Consider Charging Trump With Espionage: Report

As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Justice Department prosecutors consider whether or not (and when) to charge disgraced former president Donald Trump for violating several federal laws by illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, two other cases of espionage are being carefully studied.

Ken Dilanian of NBC News reports one of the cases comes from Hawaii and the other from Kansas.

In February, a week before the National Archives warned the Justice Department that former President Donald Trump had kept Top Secret documents at his Florida compound, Asia Janay Lavarello was sentenced to three months in prison. She had pleaded guilty to taking classified records home from her job as an executive assistant at the U.S. military’s command in Hawaii. 

“Government employees authorized to access classified information should face imprisonment if they misuse that authority in violation of criminal law,” said Hawaii U.S. Attorney Claire Connors, who did not accuse Lavarello of showing anyone the documents. “Such breaches of national security are serious violations … and we will pursue them.”

[…]

In another example, a prosecutor advising the Mar-a-Lago team, David Raskin, just last week negotiated a felony guilty plea from an FBI analyst in Kansas City, who admitted talking home 386 classified documents over 12 years. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

The fact that the DOJ is looking at those two cases, according to former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, suggests Trump is in very hot water.

Appearing on MSNBC, McQuade noted:

“There are two questions that prosecutors ask themselves when deciding whether to bring charges. The first is: can we charge? That is, is there sufficient evidence to prove the case? That’s the first question, but then there’s that second question: should we bring a case? That’s when the government looks to whether or not there’s a federal — substantial evidence to bring a case.”

McQuade then explained her reasoning.

“We want to have uniformity in the kind of cases you prosecute. In cases involving the mishandling of classified documents, typically prosecutors look for some aggravating factor beyond just mishandling. If you innocently bring home a document in your briefcase, typically that is not prosecuted. you might be disciplined. you might lose your clearance you might lose your job, but probably not be criminally prosecuted.”

Other factors are also involved, McQuade concluded:

“It’s some of those factors that she mentioned in the Hawaii case and others, whether the person acted willfully, that is they knew they were violating the law. Whether they were disloyal to the United States, sold them to a foreign government for example, or whether they obstructed justice.

“That’s probably the factor that is most salient in the Trump investigation.”

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Espionage Justice Department

DOJ Prosecutors Have Enough Evidence To Charge Trump In  Classified Documents Case: Report

Prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice believe they now have enough evidence to charge former president Donald Trump with obstruction of justice, but are likely waiting to see what other crimes they can prove the ex-president committed before the seek an indictment, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The team that’s part of the classified records probe has not yet made a formal recommendation to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who would ultimately approve or reject such a move, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s also unlikely officials would bring only obstruction charges amid several other Trump investigations into potential crimes, the people said.

In addition, while some Federal Bureau of Investigation agents oppose bringing such a politically charged case as Trump considers a 2024 presidential bid, others support action, said the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss information not yet public. Agents, however, don’t make the final decisions.

Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, says an obstruction charge against Trump is by far the easiest to prove:

“Of all the things Trump is being investigated for around the country, obstruction of justice is a slam dunk and I think he’s going to be indicted. I don’t see why a charge of obstruction of justice couldn’t be filed by the end of the year.”

But the DOJ needs to be careful and follow law and precedent, according to  David Laufman, former chief of the Justice Department team now conducting the records probe:

“This just happens to be occurring in the hot-house environment of a politically sensational case involving the former president of the United States, but the nuts and bolts of it are the same. In a case like this, you want a case to be as bullet proof as possible.”

However, it seems unlikely that Attorney General Merrick Garland will make any decisions on charging Trump until after the midterm elections, and possibly not before Christmas.

Trump could also be charged with violations of the Espionage Act for his mishandling and theft of classified government documents. If convicted under that statute, the former president could be sentenced to 10 years on each count, which would be a death sentence for a 76-year-old man who is already in supect health and has a history of mental incapacitation in his immediate family. His father, Fred, died as a result of Alzheimer’s disease in 1999 at the age of 93.