Silence of the Sheep: Trump’s Secrets Problem
When news broke that Mar-a-Lago was searched by the FBI, the main question was: "For which crime?"
Attorney General Merrick Garland is reportedly slow to anger.
Some would argue that he’s slow to do anything, but that’s an argument for another day.
On Thursday the nation’s top law enforcer called a press conference, showed up a half hour late, read a carefully prepared statement, and refused to take reporters’ questions. This was in response to a tsunami of what-aboutism coming from right wing media and politicians.
Garland said he had personally approved the search after the failure of “less intrusive” attempts to retrieve material taken from the White House.
The bottom line here is that the Justice Department has filed a motion for public release of portions of the search warrant served at the former president’s Mar a Lago residence. The federal magistrate who authorized the warrant agreed to terms allowing the former president to oppose any such action by 3pm on Friday.
It should be noticed that said magistrate is facing an onslaught of threats, not only against himself and his family, but also against the synagogue he attends. Temple Beth David in Palm Beach has canceled its beachside Shabbat service this weekend due to “social media hate.”
Fox News went so far as to air a doctored photo of the Trump raid judge posing with Ghislane Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstien’s groomer-in-chief. Said official did legally represent the man at one point in the past, which I guess proves the conservative talking point that bad guys are not entitled to legal representation unless the lawyer is Alan Dershowitz.
Whatever. Generating death threats against those perceived as opposed to the Dear Leader is a core element in keeping the MAGA faithful engaged.
In any case, the former President now says that he’s in favor of releasing the search warrant information, which is odd because his legal team said information and could release it if they so desired.
The major legacy news media followed up on Garland’s presser with stories suggesting a serious breach of national security related to the documents stored at Mar a Lago. The Washington Post says the basis for the search warrant was sensitive nuclear information.
The New York Times posited that material concerned what the government calls “special access programs,” a designation that is typically reserved for extremely sensitive operations carried out by the United States abroad or for closely held technologies and capabilities.
Typically such program documents involve references to signals intelligence collection or humans providing information to spy agencies. In either case, agencies regard the information gathered as critical to its mission and capable of revealing sources and methods on a granular level.
If indeed the secrets sought at Mar a Lago were that sensitive, we’ll never know, short of the former-president blurting them out via press releases or social media. Trump now claims that any such classified documents –if they exist– would have been planted. The government won’t confirm or deny any specifics because doing so would endanger programs they seek to protect.
So it’s a perfect situation for all concerned.
The defenders of the former president are desperately trying to find a good spin for this story. My favorite is the one about the chief executive’s magic wand used to declassify documents, especially since he loses that ability once no longer in office. Oh, and documents concerning nuclear capabilities must be cleared by the Department of Energy regardless of who says they are declassifying them.
Do you know what else Republicans are confused about? That January 6 seditionist who provoked an armed confrontation at an Ohio FBI office. You’d think there would be “thoughts and prayers” for the agents whose lives were endangered, but you’d be wrong.
It’s radio silence across the board for the GOP, the kind of silence that only the most subservient of sheep are capable of achieving.
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