While Trump Was Secretly Loading Up Documents, Mike Ellis Was Hoarding an NSA Document at the White House

The WaPo continues to own the story of the Archives’ efforts to reclaim documents removed from the White House by Donald Trump. Yesterday, they reported that some of the documents Trump absconded with were marked as classified, including Top Secret.

Some of the White House documents that Donald Trump improperly took to his Mar-a-Lago residence were clearly marked as classified, including documents at the “top secret” level, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The existence of clearly marked classified documents in the trove — which has not previously been reported — is likely to intensify the legal pressure that Trump or his staffers could face, and raises new questions about why the materials were taken out of the White House.

While it was unclear how many classified documents were among those received by the National Archives and Records Administration, some bore markings that the information was extremely sensitive and would be limited to a small group of officials with authority to view such highly classified information, the two people familiar with the matter said.

But the more interesting part of WaPo’s latest is a description of Trump packing up boxes without letting his closest aides look at them (I take this to mean the repacking at Mar-a-Lago).

It is not precisely clear who packed up the classified materials at Mar-a-Lago, or how they got there in the first place. Trump was very secretive about the packing of boxes that were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago last month, and did not let other aides — including some of his most senior advisers — look at them, according to people close to him.

As this story has been snowballing, I can’t get a detail from the IG Report on White House Counsel Mike Ellis’ aborted hiring as NSA General Counsel out of my head.

The DOD IG found that Ellis’ hiring itself wasn’t a problem. But it also found that NSA Director Paul Nakasone correctly responded by holding up the process when Ellis was involved in two security incidents in the days after January 6. In both cases, Ellis was treating NSA information improperly.

First Security Incident

An NSA employee received a controlled, classified NSA notebook of documents on January 7, 2021, from a Department of State official who was not authorized to access that information. An initial NSA review further found that several copies of the notebook had been produced without NSA authorization. This event raised concerns that other individuals possessed copies of these sensitive materials without NSA authorization.

[NSA Deputy Director George] Barnes told us that “[they] were spending the last week or so of the administration trying to find out who had them, where they were, and trying to get them back into positive control before the administration members left.” NSA officials received information on January 13, 2021, that Mr. Ellis either created or directed the copying of these notebooks of documents with compartmented, classified information without NSA knowledge, consent, or control.

Second Security Incident

On January 8, 2021, an NSA employee tried to retrieve an NSA document from Mr. Ellis that contained information of a classified, controlled, compartmented NSA program “of some of the most sensitive information that NSA possesses.” Mr. Barnes told us that Mr. Ellis refused to return the document, retained it for the White House archives, and, based on what the NSA employee saw, placed the document in a container that did not meet the security storage requirements for such a sensitive program. Mr. Barnes told us that he contacted Mr. Eisenberg on January 9, 2021, for help obtaining the document, and the document was returned to the NSA on January 14, 2021. Mr. Barnes said, “The White House people were all leaving so every day new members were leaving and so we were prioritizing on identifying our documents that needed to be brought under positive control and accounted for.” [italicized brackets and bold mine]

When Nakasone was asked about this by the IG, he explained that the intelligence deals with a particular foreign actor.

I learned … that we had questions about the way that Mr. Ellis had handled our most sensitive intelligence that deals with a foreign actor when he was in the White House. … and I’m not able to get the actual full details until that Tuesday [January 19]. … I’m … growing concerned… I have an OGC that I’ve said is okay to be hired, now we have concerns about his clearance. We have concerns about merit. We have concerns about an ongoing inquiry by the DoD IG. And so, my sense was … let’s get this all resolved… before he actually becomes the General Counsel for the National Security Agency. [emphasis mine]

So at precisely the time when Trump was packing up documents to take with him, in the wake of his failed coup attempt, Mike Ellis was refusing to return an NSA document from the White House.

And the NSA’s concerns, even then, pertained to the possibility that White House staffers would move on and these documents would disappear.

Update: TF reminded me that in December 2020 (so during the period when Ellis’ nomination was pending), Mike Flynn and friends came up with a scheme to use NSA data to try to prove foreign interference in the election, one that Mike Lindell was trying to implement in January.

The memo used the banal language of government bureaucracy, but the proposal it advocated was extreme: President Donald Trump should invoke the extraordinary powers of the National Security Agency and Defense Department to sift through raw electronic communications in an attempt to show that foreign powers had intervened in the 2020 election to help Joe Biden win.

Proof of foreign interference would “support next steps to defend the Constitution in a manner superior to current civilian-only judicial remedies,” argued the Dec. 18, 2020, memo, which was circulated among Trump allies.

The document, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, laid out a plan for the president to appoint three men to lead this effort. One was a lawyer attached to a military intelligence unit; another was a veteran of the military who had been let go from his National Security Council job after claiming that Trump was under attack by deep-state forces including “globalists” and “Islamists.”


[North Dakota Senator Kevin] Cramer said Del Rosso sent the memo to his office after a Jan. 4 meeting that both men attended at the Trump International Hotel, which was organized by MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, a prominent backer of Trump’s bogus election fraud claims.

Cramer and Sen. Cynthia M. Lummis (R-Wyo.) joined some two dozen others crammed into a ground-floor hotel conference room to discuss election fraud allegations, according to Cramer and an aide to Lummis. Participants recalled that Johnson also attended, via videoconference. The details of the meeting, which took place two days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol, have not been previously reported. The meeting was similar to a briefing held in a congressional office building the next day for members of the House.

Michael Flynn, who resigned in 2017 as Trump’s national security adviser and had advocated using the military to “rerun” the election in battleground states, also extended an invitation to at least one senator and his staff, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Flynn did not respond to requests for comment.


86 replies
  1. Tippi’s G says:

    Is it too much to hope for that the FBI has known about the documents in Trump’s possession for awhile and made a run at him with an undercover agent offering to buy some of them from him?

    • DK says:

      The FBI put its thumb on the scale for Trump in 2016. Trump should be criminally investigated for his destruction of clasified records and mishandling of top secret documents. But I’m not sure the FBI can be trusted to do anything but cover for him. #LockHimUp

      • bmaz says:

        You know that was mostly a certain section of the NYC Field Office, and a bit of timidity and poor judgment by Comey, not the entirety of the FBI, right? And you understand it is mostly the FBI that has been kicking ass on the 1/6 cases, right?

        • Greg Hunter says:

          I would contend those actions by NYFBI combined with the coverage by the NYT resulted in Trump and now the stench on the bench.

          I hope that getting what the FBI asked for, then getting burned by that choice, has refocused their minds on keeping the guardrails in check proves to be true.

        • Thomas says:

          It seems like we have factions inside the FBI.
          One faction is the overwhelming majority of the FBI. Institutionalists, nonpartisan, traditional rule of law operators.
          The other faction is a substantial minority. Trumpists, key position holders. Oathkeeper members, lying in wait. Transactional handlers of informants.
          A similar situation persists at the Justice Department, and this has stalled investigations and indictments.
          I agree with Dr Wheeler’s assesment overall. I’m just a bit more ready to throw hundreds of Republican Party racketeers in prison. I see the slow progress. I understand the challenges even aside from the lingering backstabbers.
          Though I have this opinion, I have not been able to single out which agents or prosecutors fit the minority faction description I have. I just feel its presence from the narrative connecting some outcomes.
          If I was Joe Biden, my first national security concern would be nailing down whether the former president was an asset of Russia, and what he did in the national security realm, and if and how he corrupted the Republican Party with Russian mafia money, followed on with compromise, bribery, blackmail, extortion, conspiracy, racketeering, espionage and grand larceny.
          And then, I would DO SOMETHING about it.
          If nothing continues to happen, then what? All of the evidence just gets ignored? We can just ignore that? Or, Trump was right. No collusion. It’s all a hoax?
          We need to know the truth, and in my opinion, only indictments, prosecutions and convictions will get us there.
          And if it really was a media hoax? I have a hard time believing that, but let’s see some proof of it then. We have all of this evidence to the contrary and we have bluster, lies and fraud on the other side. We have crimes and widely published evidence of additional crimes to cover up the original crimes.
          The longer that we do not have a clear, truthful narrative, the more consequences will be entailed by that.
          IMO, we need to kick every “oathkeeper” or other cultist out of law enforcement at all levels and out of the military as well.
          For me, police reform begins with hiring new, diverse, reliable officers, and then kicking out rightwing nutcases. I’m reading stories every day about seditionist LEOs who aren’t being fired or prosecuted.

    • BobCon says:

      99.9% sure no. But I would not be surprised if there was a lot of effort to monitor potential recipients of leaks from Trump and his people and work back from there. Probably mostly in terms of containment but possibly in terms of criminal investigation.

    • Hika says:

      From the link provided by TF’s tweet and sitting right there in Dr Wheeler’s update: www .washingtonpost. com/ politics/ 2022/ 02/ 03/ trump-nsa-election/
      Searched for “Cramer”
      First hit = “Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)”
      Took all of 3 seconds. (Posting this reply, however, has taken me about a minute.)

    • Leoghann says:

      There is also this reference to someone named Johnson. “Participants recalled that Johnson also attended, via videoconference.” The linked article only has one reference to any Johnson, as one might surmise it’s Senator Ron. But the article only says his office may have received a copy of the memo, and nothing about a videoconference.

  2. Geoff says:

    This Mike Ellis?


    Yikes. They must be pretty well connected, getting a color wedding photo story in the NYT; seems odd given his Dad is a telecom employee. ;-) I know telecom companies couldn’t possibly have any intersection with a story on NSA data. Maybe his Mom got him connected; she works “there” as a statistical consultant, which is somewhere, I guess.

    Of COURSE the bridegroom went to Yale Law – Mike needs a confidant to give him morally grounded legal advice in these troubling times. Ugh… and who knew Dartmouth was poisoning the well along with Harvard?

    Somehow I don’t imagine his mother is very proud anymore. Unless his Mom and Dad’s occupations are obscuring different interests.

    (apologies Rayne if I am using the wrong email)

  3. OldTulsaDude says:

    I wonder if this is finally the string that when tugged unravels Gordian’s Knot or just another random piece of lint on Trump’s suit of armor.

  4. Jharp says:

    So what is the process for the President to declassify documents?

    And I guess I’m kind of asking can Trump just say “oh since I can declassify anything I want whenever I want I can do whatever I want with classified documents”?

    Many thanks if anyone knows the answer.

    • Bobby Gladd says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s how TFG views it. Doing whatever he wants generally is, after all, his entire life’s M.O. Ya dance wit’ d’ one whut brung ya.

      Reading Jeremy W. Peters’ “Insurgency” at the moment. What a mess (yeah, like we didn’t already know)..

      • BobCon says:

        As you read that, watch out for how he tries to compartmentalize the problem as an issue of right wing media and insulate reporters like himself, his paper the NY Times, and the conservative consultant class he depends on.

        In his interviews he has been treating the pipeline of “but her emails” and “lock her up” as a Fox News problem, and not a NY Times or CNN problem, which is itself a huge problem.

    • Rugger9 says:

      There is a process which hasn’t changed from before Shrub’s administration (though then-VP Cheney blew off the requirements as the “fourth branch”).

      Declassification requires the review by and agreement of the issuing department (i.e. NSA) and after that the POTUS can declassify. What Cheney did was to invent the “insta-declassification” pixie dust that allowed Scooter Libby to leak to Judy in between Aspen references. It wasn’t bought by the judge and Shrub had to pardon Libby after he was sentenced but before he reported to prison.

      • Greg Hunter says:

        It’s a little more nuanced than that which irked Cheney. Bush only commuted Libby’s sentence and while we think Trump is dumb, he issued Scooter the pardon. That was a deliberate act in the direction of Cheney and Freudian in his actions he was taking.

  5. Eureka says:

    See also via harpie:

    Betsy Woodruff Swan with some related December 16-17, 2020 emails between Flynn and pals.

    As to where they may have been snipe hunting (besides China, RU as mentioned on twitter):

    A second document attached to the Ramsland email contained a variety of outlandish allegations involving Saddam Hussein, the Saudi Binladin Group, and Pakistan’s intelligence service. POLITICO has chosen not to publish the document.

    • Leoghann says:

      In his entire career, Russell Ramsland has never been confirmed to know shit about anything. But one of his fortés is grabbing hot-button names and words out of thin air to flesh out whatever current crisis he’s warning against.

  6. Rita says:

    The range of possible explanations for both Ellis’ behavior and Trump’s behavior with reference to national security documents and information range from simple ignorance and incompetence to malign acts.

    The various agencies, including the DOJ, should investigate. But shouldn’t Congressional Committees dealing with national security be holding hearings to find out what happened and if national security has been compromised?

    If I recall correctly, one of the draft memos for seizing machines contained references to 2 highly confidential national security Executive Orders. Clearly, the J6 Committee should be looking at this. But other Committees should be looking at this apparent security breach as well.

    • Rugger9 says:

      As noted by DFG, the committees are looking at this and expect the usual stonewalling over “privilege” and other specious grounds.

      For me, though, the problem is the loss of control over these documents and given the usual handling practices by Individual-1 over sensitive information to show off in front of random guests or to impress possible dalliance opportunities I would think the Mar-A-Lago guest lists should also be pinged thoroughly. Not only would I expect to find a few FSB types but let’s also remember the PRC national busted at Mar-A-Lago engaged in actual spying.

      NSA needs to assume that their foreign adversaries know everything that is contained in those documents and act on that assumption. Whether it is mere carelessness or worse, someone got copies of something important.

    • BobCon says:

      Other congressional committees have significant GOP representation, unlike 1/6 which McCarthy decided to boycott.

      There is probably a role for them, but it is a lot more complicated.

      • Rita says:

        The House Committees are somewhat worthless because Republicans like to disrupt and both parties tend to think about performing rather than investigating. The Senate Committees are more serious.

        It just can’t be acceptable that national security can be subject to the whims or bad intentions of one person.

        • Leoghann says:

          In five hours, you’ve gone from “shouldn’t Congressional Committees . . . be holding hearings[?]” to “[t]he House committees are somewhat worthless.” So after being informed that a House committee has already begun investigating, you’ve already decided that it won’t be enough, and suggest that a Senate (you know, the legislative branch in which there is no clear majority) committee would be better. It’s good you’re not making life-or-death medical decisions for patients.

        • Rita says:

          Point made. I am donning the proverbial ashes and sackcloth.

          I hope that both Chambers investigate and suggest improvements to legislation. It is worthy of a lot of attention. Senate Committee public hearings just seem less rancorous than House Committee hearings. But I am sure that the staffs of both and the behind the scenes work are both top notch.

  7. harpie says:

    WaPo [excerpted in post]:

    It is not precisely clear who packed up the classified materials at Mar-a-Lago, how they got there in the first place. Trump was very secretive about the packing of boxes that were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago last month, and did not let other aides — including some of his most senior advisers — look at them, according to people close to him.

    1] Couldn’t this mean the “secretive” “packing of boxes” happened at the White House?
    2] And, other aides implies there were some aides which were allowed to look at them. Do we know who they were?
    3] The boxes were retrieved from Mar-a-lago sometime between January 20 and January 31. Had they been opened/unpacked in that time?

      • Valley girl says:

        Harpie, one comment that I thought I had deleted came through recently. I’m now wondering if you need to clear the comment field before hitting delete for the comment to “really” be deleted. I didn’t clear the field, just hit delete, and it got published hours later. (I wanted to delete it and reply to a different person.)

        • bmaz says:

          Alright, here is the deal. We check what is backed up, and if it is someone we know and trust, just approve it. So if you game the system by posting a second version when at first a comment does not magically appear, you may get the double posting thing.

        • harpie says:

          I’m sorry, bmaz.

          I just deleted the comment because it didn’t make any sense, which I, [of course], just realized immediately after I hit send.

          With this comment, I was NOT complaining about that…I just wanted to note that I didn’t want to leave the original comment there [because it was stupid.]

          I have never tried to “game the system”. I have tried to figure out why a comment is in moderation, and sometimes [maybe irrationally] feel that a particular comment is time sensitive: maybe a closing post or something relevant happening in the news at the time, or maybe trying to get a series of comments in a row…that’s all. I won’t do that any more.

          I do appreciate all of the work all of you do to moderate the comments, though I’m sure I don’t know the half of it, and I’m sorry when I contribute to your workload.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, it is all good. The point was, sometimes it gets through double or whatever because you are trusted. And that is absolutely okay. Don’t sweat that ever.

  8. DTR says:

    The documents were returned but were they copied? Especially if Jared saw these, I don’t think the Trumps would resist monetizing the information.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Yes, some documents were returned under pressure and threat of litigation or prosecution. But were they all the documents taken? And how many documents no longer exist, at least in their normal form?

    There used to be an old litigation trick that big law firms sometimes used against smaller firms or less well-heeled plaintiffs: 52-card pickup. In large-scale discovery, paper documents were supposed to be boxed and labelled, identifying specifically the requests they were responsive to. The trick was to shuffle the contents and re-box them at random, causing hundreds of hours to put them back in order. It wasted a lot of time and money, but it was expensive to prove, so it worked and was rarely sanctioned. After more than fifty years of using litigation like a medieval mace, Trump must know hundreds of these gambits.

    As for insta-declassification by the TFG, if he did it, did he do it before or after he left office? And how would we know?

    • Dave_MB says:

      Yes, that used to be common. Now they have electronic discovery and it’s sorted and categorized. Both parties pay for a third party company to compile a database of documents and emails and they share the database, with different levels of access depending on who the information is from.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yes, I think that once no longer in office, a former president loses his ability to classify and declassify government documents. So the minute Biden is sworn in, Trump’s out of office and out of power.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Indeed he was. However, that would make the question of when these boxes were sent to Mar-A-Lago very important. I would not be surprised to find out that some of them had been there for a while and the shipments probably accelerated after 03 NOV 2020.

          That’s a long time for Individual-1’s cronies to have access in a place known to have security issues.

        • Leoghann says:

          There’s still that nasty, unpatriotic (/s) requirement that the issuing agency give its approval for declassification, before the President can declassify. And NSA didn’t give any such approval. They certainly didn’t give any approval to Mike Ellis.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I’m pretty sure the president is the ultimate classification authority and does not require approval from agencies that report to him. That he may normally request it – in a functioning government – is not something Trump would ever consider. He imagines his status and singular authority to be like Louix XIV’s.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Yes. The DoJ would need to know what to look for. Our lawyers here could pontificate on how much scope would be included when the warrants are drafted.

      • Riktol says:

        In my opinion (noting now that I am not a lawyer) Ellis’s behaviour smells like probable cause for a counter intelligence investigation, starting with a search warrant targeting his emails and phone records, followed by a ‘Mike Flynn chat’. The reason for this would be to determine the scope and scale of the unauthorized copying, and whether he was acting at the behest of someone or was freelancing.
        I also wonder what plausible reason he could give for refusing to return the document from an actual NSA employee.

  10. harpie says:

    MICHAEL ELLIS [some dates]:

    1] Bush and the Cheney-Gang 2011
    2] NUNES before 2017
    3] FLYNN at NSC in January 2017 [“invited Nunes to the White House to see “evidence” of Obama admin “unmaskings”]
    4] WH Counsel’s Office 3/1/17
    5] NSC 3/2/20
    6] TRUMP nominates ELLIS to be General Counsel at NSA 11/10/20

    10/XX/19 Lt. Col. Alexander VINDMAN testifies at TRUMP IMPEACHMENT hearing

    “that Ellis and Eisenberg were the ones who decided to move the record of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky into the NSC’s top-secret codeword system—a server normally used to store highly classified material that only a small group of officials can access.”

    11/XX/19 ELLIS refuses to appear for his scheduled deposition with the House Intelligence Committee in IMPEACHMENT probe.
    2/XX/20 [Early] ELLIS fires A. VINDMAN and his brother, [rank?] Y. VINDMAN, from NSC; they return to the Pentagon.
    3/2/20 ELLIS moves from WHCO to begin as senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council

    […] The office of the director for intelligence serves as the day-to-day connective tissue between the intelligence community and the White House. Sensitive information coming in from the intelligence agencies will go to that office, especially if it is in hard copy form. The office also coordinates covert action activities between the White House and the intelligence community, and it’s where the NSC server is housed that stores the most sensitive classified information. [Politico]

    • harpie says:

      11/10/20 TRUMP nominates ELLIS to be General Counsel at NSA
      12/18/20 The “craziest meeting” of the TRUMP presidency
      12/18/20 MEMO circulated among TRUMP allies: [Proof of foreign interference would] “support next steps to defend the Constitution in a manner superior to current civilian-only judicial remedies”

      1/4/21 MEETING for GOP Senators at TRUMP Hotel; organized by LINDELL;
      1] 2020 vote had been influenced by foreign powers “presenters accused various countries of meddling, including China and Venezuela” and 2] that proper investigation required gaining access to voting machines around the country.

      1/5/21 MEETING for GOP members of Congress at a Congressional Office building; similar to 1/4/21 MEETING for GOP Senators at TRUMP Hotel. FLYNN invited at least one senator and his staff.

      1/6/21 J6

    • harpie says:

      1/7/21 First ELLIS Security Incident; “either created or directed the copying of these [classified NSA] notebooks of documents with compartmented, classified information without NSA knowledge, consent, or control” This was discovered on 1/13/21.
      1/8/21 Second ELLIS Security Incident, which “deals with a foreign actor”; ELLIS refuses to return a document “that contained information of a classified, controlled, compartmented NSA program “of some of the most sensitive information that NSA possesses”” to the NSA as requested, saying he “retained it for the White House archives.” EISENBERG gets involved; document is returned to NSA on 1/14/21.
      1/13/21 NSA discovers ELLIS “created or directed the copying” of classified NSA notebooks described as First Security Incident.
      1/14/21 Document involved in the Second ELLIS Security Incident, which “deals with a foreign actor” is returned to NSA.
      1/15/21 4:00 PM LINDELL is photographed outside Oval Office with his COUP NOTES
      1/16/21 MILLER orders director of NSA NAKASONE to install ELLIS as NSA General Counsel by 6:00 PM
      1/17/21 PELOSI calls and then writes to MILLER [copy: Acting DOD IG]

      [expressing] my deep concern about the irregularities involved in the selection of the General Counsel of the National Security Agency (NSA) […] I have serious concerns about your statement that this process was free from political interference.

      1/17/21 The NSA says it is ‘moving forward’ to install ELLIS as General Counsel
      1/19/21 NAKASONE gets “actual full details” of Second ELLIS Security Incident, which “deals with a foreign actor”.
      1/20/21 NSA General Counsel ELLIS is placed on administrative leave
      1/20/21 – 1/31/21 The boxes are retrieved from Mar-a-Lago during this period
      [ ]
      11/30/21 TRUMP tries to stop J6 Committee from getting his WH records

      DC Circuit Judge Katanji Brown JACKSON: So why then would it be that the court should preference the former president’s concerns about confidentiality, even though he had may have the superior knowledge of what the documents were about?
      TRUMP lawyer, Justin CLARK: There are considerations such as if a document is going to be an embarrassment to a former president…or cause political turmoil…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Neither causing “political turmoil” nor causing a former president “embarrassment” should be legitimate reasons to stop a congressional investigation into potential criminal wrongdoing. The rationales are Nixonian wet dreams, and would preclude any such investigation, since both would result from a finding that a former president committed serious crimes while in office.

      • timbo says:

        Avoiding political or legal “embrassment” does not give one a right to violate the Presidential Records Act… although it certainly speaks to likely intent to violate the PRA if counsel were to try to argue this in court…

      • jhinx says:


        1/17/21 The NSA says it is ‘moving forward’ to install ELLIS as General Counsel
        1/19/21 NAKASONE gets “actual full details” of Second ELLIS Security Incident, which “deals with a foreign actor”.
        1/20/21 NSA General Counsel ELLIS is placed on administrative leave

        So Ellis was NSA General Counsel for 1 to 4 days, right at the end of Trump’s term (it’s not clear when exactly he was installed). I wonder what he did during his tenure. Couldn’t be anything corrupt, right? /s

      • xy xy says:

        Which is right?
        From above
        1/20/21 – 1/31/21 The boxes are retrieved from Mar-a-Lago during this period


        From WaPo
        February 7, 2022|Updated February 7, 2022 at 3:38 p.m. EST
        The National Archives and Records Administration last month [Jan 2022] retrieved 15 boxes of documents and other items from former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

        • harpie says:

          OH! That’s a BIG mistake. Thank you! UGGG.
          [!!!!] JANUARY 2022 [!!!]
          [Time for me is VERY strange lately.]

    • harpie says:

      6:12 PM · Feb 11, 2022

      Some details from CNN’s advancing of the Trump stolen records story.
      First, it dates to May NARA’s efforts to get identifiable docs back. [screenshots]

      This is confusing bc it seems to point to Pat Philbin (tho John Eisenberg was involved in this stuff), bc neither was overtly a Trump Impeachment 2.0 defense attorney.

      If it was Eisenberg, it’d be hugely problematic since he helped hide the Ukraine transcript. [screenshot] [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      Comment in moderation, here about Marcy’s thoughts on new info from CNN
      6:12 PM · Feb 11, 2022

      Marcy posts a screenshot of this section [her highlighting]:

      Longtime Archives lawyer Gary Stern first reached out to a person from the White House counsel’s office who had been designated as the President Records Act point of contact about the record-keeping issue, hoping to locate the missing items and initiate their swift transfer back to NARA, said multiple sources familiar with the matter. The person had served as one of Trump’s impeachment defense attorneys months earlier and, as deputy counsel, was among the White House officials typically involved in ensuring records were properly preserved during the transfer of power and Trump’s departure from office.


      This is confusing bc it seems to point to Pat Philbin (tho John Eisenberg was involved in this stuff), bc neither was overtly a Trump Impeachment 2.0 defense attorney.

      If it was Eisenberg, it’d be hugely problematic since he helped hide the Ukraine transcript.

  11. observiter says:

    I’ve wondered if perhaps Trump, in his various (secretive) talks with Putin, was seeking advice regarding strategies on taking over the government. After all, isn’t that what Putin did (take over his government). And then of course there’s a I’ll-rub-your back-if-you’ll-rub-mine (sort of). Maybe the files now in Florida were intended to be a present.

    Regarding Mar a Lago, I wonder what would happen if our government folks indicate the boxes/files must be returned to Washington D.C. and Trump refuses.

  12. Sue 'em Queequeg says:

    You have to wonder, what kind of documents would be so sensitive that Trump had to box them himself, yet not so toxic that he wanted to destroy them (either at the WH or Lar à MAGA). Perhaps indeed ones that he wanted to monetize or (mis)use in various ways?

  13. Marika says:

    Doesn’t it all come down to money and Trump looking for ways to monetize his position? Follow the money. Trump’s need of more and more money would have meant if he weren’t POTUS he could never have gotten a security clearance. That is something that needs to be corrected. No one with that kind of power should be allowed access to top secret material without a security clearance. And no one person should be allowed to give security clearances as POTUS now can. Don Jr. is still talking about reading NSA briefings. This is definitely an area for Congress to look into.

  14. harpie says:

    Continuing from here:

    11/11/21 WHCO advises MEADOWS that BIDEN will not exert executive privilege over any testimony or records subpoenaed by J6 Committee
    11/12/21 US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit blocks transfer of NARA’s records responsive to J6 Committee subpoena
    11/12/21 MEADOWS’ attorney statement: MEADOWS will not cooperate with the J6 Committee until after the legality of the subpoenas is settled in court
    11/30/21 DC Circuit oral arguments about Executive Privilege
    [1:30:54] Judge JACKSON:

    […] So, why then, would it be that the Court should preference the former President’s concerns about confidentiality, even though he had, may have the superior knowledge of what the documents were about, or what not? We’re in a different world today, because we have a different President who is taking into account not only confidentiality, but other things.

    [1:31:20] Justin CLARK:

    There are considerations such as, ah, you know, if we look at a document and it’s going to be an embarrassment to a former President; if it’s meant to cause political turmoil. […]

    12/9/21 DC Circuit hands TRUMP his ass on his Executive Privilege claims [ew]
    12/9/21 [around and/or after] [ew: WaPo article suggests] TRUMP lawyers and NARA [are] chatting
    12/15/21 J6 Committee issues contempt referral for MEADOWS that puts him at risk of Presidential Records Act and obstruction prosecution
    1/12/22 DoJ indicts OATH KEEPERS [whose testimony could most directly damage TRUMP] on sedition charges
    1/19/22 SCOTUS’ denies TRUMP a reversal of DC Circuit order, allowing NARA to share TRUMP records
    1/19/22 The delivery to prosecutors, on January 19, of a large number of texts and messages from Rudy Giuliani’s phones
    1/20/22 J6 Committee requests IVANKA’s testimony, strongly suggesting she has violated PRA
    1/21/22 POWELL’s attorney reports that she is “cooperating” in her own prosecution and the J6 Committee

    1] Rayne’s 11/30/21 post about Mark MEADOWS:

  15. YancyFaith says:

    (Apologies if these are too low IQ to post here.)

    Remember Mark Meadows announcing Trump’s fake cabinet meeting at his Bedford Hills club? That was just before August 1, 2021, 6+ months after Biden was inaugurated.
    Who’s to say he and/or his “cabinet” didn’t sneak a box at a time up there to inventory and “edit” the contents?

    Didn’t both Ratcliff and Grenell claim they were declassifying beau coups of classified information, too? (I can’t recall if either actually did it.)

    Finally, the North Korean love letters and Obama’s letter to Trump were intentionally taken because they would be noticed, likely done to rub our noses in the fact that he disrespects the dignity and decorum of the office of POTUS. (Or to throw investigators off-track? With this bunch, who knows?)

    • P J Evans says:

      The “love letters” because they feed his need for adulation; the one from Obama because it makes the former guy feel superior to him (though it shouldn’t).

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