The Likely Content of a Trump Search Affidavit

Even Trump supporters are beginning to call on him to release the warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago Monday. In spite of serving as a source for multiple outlets yesterday, the lawyer who received the warrant, Christina Bobb, has refused to turn it over.

She’s probably refusing for several reasons. First, it’s likely that 18 USC 793 is among the suspected crimes cited on the warrant. If Trump admitted he’s under investigation for part of the Espionage Act, his supporters might be less likely to prepare for civil war, as they currently are doing. Plus, given the inconsistent numbers of boxes seized in Bobb-sourced stories (the WSJ reported at least 10 boxes were seized, Politico and WaPo reported that 12 were), it suggests the search warrant return is far more detailed than just listing boxes of stolen documents, but instead lists individual documents.

If the return looked something like, [and to be clear, this is strictly hypothetical, and my “yaddayadda” is a fake compartment name] …

  1. Single existing copy of transcript of phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, July 25, 2019, TS/SCI/SAR-YADDAYADDA/NF
  2. Single existing copy of hand-written notes of meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, July 16, 2018, TS/SCI/SAR-YADDAYADDA/NF
  3. Transcript of NSA intercept of Saudi intelligence official in advance of Turkey operation involving Jamal Khashoggi, September 29, 2018, TS/SCI/SAR-YADDAYADDA/NF
  4. NSA targeting list for Russia, dated January 15, 2021, TS/SCI/SAR-YADDAYADDA/NF (see this post)

…Then the gravity of Trump’s crime would become immediately apparent.

Plus, Bobb didn’t receive the most interesting part of it, the affidavit the FBI used to obtain the search warrant.

So I wanted to write up what an affidavit would likely include, based on the public understanding of the investigation.

For comparison, here are the warrants for Reality Winner and Josh Schulte, both of which were also, at least in part, warrants for a 793 investigation. Here are warrants to search Roger Stone and Oath Keeper Jeremy Brown’s houses, both Federal searches in Florida related to investigations conducted in DC (the search of Brown’s house even found allegedly classified documents, albeit only at the Secret level). Here’s the warrant Robert Mueller’s team used to get Michael Cohen’s Trump Organization emails from Microsoft.

Cover Page

The cover page would include the address to be searched, 1100 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL. It would name the magistrate docket for the warrant, 9:22-mj-08332, references to Attachment A describing the premises to be searched, and Attachment B, the description of things to search for, as well as the Affidavit.

It would have checkboxes checked, listing that the search was for evidence of a crime and to retrieve contraband.

It would list the crimes under investigation — according to public reports, probably 40 USC 2201-2209, 18 USC 2071, and 18 USC 793.

It would be dated and signed by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart.

Attachment A

Attachment A would include a description of Mar-a-Lago, probably with a nifty picture of the garish resort, possibly also pictures of the basement storage area that investigators saw in their June visit. It would likely mention Trump’s hotel safe in the bridal suite.

Attachment B

Attachment B would authorize seizure of all documents relating to violations of the statutes in question, so probably 40 USC 2201 and 18 USC 793, with bullet points stemming from what is covered under the PRA and what is covered — defense information — under the Espionage Act.

No computer files were described to have been seized, so it would consistent entirely of paper seizures.

Affidavit

This would include:

  • Several paragraphs describing the affiant’s background and training
  • An assertion that the affiant believed there was probable cause for the subject offenses
  • The statutory language, basically a cut-and-paste describing the elements of the offense
  • Language about classification, including the various levels of classification
  • Language about Presidential Records
  • Language about 32 CFR sections 2001 and 2003, which cover the storage of classified information

Then there’d be a probable cause section that would include:

  • A description of who is under investigation (whether it’s just Trump, or whether his staffers are as well)
  • A reference to the Archive’s February 2022 request that DOJ investigate Trump’s document theft
  • Background on the year-long effort leading up to the Archives’ request to get Trump to return stolen documents, including the specific records the Archives identified that Trump had withheld (CNN has a timeline here)
  • Other evidence of Trump’s refusal to abide by Presidential Records Act
  • Other evidence of Trump’s failures to protect classified information (particularly if FBI knows of any instances from after he left the presidency)
  • The outcome of the investigation into Mike Ellis’ efforts to retain highly sensitive NSA documents at the White House as staffers were packing boxes
  • The Archives’ three statements on the effort to obtain the documents
  • A description of what aides told the FBI in interviews about the stolen documents in April and May
  • Testimony about efforts to keep uncleared staffers from accessing boxes that included classified information
  • A description of the May subpoena to the Archives for the classified documents stolen
  • A summary of the classified documents found in the 15 boxes turned over last year, possibly with examples of the most sensitive documents
  • Some explanation of why DOJ believes that these documents weren’t actually declassified by Trump before he stole them
  • A description of the June 3 meeting at Mar-a-Lago, which show three really key parts of the probable cause:
    • Acknowledgement from Trump lawyers that he remained in possession of stolen documents
    • A description of things the lawyers said that proved Trump was treating these as classified documents
    • A description of the storage location in the basement, including why it did not meet the standards for storage of classified documents
    • Possibly a description of documents seen on that visit that would qualify as potentially classified Presidential Records
  • A description of the letter asking Trump to better secure the documents
  • A description of the subpoena for surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, including anything suspicious on it
  • A list of known Presidential Records that had not yet been shared with the Archives

The affidavit would explain why the items being searched for are necessary to investigate the crime, which would explain:

  • FBI needed to obtain the documents to see if they were Presidential Records not otherwise shared with the Archives
  • FBI needed to obtain the documents to see if they were defense information
  • DOJ needed to secure the documents because they are all the property of the Archives

Finally, the affidavit would include a conclusion stating that all this amounts to probable cause that Trump was in possession of documents that were covered by the PRA, some subset of which were believed to be classified.

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160 replies
  1. mickquinas says:

    I think that it is telling that neither Trump nor Bobb have released a copy of the warrant.
    If I’m understanding correctly, though, we wouldn’t necessarily get access to the affidavit for some time (via a public records request? Or if the warrant was challenged in court?).

    Thank you, Dr. Wheeler, for illuminating and clarifying things that much of the media leaves obscure. Evidence of criminal activity indeed!

  2. JohnForde says:

    “First, it’s likely that 18 USC 793 is among the suspected crimes cited on the warrant.” – This is good news!

    • Lester Noyes says:

      This week in Schadenfreude?
      Donald Trump signed a bill into law in January 2018 “that included a provision increasing the punishment for knowingly removing classified materials with the intent to retain them at an ‘unauthorized location,’” the HuffPost reports.
      “Previously, someone found guilty of this crime could face up to one year in prison… Now, a person convicted of violating this law can face up to five years in prison ― making it a felony-level offense to mishandle classified documents under 18 U.S.C. 1924.”
      Also, the Daily Show had a video montage featuring Fox News voices ranting about Hillary’s mis-handling of “classified documents” juxtaposed with video of Trump shenanigans.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Since Trump changed his residence, it looks like we have yet another headliner: “Florida Man [insert weird act here]”.

  3. Gee says:

    I love the part where they say, um, hey Don, can you like, maybe put the stuff you are trying to steal and or sell under more serious lock and key, so it’s safe, before we come and grab it, and then indict you for having what we thought you have that you shouldn’t have that we now know you had?

    I mean, prior to the search they know certain things existed, so it is really a question of whether they were destroyed (flushed, etc.) or whether they are at MAL, or worse, they have already been removed/sold to the highest bidder. Now that they have completed the search, I assume everything they are going to get (they can’t go back now and find anything, since if they did miss something, it is surely gone from MAL already), it seems it would be pretty straightforward to have a final list of MIA documents. Is there any penalty for things just disappearing? If it never shows up, they will try to make the case that it wasn’t amongst the things that were taken by Trump, and somehow went missing in some other way, right? They always try to weasel their way out of stuff, so I’m just wondering how they will manage it from here. (aside from the “the FBI planted evidence” BS we’ve already heard.)

    IA(obviously)NAL, but it seems 18 USC 793 covers “losing” the info; it’s rather a question of who lost it though, right? Trump will say, I dont handle those records, and pin it on some low-level staffer.

    One other quick question – would the initial reach out on missing documents necessarily included everything they actually wanted? Clearly we only hear about cute stuff like the NO map, and there is obviously way more sensitive stuff, but would they necessarily have to ask for everything or would the onus be put upon Trump to give up whatever it was, as he would be assumed to know what is not OK to take. Like, e.g., anything classified.

    • trnc says:

      Trying to explain why a low level staffer had classified documents in their possession seems fraught with complications.

  4. OldTulsaDude says:

    Dr. Wheeler, I appreciate your use of the phrase “stolen documents” as it is accurate. Thank you.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Regarding the documents, we are now seeing a theme started by Ms. Bobb and Individual-1 that the Feebs planted evidence in their raid. Ainsley Earhardt from ‘3 Dolts on the Divan’ (h/t Charlie Pierce) was claiming that the agents brought in lots of backpacks while interviewing Rand Paul. So, even Faux News knows there was something big to find at M-a-L and they’re trying to minimize it as fast as they can.

      • William Bennett says:

        “Whatever they find, it was planted! Also, there’s nothing to find!”

        Straight outta the “If I lose the election, that means it was stolen!” playbook.

        • Dubiousquire says:

          I don’t know if it’s SOP for the FBI to videotape the process, but that seems like it’d certainly help shut down those claims.

          • Just Some Guy says:

            You’d think the FBI would be cognizant enough to do such, sure, but keep in mind it’s not current FBI SOP to record audio and/or video of subject interviews!

      • KM Williams says:

        Trump&Co. want to use their violent crazies (deplorables) as a weapon against the DOJ. Claims of planted evidence are more ammo for the armed cultists.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Trump fed those flames with his pre-deposition (NYC) statement Wednesday morning, in which he piously “hope[d]” they hadn’t planted anything. Which indicates that he knows something damning/illegal will emerge, and must solidify the exculpatory narrative asap.

  5. AGoodEsq says:

    Should we not assume that he would have destroyed anything that would be harmful to him? And conversely. preserved anything that could be helpful to him, either for blackmail or to sell to the highest bidder? Given that framing, and all other things aside, what presidential records could be so important as to not only save but keep in a safe? Proof of pardons for himself and his family? Just one possibility.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Interesting thoughts, and something I’ve ruminated on as well. Fundamentally there has to be a reason to keep these around, so I think blackmail leverage is the most likely option since those docs wouldn’t have a shelf life. IIRC Nixon’s taping system was installed so Tricky Dick would be able to refer to events for his memoirs but Individual-1 would prefer to make up his memoirs off the cuff.

      Stuff for sale would have been sold by now, remember it’s been 19 months since Biden’s inauguration cut off Individual-1’s access to PDBs, etc., and so anything still remaining would be quite dated beyond something like a list of CIA assets, and I’m pretty sure the DoD and spooks took steps on the assumption that these were still floating around to limit the damages. In addition, the need for ready cash for legal fees, etc. has been a feature of post-WH life and Individual-1 is not shy about his methods.

      Likewise, the ability for Individual-1 to pardon anyone ended when Biden said “… so help me, God” on 20 JAN 2021 so any documents like that are radioactive at best (and probably destroyed already).

      That leaves leverage items. The post mentions the possibility of communications around Khashoggi’s murder, and I would not be surprised to find out that this is the reason Jared got 2 B$ for his post-WH projects. Perhaps Vlad provided details regarding the various GQP types that were remarkably cooperative with Individual-1 after vilifying him during the 2016 campaign, as well as the ones like DeSantis who were known to have taken laundered Russian money for congressional campaigns. That GQP leadership list is probably fairly long and also probably includes all of those who went to the RT gala on July 4th a couple of years back. Does it also include Tucker and Hannity?

      As a last point, apparently Individual-1 is being examined today in NY on Leticia James’ civil suit about manipulated property valuations. Maybe we’ll get some more from that.

      • Fran of the North says:

        Your point about the value of blackmail documents is valid. Trump would leverage those to the hilt.

        IMO, there have to be documents with more intrinsic value to national security that those however. I can’t see the DoJ getting this cleared just to find documents that prove congressman G has a proclivity for underage women. The planning and execution of the operation seem to reflect much more gravity.

        • EagerReader says:

          I wonder if some of the boxes were filled with White House documents that could be sold later on as memorabilia of the Trump presidency. I’m thinking of random notes/papers/ephemera with his jottings or signature that could be easily stolen and (in Trump’s calculation) might not be missed by the national archives, but that could be monetized later. Maybe it wouldn’t net a ton of money in the scheme of things, but it would fit his pattern of grift upon grift and using the same scheme for multiple advantages/ends. Perhaps this was part of the plan in addition to stealing the super sensitive docs mentioned by Dr. Wheeler or other docs with blackmail value…

      • Rugger9 says:

        Apparently Individual-1 took the Fifth today in New York. For civil suits that can be considered to be an admission of guilt, but Individual-1 in his statement said it’s a right for every American. He’s correct about invoking the right for criminal cases, and juries are instructed in criminal cases that taking the Fifth doesn’t imply anything but civil cases have a different standard for determining who prevails. Instead of the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard for criminal guilt it’s ‘preponderance of the evidence’ for civil cases. Typically, that means who is more believable.

          • Dmbeaster says:

            There is some role for the judge. From Justia,

            Although individuals must have reasonable cause to apprehend danger and cannot be the judge of the validity of their claims, a court that would deny a claim of the privilege must be “perfectly clear, from a careful consideration of all the circumstances in the case, that the individual is mistaken, and that the answer[s] cannot possibly have such tendency to incriminate.” To reach a determination, furthermore, a trial judge may not require a witness to disclose so much of the danger as to render the privilege nugatory.

            The practical effect is that the court almost always holds the assertion valid.

            • bmaz says:

              Rarely comes up in civil cases because the other party can get an adverse inference instruction when a witness takes the 5th. More common (though still not common) is in criminal cases. And an assertion is presumed valid until established otherwise.

      • LadyHawke says:

        It doesn’t matter when President Biden actually took the oath. His term (and Kamala’s) began at noon January 20, 2021 and Trump’s was over, history, done, dead, blessedly dead, according to the 12th amendment to the Constitution.

    • M Smith says:

      I wouldn’t assume Trump would ever do the rational thing. He seems the type of Narcissistic Sociopath who would preserve mementos of his criminal activities. He’s also not very smart and thought he was above the law. I’m happy it’s all catching up to him, and I’m hoping for the worst for him.

    • Rwood says:

      Trump’s narcissism gets in the way of any logical answer, doesn’t it?

      Is he stupid enough to keep a transcript of his Helsinki conversation with Putin? Maybe not. Is he narcissistic enough to keep it, frame it, and put it on the wall of MAL? Maybe so.

      Either way, as I said back in 2016, he was on his way to prison the second he won the election.

      • KM Williams says:

        There is also the delusionality factor. Trump believes he is entitled to keep any documents he wants, for any reason, and entitled to destroy any documents he chooses to. There is also is delusional conviction that he will become President again, and this time he’ll create the fascist state he wants. In those circumstances, what is now evidence of criminal activity, maybe even treason, would become something to boast about. I think he’s that crazy.

        • Rayne says:

          The sense of entitlement is easily explained by Trump’s malignant narcissism which isn’t insanity but a personality disorder. He has to continue to maintain he’s going to be re-elected because he can’t grift on being a has-been.

          I’d rather not give any of Trump’s co-conspirators any kind of out; you may imagine them claiming, “We didn’t know he was nuts, we just thought he’s the president and followed his lead!” which relieves them of any agency in their participation.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Thank you, Rayne, for making the distinction that Trump is not insane. He is perfectly capable of discerning right from wrong; he is just bone-selfish, narcissistic, and anti-social in the sense that he appears to lack any empathy at all. Those who suffer from genuine illness, mental or otherwise, deserve sympathy. Trump, who has exploited his entitled position to feed his disordered personality without regard to the costs imposed on others, does not.

    • Rayne says:

      Pardons? LOL no. Would have had to spell out the crime(s) committed and then there’d be the question of legitimacy — if the pardon wasn’t published before he left office, why should the US accept the documents as legitimate and not ex post facto?

      Trump likely did destroy a bunch of documents — there’s already anecdotal and photographic evidence along with NARA documentation of his destructive habits. If NARA had documented their existence and they’re missing, they’ll be the basis for charges.

      But as Marcy pointed out yesterday, there are a lot of documents which he might have taken for purposes which may have included obstructing investigations. Why are you struggling with understanding the value these have which might have encouraged Trump to put them in a safe? Can you not imagine even more damaging or sensitive documentation he’d stash as well?

      • obsessed says:

        if the pardon wasn’t published before he left office, why should the US accept the documents as legitimate and not ex post facto?

        Yikes. This is the first time I’ve heard that idea. How would a pocket pardon be authenticated? Would he take a high-res selfie holding the pardon and the January 7th front page of WaPo to prove it was written before 1/20? Is there any precedent of a pocket pardon being invoked? How likely would our current SCOTUS be to allow a piece of paper with Trump’s black sharpie scrawling out his intent to pardon himself or others?

        • Rayne says:

          It’s pretty unlikely, not worth the energy to explore further in my opinion. The amount of bullshit flooding the zone right now to defend Trump is a sign of its likelihood — as in they only have bullshit to mount as a defense.

    • Drew says:

      Additionally, as an extreme narcissist (not just self-absorbed & selfish) Trump would also keep things that would reassure him of how important he is. That might be unpredictable to those of us who are a*thankfully* outside his brain.

      So while I would never be surprised by Trump destroying any particular piece of evidence, I would also not be surprised by anything he chose to hold on to.

      And the article linked to this tweet indicates that the DOJ had a human source that told them specific things he had there:

      https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1557399008645193731

  6. jeco says:

    So, #4 (Ellis’s purloined NSA doc) could be a nexus to Team Crazy’s last ditch effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power by implementing Flynn’s plan for military tribunal to rerun the election to prove trump is the real winner.

    (I wonder why there hasn’t been much chatter about the possibility of trump copying or transmitting the sensitive documents? If he wasn’t so lazy he could forge fake documents with misleading info and destroy the incriminating originals. Like painting Chinese insignia on US jets and bombing the shit out of Russia)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There’s no difference between the so-called team crazy and team normal. That’s reporter’s jargon to normalize Trump by putting a few of the more publicly outrageous members in a separate corral. All part of the same herd.

  7. Paul says:

    Great article and it explains a reason why his lawyers are claiming that the FBI “planted” evidence. However, I read in Lawfare that a copy of the affidavit would not have been left with his attorneys?

    • bmaz says:

      A copy of the warrant absolutely is left, along with the itemized return, at the premises. It does not have to be handed to the two lawyers, but it would be left there, so they have it.

      • foggycoast says:

        heh, once had a search warrant against me in Boulder for pot. they mistakenly left all copies on the premises. a call from the PD the next day was, um, interesting. they dropped the charges in exchange for my returning all the copies.

      • Mad Hatter says:

        I’m not an attorney, but I understand that the warrant and the affidavit are not the same, and that a copy of the warrant is provided to the subject of the search (or their representatives) but not the affidavit. The affidavit is the sworn statement by the law enforcement agent that is used to obtain the warrant. That may remain sealed.
        I hope I’m correct — counselor, please weigh in.

        [FYI, you’re commenting using an address someone else has used. Perhaps it’s mere coincidence in which case you may ignore this. If it isn’t, please know that sockpuppeting isn’t permitted here. Thank you. /~Rayne]

  8. Drew says:

    It just occurred to me that, even if Trump asserts that he declassified the documents in question, the final classification authority on all of them is the current president of the U.S.–Biden. It would be likely, in the case of the most sensitive documents that Biden would have reaffirmed their classification (on request from appropriate agencies)-thus Trump would have been notified in all of these conversations over the past 18 months, that the documents were classified-(esp the most sensitive ones) and that it was a crime for him to hold them and not return them to the government.

    Overall, I’ve been pretty sceptical that Merrick Garland, et al. would authorize this kind of search for violations of the Presidential Records Act or a false statements charge without something much deeper. (I spent a career as a librarian and I’m well acquainted with how seriously people [don’t] take the serious concerns of librarians and archivists). I still think it’s likely that they probably have some particular felonies, such as seditious conspiracy, or obstruction of official proceedings, etc that these documents would establish, but acts of espionage would also qualify.

    • Peterr says:

      I agree that this is more than the DOJ going after Trump to return some overdue library materials that belong at the archives. At that June meeting between the DOJ and Trump’s lawyers, one of the DOJ folks was the chief of counterintelligence and export control, Jay Bratt. Simply by virtue of his title, this says to me that there are issues in play that go beyond the DOJ to include other departments and agencies like State, DOD, Treasury, and various intelligence agencies.

  9. L. Eslinger says:

    As predicted – and in addition to his refusal to release a copy of the search warrant – Trump is now claiming that the FBI was “planting evidence” while at Mar-a-Lago, and that his representatives were prevented from observing the special agents in order to cover up nefarious activities.

    These claims may sound silly, but they are a part of a broader disinformation campaign that has successfully neutralized right-wing critical thinking abilities by winding up emotions (as has been noted, saying “happy holidays” is enough to trigger Trump’s supporters).

      • Marika says:

        Would the FBI have deactivated the security cameras during the search? If not, Trump will have video evidence of the search that he is claiming planted evidence.

      • BrokenPromises says:

        I think Eslinger is impeached from stating no *rump lawyers were allowed to be present at the search with the word ‘claiming” which combines the planting of evidence and the lawyer denied phrase. It’s *rump’s claim not Eslinger’s if that’s what your LOL was about. However it certainly fits in laughing at *rump hisself.

    • Ddub says:

      Minions are also saying the safe was empty. An important possible lie. That the contents of the safe may have the potential of aiding other investigations wouldn’t go unnoticed, and judging by the screeching it has. Bannon said some outrageous things on AJ’s show, which I won’t repeat. Planting future conspiracy memes is their bread and butter, still you’d think a pardoned felon would be more circumspect.

    • Mister Sterling says:

      I am comforted by the lack of violence from the right wing this week. If they were going to revolt, they would have done it. This is a clear signal to the DOJ that it is safe to proceed with the investigations. The water is fine. Go on in. The “liberal media” concern that prosecuting Trump will “tear the country apart” is total bullshit. Prosecute the bastard. Enough of this shit. It really helps that we have an old president who doesn’t really care anymore. Biden is too old for this shit too. I love it. I recognize it. It’s an Irish American trait to avoid confronting problems. It’s a kind of indifference. Let the chips fall where they may. And his corpse would still beat Trump in 2024.

      • Tom-1812 says:

        I watched Lawrence O’ Donnell’s comments on The Last Word from last night and was pleased to hear him say, “There is no uprising.” At one point he said that the Trump supporters outside of Mar-a-Lago last night were outnumbered by the reporters and camera crews on site.

        • Belyn says:

          I hope it is the case that no violence is forthcoming. On the other hand, it can take some time to work the mob into a froth.

      • Rayne says:

        Dude. Sometimes not commenting is the better approach. Your ethnic generalization about a president who shares a cultural heritage with the likes of the Kennedys and Reagan could and should have been left unsaid.

        • Belyn says:

          That post is also offensive for the unwarranted assertion that Biden doesn’t care because of his age. Of course he cares, and his age has nothing to do with caring. His age and/or political savvy may have conferred some wisdom about inserting himself in these events.

          • Mister Sterling says:

            Um, he doesn’t care. Look at his 18 months in office. There have many “screw it” moments. Afghanistan. The treatment of VP Harris. The complete ignoring of his poll numbers. His resistance to Tweet. The slow reaction to Dobbs.

            Biden is a very good guy. And he just wants to keep the drama down and enjoy his ice cream. I love it, because this is the kind of president you want when the word is on fire, and the “liberal” media hyperventilating about Trump sinking deeper into legal trouble.

            I said nothing offensive. An Irish American is allowed to point out a man who has really strong Irish American traits. Reagan fought hard to suppresses his ethnicity. He acted like a WASP most of the time. Biden? He embodies it. More than Kennedy.

            Sorry to offend you watchers of MSNBC. But we have to be honest with ourselves. Biden doesn’t care too much.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              Mister Stirling, Please stop with the stereotyping. People can never be reduced to their ancestors’ countries of origin. The more you defend your generalizations, the dumber they sound. By the time you wrote that Biden “doesn’t care” the final time, you had effectively disproved your own point by demonstrating its opposite: that in fact he does care very much, he just handles it better publicly than most of us.

              You got my Irish up. Take the win.

      • BrokenPromises says:

        Do you really think the DOJ and the US govt would hold off on a critical criminal case that involves crimes committed to thwart the Constitution and the rule of law because a bunch of wackos whine that they will start a civil war. Heck they were mouthing that before and during the J 6 insurrection. Then they all started pleading guilty. Plus they didn’t carry the guns (majority and overtly) to the capital because they know who holds the real power. Relax. There will be no civil war. Focus on the breakdown of duty to protect and rule of law behavior by the GOP and elected Republicans. Therein lies the real threat to this nation. *rump’s rabble are just noise. Not to deny or ignore their crimes but go for the head of the snake.

    • sleutherone says:

      In my jurisdiction the search teams have a videographer to record everything. This includes before during and after the search. This limits liability claims and protects the persons searching from false claims. They always take photos or video of the warrant itself showing exactly where it was left. My guess is the backpacks that agents carried were full of video equipment to catch all angles in every room.

      There are also officers assigned to diagram the layout and take notes of evidence locations.

  10. Paulka says:

    Who is Christina Bobb?

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/oan-host-christina-bobb-ditches-far-right-network-next-stop-trumpworld

    Earlier this year, the Washington Post revealed that Bobb helped Giuliani on the Trump campaign’s outlandish ploy to submit rival Republican elector slates in states that Biden had won. According to the Post, Bobb took part in at least one conference call about the fake elector stunt. She was also present at Trump allies’ Willard hotel “command center” on Jan. 6, which was used to coordinate Team Trump’s efforts to stop Congress’s certification of the 2020 election.

    Additionally, Politico reported last month that Bobb appeared to be the person that initially created the document behind the draft executive order directing the Department of Defense to seize voting machines and appoint a special counsel to investigate the election. The document, which none of Trump’s election dead-enders wanted to take credit for drafting, was obtained by the House Jan. 6 committee in January of this year.

    Given the situation of many of Trump’s lawyers. Ms. Bobb could end up a codefendant with her client.

  11. Fancy Chicken says:

    Is it possible that in an attempt to appease the Archives and the right wing nut jobs, that once the docs are retrieved That Guy won’t be charged? Which could still rile up the nut jobs that it was harassment.

    I mean after Comey’s presser on the investigation into Hillary days before the election that no charges were going to be filed I can very easily imagine a presser where Lisa Monaco or Garland comes out and says “Hey we got what the Archives were missing, That Guy claims to have declassified the documents in question and so no charges will be filled.”

    Is that even a possibility?

    Not a Lawyer,

    Fancy Chicken

    • Spank Flaps says:

      (Touchwood) I don’t think the MAGA nut jobs pose much of a threat any more. Over 800 of their ‘best’ were arrested for J6. That means they have been decimated.
      There was only about a dozen turned up at Mar-a-lago yesterday.
      Even if they do kick off, they aren’t very effective. On J6, 5000+ MAGAs had over 4 hours of stand down orders to take the Capitol, and they failed.
      They were held back by 200-300 Capitol Police.
      If they come out shooting, they will be taking on the biggest military in the world. Next time there won’t be any stand down orders.

      • Rayne says:

        Let’s not swag bullshit about the US Defense Department deploying military personnel on US soil, especially since you appear to be located outside the US.

    • Peterr says:

      Also NAL, but the answer to your question is no.

      The DOJ is not stupid, and they knew that the wingnuts would be riled up as soon as the warrant was served and made public. They also know that the wingnuts will not be appeased by a statement after the fact saying “OK, we got the docs back, so we’re all good here.” In other words, the DOJ is doing this because they are pursuing something, and it is something with big enough national security implications that they are willing to stir up Trump’s followers and deal with the PR blowback.

      Comey’s presser has been widely panned by current and former DOJ lawyers who served in administrations of both parties, and there’s no way anyone should hold it up as a model for “here’s how we do things at DOJ.”

      One more thing: the government no doubt has a list of missing documents that should have been turned over. (See the last bullet point in Marcy’s list above.) Right now, they are probably still working through all that was seized, to see if they got everything that was missing. It is not a given that they got all the documents and other missing items when the warrant was executed.

      • Fancy Chicken says:

        Thanks Peterr.

        I hoped the scenario I gave had very little chance of being reality.

        And absolutely agree that Comey presser should be in the FBI PR handbook of how not to run a presser.

    • bmaz says:

      No, it is not a thing. The warrant itself was unsealed the second it was served. But what does remain sealed is the affidavit submitted to the court to get the warrant. I don’t think Ms. Bobb is a good enough attorney to understand how this all works.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Only the best… I’m also amused that the MAGA world is already frantically trying to find out who squealed. Well, given the news from last week with the minions meeting with investigators, and combined with Pompeo meeting with the J6SC investigators there is a lot of new stuff and confirmations in play.

      • Drew says:

        One question though. In the case of the very highly classified stuff, is there any attempt at sealing or concealing the names/contents of those classified documents?

    • Drew says:

      A close reading of her actual words is that the *affidavit* and the other documentation behind the warrant is sealed, as is customary in these cases. She has the warrant, though she obfuscates about that i.e. that they wouldn’t give her a copy to keep “at the time.” So the warrant lists the crimes being investigated (by statute number, not by narrative description) and the items searched for and taken, but it doesn’t say the reasoning behind it. So she *says* she doesn’t have any indication, but that’s at best disingenuous. Trump’s legal team knows what NARA and DOJ have been pressing for and their arguments for months. They also know the crimes listed, so they can infer quite a bit about what DOJ said to the magistrate–she just doesn’t want that information to get out.

      • Rugger9 says:

        However, Team Trump does have the warrant even though they are trying to muddy the waters by conflating it with the affidavit. Individual-1 also did the same thing when he said in his statement that the Fifth Amendment does not imply guilt ‘in court’ but as I noted above that neutral implication only applies to criminal cases, not civil ones. There might even be precedent to clarify this divergence as well.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        That’s what I thought, Drew, that she was referring to the affidavit. She probably wants her audience (MAGA world) to come away thinking that the evil FBI sealed the search warrant–just for Trump!–even though she must know the difference.

  12. joberly says:

    EW writes that the affidavit would include, “…who is under investigation (whether it’s just Trump, or whether his staffers are as well).” The ‘staffers’ part is covered in Subparagraph (g) of the revised Espionage Act: “If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.” Those Trump aides may be looking at a prison term of up to ten years.

  13. BobCon says:

    “It would list the crimes under investigation ”

    Does the list of crimes have to include everything he’s being investigated for? Or can it only be a subset necessary to justify the warrant?

    For example, if he is hypothetically under investigation first for posessing a top secret document illegally and second giving it to Boris Badenov, can the warrant only mention the crime of illegally posessing the document?

    • emptywheel says:

      There are cases, including some of the later warrants against Stone, where DOJ will list one crime, but only list the other stuff (in Stone’s case, acting as a Russian agent) on the affidavit. They’re going to want to show probable cause for the crimes in question, to avoid any legal challenge down the road.

      • BobCon says:

        Thanks. So if I’m reading this right, most likely if there are followup charges building on this reposession of documents beyond anything listed, it’s due to future developments and not something they’re planning on springing as a surprise.

    • The Old Redneck says:

      In general: you can do it, and the jury can conclude from it what they wish. It’s not like criminal cases, where jurors are instructed not to hold it against the defendant.

      • Badger Robert says:

        Its very hard to claim the plaintiff did not prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence if the defendant and other witnesses did not testify to rebut the plaintiff’s case.

    • vvv says:

      Stuff I deal with includes situations of a 5A plea resulting in an adverse inference.

      In domestic law cases the Petitioner’s case (more commonly it’s an issue in the Counter-Petitioner’s case) can be dismissed.

      In domestic law cases and certain regulatory cases (including lawyer discipline) that adverse inference can result in a default.

      In intentional tort cases it might as well result in a default.

  14. Bobby Gladd says:

    Meanwhile, disturbing reports from Florida indicate preparations in progress for the incipient #MAGApox Civil War. Reconnaissance drone footage reveals a long convoy of up-armored golf carts from The Villages advancing toward one of their FOB’s in a W. Palm Beach Olive Garden parking lot. This is breaking news, stand by for live updates…

  15. Adam Selene says:

    Thank you Dr. Wheeler! This is much of what is lacking in today’s reporting by the MSM: some depth of understanding, versus the horse race style or repeating verbatim whatever comes out of Agent Orange’s mouth. And I even learned a new word, ‘affian’.

    Thanks again!

  16. Peter Charlton says:

    My simplistic take is that the authorities were forced into taking this aggressive action to retrieve some critical documents. They broadly knew what they were looking for, so a) they got what they wanted, b) some things are missing, c) they found some unexpected stuff. 

    I don’t let myself believe that tfg will ever be held accountable so I can accept that with a) there will be no charges. b) and c) would be more interesting, but there’s so much we don’t know.

  17. PeterS says:

    My simplistic take is that the authorities were forced into taking this aggressive action to retrieve some critical documents. They broadly knew what they were looking for, so a) they got what they wanted, b) some things are missing, c) they found some unexpected stuff. 

    I don’t let myself believe that tfg will ever be held accountable so I can accept that with a) there will be no charges. b) and c) would be more interesting, but there’s so much we don’t know.

  18. Ravenclaw says:

    Thinking out loud here, will try to keep voice low…

    If I read 18 USC 793 correctly, the clause most likely applicable to DJT is (d), “Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any [documented information] relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation … willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.” It would be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that materials had not been declassified in the final days of the previous administration, for example, and if anything had actually been passed along to a third party DOJ would need evidence of that, not documents still sitting in a Florida safe.

    Now, of the sample documents hypothesized by EW, not all would fit the bill. I can’t see, for example, how a transcript of the notorious Zelensky interview would hurt the USA or help any adversary. The meeting with Putin might; an intercept of Saudi royalty plotting murder probably would. Right so far? Now, the next issue is: which of these documents would DJT actually keep intact, as opposed to tearing them up and flushing them? There would need to be a real advantage to doing so, something that would outweigh the risks. The Saudi angle looks most promising here, because they would be willing to pay serious $$ to prevent future shaming on the subject. Maybe this gave Jared an “assist” in financing his new venture?

    I just keep having the nagging feeling that most of these documents are more about leverage (okay, quasi-blackmail) than anything else. That would include things unrelated to espionage laws, things pertaining to Congressional figures involved in coup-related plotting, maybe. I guess we need to wait a while in hopes that prosecution happens and the materials in question are made public at the trial. Which, if they are classified as top secret, may not happen…

    • JohnJ says:

      Sorry if I have said this here before, but since 2000 I have been really suspicious of the number of politicians that are vehemently against some GOP idea or personality, then do an embarrassingly complete 180, never even addressing their diametrically opposed opinion from the day before.

      That smells like extortion to me. I would think extortion would require original documents, not some alterable copy.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Maybe just stating that this would be one of the relatively few actions that would trigger an FBI investigation to request, and a federal judge to allow, a search-and-seizure in the residence of a former US President. Espionage being one of the few alternatives. The stuff they were looking for had to have real value to the government AND to the person under investigation. If you have other ideas, please share them.

          • Paulka says:

            Think along the lines of Kevin McCarthy who was initially quite critical of Trump immediately after 1/6, but after a trip to MaL changed his tune to being very pro-trump.
            https://www.axios.com/2021/05/13/liz-cheney-kevin-mccarthy-trump
            McCarthy said on Jan. 13, during a debate over impeaching Trump, that the former president “bears responsibility” for what happened at the Capitol. Weeks later, on Jan. 28, he visited Trump’s golf club in Florida to make amends.
            What did McCarthy see when he was there?

            Admittedly, ALL speculation

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Are you talking about Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz? Trump has long exerted a mysterious and trancelike hold over these men who once trashed him. He had access to everything for four years, and while he was said to be bored by PDBs, I bet he found the insider gossip priceless. Even more priceless? Getting it in hard copy form.

  19. farmfresh says:

    What are the things we actually know? A search warrant was executed and it related to classified documents. Isn’t it possible or even (more) likely that DJT *isn’t* the target of this specific warrant? Yes, MaL was the location of the search, but, to state the obvious, that’s where the documents are.

    It’s also a reason why DJT would not want to release any particulars of the warrant. It’s more difficult to fundraise off of being persecuted when it’s clear you weren’t being persecuted (yet). It’s also a bonus that for Garland or Wray to release a statement about the search might put them in the position of confirming Trump wasn’t the specific target in which case he now gets to claim he’s been “cleared” by the DOJ.

    Wouldn’t it be at least as likely that one or more of the seven dwarves that Trump appointed to be his NARA representatives are the targets in this search? They’re the low hanging fruit that would be totally dependent on Trump to escape culpability. Kash Patel has already telegraphed some combination of the Nixon Defense and the Nuremberg Defense for their involvement to Breitbart months ago.

    Getting Meadows or Cipollone to admit the documents were never declassified to save their own asses and implicate Trump seems plausible. Presumably Meadows still wants a career in politics after this and Cipollone still wants to be a lawyer.

    • Rayne says:

      Isn’t it possible or even (more) likely that DJT *isn’t* the target of this specific warrant?

      You forgot another data point disclosed by Trump himself: the FBI searched Trump’s safe, about which he complained. Gee, why would Trump be upset the FBI looked at copies of Trump’s birth certificate/parents’ death certificates/property deeds/bearer bonds/whatever most people have in their personal safes?

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Amortization schedules for loans from Russian oligarchs?

        Jes’ kiddin’. Nothing to see here, folks.

      • farmfresh says:

        That is a fair point. If I were an investigator in June and asked where other documents might be stored, “a safe on the premises” might be a reasonable answer. Is it really his personal safe? A secure document safe installed by the secret service? A safe used by club guests? We only have Trump’s notoriously unreliable word on this.

        My counterpoint would be that he has been an unindicted coconspirator before, while obviously being involved in the underlying crime. He wasn’t named or charged then but still claimed persecution. And that it’s at least possible that he may not be a target yet, or even be named or charged in this investigation at all, absent cooperation from one of his lackeys.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          When Elliott Broidy got exposed as paying a million dollars in hush money to a lady who was not his wife, my first thought was that Broidy was taking the public fall for Trump. One Stormy he could weather, but a whole harem would have made the path much rockier.

          Cherchez les femmes. And the receipts for les payouts.

  20. klynn says:

    Thank you for this post. It goes far to demonstrate the reality of the search.

    Slighty OT. It would be interesting to create a piece that takes all the misinformation quotes released regarding the search and identify the type of propaganda technique the quote/tweet/soundbite represents.

    EW, your dissection of the Maggie piece this AM somewhat came close. And thank you for confronting each bad faith quote with “show us the warrant!” It is appalling to see RU propaganda techniques dumped on our citizens by our own citizens.
    https://www.state.gov/russias-top-five-persistent-disinformation-narratives/
    Looking at the five common disinfo narratives:
    1) Russia innocent victim
    2) Russia uses historical revisionism
    3) The collapse of Western Civilization is imminent
    4) Popular Movements are US sponsored
    5) Reality is whatever the Kremlin wants it to be

    We are able to extract – just from the last few days alone let alone January 6th that:

    1) Trump & GOP play innocent victim
    2) Trump and GOP use historical revisionism – even in real time
    3) Trump & GOP use values based disinformation and in the last few days have focused that on DOJ and FBI
    4) Trump seeks to deny justice while riling his base by politicalization and demonizing democrats
    5) Reality is whatever Trump and GOP want it to be.

    To miss the parallel propaganda practices (MSM does all the time) is a silent attack on democracy.

    And don’t get me started on their use of Firehose of Falsehoods technique. Timelines of disinfo released by tweets/interviews/groomed press quoting unnamed sources/ soundbites would easily demonstrate their use of this technique as well.
    https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE198.html

    Again, EW you are amazing in your efforts to make others think. Thank you.

    • Adam Selene says:

      I second that motion!

      And great observation on the RU propaganda techniques being used by the MAGAS on America.

      • klynn says:

        When you combine these techniques, it creates the “bothsidism – horse race reporting” EW is constantly confronting journalists on by pointing out the real story being missed. Just her Tweets in the past hour are monumental in confronting propaganda that our media gets swindled into since they fail to really think. Sometimes “fair” journalism must be defined by being “fact based” not influence based.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Agree totally. Fantastic post by Dr. Wheeler, and great comment from klynn. Thanks to you both.

  21. vicks says:

    There is some discrepancy/confusion in the number of boxes that Trump took vs what has been returned, there any speculation that copies were retained or forgeries returned?

  22. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    Some documents that Hillary had were not classified when they came into her possession, but were classified after being retrieved by the FBI.

    Q1: If any classified documents were declassified by Trump, then absconded, then later reclassified after retrieval, is Trump’s pre-re-classification possession potentially criminal absent espionage?

    Q2: If any documents were not classified at the time of Trump’s absconding them, then later classified after retrieval, is his pre-classification possession potentially criminal absent espionage?

    • Ravenclaw says:

      I’m *guessing* only as violations of the presidential records act, which isn’t likely to lead to a major prosecution (but also wouldn’t trigger such a dramatic search). Unless the documents contained evidence of other crimes. A distinct possibility, given the nature of the beast. Except that one would think such documents prime candidates for flushing…

    • SteveR says:

      Is there a third question–if the documents were clearly “reclassified” (whether or not there was a decent argument Trump had effectively declassified them), but Trump retained possession, what is the impact on any argument Trump might make regarding the authority he had held to declassify?

      Corollary question–if Biden acted to clarify the classification status of the docs in Trump’s possession, how likely is it they would have communicated that fact with Team Trump? By June, it appears they had a really good idea regarding what Trump retained. Seems to present a range of potentially intriguing scenarios.

  23. hollywood says:

    Josh Marshall’s view of the search: “We know very little about what this is about.
    I’m as much about messaging as almost anyone. Lies round the globe before the truth gets on its shoes and all that. But there are some cases where the facts will tell the story and set the narrative. This is one of them. I suspect they will show that a serious crime about which we do not yet know has occurred. The people in authority should simply follow the law.”
    What could such a serious crime be?

  24. Riktol says:

    You’ve previously said with Rudy’s phone that DOJ likes to get electronic records silently before executing a search.
    Is it likely that DOJ got Trump’s call records and emails since Jan 20th 2021 as part of this investigation? I’m speculating based off the Reality Winner warrant which talks about potential contact with journalists and foreign agents.
    Would they need some sort of tip relating to a potential contact or could they just ask for it for national security reasons?

    Also, if I understood previous posts correctly, once they have the phone and email records, they could use them (via a separate warrant) in other investigations like the various ‘spokes’ of Jan 6th. That way they could hide the Jan 6th investigation behind the documents investigation.
    Hillary wasn’t prosecuted for document violations so it probably seems less threatening to an overconfident blusterer, or a 2nd rate lawyer who can’t resolve a traffic violation.

  25. Badger Robert says:

    It seems the affidavit in support of the warrant application would include that former White House attorneys testified that the ex President was advised not to take the documents before he committed the theft. It would be another bread crumb in proving the path of Trump’s defiance.
    Just because the DofJ attorney at the June 3 meeting had a very high level security clearance, and knew what the archivists were looking for, doesn’t imply that national security documents were the only documents that remained illegally in the possession of the former President. The mixture of documents being retrieved could also include high value documents urgently needed in the 01/06 investigation.

  26. Badger Robert says:

    Ms. Wheeler seems to be the only one that identifies her No. 4 as the type of document that might be sought by the Justice Department. If so, the illegal possession of the document might be the arch stone in proving a far more egregious crime.

  27. Paulka says:

    A tidbit that I heard on CrookedMedia is that most intelligence information is shared throughout the WH (stuff like PDBs) on tablets that are set to delete the information within a specified timeframe. Having that information printed to hardcopy seemed quite unusual. Something like the transcript of the Perfect Call, with the president requesting a paper copy and retaining that document would be considered highly unusual. And apparently Trump had a great deal of this type of paper storage of sensitive documents in the WH residence, which again was highly unusual. Probably tied to Trumps aversion to electronic documentation.

  28. Hopeful says:

    Maybe this has been discussed before and I missed it, but

    What is TFG’s current security clearance? Does he have clearance to access compartmented information?

    When I was in the Navy I had access to highly classified information; I’m pretty sure the day I was honorably discharged my clearance status changed.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Donald Trump lost his general access to classified government materials the day he left office in January 2021. By tradition, and as a courtesy to former presidents, Trump retained access to “classified briefings” after that date. President Biden, however, withdrew that residual access in February 2021, commenting that there was “no need” for Trump to have it, prompting what must have been a collective, world-wide sigh of relief.

      Trump lost his authority to access and declassify documents the day he left office. He lost his ability to receive limited classified briefings a month later. Extensive briefings about this are given to incoming and outgoing presidential staffs, which means that, willfull ignorance notwithstanding, it was known to and anticipated by Trump and his staff.

    • bmaz says:

      Presidents do not have clearances per se, their access to classified is a function of their title. So he has literally zero clearance now. (Not to mention that, there is not a chance in hell Trump could ever pass a security clearance investigation).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Here’s a link to the National Archive’s summary of the Presidential Records Act, which deals with, among other things, a former president’s access to the “presidential records” of his administration. The records are the property of the USG, and a former president does not have unilateral authority to determine access to them.

      https://www.archives.gov/about/laws/presidential-records.html

      • Hopeful says:

        Thanks, EOH, BMAZ;

        In the absence of pertinent, accurate, information; I have been thinking that this subpoena was to reclaim government documents, the release of which could cause grave damage to USG (and Nation); which TFG could not legally hold.

        He has given indications that he would do his best to drag things out in the courts. This DOJ move looks to try to preempt that.

        Just my WAG.

  29. Staid Winnow says:

    ” If Trump admitted he’s under investigation for part of the Espionage Act, his supporters might be less likely to prepare for civil war, as they currently are doing.”

    No. His supporters do not care what the charges are, they have concluded that they are all bogus. By his supporters I mean Republicans. 97% or so of Republicans. Another 2.5% are probably silent but are still supportive.

  30. ollie says:

    OT/I just read an article in WP that our president had a very small group of Historians come and meet w/him. “President Biden paused last week, during one of the busiest stretches of his presidency, for a nearly two-hour private history lesson from a group of academics who raised alarms about the dire condition of democracy at home and abroad.”
    “The conversation during a ferocious lightning storm on Aug. 4 unfolded as a sort of Socratic dialogue between the commander in chief and a select group of scholars, who painted the current moment as among the most perilous in modern history for democratic governance, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private meeting.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/10/biden-us-historians-democracy-threat/
    “During the discussion, a loud crack of thunder could be heard, which the participants later found out coincided with a lightning strike that killed three people in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.”

    I cried after reading this. It’s been exceptionally crazy w/the failure of our journalists…the lack of an informed citizenry… The fact that Biden reached out to get a history lesson just fucking comforted me so much what w/all the total idiots out there flapping pure shit. it’s exhausting. also? Dr Marcy Wheeler has been calling out these lazy reporters…constantly focusing on trump instead of staying stable…. some have been pretty damn funny, lol.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Please don’t rush to generalize about “the failure of our journalists,” Ollie. While we here are sensitive to the shortcomings of the “prestige media,” mainly a few national outlets, many superb journalists are still out there working at outlets that might not jump to the top of a Google search. You have to look for them! Spend you media money on a few local papers around the country, and you can find excellent investigative stories as well as national news. My favorites currently include Tampa Bay Times and Detroit News. Others here can recommend many additional outlets.

  31. Smeelbo says:

    I apologize for being naive, but remembering the many times Chinese nationals were caught trespassing at Mara Lago, is it not too far a stretch to suggest that Trump may have been selling “access” to the documents to the Chinese by storing the documents there and inviting visits?

    It explains to me the urgency of the warrant.

  32. greenbird says:

    hasty but understandable:
    ” so it would consistent entirely of paper seizures. ”

    also, seamus posted a link to the NYT motion, Doc 08, 11 pages. a good read.

  33. Dmbeaster says:

    The warrant and the list of items taken are left, but the affidavits that supported issuance of the warrant are not left. Trump and his lawyers have no right to see them at this time. They contain detailed information about the ongoing investigation that could sabotage it if disclosed at this time. For example, who secretly told the FBI or DOJ about what Trump still had and where it was (i.e., what Trump is now screeching about – the “rat”).

  34. Adam Selene says:

    If I had a offline computer server at work that had my kompromat files on it, I would have mirrored the hard drives before I left the job, then wiped the server. But that is illegal…

    I clipped this text from CNBC, September 2019:

    “White House lawyers directed White House officials to remove the electronic transcript of the Zelensky call from the computer system where such transcripts normally are stored. That transcript then was loaded into a “separate electronic system” that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. “One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.”

    I might have saved the DHS and Secret Service call records from January 6 before I did it too.

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