Trump’s Stolen Documents

As you know doubt know, the Trump warrant released pursuant to order has been released.

It consists of:

  • A one-page warrant
  • The short Attachment A describing Mar-a-Lago
  • The Attachment B describing the various things for which the FBI can search
  • Two, potentially separate, search returns, one signed by the Supervisory Special Agent and the other signed by the Special Agent

Combined, the inventory may look like this:

  • 1) Roger Stone clemency
    • 1A) Information about the President of France (seemingly tied to the Stone clemency)
  • 2) Leatherbound box of documents
    • 2A) Various classified/TS/SCI documents
  • 3) Potential Presidential Record
  • 4) Documents
  • 5) Binder of photos
  • 6) Binder of photos
  • 7) Handwritten note
  • 8) Box labeled A-1
  • 9) Box labeled A-12
  • 10) Box labeled A-15
    • 10A) Miscellaneous Secret Documents
  • 11) Box labeled A-16
    • 11A) Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents
  • 12) Box labeled A-17
  • 13) Box labeled A-18
    • 13A) Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents
  • 14) Box labeled A-27
    • 14A) Miscellaneous Confidential Documents
  • 15) Box labeled A-28
    • 15A) Miscellaneous Secret Documents
  • 16) Box labeled A-30
  • 17) Box labeled A-32
  • 18) Box labeled A-35
  • 19) Box labeled A-23
    • Confidential Document
  • 20) Box labeled A-22
  • 21) Box labeled A-24
  • 22) Box labeled A-34
  • 23) Box labeled A-39
    • 23A) Miscellaneous Secret Documents
  • 24) Box labeled A-40
  • 25) Box labeled A-41
    • 25A) Miscellaneous Confidential Documents
  • 26) Box labeled A-42
    • 26A) Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents
  • 27) Box labeled A-71
  • 28) Box labeled A-73
    • 28A) Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents
  • 29) Box labeled A-14
  • 30) Box labeled A-26
  • 31) Box labeled A-43
  • 32) Box labeled A-13
  • 33) Box labeled A-33

I’m going to come back to this. But some big questions I have right now are:

  • Does the more cryptic receipt compiled by the Supervising Special Agent represent a separate subclass of documents, perhaps tied to more sensitive crimes?
  • Is there really a tie between a clemency document from Trump and the French President (presumably, but not definitely, Emanuel Macron)?
  • Do the boxes not shown to include classified information include documents of particular interest, or were they just collected under the search protocol?
138 replies
    • Rugger9 says:

      I do not recall Macron and Individual-1 being particularly close like MbS or Vlad or KJU were with TFG. The French President is also not a pal of Roger Stone’s AFAIK, nor is he involved in any way with the pardon process in the USA. It’s why I’m curious to see what that item is and why Individual-1 felt it was worth keeping for almost 19 months now. BoJo would have been more likely to me as a nexus.

      There is also some speculation that the M-a-L mole(s) revealed previously unknown docs to the National Archives which makes some sense given how documents were treated as disposable in the former WH even if they weren’t politically radioactive. We may not be done yet.

      Of course, Turley had to step in to show us where the rakes are (whap) and run interference for Individual-1. Apparently the exception regarding the AEC/NRC stuff didn’t make it to Individual-1’s brain that still felt as POTUS he could do anything. It also makes me wonder how much Barr knew about the transport of the documents to M-a-L that was so secure that a PRC national was able to wander around looking for a pool for hours in 2019.

      • hollywood says:

        Turley is a self-described libertarian but he is an educated, intelligent guy. Why is it his mission in life to use his gifts to support the far right including Trump? What’s in it for him? Did the woman who funded his chair request that he do this sort of thing? Even Turley’s lunch buddy Barr seems to have backed off from defending TFG.

        • Frank Anon says:

          Turley, Dershowitz and their ilk see power and attention first and foremost. Possessing the Alan Colmes seat gets you at the head of the class, it means attention, access and authority. Dershowitz’s best days were behind him, and then he gets to be on the floor of the House in a historic impeachment proceeding. You’re a smart, middle of the pack player if you stay liberal. You’re a big fish if you go to the other side. Notwithstanding the fact that you’re neither a liberal or conservative, just a self-interested fool not understanding the horrible stuff that will happen when normal people just shun you. Ask Dershowitz’s friends on the Vineyard

        • timbo says:

          Maybe he’s more of a fascist than he lets on? It’s not unusual for folks who are totalitarians to hide their political views in an open society such as ours…until they attain the levers of power.

        • civil says:

          I’ve spent a fair amount of time at Turley’s blog battling the Trumpist commenters there, and the liberal commenters there all conjecture that Turley does it for the $ and attention, and some wonder if it’s part of his Fox contract.

        • hollywood says:

          Good for you. There are some pretty extreme commenters on that blog. I used to confront them. Then I got banned. Turley denied I was banned (without any forewarning). He said he would look into it and get back to me. Never heard from him again. I suspect his houseboy Darren Smith had something to do with it. Just don’t be surprised if they lock you out. I think if enough of the commenters get together and gripe about you, you are out.

        • Bobster33 says:

          I’ve been banned from so many right wing sites I forget which ones. So far Fox, Breitbart, realclearpolitics, etc. Turley used to be good when he was on Keith Olbermann. Sad, so sad.

        • hollywood says:

          Good on you.
          I have also been banned from PJMedia (thanks to Roger L. Simon) again with no explanation or warning and American Greatness (ditto).
          I will note that increasingly folks such as yourself have made a dent of sorts. Now, many of these sites no longer allow comments, e.g., The Hill.
          The good news is there is life after banning. And you have more time for more productive endeavors. Take care.

        • civil says:

          Yeah, the commenters on Turley’s blog help me understand just how hard it can be to reach some people with facts. I’ve seen people banned there, though it also appears that you can use the Anonymous commenting option (posting without entering a name and email) to get around it if you also reset your IP address.

          Turley is an incredible hypocrite. He frequently complains about “the age of rage,” but feeds it daily with his cherrypicking, and in testimony, he says things like “The First Amendment is limited to government censorship, but free speech is not limited in the same way. Those of us who believe in free speech as a human right also believe that it is wrong to deny it as either a private or governmental entity,” but he regularly has Darren delete comments that are legal under the First Amendment, and they ban people for no good reason. He complains about censorship by Twitter, but he also censors.

        • Rayne says:

          I would never assume the commenters at Turley’s blog act in good faith because of Turley’s sketchy history, no matter the moderation policies.

      • Frank Anon says:

        I’m sure you recall that in the outset of Trump’s residency, Macron was pimping himself as a sort of “Trump Whisperer”, most likely trying to position himself to other European leaders as a conduit and interpreter of sorts for Trump. He said the usual idiotic things, I cite this BBC report as a beautiful example

        I’m willing to bet he said or did something he will regret

    • John Colvin says:

      My working hypothesis is that Stone played some role in the Macron leaks matter, knew about an investigation (perhaps from Posobiec), and had asked for a pardon broad enough to cover that episode.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Yeah, by my count 26 boxes in the list above. Wonder how big each box is; standard banker’s boxes are usually pictured in file photos about Trump’s records theft. But 26 of those boxes could be a couple or three of tall filing cabinets of material if that’s the case (and assuming the boxes are full). Plus the other boxes already recovered. And one does also wonder about the selection criteria used in the first place; and who in particular handled the work at the White House. One would think that Trump would’ve have to have been selecting documents all through the four years, or at least, creating categories to make the final thieving go relatively quickly and easily.

      • P J Evans says:

        One banker’s box per file drawer, is how I estimate it. If you’re using normal file boxes, you’d need more like three boxes for two drawers.

        • Drew says:

          I think the FBI would carry all this stuff out in bankers boxes, but some of these boxes could be smaller or mostly empty. It’s still a big trove.
          The order of the list makes me think that they started in Trump’s personal office–the first are things that look more personally significant to him. A leather bound box fits with his showing off trophies on his shelves–he wouldn’t want gray archives boxes on his personal office shelves. But wow! Top Secret-Sensitive compartmented information in the open shelves of your office, is pretty special. Esp given that the cleaning staff almost certainly consists of badly treated undocumented workers who may only temporarily be in the U.S.

        • Tom-1812 says:

          I like to think the informant to the FBI was a patriotically minded cleaning staff person who saw all those cardboard boxes piled in an unlocked basement storage room and thought, “Why, what could be in all these boxes? Whatever it is will get all musty and mildewy down here.” They open a box, see folders labelled “Classified” “Top Secret”, and the rest is history … or more to the point, Donald Trump is history.

          If I were in the office supply business, I would immediately start producing bankers’ boxes with “Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents” printed on the outside.

          I’m curious about the binders of photos, like, photos of what?

        • Knox Bronson says:

          Oh, you know, Lindsay Graham and his young friends or the cocaine-fueled orgies Madison Cawthorn spoke about (off-topic: where did he disappear to?) or the wealthy and powerful cavorting at Jeffrey Epstein’s island, things of that nature.
          Pure conjecture on my part: it’s just where my mind goes … because I cannot for the life of my figure out why anybody anywhere would associate with Trump, much less hang in there after all that has been revealed, unless that person is thoroughly compromised.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          I was trying to be conservative in my estimates, the first of which was a half-dozen filing cabinets full. It’s not a lot of stuff measured against what total holdings offices may have, but as loot from his time in office, it’s pretty substantial.

        • P J Evans says:

          When we had the 18 four-drawer file cabinets of papers at work, the file cabinets were in our double cubicles, in the middle of the long wall. You couldn’t back up far…
          And then we had to sort all of those papers…. Took a week – we started at 7am on Saturday, worked 10 hours, 8 on Sunday, then 10 each weekday, finishing at 4 on Friday. The manager set up the method, and he and his secretary were both in sorting with the rest of us. (Why 8 hours on Sunday? Superbowl. That was the year the Niners beat Miami. I got home at the start of the fourth quarter.)

        • grennan says:

          The Washington Post has run pictures of the boxes being loaded at the White House in January 2020, and I bet the ones that just left MAL are either the exact same boxes or the same, Archive-provided, type.

          As I remember, they looked somewhat bigger than “banker’s boxes”.

          However, remember what most people do a year or two after a hasty move: dump the contents partially left in one box into another.

      • KM Williams says:

        I suppose, with Trump’s using Mar a Lago as the “Winter White House”, there were a lot of files taken there over 4 years, not just in the days or weeks before he finally slunk away from the WH. That would make a big, and uncataloged, collection. Probably he kept “gifts” too, tho not officially allowed to do so.

      • dude says:

        “…And one does also wonder about the selection criteria used in the first place; and who in particular handled the work at the White House. ”

        Who indeed?

    • Ravenclaw says:

      I saw a report (WSJ?) that some boxes were far from full. Likely they were linked to specific locations – like, all the confidential documents in the top desk drawer in room X. So some might be stuffed (11a, 11b?) while others might hold just a single Manila folder.

  1. glenn storey says:

    if all this stuff is so highly classified, and I have no reason to doubt that it is – who exactly is going to go through it all? Somebody’s going to have to inventory it, I imagine. How will the FBI / DOJ handle all of this? Obviously nobody has the proper clearances.

    • P J Evans says:

      NARA may have people who can, and I’m fairly sure that the FBI has people with that clearance level.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “Obviously nobody has the proper clearances.” Fawlty assumption, Basil.

      The FBI is pretty big. Parts of it do nothing but investigate espionage and the theft of highly sensitive government documents. It’s also the agency in charge of investigating whether to grant security clearances to government employees. Odds are there are more than a handful of special agents with the requisite clearances. Any gaps can be filled in on a case-by-case basis.

    • cmarlowe says:

      >>Obviously nobody has the proper clearances.

      Wrong. (OK – PJ and Earl beat me to it while I was typing).

    • Rayne says:

      This is not FBI/DOJ’s first rodeo when it comes to investigation of mishandling classified information. They have teams for this — teams who’ve already been working with NARA and other originating government entities — and clearly the right people were called in if the Chief of the DOJ Counterintelligence & Export Control Section Jay Bratt has been involved and signed the warrant.

      Don’t sweat the government’s part. Sweat non-government persons who may have seen/handled this after the White House in January 2021 and at Mar-a-Lago since then.

  2. Drew says:

    A detail on the inventory struck me. Box 2 is described as a leatherbound box of documents. 2A (which I take to be how they are entering descriptive notes for significant contents of certain boxes) is “Various classified/TS/SCI documents.”

    This is the only box described as leatherbound and the only one mentioning TS/SCI documents. Leather bindings are not ordinary for archives boxes. Normally they are grey or blue “acid free” cardboard. Leather bindings don’t aid preservation or convenience. The only thing they are good for is for show.

    Without more information we don’t know why Trump wanted these documents in a showy box or where he kept it, but putting those documents there does say something about intent, it’s certainly not accidental.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump famously kept a leather-bound briefcase or box – in imitation, perhaps, of the British government’s red ministerial or despatch boxes – stuffed with government documents that so interested him, he wanted to show them off, presumably to powerful domestic and foreign players. He thought he was a kid in a candy store; he was really playing with a blowtorch in a refinery.

      • grennan says:

        Ironic that the upper career civil service in the UK government started to give up on Edward VIII when state papers would come back with drink rings and they had to shake crumbs — biscuits and crusts from the American grilled cheese sandwiches Mrs. Simpson introduced him to — out of the red boxes.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        No word on the sesame seeds, but there were faint outlines that spelled “Keebler” underneath the bonded leather surface.

    • Thebuzzardman says:

      Leatherbound book? Probably the Necronomicon. Involved in the child sacrifices at Comet Pizza. Supposed to be back in storage at Area 51. Trump was holding it to reveal it to the world.

  3. harpie says:

    I have been trying to follow along with all of this [!!!], but…wow!

    Here’s a thought from Steve Vladeck that might be of interest:
    5:48 PM · Aug 12, 2022

    Pulling a bunch of threads together, the fact that the search warrant was based on §§ 793, 1519, and 2071, but *not* 1924, suggests that DOJ was worried about affirmative *misuse* of materials in President Trump’s possession — and not just that he was wrongfully *retaining* them.

    1519 is about more than just holding on to documents; it’s about messing with them. And if the concern was that President Trump was simply retaining classified information, why use 793 but *not* 1924? This is all speculation, but it sure points to something beyond mere retention.

    • P J Evans says:

      We may not find out all of it, because of classification, but what we’ll learn will sink his boat in the Marianas Trench.

      • Eureka says:

        From your lips …

        [Teflon Don and all that. Am buoying my guarded optimism with visions of an old pan w/peeling, cracked coating.]

        • P J Evans says:

          The earlier versions did lose the coating – it wore off, and got scratched. Don’t remember it peeling, though. But here’s to that Teflon coating on him being finally removed.

    • dude says:

      Yeah–‘messing’ with them. Like big Sharpie edits. That would be so cool….. He knows more about nuclear weapons and spycraft than all those Generals and CIA spies….

  4. foggycoast says:

    in the time-honored tradition of speculation:
    1. Some of the mementos were intentionally stolen by Trump but much of the Seccret, Top Secret, Classified documents were take to MAL at the request of Kushner. Trump’s legendary disinterest in reading documents leads me to this guess.
    2. Who might be interested in some of those sensitive docs, especially ones related to nuclear weaponry? MBS, the guy who gave Kushner $2 billion.
    3. Trump will claim, and maybe truthfully, that he didn’t know what was in the boxes so he’ll get a slap on the wrist for possessing stolen goods but not for knowingly stealing specifically sensitive ones.

    to the lawyers here, does the law see any difference between knowingly stealing them vs possessing them without knowing specifically what they are?

  5. patrick g says:

    it could be a total nothingburger, but i am really interested in the photographs. thinking that they could be pictures of docs that couldn’t be taken, or that would be missed if not returned.

      • grennan says:

        If that’s the Iranian base he tweeted his first month or so in office, it was beyond top secret.

        Mark Meadows said at some point several years later that the tweets were not self-executing declassifiers which while probably true seems like a strange thing to note, for him, and somewhere in a quote.

        • Rayne says:

          No, it was the rocket failure in 2019 and the failure was disclosure about US satellite capability. There’s a link to the related article in my comment.

        • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

          And will hopefully be used against him as a demonstration of his malfeasance and proof of his ongoing breaches of the Espionage Act throughout his period of access to these sorts of documents.

        • eyesoars says:

          I remember seeing and reading about that at the time, and noting that a few people had determined what satellite had taken the pictures. From the time-of-day apparent from the shadows, the apparent angle of the image, and the known date it was taken, the orbital track could be determined, identifying the satellite. And the resolution was clearly apparent.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Like the leather bound batch of documents they seem to have been in the personal office. Guessing mementoes rather than really dark stuff. Bromance pictures with other evil world leaders, etc.

  6. klynn says:

    I decided, as I was going through the inventory list and realizing the potential connections, I needed popcorn. I made a new recipe to share:

    18 USC 793 Popcorn:

    1 tsp of:
    Brown sugar
    Orange peel (see what I did there?)
    Garlic powder
    Onion powder
    Smoked paprika
    1/4-1/2 tsp Coriander

    Optional addition: Parmesan Cheese


    A nice balance of sweet and spicy. Kind of like today.

    • P J Evans says:

      May or may not go well with the Whiskey Tango-Foxtrot (from way back, at FDL!)
      Whiskey Tango-Foxtrot

      1 1/2 oz rye whiskey
      1/2 oz Aguardiente Cristal
      1/2 tsp bar syrup
      Three dashes of orange bitters
      Juice of one tangelo

      Combine ingredients and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with mango.

      • klynn says:

        Ah, FDL days…

        We may want to update the drink for the occasion and not just garnish with mango but tweak the name:

        Whiskey Mango-Foxtrot

      • bmaz says:

        I once flew a plane that actually had WTF in it’s tail number. Cracked me up every time I had to announce it to a tower or fellow aircraft.

        • Hika says:

          Ah. I’ve learned a new word: gemütlich. Similar to the Danish hygge [pronounced something like ‘hoo-gah’], which I had picked up from Sandi Toksvig hosting the UK television program, QI.

    • GoatRodeo says:

      Thanks much for this recipe. Popcorn is one of a handful of “foods” that transform before our eyes into something quite delightful and appealing, irresistibly so. Thank you. I saved it to my recipe file. The spices you add to it are intriguing too as i seldom venture beyond a little parmesan. It’s an especially nice treat to encounter poring over this site for hints of existential validation and finding a kernel that might endure. thanks. And did someone say “Hammer of Justice?” Big Rick Silver fan! All day!

  7. Philip Jones says:

    What I find intriguing is how these particular documents were selected. Presumably they there were many thousands of documents that passed through the Whitehouse. Were these documents collected systematically throughout the Presidency or were they “hoovered up” at the end of Trump’s term of office? Were they individually selected by the President, or by a general direction from him, to collect documents to be on specific topics and circumstances?
    Such a collection must surely have required a lot of effort by a person or persons in the Whitehouse. Are they in legal jeopardy, or dutifully “following orders”?
    And why these particular documents? Boxes and boxes of them. Was it a systematic trawl or a whim? I simply don’t understand the rationale. Perhaps there wasn’t one.
    Was there an overarching strategy, or was it to satisfy a President who just wanted to retain secret material because he believed it was his right?
    Was there an underlying purpose? I guess that because the details of the documents will never be made public, then the answers to these questions will possibly never be known.
    As usual, my infrequent posts are questions from across the pond. Please forgive the repetition, but it illustrates my confusion and the (very) late hour!

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      The only things that The Donald would have felt compelled to keep are things that did one of four things:

      1) Fed his ego
      2) Fed his bank balance
      3) Fed his need for power
      4) Covered his ass

      Everything that The Donald does ALWAYS needs to be see through this prism.

        • Yorkville Kangaroo says:


          It should also be noted that they apply in the order listed. Therefore, when someone wonders why The Donald has held onto something so utterly incriminating pertaining to 2,3 & 4 it will be because of 1.

      • inimitable says:

        Give me #1 and #2: Let’s just say that an eBay account with the handle John Barron was poised to break bidding records.

    • KM Williams says:

      They may have been collected over the 4 years Trump was in office. I would imagine there are boxes of “keepsakes” at his other golf clubs/residences, and those of his kids. Anything that looked financially useful to the Trumps.

  8. WilliamOckham says:

    In Appendix B, among the things they are looking for, it says:

    Information, including communications in any form, regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material

    In the receipts, it says:

    1 – Executive Grant of Clemency re: Roger Jason Stone, Jr.
    1A – Info re: President of France

    Info. Not document. So, the info is on the grant of clemency. Somebody wrote something about Macron on Stone’s clemency doc. Wow!

  9. Badger Robert says:

    These three statutes and the warrant return seem adequate to get AG Garland what he needs, He needs a conviction, he needs Trump to stop declaring his innocence in public, and Garland needs Trump disqualified.
    If he tries, Garland may get what he needs.
    As more tweets mention a stupid promise not to run again, the push to get Trump to agree will begin. Garland will be portrayed as the stubborn one, but the AG needs a plea and conviction to get an enforceable deal. The offenses seem all set up,. with the defenses eliminated.
    Trump should be advised to plea diminished capacity. It would be a post hoc claim. But it might keep him out of prison.

    • bmaz says:

      Almost everything in this comment is garbage. Any potential criminal case is NOT about political concerns such as you, and so many others, relentlessly express. Seriously, this line of thought is gross and really unproductive. And you, clearly, do not know jack shit about the parameters of an incapacity defense in court. My gawd, people need to get a grip and their heads out of their asses.

  10. obsessed says:

    Do we know what crimes and what range of time this clemency document for Roger Stone covers? For example, would Trump (between Jan. 6 and Jan. 20) have been capable of pardoning Stone for any crime associated with the period from the election through Jan. 6? Or would he have had to specify specific crimes? And since Stone hasn’t officially received this pardon, is it now in the possession of the government? Or is it just a souvenir of his previous clemency/pardon of Stone for the crimes he was convicted of? And since, as EW has pointed out, pardoned people can no longer take the 5th, is that perhaps why Trump still had the document? What if he had it printed out and kept it. As the ex-president can he still decide whether to physically hand it to Stone or the court?

    • grennan says:

      One of the issues with Stone’s clemency or pardon — done separately — is that his name was shown as Roger Jason Stone, Jr. when in fact his name is Roger Joseph Stone, Jr. This came up at some point back then, but no idea where or when.

      Part of the flotsam/jetsam…

  11. WilliamOckham says:

    Also, as SWAG, I’m going to say that “Leatherbound box of documents” really means “box of leatherbound documents” and that’s a box of PDBs, which are often delivered as leatherbound binders.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The PDB, the document Trump never read, the one he had to have summarized in simple bullet points or cartoons, and yet found so interesting that he criminally took one or more of them with him. Wonder what was in it/them that he found so interesting.

  12. phred says:

    EW, here’s what I would like to know… there is supposed to be a chain of custody for classified information. So those responsible for maintaining that custody (presumably at the WH, but perhaps other agencies as well) should have noticed immediately when the documents disappeared. Who were those custodians? How did they let tfg waltz off with the docs? And how long did it take them to report the theft?

    Ordinary government employees would get in an enormous amount of trouble for not immediately reporting the loss (even briefly) of control of classified information. If those who lost the information in their custody to tfg didn’t get in trouble immediately, why not? And why did it take so long to get it back?

    • Legonaut says:

      This. (came in while I was typing below) It seems like he would’ve had to onesy-twosey these docs out of the WH every time he left over the course of his term. I don’t think his golf bag counts as a SCIF.

      And who abetted?

  13. Christy Smith says:

    Has anyone noticed the very precise language in Appendix B on what they will be searching for under the warrant, in part b.: “Information, including communications in any form, regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material”. It may be standard language, but they included this, and one wonders exactly and precisely why? Has there been an exchange of information from an advisor to a foreign government? An off from Trump on a call, or a slip of the information in conversation while bragging: let me show you my etchings becomes the more robust nuclear weapons program designs, say? So many possibilities in that one drop-in boilerplate phrasing, that’s been tweaked ever so slightly for transmission, showing, etc. Does make me say hmmmm….

  14. Legonaut says:

    I see a box labeled “A-73”, and I get the same sinking feeling in my gut that Harry Mudd (Roger Corman) got when Stella #500 came out to nag him at the end of the classic Star Trek episode “I, Mudd”.

    Even if it’s the FBI’s labeling, referencing particular locations where they were found in his office/storeroom/bathroom/wherever, that’s a helluva lot of stuff. And not a SCIF in sight.

    Just how much did Trump steal, and how much is still missing? Will there be more searches of Trump properties?
    Who helped him do it, and will they be searched too?

    • obsessed says:

      I’m excited at the slim possibility of learning whether blackmail has played any role in the Trump/GOP phenomenon. It’s probably not the case – probably all the flip-flopping can be explained by the failure of the base to give up on Trump no matter was he does, but I can’t help but wonder if the humiliating flip-flops of Graham, McCarthy, Cruz, Rubio et al might be the result of Trump possessing some sort of kompromat.

      From a legal point of view, what are the ethical requirements for a prosecutor who uncovers indictable proof of ongoing blackmail? To protect the person being extorted? Could the prosecutor secretly go to both parties, reveal his or her knowledge of the evidence and say no charges would be brought unless the kompromat was made public, in which case the blackmailer would be prosecuted? Seems like that would work, right? The blackmailer would have just as strong a motive to keep the information secret as the blackmailee, right? Of course, this assumes that the blackmail information is personal and not a crime. If the blackmailer knew that the blackmailee had committed a murder, the prosecutor would obviously not be obliged to protect the blackmailee. Do they cover this type of thing in law school ethics classes?

      • Mary Treusch says:

        Rump was such a very good friend of David Pecker, one time publisher of the National Enquirer, so I’m sure he had blackmail material on all of them. He probably received much more from his buddy in Russia.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; your last comment was as “Mary Pretzels.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • bmaz says:

          Who is “Rump”? The pettiness of people who insist on pulling this bunk is really kind of stunning. And tiring. Does it make you feel better? You think it is cute? You think it helps our searchability or credibility? Why?

        • Mary Pretzels says:

          I am neither petty nor tiring, but I am cute. I am attempting my first post on this wonderful, challenging site. I thought I had relevant information to share. I apologize for my poor word choice.

        • bmaz says:

          No, it is fine, and welcome. Trust me, if you have been around lurking very long, you know I have asked this multiple times of people. Less since he is out of office, but I still do not get it. If people want to be taken seriously, they should be serious.

        • Rayne says:

          I won’t say how long but it’s been a while. Nice to see you again, though, drop in more often. :-)

      • Legonaut says:

        D’oh! You are, of course, correct (and after I looked it up too).

        As said elseweb, “I blame it on the whiskey.” :-)

        • vvv says:

          I wanna note that for me (who also doesn’t like to type his name), the former pres, allegedly a teatotaller, is that much less defensible.

          Altho’ there’s all those rumors about Adderall, etc.

    • Purple Martin says:

      Macron’s name was not used:
      “1A) Information about the President of France (seemingly tied to the Stone clemency)”

      Similarly, AG Garland didn’t say “Trump” in his statement yesterday. DoJ is just a polite kind of place.

  15. Alberto the Magnificent says:

    I left this on Turley’s blog–

    It’s time for a fun exercise in intellectual integrity. Let’s imagine that a violent gang of liberal Democrats attacked our national capitol, caused five deaths, desecrated a national landmark building, and attempted to overturn the results of an election. And then their deposed President got caught removing classified material from the White House. I wonder how the Right would respond to that set of circumstances?

  16. Susan D. Einbinder says:

    Are these documents only available in printed form? Where’s the USB drives? Did no one use a computer?

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      The Donald certainly held no truck with any form of electronic records, even e-mails. Maggie Haberman stated that he doesn’t even do his own Googling and ABC reporter Tara Palmeri stated that The Donald calls his iPad, “The flat one.”

      Which made his attraction to Twitter all the more curious (other than both having the same truncated attention span).

      • Spank Flaps says:

        It was Justin McConnee who introduced Trump to social media, for psyop purposes.
        Search his name on Jim Stewartson’s substack.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      “On a dark night…”

      *visions of Snoopy writing his epic WWI novel*

      Can someone explain to journalists how to use the English language.

  17. Sela says:

    I wonder why Trump was fighting so hard to keep the stolen documents. It looks like both NARA’s and the FBI’s first priority was to retrieve the documents, and protect national security. They did everything they could to get Trump to return the documents voluntarily. They asked the documents, they tried to negotiate with his lawyers, and eventually issued a subpoena before they resorted to a search warrant.

    I’m sure Trump’s lawyers could’ve negotiated a deal with the FBI: they would return everything, and the FBI would close the case without indicting anyone. The fact that there wasn’t such a deal makes me think Trump really wanted to keep those documents for some kind of personal gain.

    • Beretania says:

      I agree. We just don’t know yet. But we will, and when we do Trump will be exposed for what he truly is and what motivates him. I could speculate, but there’s no point. It’s best to just wait and find out.

  18. Hdarlin says:

    Is it possible that the government installed their own secret surveillance for the remaining few months to watch the box room or the box boys? I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question, I’d submit it in crayon if I could :)

    • J R in WV says:

      Clearly we now desperately need and require a Crayon font, automatically using multiple colors for diff syllables… so as to mimic TFG — SFB more completely!

      Who could install such a font in Word Press??

  19. Tom-1812 says:

    I may be wrong, but I find it difficult to imagine Donald Trump carefully perusing the contents of these secret documents. Obviously, he saw them as valuable but part of his motivation in keeping them must have been simply because he liked the idea of having government papers with “Classified” and “Top Secret” stamped on them. They were props and having such documents in his possession boosted his ego and amour propre, the same way that wealthy people used to have ostentatious personal libraries that consisted only of the spines of books lined up side-by-side and glued to boards on a shelf.

    I can imagine Trump having an emotional attachment to these documents as souvenirs of his time in office, or perhaps almost as a type of security blanket. I wonder if he had plans to build a more elaborate setting for them at some point, a walnut paneled room with spiffy file drawers and a secret coded entrance so that in his own mind he could pretend he was still President.

  20. klynn says:

    Some media are catch on about the need to confront the disinformation narratives. CNN:

    “Trump and allies flood the zone with falsehoods.”

    And then they address all the falsehoods in an EW-like manner.

    That CNN banner was the closest I have seen MSM pointing out the GOP use of the Firehose of Falsehoods propaganda method.

  21. DrDoom says:

    Back in June, Trump’s lawyers signed a statement that all subject documents had been returned, per Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush:

    IANAL, but I did look to see what the basic obligations of counsel are regarding candor at LII. My question related to this regards the obligations lawyers have to dishonest clients. Let’s suppose that the lawyers signed in good faith based on lies. Can they withdraw, because even liars are entitled to counsel, and if so what conditions must be met? At what point is a lawyer accountable for a client’s lies, or at risk of responsibility for lying on behalf of a client? Clearly the lawyer has an obligation to report known lies to the court, but there is a vast expanse of potential dishonesty that is not addressed in what is posted on LII.

    • FLwolverine says:

      I can’t answer your questions, but it occurs to me that discussions of Trump and his lawyers could occupy a law school ethics class for a whole semester, if not longer.

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