Christina Bobb, Custodian of Records and Coup Conspirator

According to Donald Trump’s whack-ass filing the other day, he personally has yet to receive a subpoena in the investigation of his  suspected theft of classified documents and obstruction of one or more investigations by hiding, ripping, or flushing documents. Instead, his hospitality company and Christina Bobb have.

DOJ sent the June 22 subpoena for surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago to the Custodian of Records at the Trump Organization.

On June 22, 2022, the Government sent a subpoena to the Custodian of Records for the Trump Organization seeking footage from surveillance cameras at Mar-a-Lago. At President Trump’s direction, service of that subpoena was voluntarily accepted, and responsive video footage was provided to the Government.

The WaPo explained that it was sent to Trump Organization, not Trump, because that’s who actually owns Mar-a-Lago.

By the way, that means that Trump Organization could have, but thus far has not, intervened in the August 8 search as well as Donald. Indeed, that may have been what Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who has read the search warrant affidavit, was alluding to when he memorialized his order asking DOJ to provide more justification for its review. He noted that neither Trump nor any other “purported owner” of Mar-a-Lago had intervened.

Neither Former President Trump nor anyone else purporting to be the owner of the Premises has filed a pleading taking a position on the Intervenors’ Motions to Unseal.

In fact, when Trump intervened in the Michael Cohen search in 2018 — and did so after just four days — he did so in the persons of Trump Organization lawyer Alan Futerfas and Futerfas’ partner Ellen Resnick. Having Trump Organization ask for a Temporary Restraining Order would have been another way to intervene in more timely and competent way than Trump has done so far — but Trump Organization has been rather distracted preparing for depositions in Tish James’ investigation and the October trial testimony of their former CFO in a New York City trial.

In any case, it is totally normal for a grand jury to subpoena the “Custodian of Records” of a corporation from which it wants records. In the case of the surveillance video (and presumably a renewed subpoena after the search), that just happened to place the legal obligation to respond on an entity that has a whole heap of other legal problems right now.

In Trump’s whack filing, though, the hero of our story Donald J. Trump magnanimously instructed Trump Organization to accept service and provide the video (it appears that Eric or the failson would have been the ones legally to give that order), otherwise known as “complying with a subpoena.”

It’s the other subpoena I find more interesting.

On May 11, 2022, Movant voluntarily accepted service of a grand jury subpoena addressed to the custodian of records for the Office of Donald J. Trump, seeking documents bearing any classification markings. President Trump determined that a search for documents bearing classification markings should be conducted — even if the marked documents had been declassified — and his staff conducted a diligent search of the boxes that had been moved from the White House to Florida. On June 2, 2022, President Trump, through counsel, invited the FBI to come to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve responsive documents. [italics Trump’s, bold mine]

There’s a lot going on in this passage. Whereas the earlier passage described the government sending the subpoena, here Trump’s team only describes that service for it was accepted, “voluntarily,” it notes in italics, which is not a thing.

It’s a subpoena, you don’t get a choice.

The passage dates that acceptance to May 11 — the day after, we now know, that the Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall had informed Evan Corcoran, acting as Trump’s attorney, that she would not respect Trump’s “protective assertion of executive privilege.” The dates are almost certainly related, but we can’t be sure how, because we can’t be sure when DOJ subpoenaed Trump for the rest of the classified documents he was hoarding.

More interesting, to me, is the way this passage introduces a second role (and third) it will rely on heavily to describe what must be a core focus of the obstruction investigation, that Custodian of Records of the Office of Donald J. Trump. The Custodian of Records accepted the subpoena (and so would be on the legal hook for it), “his staff conducted a diligent search,” and then his counsel — Corcoran — “invited” Jay Bratt to come get the additional classified documents that would constitute proof Trump had violated the Espionage Act. Trump doesn’t reveal who did the search (though other reports have said Corcoran did it). But as presented, this process implicated three different roles, at least one role performed by a guy who signed this very whack filing that works so hard to obscure all this.

All that is set-up for the meeting on June 3, which will carry a great deal of legal import going forward, not least in an inevitable Fourth Amendment suppression motion. Here’s the tale the whack filing, written in part by Evan Corcoran, tells:

The next day, on June 3, 2022, Jay Bratt, Chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section in the DOJ’s National Security Division, came to Mar-a-Lago, accompanied by three FBI agents. President Trump greeted them in the dining room at Mar-a-Lago. There were two other attendees: the person designated as the custodian of records for the Office of Donald J. Trump, and counsel for President Trump. Before leaving the group, President Trump’s last words to Mr. Bratt and the FBI agents were as follows: “Whatever you need, just let us know.”

Responsive documents were provided to the FBI agents. Mr. Bratt asked to inspect a storage room. Counsel for President Trump advised the group that President Trump had authorized him to take the group to that room. The group proceeded to the storage room, escorted by two Secret Service agents. The storage room contained boxes, many containing the clothing and personal items of President Trump and the First Lady. When their inspection was completed, the group left the area.

Once back in the dining room, one of the FBI agents said, “Thank you. You did not need to show us the storage room, but we appreciate it. Now it all makes sense.” Counsel for President Trump then closed the interaction and advised the Government officials that they should contact him with any further needs on the matter.

This passage is designed to portray Trump’s response as completely cooperative, which is set up for a claim the warrant was not necessary. As such, it describes an FBI comment undoubtedly designed, legally, to reiterate that a consensual search — of the storage room — was indeed consensual, as if it means something else, that the FBI had had all its questions answered. But when Trump eventually receives the affidavit that relies on this FBI agent’s first-hand observations during a consensual search to show probable cause for a warrant to come back and search the storage room further, Trump will have ceded the consensual nature of it and therefore his ability to suppress the August 8 search.

Evan Corcoran will one day be underbussed for agreeing (and in this filing, attesting) to this consensual search; given the way he’s portrayed in this WaPo story, the underbussing may have already begun. But for now, it is the stated version Trump wants to tell.

What I’m interested in, though, is that according to this version — a version that makes absolutely no mention of the declaration Jay Bratt required Trump’s team provide after that consensual search of the storage room — the roles that Corcoran and Christina Bobb played were different, and different in a way that holds legal weight. They don’t name names, but because Corcoran is known to have done the things attributed to “counsel” in this whack filing, he must be the counsel in the meeting and Bobb, by process of elimination, was the Custodian of Records. So Bobb was the person on the hook for the subpoena response.

As a reminder, here’s the most complete description of the declaration that Corcoran neglected to mention in the whack filing, from an NYT article that studiously avoids mentioning that obstruction is one of the crimes under investigation.

Mr. Bratt and the agents who joined him were given a sheaf of classified material, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Mr. Corcoran then drafted a statement, which Ms. Bobb, who is said to be the custodian of the documents, signed. It asserted that, to the best of her knowledge, all classified material that was there had been returned, according to two people familiar with the statement.

Bobb, performing the role as the Custodian of Records and so the person on the legal hook for the search, is the one who signed the declaration, based off a search that unnamed Trump “staff” members — described as a third role separate from that of Custodian of Records Christina Bobb and counsel Evan Corcoran — conducted.

Who knows whether Bobb really played the legal function of Custodian of Records at the Office of Donald J. Trump? I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Whatever Bobb really is, though, three pages later, Trump’s Custodian of Records gets a dizzying demotion to one of “three attorneys in the general area” who showed up to observe the search. That demotion may serve the legal function of justifying a claim, made another 11 pages later, that the search warrant receipts Bobb signed do not meet the standards required by Rule 41.

Among other actions taken after being notified of this unprecedented event, counsel for President Trump contacted three attorneys in the general area who agreed to go to Mar-a-Lago. Once they arrived, they requested the ability to enter the mansion in order to observe what the FBI agents were doing, which the Government declined to permit.

After approximately nine hours, the FBI concluded its search. An FBI agent provided one of the attorneys who had been waiting outside for nearly the full nine hours with a copy of the Search Warrant. TheFBI also provided a three-page Receipt for Property. Receipt for Property

[Case 9:22-mj-08332-BER, ECF 17 at 5-7 of 7]. That list provided almost no information that would allow a reader to understand what was seized or the precise location of the items.


In addition, Movant requests that this Court direct the United States to prepare and provide a specific and detailed Receipt for Property. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(f). The “Receipt For Property” provided to Movant on August 8, 2022 is so vague and lacking in specificity that the reader does not know what was seized from Movant’s home.


Movant submits the current Receipt for Property is legally deficient. Accordingly, the Government should be required to provide a more detailed and informative Receipt For Property, which states exactly what was seized, and where it was located when seized. In addition, Movant requests that the Court provide him with a copy of the inventory. This, along with inspection of the full Affidavit, is the only way to ensure the President can properly evaluate and avail himself of the important protections of Rule 41. [my emphasis]

Rolling Stone has a piece explaining that this whack filing is not actually the significant Fourth Amendment filing we were promised. That one, a bid to demand that Trump get these files back, is still coming.

[T]he former president’s legal team appears to be working to retrieve at least some of the papers seized during the Aug. 8 federal search. In recent days, the Trump team — led by former federal prosecutor Evan Corcoran — has been quietly prepping additional legal arguments and strategies to try to pry back material that the feds removed from the ex-president’s Florida abode and club, the sources say. Those measures include drafting a so-called “Rule 41(g) motion,” which allows  “a person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure of property” to “move for the property’s return,” according to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

This would be a follow-up measure to the lawsuit, filed Monday by Trump and his attorneys, calling for the appointment of a special master to review the Mar-a-Lago materials for potentially privileged materials. It is unclear when the ex-president’s lawyers plan to file a subsequent motion, which people close to Trump expect to be more narrowly tailored than what the former president apparently wants.

But this whack filing is meant to lay the groundwork for the future promised significant Fourth Amendment whack filing.

And the success of both depends on a claim that poor Christina Bobb, who in her role as the Custodian of Records is either a witness or suspect in the obstruction side of this investigation, was on the day of the search just a pretty little lawyer who happened to be walking her dog in the neighborhood, and who asked the nice FBI agents to let her watch the search but wasn’t allowed to, which is why she signed off on the receipt without asking for more details on the front end. This entire scheme will fail when the FBI points out that a suspected co-conspirator didn’t do the due diligence Trump is now claiming (falsely) is legally required according to the standards of Rule 41.

It would almost certainly fail anyway, but it will especially fail when DOJ points out that Bobb is not just some lady walking her dog in the neighborhood, but played the role of the Custodian of Records, and so had the competence to demand a more complete receipt on the day of the search, but did not. The Office of Donald J. Trump has effectively already waived the issue of the receipts.

But consider the import of the claim that Christina Bobb functioned at the Custodian of Records for the Office of Donald J. Trump, particularly given Paul Sperry’s claim (h/t Ron Filipkowski) that Trump withheld these documents because he knew that if he turned them over, the Archives would in turn provide them to the January 6 Committee (and now, DOJ’s January 6 investigation).

Christina Bobb is not only not just a lady walking her dog in the neighborhood of Mar-a-Lago, she also played a key role in the coup attempt.

She was the first author of the draft Executive Order attempting to seize the voting machines.

That document is nearly identical to a draft executive order the National Archives has shared with the Jan. 6 committee, and that POLITICO published last month. Metadata on the document says it was created by a user named Christina Bobb, and later updated by an unnamed person. A One America News anchor by that name was involved in Giuliani’s work for Trump, and previously worked in the Department of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.

The Washington Post reported that Bobb was on at least one conference call about setting up alternate slates of electors for the Jan. 6 certification vote, and that she was at the Willard hotel “command center” that Trump’s allies used as a home base to coordinate efforts to overturn the election. The emails did not cast light on Bobb’s ties to the draft executive order beyond her name’s appearance in the metadata, and she did not respond to requests for comment.

And as Seth Abramson first confirmed, after leaving the Cannon Office Building at 1PM on January 6, Bobb spent the rest of the day in the Willard right alongside Rudy.

While the Archives spent a year trying to get Trump to return identified documents, some reports say things came to a head in December.

WaPo reports that Trump personally oversaw the packing of boxes to be returned to the Archives, and they were retrieved on January 17.

What followed was a tortured standoff among Trump; some of his own advisers, who urged the return of documents; and the bureaucrats charged by the law with maintaining and protecting presidential records. Trump only agreed to return some of the documents after a National Archives official asked a Trump adviser for help, saying they may have to soon refer the matter to Congress or the Justice Department.

Nearly a year later, on Jan. 17, 2022, Trump returned 15 boxes of newspaper clips, presidential briefing papers, handwritten notes and assorted mementos to the National Archives. That was supposed to settle the issue.


It could not be determined who was involved with packing the boxes at Mar-a-Lago or why some White House documents were not sent to the Archives, though people familiar with the episode said Trump oversaw the process himself — and did so with great secrecy, declining to show some items even to top aides. Philbin and another adviser who was contacted by the Archives in April have told others that they had not been involved with the process and were surprised by the discovery of classified records.

What’s clear is that effort to pack up boxes, an effort Trump personally oversaw, was happening during the same period when Trump was trying to prevent the Archives from handing over records to the January 6 Committee.

October 18, 2021: Trump sues to prevent the Archives from complying with January 6 Committee subpoena.

November 10, 2021: Judge Tanya Chutkan denies Trump’s motion for an injunction against NARA. (While it wouldn’t appear in the affidavit, in recent days Paul Sperry has claimed that Trump withheld documents to prevent NARA from turning them over to the January 6 Committee.)

December 9, 2021: DC Circuit upholds Judge Chutkan’s decision releasing Trump records to the January 6 Committee.

On January 17, 2022, NARA retrieved 15 boxes of Records from 1100 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL.

January 19, 2022: SCOTUS upholds Chutkan’s decision.

Any tampering with already packed boxes may have happened after the DC Circuit ruled in favor of the Committee, but in any case, in courts in DC, such tampering happened during a period when Trump was legally fighting to hide records that would implicate him … and Christina Bobb.

I’m still not convinced that the January 6 investigation(s) are the primary thing that Trump was trying to retain, though I think there’s a decent chance they’re included among the investigation(s) that Trump is suspected of obstructing by hiding, ripping, and flushing documents.

But to the extent that Trump was attempting to obstruct parallel investigations of his efforts to steal the 2020 election, Bobb’s role as both a co-conspirator in the coup plan and as Custodian of Records would raise additional concerns for the FBI.

116 replies
  1. Bay State Librul says:

    Marcy’s summary reads like a chapter from John Grisham’s latest novella “Sparring Partners”

    Crimes, crimes and more crimes

  2. amicus says:

    Longtime lurker. Notwithstanding Judge Canon’s helpful guidance concerning the shortcomings of the motion, what she did not focus on was the lack of evidentiary support. The motion lacks a supporting affidavit or declaration made under penalty of perjury and that is no small thing. Absent a swift dismissal, someone is almost certainly going to have to step forward and be a witness. And for the reasons you identified and otherwise, that will be problematic to say the least.

      • MB says:

        Sounds like something Elon Musk might invent. A driverless bus arrives at your door which you are kindly instructed to get underneath upon its arrival.

      • AgainBrain says:

        Welcome back to today’s episode of “Defense or Defecation?” We hope you enjoyed that short break from Patel’s “DeclassiDust®”…”Just a wave and a sprinkle!”

        Seriously, though, how much more of this “legal innuendo” can Corcoran & co. get away with before the judge(s) employ sanctions? Will there be any accountability from the complete absence of affidavits, etc. backing the “facts” and “testimony” alleged and central to the arguments made? Is there any quantity of steaming bad-faith pile that would lead to reprimand or sanctions here?

  3. tryggth says:

    Wheeee! Unlike Durham, Garland isn’t OK with a swing and a miss. Shall we call Christina “Pine Tar Bobb”?

    In surfing the coup-related adventures of Bobb she appears to be a minion and proxy for Rudy. Trump traditionally uses his lawyers (and the associated A-C privs) as a firewall for his plans perhaps Bobb has been inserted between Trump and Rudy. God knows A-C isn’t going to work for Trump->Rudy.

    But it appears the gang that can’t shoot straight has really screwed the pooch now. They have given the FBI an excuse to grab Bobb’s stuff on a golden plater. Truly an unexpected gift.

  4. WilliamOckham says:

    I’m trying to figure out if the aborted strategy to falsely claim that “the FBI planted the documents” was premeditated or improvised.

    Bobb signed the statement saying that all the classified documents had been returned. She accompanied Bratt and the FBI agents to the storage area for the consensual search. She signed the receipts that showed that the FBI found classified documents during the non-consensual search. Bobb went on TV and lied about the FBI planting the documents.

    The interesting thing is that she wasn’t involved in the decision to refuse to turn off the security cameras. Trump’s crew has no issue with making false claims about security camera footage. Perhaps they expected to be able to show something that looked like planting of evidence and that didn’t pan out.

    • Spank Flaps says:

      I think the ‘FBI planted evidence’ crap came from one of the many headbanging rednecks who whispers ideas in Trump’s ear. Trump then forced out the statement, and Bobbski had to run with it.
      But yes Trump might have intended to have something like the Georgia election worker with USB stick (Ginger mint) or ‘suitcase full of votes’ bullshit stories (which might fool MAGAs, but not judges and juries).

    • Hika says:

      I expect that the teams that went to Mar-a-Lago were comprised of people smart enough to know that security cameras that had been requested to be turned off would remain on because Trump and his people don’t seem to do anything in relation to law enforcement without compulsion. I’m sure that they all knew that while they were there, they had to be deliberate and methodical in everything they did and to do absolutely nothing other than the job they were there to do.

      • skua says:

        The idea of security cameras being left on fits with the early claim that the FBI went through Melania’s closet.

    • SaltinWound says:

      Accusing the FBI of planting evidence seemed like one of a few trial balloons that were floated to see if anything would fly. Trump doesn’t care if his defenses are internally consistent.

      • PieIsDamnGood says:

        I think internal inconsistency is almost a feature at this point. Same idea as typos in the Nigerian price email scams, you only want to attract people dumb enough to fall for the scam.

    • Joberly says:

      @WO—Don’t know if Trump’s thinking was premeditated or improvised on the idea of planted evidence, but as recently as this past Monday the 22nd, he was still mentioning it in regard to the August 8th search. Here’s the quote from a statement released along with his Aug 22nd filing, complete with scare quotes around “plants” flanked by some random all caps usage:
      “We are further demanding that the DOJ be forced to turn over a REAL, without “plants,” inventory of my property that was taken and disclose where that property is now located. We are demanding that all items wrongfully taken from my home be IMMEDIATELY returned.”

      • P J Evans says:

        “a REAL, without “plants,” inventory”
        Give them the same thing, with photos of many houseplants?

      • FL Resister says:

        Trump comedy is dark.
        This funny moment is the, ‘I hereby demand you return my stolen documents’ one.

  5. NeoGeoHa says:

    I’m 52. My guess is I am going to be reading about revelations and legal proceedings connected to TFG well into my golden years and after he is long since sleeping with the fishes. Additionally I’m reminded of Willi Cicci’s testimony in Godfather 2. “The family had a lot of buffers”

    • Opiwan says:

      Meanwhile, everything coming from TFG’s team reminds us of Milli Vanilli – all about the façade with nothing real behind it, and inevitably exposed for the fraud it is.

      • Yorkville kangaroo says:

        It’s basically Oz.

        Now, let’s hope that they all get sent to the OTHER Oz, the Oswald State Correctional Facility (or a reasonable facsimile).

  6. JohnForde says:

    “Surveillance footage of Mar-a-Lago revealed people moving boxes in/out and in some cases, appeared to change the containers some documents were held in.” – NYT
    That’d be some fantastic footage if DJT’s hands were doing the container changing!

    • Rugger9 says:

      I’m sure the DoJ will get to identifying the individuals seen on the videotapes relatively soon, if for no other reason than to pin down whether they were cleared to handle the boxes at all. I’m also pretty sure that outside of taint teams nothing that DoJ has cleared for its purposes has been compartmentalized inside DoJ to where one investigation is walled off from another. It seems rather clear that there is a continuum of crime here and the various investigations are looking at the symptoms, like nasty rashes.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      He’d have presumably been in NJ by then? He flew north the day of the meeting with Bratt, and though I haven’t done a day-by-day breakdown of his public activities, I’m not sure he’s been back to Florida since.

  7. BobCon says:

    From the quoted Post article: “Nearly a year later, on Jan. 17, 2022, Trump returned 15 boxes of newspaper clips, presidential briefing papers, handwritten notes and assorted mementos to the National Archives. That was supposed to settle the issue.”

    The ambiguity in that last sentence is odd. Why is it not attributed to anyone? Was it ever indicated by Trump or his team that it was supposed to settle the issue? Or is this just an assumption by someone like Philbin who wasn’t actually overseeing the process?

    Did the Archives expect it would? I suspect they had a wait and see attitude and weren’t surprised when it quickly became clear that the boxes weren’t a full set. Or is this just a projection by Dawsey?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ah, the charms of the passive voice. The no doubt intended implication is that the archives took that position, which makes its continuing pursuit of documents seem like a change of position that’s unfair to Trump. Assuming the sentiment is even accurate, it more likely came out of the Trump team’s wishful thinking.

      • BobCon says:

        It sure sounds like Dawsey dropped that in there hoping he might get a quote from a source to back it up but never got around to it or couldn’t.

        It’s a bad sign about his editors that it’s just hanging there uncovered, though.

  8. William Bennett says:

    > one of the FBI agents said, “Thank you. You did not need to show us the storage room, but we appreciate it. Now it all makes sense.”

    They seem to have left out the bit about how he was a big tough looking guy, wearing steel-toed boots, about 6’10”, crewcut, and there were tears of gratitude in his eyes when he said this. I guess cuz it’s a legal filing so they didn’t want to over-embellish.

  9. joel fisher says:

    I hope the USA does with this BS case what should have been done in his other filings as a plaintiff: counter-claim so he can’t simply dismiss and avoid discovery. Also, no bleepin’ motion practice to get the case dismissed. Serve that notice of taking a deposition on Trump and serve it now.
    Also, “underbus” cannot be improved upon.

  10. Amers says:

    Miss Bobb is really up to her elbows it seems! I looked her up to get a visual and notice just four hrs ago she promoted Mr. Giuliani’s talk show regarding southern border and now I cannot help but want to know how effective she was serving in DHS. This is wild.

  11. jeco says:

    Ooof, long read but tightens the range of possibilities. Christina Boob is in over her pretty cable-talker head. She will be going thru some things – for sure.

    If she falsely attested in writing that all docs marked as secret had been returned to US then she is fukked. Also signing FBI inventory as property custodian pokes holes in the argument the FBI didn’t adequately document what was taken. She’s in too deep for Sgt Schultz defense, she’s the expert.

    If she had any legal sense she’d realize she can’t continue serving trump as counsel after crossing the line and becoming a player with her false attestation.

    Boob is a unique nexus between the Willard Coup crew and the MAL espionage cum obstruction effort. If they can screw her to the wall with the false attestation they might be able to squeeze her to dish on the coup planning. Her continuing legal work for trump might be subject to fraud exception since she became a player in the crime by falsely attesting all relevant docs had been returned. Better caul Saul.

    Boob is going to rue the day she left OAN for the conspiracy/obstruction fast track.

  12. Raven Eye says:

    This may be tangential, but everyone who was involved with custodial duties with those White House documents, or who might have seen TS/SCI information in the process of cataloging those documents, will have had to fill out and sign an SF-4414: Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement. Part of that is acknowledgement of a “security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of SCI”. The signature is witnessed. There are plenty of USC citations and other authorities (this is a pretty dense single sheet, two-sided form), so you have very few chances to play the “Oh. I didn’t know”. And that form (or forms) hangs around until you are read out of individual programs, or are no longer in a Special Access Program.

    I don’t know if presidents are required to sign these NDAs whilst in office, but once out of office, I would think so — unless the rules never anticipated a former president willfully hoarding TS/SCI “trophy” documents.

    Also, even if the president said that he de-classified something, the originating agency can still review it now and re-classify it at an appropriate level. (It is not that unusual for classifications to be up-graded due to a number of circumstances.)

    • joel fisher says:

      Thank-you for introducing the term/concept “re-classify” into the mix. Presumably, if Trump can magically declassify with a wave of his hand, Biden can reverse the process.

      • Raven Eye says:

        It really gets down to the IC and the agencies that are responsible for each of those pieces of information. There will need to be a damages assessment and that could involve multiple agencies. Part of the damage assessment would be estimating the likelihood of somebody having made copies.

        I think it has been reported or implied that these efforts may already be going on…A tremendous waste of resources.

  13. HEW says:

    The Times also noted: “At least one lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump signed a written statement in June asserting that all material marked as classified and held in boxes in a storage area at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club had been returned to the government, four people with knowledge of the document said.”

    Note that the possible limitation “and held in boxes in a storage area” (if present in the Declaration) does not exclude the possible retention of classified material in other locations at MAL (and possibly moved into the storage area at a later date). If the text of the document included that limitation, I guess Ms. Bobb could try to argue that any classified materials that were later found in the storage area on August 8 were moved there between June 3 and August 8, as generally documented in the surveillance footage subpoenaed on June 22.

    • emptywheel says:

      Good point. Move everything out, claim there are no more classified docs in storage, move it back.

      I really can’t wait to hear about what really happened with the surveillance video, bc Donny must REALLY have been pissed to have to give that up.

  14. nord dakota says:

    Bobb? Robb? Never knew her, Didn’t she used to walk her dog somewhere around here? People say that was the nastiest dog, ugliest dog ever seen.

  15. M Smith says:

    I understand what a steaming pile of shit Trump’s whole motion is, but I can’t get over the completely missing jurisdiction argument. In Canadian law the first Judge would have carriage of the whole case and as I remember the only way to grab a piece is if that first judge splits a piece off. If it’s a new judge you would in theory have to argue that the first judge has a conflict of interest. In Canada, that argument is made before the first judge, (and later the court of appeal). A new judge has no way to take jurisdiction away from the first Judge unless they have a better argument for jurisdiction. In that case they get the whole thing, not some little part. These two judges seem fungible enough that there is no available better jurisdiction claim for the second judge to invoke. The only thing Trump can do is smear the first judge and that doesn’t work unless there’s some mechanism in American law I’m unaware of. I assume the second Judge will listen to the drivel on Friday and tell the Trump team to try their arguments in front of the first judge if they dare. I’m so looking forward to Friday, and the judges comments on Trump’s press release/motion.

    • joel fisher says:

      I think that in most respects, the “motion” that Trump filed will be treated as a separate matter from the subpoena/search. It received a civil file # and was, I assume, assigned randomly. There is such a thing as a motion to consolidate. He was nuts to file it because it opens him up to being deposed under oath at which point, to only slightly mis-quote Ray Charles, It’s Lyin’ Time Again.

      • M Smith says:

        I get that it’s a ‘new’ court file etc. I just don’t see why this Judge wouldn’t just dismiss it for want of jurisdiction. It seems to me to be closely enough related to what the first Judge is dealing with that it is really part of that matter. Is there a subtlety I’m missing?
        Canadian law is somewhat different, (and It has been over twenty years since I brought a motion).

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, new cases assigned off the wheel are assigned to real Article III judges, not Magistrates like Reinhart. Reinhart has no authority whatsoever to overrule a superior judge.

        • FLwolverine says:

          Bmaz, are you saying that the two cases cannot be consolidated (even on request of a party), or that Cannon could order a consolidation (if requested) because she’s an Article III judge, but Reinhart couldn’t because he’s a magistrate? (I am a lawyer but this is totally out of my practice area, so I’m asking out of interest, not disagreement. )

          For general information: I looked at the docket for the case before Reinhart, and noticed that the attorney representing the defendant (the Sealed Seach Warrant) is Andrea Flynn Morgensen, a criminal defense lawyer from Sarasota, who is also listed as representing one of the intervenors, the Florida Center for Government Accountability. From a quick Google search, FCGA looks to be on the side of the good guys (e,g,, seeking FOIAs in police shootings), so I wonder about the dual representation in more ways than one.

        • bmaz says:

          Sure, there is a path to consolidation, but I don’t “think” Reinhart can do it on his own initiative. Would they ever get consolidated above that level, such as by Cannon? I don’t know, but doubt it because the SW part is effectively criminal, and the other filing is clearly civil. Normally the SW part would be effectively merged into a criminal case if and when one of more were filed. But into a weird civil complaint? At this point, who knows, but I don’t think so.

  16. obsessed says:

    >Donald Trump’s whack-ass filing

    Didn’t take long for you to start adopting UK spelling. I’m bracing for “defence”, “colour”, and “in hospital”.

    • punaise says:

      The shillls underbus go down and frown
      Down and frown, down and frown
      The shillls underbus go down and frown
      All through the town

  17. Jim H. says:

    Brilliant, beautiful analysis of this incredible thicket of a whack-ass filing (“waf”).

    One statement in the waf jumped out at me—and you mention it: “President Trump determined that a search for documents bearing classification markings should be conducted — even if the marked documents had been declassified — and his staff conducted a diligent search of the boxes that had been moved from the White House to Florida.”

    One would like to know who on the former office holder’s “staff” had top level clearances to handle (much less assess) and sort SCIF-level documents, e.g. The butler? Valet? Kitchen help? Caddies? Secretary? Receptionist? Concierge? Failson? Or even Bobb? (Or is she merely a local attorney?) It’s doubtful the former office holder himself even has that level of clearance these days, IIRC.

    The waf says staff conducted a diligent search of the “boxes that had been moved.” Had the former office holder removed his precious docs to the safe or put them in new containers before this search?

    Then counsel invited the FBI to retrieve responsive documents. All of them? Only those “staff” deemed “responsive”? This waf is very dodgy, very cagey.

    There are holes wide enough to drive a fleet of Mack trucks through in this waf.

    • Lawnboy says:

      Let me boil this down regarding Bobb’s part in this.

      She didn’t have the “Windom” to stay out of the “Room Where it Happened”.


    • bbleh says:

      And for sure none of those “staff” could possibly have been assets of other intelligence services, because, um…

  18. Savage Librarian says:

    Trump looked out at the ocean then turned to his Trusty counselor and said, “Yeah, I wonder how long that Corc(oran) is going to Bobb.”

  19. bbleh says:

    There is something slightly surreal about this analysis. It’s like, I don’t know, time-and-motion experts analyzing the antics at a clown circus. Granted it’s important for whatever legal processes may ensue to get all this down on paper, but it seems like it implicitly assumes an order and organization that PLAINLY was not there at the time.

    Is Bobb a “Custodian of Records”? A co-conspirator? Even if some Trump lawyer-of-the-day uses the former term after the fact, does anyone suppose that, at the time, there was even the slightest thought given to the existence of that role, much less who might fill it or what his/her responsibilities would be? And in that chaotic miasma, who ISN’T arguably a co-conspirator?

    It’s like structural analysis of Dadaist poetry.

    • rip says:

      And what if the “arrow of time” isn’t really just a mess of spaghetti?

      When there are so many cooks stirring the stew and the lead chef is a crazy idiot, I’d be careful even smelling the glop. Let alone trying to read the portents.

  20. Tom-1812 says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we learn somewhere down the road that there are still classified documents stashed away at Mar-a-Lago. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the federal gov’t authorities discover, after all their checking and cross-checking, that some secret documents have gone missing over the months since Trump left office and that even TFG doesn’t know where they are.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      Or does know where they are and doesn’t want to admit to that…

      This is getting uglier by the day…

      And I got my first fundraising email from the GOP yesterday asking if I thought Trump should run as a ‘write-in candidate’ if the ‘radical Dems ban him?’…

      Some outcomes are better than others here and none of them are particularly pleasant.

      • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

        Actually please DO respond to that request about The Donald running solo. Oh how I HOPE he does! That’ll take both him and the GOP down at the same time. SO enjoyable to watch!

    • eyesoars says:

      Even outside of the basic human tendencies and errors, it seems highly likely, if not inevitable: Trump flushed documents down the toilet, probably quite a few of them, and only some of them were retrieved and reassembled. It’s likely also that some of the people Trump left behind had their own secrets to bury and took similar steps.

    • skua says:

      With a digital camera in every pocket, sending the info in a document can take seconds.
      Moving the physical original around seems far more trouble for, in many cases, no benefit.

  21. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    Trump’s Custodian of Records reminds me of “Janitor of Lunacy,” a song by Nico, formerly of Velvet Underground and a companion of Andy Warhol. She accompanies herself on the harmonium. I will spare you a youtube link as it may be your dinnertime. Her gothic vocals are as depressing as being underbussed.

  22. eyesoars says:

    -> “…the primary thing that Trump was trying to retain…”
    Guessing from grammar,
    retain -> restrain
    is probably meant, since he was unlikely to be trying to retain the investigation.

  23. Rayne says:

    I’ve missed the origin of “Christina Bobb, local dog walker” somewhere along the way, but I happened to be digging through maps and photos of Mar-a-Lago looking for topographic features when I noticed there’s no sidewalk around Mar-a-Lago. There’s wall, hedge, a change in elevation like a ha-ha and with a hedge…but no sidewalk along which one might happen to walk one’s dog. — hedge/elevation change along road — short length of stucco wall either side of a gate and shrubbery — intracoastal side of property — more hedge and stub wall ha-ha (note the interesting rise by the flag pole) — interesting spherical/360 deg overhead drone shot (taken by a guy with a nice Russian name) — road along ocean side of MAL, not even a sidewalk along MAL’s beach club — Oh look, in May 2022 they were putting in about 100 feet of sidewalk along a wall from the bridge over the Intracoastal to the main gate at MAL. No one on either side of the wall can be seen. Note the “guns not permitted” sign and the security guard.

    Just happened to be in the neighborhood, walking the dog. Custody-ing papers. LOL

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Nicely done. Extra points for the ha-ha. Seems the best response to the dog-walking claim. I’m surprised Trump didn’t add a moat.

      • Rayne says:

        You know what’s super interesting, now that I’ve figured out the location of the tunnel the former Mrs. Giuliani mentioned?

        That Russian-named photographer/tour guide’s drone with 360-degree camera was directly over the top of the tunnel’s location when they snapped their shot. What a coinky-dink.

        Jason Leopold posted images of old drawings of Mar-a-Lago. I was surprised at how much elevation change there was across the entire site. But somebody was nice enough to share a video of the tunnel, traversing it from the beach to the resort — and you’ll note there’s no security visible in the video. None, save for a covered-up gate. Like it’d be so easy to pull up to the beach in an inflatable and just walk up to the tunnel. Granted, the video is said to be 6 years old but this means the video was taken during the 2016 campaign season. Should have had more security even then.

  24. Troutwaxer says:

    These documents might as well be radioactive. If I knew anything about them I’d either turn state’s evidence or zip my lips and look for work someplace without an extradition treaty.

    The “Custodian of Trump’s Records” might as well be “Keeper of the Nuclear Waste.”

    • mospeck says:

      Radioactivity is such an interesting thing. Saw a recruiting poster in Leningrad the other day which I don’t know how to post. Uncle Vlad Want You! Is right Russian patriot Joe. Decree from King Vlad give top ruble for join up fight. 100x salary!! for fine print says just a couple months down south Ukraine. Zap, da, she might lose contain and blow, but is why our atomic scientists give potassium iodine pill. FSB, GRU tip top! figure out odds for everything and is 2 to 1 you get back joe. vpn just gives negative NYT saying is not good bet. Is better than even! But if bad luck don’t come back, then grandma she set for the rest of her days no more selling rutabagas at airport. And easy starting will be assigned to ammo dump. Nogoodnik NYT reports minor problem in Belgorod, with summer heat setting off ammunitions. But even enemy says, “five main causes of sudden explosion are winter, spring, summer, autumn and smoking.” So, no smoke. Da, nuke makes trouble with production and decay of strange particles, but take chance, join team!

  25. Adam says:

    The whack-ass filing was in the name of Donald Trump. Does it matter to standing that the Trump Org, and not Donald Trump, owns Mar-a-lago?

  26. Andi says:

    “Trumpery” has for around 600 years meant deceit and showy nonsense. How did they know back then? Nostradamus, maybe?

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Andi” “Andy” and “Andie.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

  27. greenbird says:

    now, behind at least two days’ worth, i can certify that there are too damn many moving parts for this to be other than chaotic obfuscation, on the precipice of success.
    ” … And as Seth Abramson first confirmed, after leaving the Cannon Office Building at 1PM on January 6, Bobb spent the rest of the day in the Willard right alongside Rudy … ”
    i am a professional bird, and you can trust me. how far is resolution ? are we be crumbling ?

Comments are closed.