Tim Parlatore Quit After Trump Lawyers Couldn’t Find the Iran Document

Tim Parlatore’s decision to quit the Trump team — and the reports on the infighting on Trump’s legal team that followed shortly thereafter — sure look a lot different in light of CNN’s report, from a team that includes the journalist to whom Parlatore has twice given big scoops, Paula Reid, that Trump’s lawyers haven’t been able to find an Iran document Trump got caught on tape claiming to have at Bedminster.

Attorneys for Donald Trump turned over material in mid-March in response to a federal subpoena related to a classified US military document described by the former president on tape in 2021 but were unable to find the document itself, two sources tell CNN.


Prosecutors sought “any and all” documents and materials related to Mark Milley, Trump’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Iran, including maps or invasion plans, the sources say. A similar subpoena was sent to at least one other attendee of the meeting, another source tells CNN.

The sources say prosecutors made clear to Trump’s attorneys after issuing the subpoena that they specifically wanted the Iran document he talked about on tape as well as any material referencing classified information – like meeting notes, audio recordings or copies of the document – that may still be Trump’s possession.

Parlatore, remember, is the guy who oversaw searches in November and December of Trump’s other properties. He then appeared before the grand jury to attest to the thoroughness of the searches, effectively playing the same role that Christina Bobb had last summer. Bobb, an OAN host, was smart enough to include caveats before she did that.

According to Hugo Lowell’s account of the clusterfuck legal team, Parlatore didn’t similarly protect himself. He told the grand jury that there were no impediments to his searches and then brought a transcript back to the team to make clear what he had said.

In fact, the legal team is said to be confident that Parlatore will not flip on Trump after he told the grand jury hearing evidence in the case last year that Trump gave him free rein to search for any remaining documents at his properties last year, according to a transcript of his testimony.

Trump’s team seems to be confident that Parlatore won’t revise that story because he’s already on the hook for perjury for it.

In mid-March, in the same time period Trump’s lawyers would have first learned of the recording Trump made, Parlatore gave my favorite quote of any regarding Boris Ephsteyn: that the rest of Trump’s lawyers would be okay so long as Ephsteyn was not named a target (he didn’t say, in which investigation).

“Boris has access to information and a network that is useful to us,” said one of the team’s lawyers, Timothy Parlatore, whom Mr. Epshteyn hired. “It’s good to have someone who’s a lawyer who is also inside the palace gates.”

Mr. Parlatore suggested that he was not worried that Mr. Epshteyn, like a substantial number of other Trump lawyers, had become at least tangentially embroiled in some of the same investigations on which he was helping to defend Mr. Trump.

“Absent any solid indication that Boris is a target here, I don’t think it affects us,” Mr. Parlatore said.

That would also have been around the time that the subpoena — the one that Trump’s lawyers ultimately couldn’t completely fulfil because they couldn’t find the Iran document — would have made the past searches Parlatore vouched for, the searches he reportedly told a grand jury he had unfettered access to conduct, seem incomplete.

Even as Parlatore was publicly hailing the value of Boris, he was staging an attempted intervention, to get him removed as a gatekeeper to Trump.

Parlatore and Trusty’s interpersonal conflicts with Epshteyn reached new levels as they grew increasingly annoyed at what they considered their inability to directly consult Trump without having to go through Epshteyn.

The pair chafed that when they spoke to Trump on the phone, Epshteyn was typically also on the line. At other times, they sniped that Epshteyn would give overly rosy outlooks to Trump and, in March, travelled to Mar-a-Lago to seek Trump’s permission to exclude him from future deliberations.

It was not clear whether the issue was actually resolved. Parlatore came away from the meeting content that he no longer needed to speak to Epshteyn. However, Epshteyn remained Trump’s in-house counsel and the legal team’s liaison with the Trump 2024 campaign.

Around that time, Parlatore and Trusty also started withholding information from Corcoran because they worried that Corcoran was too close to Epshteyn and was briefing him behind their backs.

Just over a month after this attempt to get Boris removed as gatekeeper, Boris spent two days interviewing with prosecutors (but not appearing before the grand jury, the kind of thing someone might do if he were trying to stave off a target letter).

In the same period, Jack Smith subpoenaed Trump Organization for details of his business deals, including the golf deal with the Saudis. He also kept pursuing gaps in the surveillance footage (gaps the details of which Parlatore may know, but the public does not).

And then, after attempting to stage an intervention to get Boris removed, Parlatore quit himself. Shortly after, he provided a public story (to Paula Reid) that seems to dramatically conflict with his grand jury testimony as described by Lowell, specifically citing Boris’ interference with a search of Bedminster.

Boris Epshteyn [] had really done everything he could to try to block us [the lawyers], to prevent us from doing what we could to defend the President, and ultimately it got to a point where — it’s difficult enough fighting against DOJ and, in this case, Special Counsel, but when you also have people within the tent that are also trying to undermine you, block you, and really make it so that I can’t do what I know that I know that I need to do as a lawyer, and when I’m getting in the fights like that, that’s detracting from what is necessary to defend the client and ultimately was not in the client’s best interest, so I made the decision to withdraw.


He served as kind of a filter to prevent us from getting information to the client and getting information from the client. In my opinion, he was not very honest with us or with the client on certain things. There were certain things — like the searches that he had attempted to interfere with, and then more recently, as we’re coming down to the end of this investigation where Jack Smith and ultimately Merrick Garland is going to make a decision as to what to do – as we put together our defense strategy to help educate Merrick Garland as to how best to handle this matter, he was preventing us from engaging in that strategy. [my emphasis]

All that may have been an effort to be invited to clarify his testimony.

It didn’t come. As of last Tuesday, Jack Smith had shown no interest in this apparently revised story.

Parlatore noted that Smith’s investigators have not yet reached out to him as of Tuesday night.

Or Parlatore may have changed his tune too late for his own good. NBC reports that this grand jury, which had been on a month-long hiatus, is set to meet again this week.

The notion that four or five real lawyers have tolerated — for months — having a guy whose phone had already been seized by the prosecutor investigating their client to serve as a gatekeeper between them and their client is nuts. Crazier still is that you’d put your career on the line even after that guy had obstructed your effort to do your work diligently.

66 replies
  1. dpa3.14159 says:

    Excellent narrative as always. The last paragraph is quite stunning. I wonder what drew these lawyers to this point? Maybe step by step. Into the insanity that seems to surround Mr. Trump.

    “… Boris spent two days interviewing with prosecutors (but not appearing before the grand jury, the kind of thing someone might do if he were trying to stave off a target letter).”

    I’m a little lost here. Is it interviewing with prosecutors that is the kind of thing one might do?

    Much Thanks for EW.

    • timbozone says:

      The DOJ meets with the targets of investigations prior to issuing charging indictments typically. Or so it is rumored. Basically, the government has the ability to question folks and if you don’t tell the truth you can be charged with lying to a government official and/or obstruction of justice if your lies further obstruct an official investigation. In this case, we really don’t know much about what Epshteyn (or Parlatore for that matter) have said/are now saying to the Feds. But it’s certainly becoming clearer that something is not working out for some of Trump’s lawyers somewhere when it comes to statements made to investigating officials…

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    And then, after attempting to stage an intervention to get Boris removed, Parlatore quit himself. Shortly after, he provided a public story (to Paula Reid) that seems to dramatically conflict with his grand jury testimony as described by [Hugo] Lowell, specifically citing Boris’ interference with a search of Bedminster.

    Alas, a perjurer might not be the best person to throw Boris under the bus and present Trump as ‘out of the loop’.

    • timbozone says:

      It’s not perjury to say whatever you want to a reporter per se. Clearly though, there’s some conflict between what information reporters have been gathering and what one camp Trump lawyers may be saying about another camp of Trump lawyers. Some of those lawyers may have quit and some of them may still on Trump’s defense team. Again, without specific access to Lowell’s source lists, GJ transcripts, etc, can’t make much concrete sense of a lot of this. Suffice to say that these inconsistencies and infighting on the Trump legal team seem to indicate that the wheels are coming off somewhere soon enough, whether we have accurate precise information on specific statements, testimonies, etc.

  3. wasD4v1d says:

    I doubt they’ll ever find the document Trump claims to have had in his hands because that document doesn’t exist. The episode on tape is a gangland attempt to use reporters to smear Milley, who publicly and loudly pre-empted a post-election wag-the-dog attack on Iran. But he ‘couldn’t’ show them the document for reasons of security clearance? When was that ever a problem for him before? Now it is obvious that the defeated man still in the oval office had a thing for Iran, and it seems probable that the actual document in question – allegedly only four pages – was drawn up by Milley. But Milley (it seems to me) would have known not to give Trump anything of value, just bullet points and diagrams of a plan no more sophisticated than a Marvel comic. Now Teixeira, on the other hand…

    • timbozone says:

      This is rumored to be a Defense Department plan made up before Milley was JCoS (ie likely from 2019 or earlier). It seems that Trump may well have been talking about a document that the government knew existed at some point…and has not found in the possession of the Trump gang as yet. However, destroying evidence, hiding evidence, etc, particularly when it is a highly classified USC document is a very serious crime. Anyone who saw that document or heard about that document and didn’t tell the truth to the government investigators about the status of that document, etc, would be in a heap of trouble.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    The Guardian is the 2023 edition of the Washington Post with Hugo Lowell pinch hitting for Bernstein.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Yes. And less of an inside-the-beltway focus. The US scene is just one of its many areas of coverage. Refreshing. Add in ProPublica and I’m starting to trust some of the media again.

  5. Zirc says:

    Trump has a super power that enables him to suck people into his orbit and then have them trash their own reputations in his service.

    As for Parlatore’s predicament, could he have sincerely believed his search was unfettered? Trump has/had a lot of ways to hide or dispose of the document. He could have let Parlatore search as diligently as he could if the document wasn’t where Parlatore was searching.


    [Welcome back to emptywheel. THIRD REQUEST: Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. You’re not a new user — you’re recognizable — but for community security you will have to change your name soon. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  6. wasD4v1d says:

    I very much doubt the document heard rustling on the tape was the “Iran document” – he “could not” show it to the reporters because they lacked security clearance? When was that ever a problem for Trump before? This particular episode, a blunder for ex-potus (more anon), was abut savaging Milley who publicly warned of a wag-the-dog strike on Iran; this is consonant with Trump’s gangland modus operandi. Was there such a document? Milley’s public warning indicates almost assuredly, or at least that Trump was contemplating acting on his fixation with Iran; it is allegedly a four page document – likely (I would imagine) bullet points and illustrations for the amusement of the oval office occupant who Milley would have known could not be trusted with anything of military or intelligence value. Four pages would hardly be an actionable military plan even if in single space agate type. Anon: whether or not Iran has this document (or the dinner menu Trump was pretending was an Iran document) the blunder is Trump on tape admitting he was in possession of documents he did not have authority, privilege, or right to possess. This is what Smith is likely looking to prosecute. If Iran paid for Milley’s putative sketch, they paid for something absolutely worthless – maybe they’ll sue Trump for fraud? Everyone else is.

    Of course, this legal game is played above the rim in a major league arena (under emptywheel klieg lights) while I’m out here on the playground clanking shots off the rim in the dark. But I don’t see Milley giving Trump anything worth while and would probably be embarrassed if such a document is ever found.

    • Spank Flaps says:

      Iran (Saudi) suing Trump, for selling them incomplete/bogus stolen material?
      Come on man. Use your Filbert.

    • Rayne says:

      There were at least TWO plans which included attacks on Iran. McMaster ordered the first in 2017 though he was not as aggressive as Trump wanted him to be on Iran. Bolton had another one prepared after he replaced H.R. McMaster as NSA in early 2018.

      Both are mentioned in a January 2019 article in NYT — Pentagon Officials Fear Bolton’s Actions Increase Risk of Clash With Iran — published almost exactly a year before Iran’s Maj. Gen. Soleimani was assassinated by USAF drone.

      • Amicus12 says:

        A memo four pages long could well provide the following information. The order of battle (force composition). The campaign phases with anticipated timelines. (For example, the time period of the initial suppression of enemy air defense, bombing campaign, and measures to achieve air superiority.) Campaign objectives. Staging logistics necessary to implement and sustain, and thus additional critical timelines. Invasion site(s) and axes of advance. An assessment of enemy capabilities and likely responses.

        Imagine if the Western allies had had such a memo of German war plans prior to the German invasions in the First or Second World War. I can think of many reasons why the Saudis would want such a document concerning US war plans – that had been briefed to Trump – with respect to Iran.

        Smith & Co. appear to be acting on the assumption that such a memo exists or existed. And, as well explained in the blog post, Parlatore is acting as if he also believes in the existence of the memo. I suspect we will be learning a good deal more about all of this before too long.

      • wasD4v1d says:

        (sorry for the double post – my second one appeared before the first so i thought my first attempt had run afoul of a filter.)

        Trump was almost certainly not holding such a document *in that recording* and Jennifer Rubin makes the same point in today’s Washington Post. What is actionable on that tape is the out-loud admission that he was completely aware he had taken – and was in possession of – documents taken illegally. I can’t speak to the four page memo, but if it was classified regardless of whether or not it was actionable is an issue to be explored. It seems to me the DOJ could certainly now be in a position to begin writing this up, and escalating. The egg you have in the basket is better than the three or ten you don’t.

    • LadyHawke says:

      If Trump in those chaotic last weeks sent one or more knowledgeable people to gather marketable and/or leverageable material, what matters is that he knew of them and knew he was keeping them illegally, not whatever paper he may have been rustling as he spoke.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        And this is why it looks probable that Mark Milley will have a much better birthday this month than Donald J. Trump will.

  7. Rwood0808 says:

    How many edges does this sword of his have?

    He needs to A) Avoid being charged himself. B) Somehow defend his client. C) Salvage his reputation, and D) Avoid becoming a patsy.

    The best choice is obviously E) None of the above, but it may be too late for that. Does he then try and add option F) Flip?

    He needs to decide if he’s a criminal lawyer or a criminal-lawyer.

  8. Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

    I’m guessing the lawyers were ok with Epshteyn as long as he wasn’t a target because if he was, he’d be throwing the rest of the team under the bus faster than the light changing green and the person behind you honking?

  9. TimothyB says:

    Very interesting, thank you EW.

    Complex organization structures like the Epshteyn one grew in frequency over my four decades assisting attorneys in complex civil litigation. Layers of attorneys from different law firms and assistant general counsels (sometimes even temporary ones seconded to the client from yet another firm) embedded in the litigation team are now common structures. Or at least common where the client is attractive to attorneys for paying the bills (not Trump) or being famous (Trump).

    With an attractive client, it is not all that difficult to get attorneys to tolerate these structures whether they are a good idea or bad. The benefits of the structures arise when there is some goal in the mix other than managing the individual matter/lawsuit. Don’t make an argument here that will cause trouble in another matter. Don’t spend too much money. Don’t burden people in the organization with information requests they have already fulfilled for another attorney.

    The Trump version of this other goal seems mostly PR and politics. That leads to problems, of course, since litigation and politics have fundamentally different perspectives on the truth coming out later. More generally, the problems with the structures arise when, as here, they impinge too much on the matter at hand.

    I don’t count the analog of Parlatore and Epshteyn yelling at one another as part of the problem with these structures, it is why they are there — to provide alternatives to managing the particular matter as itself. Where these structures go bad, as here, is when they come up against very high consequences for the matter at hand so that pursuing multiple goals is a bad idea, or when they leave the attorneys, as here, with organizational problems they can’t solve.

    The structures also presume good decision-making by the client, as they are an effort to move control of individual matters to the client, not a good idea in the case of client Trump.

    [FYI – Large blocks of text unbroken by paragraph breaks/line returns are very difficult to read on the internet, especially for users on mobile devices with small displays. I have added breaks this time to improve readability. Please add them in the future. /~Rayne]

  10. Savage Librarian says:

    With the grand jury meeting next week, and Boris not having been interviewed by them yet, is it a strong possibility that he will be appearing before them soon? Or is it not necessary to interview targets?

    As soon as I learned about the July 2021 tape and potential document, I immediately wondered if that was why Parlatore had resigned. So, things are really percolating now. The next few weeks are going to be eventful, no doubt.

  11. P J Evans says:

    This jumped out at me: “as we put together our defense strategy to help educate Merrick Garland as to how best to handle this matter”
    It reads to me, short version, as “we’re putting together a story we want to use convince Merrick Garland of TFG’s innocence”.

    • Rayne says:

      educate Merrick Garland” was enough to make me spit take. Ri-ight, educate the AG. Suuure.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Part of that didn’t bother me. If I was in trouble I hope my lawyer would talk to the prosecutor and try to convince them to drop the case. (Note that I didn’t say “educate” them to drop the case.)

        But part of it bothered me a lot, because I’d also hope my lawyer would be smart enough not to tell the press they’d tried to “educate” the prosecutor, because saying the quiet part out loud, and with such disregard for their tone, in public?

        “Good way to make I got it good and hard from the prosecution, pal. Thanks for nothin!”

      • David F. Snyder says:

        I had the same reaction. Maybe Parlatore envisaged educating MG with a shillelagh? Or perhaps it’s a threat for more violence from Trump fanatics?

        • bmaz says:

          I’m really not sure!

          Say, what ever happened to that husband and wife pair in FL? They seem to have gone dark, but not positive.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Do you mean Jane and Marty Raskin? She was on the team for Trump’s 1st impeachment. But I haven’t heard anything about them being involved with anything else related to Trump.

  12. Savage Librarian says:

    There is a possibility that the person who was responsible for having this document written is not somebody we are familiar with. For the life of me, I can’t find or remember where I read this, but a couple/few days ago I saw a reference to a military official in an article that was discussing the mystery document. It alluded to the document potentially having been written under his command. All I can remember is that his name began with “S” and had multiple syllables.

    The only person I could find, subsequently, who might fit this description is Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander of the U. S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Prior to that he was director of the Joint Staff (DJS). He is now a retired 4 star general. Of course, it might not have been him at all. And this is not to suggest that any document he had ordered to be written during his command was improper or inappropriate. It was most likely a very necessary and routine activity.

    I credit my 9 years of working for DON/DOD for having instilled in me the value of creating plans. There was even a Plan of the Day (POD) posted in the library daily, outlining base events. And I often wrote and enacted plans. So, it would be no surprise to me if Trump had access to plans, whether by hoarding some he was shown, or by sending someone like Kash Patel to track some down.

    • Rwood0808 says:

      It’s been many years since I was in the machine but if I remember correctly the War College has a Department of Strategic Wargaming that produces plans such as the one described by the dozen.

      “Attack country X” is a regular exercise and whenever a novel idea with merit was introduced it was spindled and mutilated several times before being added as an option to the dozens of plans already in existence. All such plans are living documents and are updated regularly.

      Four pages does indeed sound like an outline at best which makes me wonder if it was something to placate trump and not anything with actual substance.

      • Rayne says:

        If it was something that John Bolton ordered, it may be far more specific and concise, and it may have included content which validated Bolton’s desires for military action against Iran. I could see it including something like “Based on data obtained by [country X] intelligence, the following steps should be taken…” which would eliminate a cover of plausible deniability to an ally. That would be a national security threat.

        • Rwood0808 says:

          Certainly. I didn’t mean to downplay the classification.

          Even those wargame assignments are based on the actual known assets and capabilities of both sides. So even those would be classified up the wazoo. I was just pointing out that docs like that are numerous and most have a short shelflife. Thus a Bolton type could pick and choose the one he wanted to fit his own agenda.

      • PeterHug says:

        OK, I have to ask – is there a plan for attacking the Duchy of Grand Fenwick? If I had ever been involved in something like this, I probably would have created one at some point over a weekend when I didn’t have anything else to do.

        • Rwood0808 says:

          You’d be amazed at some of them.

          I remember seeing NG units pitted against some third-world nations in an attempt to come up with a somewhat even battle in a certain type of terrain.

          “Michigan vs Bolivia!” It was certainly eye-opening when it came to our fire power and capabilities.

  13. Molly Pitcher says:

    This will be welcome news for bmaz and Earl of Huntington, Chuck Todd is stepping down from “Meet the Press”.

    • Rayne says:

      I have been debating since I first read that news this morning how soon I can crack a celebratory beverage.

      So long, Chuckles, don’t let the door hit you.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        I wonder if the last straw was his ignorant statement to Sen. Whitehouse regarding Congressional authority to impose ethical boundaries for SCOTUS (Chuck seemed to think not).

    • Troutwaxer says:

      Thank God! Hopefully he’ll be spending more time with his family, not moving on to another news organization.

      In similar news, did anyone notice that CNN’s Chris Licht, the guy responsible for CNN’s move to the right, is “stepping down.” Aside from the horrible reviews Trumps “Town Hall” got, he also got clobbered by an article in The Atlantic. (The link below has direct links to the Atlantic article, and also coverage of how people reacted to the article.)


      You might have to open the link to the Atlantic article in a private window to see it all.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        Couldn’t get to the Alberta story, even in a private browsing window. Usually, Atlantic will allow me a couple of freebies per month, but not any more, apparently. Some commenters here know how to access stuff like this, i.e., by somehow posting it to the internet archive (?), but my skills are not equal to that task.

        • johno808 says:

          Here’s a trick that sometimes works with the NYT and Atlantic: Google the title of the article and click on the link. Just worked for me on the Alberta story. (Don’t tell anybody)

        • obsessed says:

          Here’s another paywall trick:

          1. get your left hand poised to type CTRL-A, then CTRL-C
          2. open the link in an incognito window
          3. the second it loads type ctrl-a, ctrl-c
          4. open up a word processor or even a blank email
          5. ctrl-v

          Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the timing right but there’s nothing to stop you from trying it several times, and it works with most of the high profile paywall sites and if you’re desperate for an article and want to save your disposable income to contribute to emptywheel.net … (or still haven’t forgiven NYT for the Iraq War and “FBI Sees No Clear Connection”, or the ongoing travesty of the Maggie & Mike Show, etc.) I seem to recall one site where it didn’t work – maybe Business Insider – there are ways to program it so this doesn’t work but most of the big sites don’t bother.

  14. P J Evans says:

    Parlatore was on TV again this morning. Some of the commenters are wondering if he really quit, or if he’s still working as a PR guy for that side.

  15. RitaRita says:

    I read somewhere about the Petraeus plea bargain down to a misdemeanor being partially the result of who Petraeus was, the fact that he disclosed material to his lover and not a foreign power, and the fact that a trial might force the government to disclose sources and methods.

    If I recall correctly, the document at issue here appears to have been marked “Secret”, indicating less sensitivity. I wonder if the focus on this particular document is because DOJ can prosecute without making the Intelligence Community wig out.

    I also wonder if we may end up with a Petraeus kind of deal. Accountability and deterrence might be subordinate to national defense.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      Trump accepting a conviction which results in probation and makes him unable to run for President or hold national office would be horrible, but ultimately might be worth contemplating.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump would never accept a prohibition on running for elected office. I suppose there’s a small chance he would accept it, if he thought he was facing decades of prison time, but that’s not a reality I think Trump could process.

  16. EuroTark says:

    I’m starting to think that this (supposedly) four-page document could be the Goldilocks document which Dr Wheeler alluded to in earlier posts: hot enough to be clearly National Defense Information, but not so hot that it burns means and methods. It also most likely contains nuclear information (about an enemy though), which (as Dr Wheeler has covered before) is something that the president cannot unilaterally declassify.

    A document of that size can’t really go into any detail, and probably only covers rough overview of obstacles and expected opposition (as Rayne alludes to earlier), and would be less of a risk to reveal means and methods. It would likely reveal more of the opposition’s details than they’d be comfortable with, but I believe that might be even seen as a benefit. The largest risk as I see it, lies in any details that are wrong: It would give the Iranians insight into what forms of concealment works.

  17. Purple Martin says:

    Most here are likely aware of this but the opening of this Tampa Bay Times article seems a good comparison to the Special Counsel’s Mar-a-Lago documents case. (link is reprint in Military dot com)

    Former MacDill Airman Gets 3 Years in Prison for Keeping Classified Documents
    2 Jun 2023
    Tampa Bay Times | By Dan Sullivan

    TAMPA — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former Air Force intelligence officer who kept hundreds of classified documents in his Tampa home to three years in prison.

    U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle also ordered Robert Birchum to complete three years of supervision upon his release from prison, with a requirement that he comply with mental health treatment. Birchum was also fined $25,000.

    The sentence was less than the 6½ years prosecutors asked for — which was the low end of what federal guidelines suggested — but far from the probationary penalty his defense lawyer had sought.

    In imposing the sentence, the judge noted that Birchum’s retention of the classified material was apparently not done with a nefarious motive. But she also mentioned that his criminal conduct occurred repeatedly over a long period of time. She echoed a prosecutor’s comment that Birchum’s actions were the result of “hubris.”

    “You did it because you could do it,” Mizelle told him.

  18. The Old Redneck says:

    In case anyone was wondering whether Chuck Todd’s retirement is a good thing, he got his ass handed to him by Parlatore right before announcing his retirement. He basically let Parlatore’s claim that “we were just negotiating with the Archive” go unchallenged.
    Anyone who considers himself a journalist would have been prepared to point out the numerous flaws in this claim. Not so with Todd, whose retirement announcement moments later was a self-congratulatory screed about what a great job he has done.

    • Rayne says:

      You’re assuming Chuck had any intention of contesting anything Parlatore said, or that Chuck would ever think his job wasn’t to be a useful tool for Team Trump PR — like all Chuck’s previous efforts to let right-wing propaganda go unfettered by true journalistic effort.

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