Alex Cannon and the Missing Russian Binder

CNN reports that the classified version of the Russian binder Trump tried, but failed, to release before leaving office has not been found.

A binder containing highly classified information related to Russian election interference went missing at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, raising alarms among intelligence officials that some of the most closely guarded national security secrets from the US and its allies could be exposed, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Its disappearance, which has not been previously reported, was so concerning that intelligence officials briefed Senate Intelligence Committee leaders last year about the missing materials and the government’s efforts to retrieve them, the sources said.

In the two-plus years since Trump left office, the missing intelligence does not appear to have been found. [my emphasis]

I would contest that the disappearance of the binder is entirely new. It is consistent with Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, on which this story explicitly relies.

What is new in this story is that “last year” (so, 2022) Intelligence Community leaders briefed SSCI; the story is silent about whether the spooks briefed HPSCI, whence much of the materials came.

What is also new is that, according to a single US official, which is a moniker often used to describe members of Congress or their staffers, the binder was not among the things found at Mar-a-Lago last year.

The binder was not among the classified items found in last year’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, according to a US official familiar with the matter, who said the FBI was not looking specifically for intelligence related to Russia when it obtained a search warrant for the former president’s residence last year.

The Intelligence Committees got briefed on what was seized from MAL. It’s not entirely clear that they got briefed on what was returned in the first and second tranches.

That’s important because Alex Cannon — who was the key lawyer involved in the first set of boxes returned to NARA in 2022 — asked NARA for a copy of the declassified materials in 2021. In a response sent on September 27, 2021 (and later resent to John Solomon), NARA explained that NARA didn’t have the binder because when Meadows sent it to DOJ for the privacy review, it became a federal record, and what remained at the White House was not a binder but 2,700 disorganized pages the intended classification markings of which conflicted.

That’s because NARA General Counsel Gary Stern provided Kash and Solomon with the explanation of what happened with the attempted declassification over and over and over. First, Trump didn’t declassify the documents. He ordered the binder of Crossfire Hurricane documents be sent to the Attorney General, who would implement the final declassifications, then send the document back to the White House.

I have directed the Attorney General to implement the redactions proposed in the FBI’s January 17 submission and return to the White House an appropriately redacted copy.

Then the next day, January 20, 2021, Mark Meadows sent all that to the Attorney General to conduct a Privacy Act review before releasing anything.

As Stern explained to Kash and Solomon, what remained at the White House at that point was a collection of 2,700 “undifferentiated pages,” a cursory review of which revealed conflicting redactions and some documents lacking the requisite declassification stamp. The stuff that got sent to DOJ was a Federal Record, not a Presidential Record, and by the time Kash and Solomon started this process, it was already being processed as part of a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit (the first two releases in which — onetwo — recently came out).

In other words, Trump and Mark Meadows fucked this up. NARA didn’t. Trump did.

Shortly after getting this response, Cannon oversaw the attempt to return Trump’s documents, with the now-indicted Walt Nauta and the now-cooperating Molly Michael juggling boxes back and forth from the storage room so Trump could hand-curate what would be returned.

After it became public that a bunch of those documents were classified, Kash invented the story that Trump had declassified everything, focusing on the Russian documents, though not exclusively.

Then, in the weeks after Trump returned a folder of documents on June 3, 2022, Kash Patel and John Solomon made a panicked effort to find out what was at NARA. Evan Corcoran, only recently brought in to serve as fall guy for the document handover, was closely involved in that process.

During that same period, Trump made several unexpected trips back to Mar-a-Lago.

And the government and Stan Woodward apparently agree that the government still doesn’t know where all the boxes hidden from Evan Corcoran’s search on June 2 ended up.

All of Trump’s stolen classified documents aren’t accounted for. And the Russian binder may be only part of what’s missing.

Update: I did a post on what was known to be in Trump’s “dumbass Russian binder.” It’s quite the cherry pick.

98 replies
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  2. Anvil Leucippus says:

    What’s the over/under on the date for the raid of Bedminster? I’m also interested in the action on which room that binder will be found, propping up the leg of a garish furniture item

    • Tech Support says:

      It seems like the issue at hand is the ability (or lack thereof) to demonstrate probable cause classified documents are at a specific location.

      We appear to have evidence that there were boxes from the same storage room that contained classified documents moved from Mar-a-Lago to Bedminster. That’s been discussed here previously. It’s easy to speculate that those boxes also contained classified records, but if this by itself were enough to get a warrant I’d imagine it would have already been done by now.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        Yeah, the ship has sailed on that. There’s just not enough of a trail. You’d probably need Bedminster staff willing to come forward and say that they’ve seen boxes stowed away, and I doubt the storage there would be as slapdash as in Florida.

        Heck, there’s a non-zero chance that anything taken to Bedminster got taken back to Mar-a-Lago for the winter.

  3. Ben Soares says:

    Oh yes. I have wondered why there isn’t a sense of urgency related to these documents .

    This paired up with the McDougal situation seems a bit odd.

  4. S Z Voss says:

    Have not previously taken seriously comments re “checking Ivana’s grave at Bedminster.” But now one wonders….

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. **As noted in the first comment of this thread** we are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Do you really think Trump would hide documents in such a way that he could only access them by exhuming the coffin? He would then have to hope nobody would notice someone digging up his ex-wife’s grave. JFC, even Eric Trump isn’t that stupid! Save the moronic conspiracy theories for “X” (i.e. Twitter)

  5. Robert of Had says:

    I’m not surprised by this, in fact I expected these to be in the cache of what would end up missing and it shows Trump taking documents wasn’t a “mistake.”

    At this rate, the fastest way to prove how much Trump damaged and endangered our National and Foreign Intelligence network is to look at the memorial wall in the CIA headquarters. Count the number of stars on the wall in 2016 and then count the number in 2021.

    • JonathanW says:

      Robert of Had, part of me assumed, reading your comment, that it was just a snarky comment, but it did make me want to ask if you’ve actually seen the wall and noticed a big uptick. Or, asked another way, was this snark, speculation or fact? :) I don’t mean to be accusing you of anything, to be clear, I’m just confused!

      • matt fischer says:

        It got me curious too. Here’s what I found:
        2012: 1 new star (103)
        2013: 4 new stars (107)
        2014: 4 new stars (111)
        2015: 2 new stars (113)
        2016: 4 new stars (117)
        2017: 8 new stars (125)
        2018: 4 new stars (129)
        2019: 4 new stars (133)
        2020: 2 new stars (135)
        2021: 4 new stars (137)
        2022: 2 new stars (139)
        2023: 1 new star (140)

        • zscoreUSA says:

          For a small sample like this with 12 elements, the mean is 3.33 stars per year, standard deviation 1.84.

          A value of 8 is 2.53, um, standard deviations from the mean, which has a less that 1% chance of occuring randomly, in this 12 year span. Though as noted below in the conversation there are many factors that involved, such as the deaths occuring in the past and the star being added present, or a mass casualty event in a war theater. I don’t think anything necessarily to be suspicious about.

      • Epicurus says:

        Per the attached, there are 140 stars on the wall now. It seems 1947 was the year the first star appeared. You may be able to determine how many have been added since 2016 but it is slightly unclear. At a minimum it seems to be 12 (125 stars in 2017 per the article and 137 stars in 2021). For a four year period comparison, the four year period 2009-13 has 17 stars added (107-90). The four year period 2014 -18 has 18 stars added (129-111). Not sure what all that means except we have had our nose in a lot dangerous places. 2009 to 2018 was a difficult time.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          But notice that in 2017, the year that Trump took office, 8 died. That is the most in the eleven years shown in that list; that is a number double any other year in that period.

          • matt fischer says:

            I suggest, for many reasons, a heathy dose of skepticism in drawing a conclusion from these numbers.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              The one thing we know for sure: from 2017 through 2020, the man who was president didn’t give shit about their sacrifices, no matter when they died, how they died, or what they did for their country.

            • matt fischer says:

              No doubt, GdB.

              Flashback to Trump’s January 23, 2017, doublespeech in front of the memorial wall:

              But I want to say that there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump. There’s nobody. Nobody.

              You know, the military and the law enforcement, generally speaking, but all of it — but the military gave us tremendous percentages of votes. We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. And probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. But I would guarantee a big portion, because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks.

              And the reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number-one stop is exactly the opposite — exactly. And they understand that, too.

              No, I just wanted to really say that I love you, I respect you. There’s nobody I respect more. You’re going to do a fantastic job. And we’re going to start winning again, and you’re going to be leading the charge.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The CIA was officially formed in 1947, pursuant to the National Security Act, which would be why the first stars on the wall were from 1947.

          • matt fischer says:

            No, the CIA Memorial Wall wasn’t dedicated until 1974.

            The first star was Douglas Mackiernan who died in 1950 (though his name was only revealed in 2006).

            Two members of CIA’s predecessor, the CIG, weren’t made stars until 2019, though they died in 1947.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Apples and oranges. For starters, it’s hard to have a CIA memorial wall before there was a CIA. It didn’t occupy its Langley complex until 1961. That it chose not to create its wall of stars for another 25 plus years might have something to do with its needing a counterweight to the bad press it was getting over Watergate and then the report and leaks about its Family Jewels.

            Given how lying and manipulation are inherent parts of the CIA’s job, names and numbers on the wall would not seem especially reliable. It probably needs a star for the unknown agents who fell in the line of duty.

            • matt fischer says:

              I simply pointed out that you were wrong. The first stars on the wall were not from 1947. What are you talking about?

            • Harry Eagar says:

              If CIA counted the Ukrainians it sent back to start a civil war in 1950, they’d probably need two walls. I don’t know how many there were but 100% were shot.

              • Rayne says:

                Look, former newsman, stop dumping stuff like this without supporting documentation. This is not acceptable here and especially not in the age of the internet. Even a Wikipedia page is better than nothing.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                William Sloane Coffin, who was a young agent for a short time in the 1950s, before entering the ministry and eventually becoming Yale’s chaplain, would agree about the fate of many agents sent to the East in that period, owing in part to Russian penetration agents such as the Cambridge Five. But you’d want to cite sources for what is still a controversial assertion.

  6. soundgood2 says:

    “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—ing golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f—-in’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”—Rod Blogojevich

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      I find it horrifying that I haven’t thought about Rod Blagojevich in years, and when I started to read your comment, I thought, “wait, that sounds like Rod Blagojevich”, before I got to the end, with the attribution.

      I had forgotten his nickname (“Blago”), and I had forgotten that Trump formally commuted his sentence in 2020, after he had been imprisoned for nearly eight years. But I remembered that quote.

      When you are that corrupt, your legacy lives on for a while.

      • Ravenous hoarde says:

        And somehow always circles right back to Trump and his merry band of fraudulent corrupt grifters. Like the Forrest Gump of corruption.

      • theartistvvv says:

        Blago was one of many embarrassments who were Illinois governors; he was, IMO, another raging, charismatic narcissist, hence his affinity with tfg.

        That said, our current gov, Pritzker has been surprisingly good, starting with the pandemic, altho’ his talents include a big smile and the ability to keep his head down, not bad attributes. He’s occasionally mentioned as a potential higher-office holder, perhaps even prez.

  7. Mike Stone says:

    Putin wanted Trump to be President so that Donnie could share the most sensitive US secrets and our methods; not to mention undermining NATO. Act II will be far worse.

  8. Terry Salad says:

    Um, why has this not been published before? It seems like a pretty big deal. Surely people will be charged, right?

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Not sure what you mean by “this,” Terry Salad, but we’ve known for years that Trump wanted to declassify a bunch of “Russia Hoax” material before leaving office–stuff he believed would prove his version of 2016: not just that his campaign did not collude with Russia, but that he won that election without help from Putin.

      That narcissistic injury has long been too much for him to bear, and he thought the Crossfire Hurricane material would prove he won all by himself–maybe even that Putin was trying to help Hillary!

  9. Rugger_9 says:

    Not only Bedminster, but all of the other properties where Defendant-1 spent substantial time. There is also that curious annex at Mar-a-Lago where it is known some docs were kept if I read Nauta’s case correctly.

    So, if not everything was returned SC Smith can also elect to pile on some more charges to the SDFL case if that is where the trail went. Or he can open new cases. There is no reasonably objective person who could believe that these documents are the personal property of Defendant-1, if for no other reason than the actions described predate 45’s term.

  10. emptywheel says:

    I think you all are being wildly optimistic about the ability to charge any missing docs. You charge any docs you have to prove they were there in the first place, and prove that they went somewhere. Imagine, strictly as a hypothetical, that the Saudis took these home when they were running a golf tournament. They’re not going to tell you they did.

    It’s like the Charles McGonigal case. He only got 50 months, which is appalling given that he went to work for a guy he had reason to know was a Russian spy. But they chose to do it that way rather than having to share NEW classified info with him (and his Bill Barr flunkie lawyer).

    • Frank Anon says:

      The legalities of Trump being charged for this absolutely pale in significance to the intelligence loss. I cannot say what happened, I hope someone finds out. But the specter of the President of the United States of his people potentially being agents of a foreign power against America, considering the insane power and knowledge of a President, is truly frightening.

    • StellaBlue says:

      What amazes me is there were multiple copies made. How many copies were made from each copy? The cat is out of the bag. Over/under on the Kremlin having a copy?

    • earthworm says:

      Its much harder to prove a negative, what is not there, than
      if the docs had been correctly catalogued and accounted for. Then you’d know what is missing.
      The chaotic storage conditions [perhaps intentional] would make that difficult to assess, except perhaps for the gnome of zurich-like creature down there in the vaults fondling his prizes.

  11. soundgood2 says:

    Looks like Meadows might have taken the binder home, according to Hutchison. Do you think Meadows is savvy enough to use it as leverage to both Trump and the DOJ? Would he just give it to Trump or keep to protect himself depending on who is in power? Maybe I’ve seen to many spy movies.

    • ToldainDarkwater says:

      Meadows is a bit of a cipher to me. I don’t have a clear take on him, because he’s such a political animal, and super good at not getting pinned down. If he burned the stuff in the fireplace, that might well have been something he told Counterintelligence people in secret. I can’t rule that out. I think it’s really unlikely that he passed it on to someone unauthorized to have it. But I don’t have any proof, just that’s my take on the guy, which is admittedly murky.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Every journalist I know of who’s ever written about Meadows has described him as a cipher. He seems like a mirror man, someone who reflects back to whomever he’s with whatever he believes they want.

  12. ToldainDarkwater says:

    I think the odds are very, very good that Meadows has been interviewed about this. Pretty thoroughly. Well, interviewed, or questioned before a GJ. It’s hard to say which. I expect that to be a dead-end, but who knows, it might not be.

  13. rattlemullet says:

    “In other words, Trump and Mark Meadows fucked this up. NARA didn’t. Trump did.”

    Bluntly stated the former guy is a walking, talking National Security Risk. Seems a good possibility MM is also a National Security Risk, hopefully they both are being treated as such by the “Intelligence” apparatus. In my opinion there is no graver threat to America and the Constitution than the former guy being return to office.

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  14. Michael K says:

    I can’t help but wonder about a possible connection to the reports in Oct 2021 about “dozens of incidents in the last few years that involved killings, arrests or compromises of foreign informants [working for the US]”.

    Other reporting linked many of those losses to China and Pakistan. But there was also a CNN report about the “highest level source for the US inside the Kremlin” who had to be extracted after “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence” by Trump and his administration.

    Apart from criminal investigations, which maybe hit a dead end with this particular binder, it seems crazy that hardly any voters even know about these incidents on Trump’s watch. Obviously Biden has to be careful not to reveal anything that could lead to more compromises, but why shouldn’t he make a BFD politically about the publicly known details? Why shouldn’t Trump’s primary opponents? Even Chris Christie AFAIK hasn’t attacked Trump for the intelligence fiascos while he was President. This deserves 1,000x the attention that Hillary’s emails got.

    • P J Evans says:

      ISTR that a number of sources went silent in the Middle East, after the former guy revealed information to his buddies in Saudi Arabia.

    • timbozone says:

      Even after all that, it appears that the US had a good idea of the invasion date and order of battle plans for the 2022 Ukrainian invasion.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      To reveal that national secrets have been compromised would in itself compromise national secrets, and that is why Biden will never do it, even though he has been briefed throughout his presidency on the potential (and perhaps actual) damage.

      • Michael K says:

        What’s publicly reported has already been revealed and compromised.
        What else is compromised by educating voters that these already revealed incidents happened on Trump’s watch?

        • bmaz says:

          That is bullshit, and you have no idea what the IC considers “compromised”. Don’t make people here dumber with things you have no clue about.

          • Michael K says:

            Why do you consistently choose ad hominem over substantive responses to very specific questions?
            I know word-for-word what’s publicly reported by CNN, NY Times, etc.
            Is your claim that other countries don’t know what CNN, NY Times, et. al. have publicly reported?
            Or is your claim that these reports could be Fake News to frame Trump and his cronies?
            Unless you are making one of the above 2 claims, what is specifically the concern with highlighting for voters that these incidents occurred on Trump’s watch?
            Does this very article about the missing Russian binder compromise national security?

            • bmaz says:

              What a load of BS. Calling my response “ad hominem” means you either do not understand the term or are being disingenuous. If you think what has been reported in international press is all there is, you are almost certainly wrong. And I very much doubt you even know “word for word” all that has been reported.

              • Michael K says:

                You again attack me and cast aspersions against me without addressing any of the very specific questions I asked.
                I did not even remotely suggest that “what has been reported in international press is all there is.”
                I did ask why — unless it’s Fake News — Trump’s opponents shouldn’t attack him over what has been publicly reported. And apparently you think merely asking this question makes people dumber and warrants pejorative non-answers with insults.

                • bmaz says:

                  You are an obnoxious irritant here. I checked your history going back to April of 2022. It appears you think we should give a shit about you. Not.

                  Nobody has “attacked” you or “cast aspersions”, ad hominem or otherwise, you are just a bleating twat. Keep it up and you will be dealt with appropriately. Your whiny BS is not even close to being in the category of good commentary. We have enough to deal with here, go answer your own questions. Buh bye.

  15. clyde g says:

    I came to share a thought I had and I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who thought it would not be out-of-character for Trump to use classified documents *still somehow under his control* as bargaining chips.

    Then as I read those posts it occurred to me (and not for the first time) how wrong it was for the so-called classified documents to be handled in such a lax manner. This is not just with Trump though I think he took advantage of the broken classification system. It applies to former Vice Presidents and others in government. Isn’t there a catalog (or catalogs) of all classified documents listing the date created, classification level, numbered copies and who was given a numbered copy, and whatever other information might be useful to track each copy?

    It would be a lot of data, but that’s what computers and data entry people are for – the classified documents have been described as “our national jewels”, clearly they’re valuable.

    Biden and Pence had classified documents in their possession after leaving office. I don’t doubt that it was unintentional, but that it could and did happen is wrong.

    That we don’t know what Trump had and may still have is wrong and dangerous.

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    • Knowatall says:

      Overuse of the classification protocol is one of the reasons the system has been sagging under the weight of excess documents.

  16. BobPDX2023 says:

    Hard to believe that the CIA doesn’t utilize some kind of incredibly small RFID-type technology embedded into classified documents. My guess is that they know exactly where they all are. Just a thought.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Not a scientist, but it seems to me, the smaller the device, likely also the more limited the range, so tracking paper documents with implanted mu-chips from a great distance is probably not technically feasible.

      • Knowatall says:

        Not to mention bandwidth issues and ease of loss/removal. It all reminds me of Star Wars’ Princess Leia who remarks about how many grains of sand will escape Vader’s grasp as the Empire squeezes harder.

      • Mike Stone says:

        You are very right JPJ. As a technologist who performs research on tiny sensors that are made using semiconductor fabrication techniques, there are a number of very large technical issues involved here. One the gain of an antenna is directly proportional to its size. Small devices make very poor antennas and if the communications are to be wireless, the small gain makes it extremely hard to get a signal from any reasonable distance. Second, there are power issues. Even with a weak antenna gain, this can be overcome to a degree with enough power. However, this requires a sizable energy source. Therefore, making this work as an “active” device would be very problematic.

        Perhaps a workable approach would be if the paper was sufficiently conductive and had a resonant structure made into the material. This can partly overcome the antenna gain issue.

        With regard to power, a more viable approach would be to make the sensor passive rather than active. Therefore, an extremely placed scanning RF or Microwave signal could cause the resonant structure to be identified from a distance.

        • BobPDX2023 says:

          Enjoyed reading your response, thanks. That’s part of what I love about this site, apart from the vitriol that’s sometime released when bmaz doesn’t agree with a comment.

        • ColdFusion says:

          Don’t forget, papers are usually stacked, and people with high enough clearance and who are corrupt enough will still find a way to copy the information.

  17. [email protected] says:

    Something I think about a lot is that Biden, unlike any president in living memory, must receive semi-regular briefings on which national secrets are no longer secret and which confidential sources are no longer confidential. Or breathing. He will never speak of this, but he has had to deal with it ever since taking office.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      An awful lot of secret documents have been revealed, mostly without any discernible impact on the government.

      Sometimes, it may be that stolen secrets work to the government’s advantage. The best probable example i know of it the commies who passed on US aircraft production figures to Stalin during WW2.

      Dog knows what Stalin made of them, or whether he believed them (and they were so high that they would have been hard to believe); but if Stalin did believe them, that information could hardly have done other than to have led him to believe that the US was serious about the war, thereby encouraging him (if he needed it) to fight on himself.

      Which was (or should have been) the No. 1 goal of US foreign policy.

      • bmaz says:

        “An awful lot of secret documents have been revealed, mostly without any discernible impact on the government.”

        You don’t know that, and it is silly to make such a statement.

        • Harry Eagar says:

          Don’t I? State one effect on the government of all the spying the Reds did in the ’30s and ’40s. (I mean from the disclosures, not the effects of the hysterical reactions.)

          Even Ames had no discernible impact. If he hadn’t been exposed, we wouldn’t have known he was doing it.

          And, sending the revelations in the other direction, the revelations of Russian interference in the ’16 elections have had no impact on government, and next to none on public opinion.

      • ColdFusion says:

        That’s not how it works. it’s not “without any discernible impact on the government” it’s “without any discernible impact on you”

  18. fatvegan000 says:

    I went back and read the dumbass binder and read this post twice, but I still can’t this figure out: is the dumbass binder the same thing as the 2700 undifferentiated pages? I came away thinking that they were, but couldn’t follow how the 2700 pages got from Meadows to the AG to NARA Jan 20,2021 but the dumbass binder is now missing, which makes them seem like two different things? Are the 2700 undifferentiated pages copies from the dumbass binder?

    Can someone help me out of my confusion (which is caused by my slow noggin, not the excellent writing here)?

    • Fran of the North says:

      The binder was composed of the original source documents which were (all, mostly???) unredacted.

      The hare-brained scheme was to use them to prove that Russia had interfered in the election. The intent was to have Trump declassify the docs and then release them showing them as his proof. But to do that, they had to be redacted so that valuable information wasn’t leaked.

      The reason the docs went to AG and NARA were to confirm that they had been appropriately redacted and could then be released to the public. Like most of the slap dick projects Trump’s crack teams worked on, this was a mess and the docs were not ready for declassification.

      What is missing is the binder with the original unredacted documents.

      • fatvegan000 says:

        So the 2700 undifferentiated pages are the redacted copies of the dumbass binder of raw intelligence. Thank you for explaining.

      • RationalAgent19 says:

        The hare-brained scheme was [FOR TRUMP] to use them to prove that Russia had [NOT] interfered in the election, surely?

  19. Dan Riley says:

    Who cares about having the original docs? Foreign intel doesn’t, they care about what it says, they’d be happy with reproductions. Trump is the only one that I can think that would care deeply about having original docs that can be authenticated.

    Or else Trump just has an obsession with owning the originals–which would be consistent with his personality, but still leads to the same conclusion.

    Any sane conspirator would just photocopy the docs and return the originals.

      • Dan Riley says:

        The intel community cares about distribution, so they care every bit as much about nefarious copies as they do about the originals. That’s why they have to do threat assessment for every doc that wasn’t in a controlled environment, because there’s no way to be sure there are no copies.

        My point stands–why did Trump insist on retaining the originals?

            • bmaz says:

              Take a look in a mirror if you want to see lame. The IC knows a hell of a lot more than your bleating on the internet. You asked “who cares”? They do and I do. stop spamming this thread with this nonsense.

              • Dan Riley says:

                You’re still missing the point. Once a sensitive document has left a controlled environment, why would IC care whether an original document was in circulation vs. a true copy. Seriously, who benefits from having an original vs. having a true reproduction? Do you have an answer to that or are you just “bleating”?

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  There’s a who as well as what here. The what seems obvious: the contents of classified or national security information, the uncontrolled release of which could imperil national security.

                  There’s also a who. If an original goes missing, it would normally implicate few people. So would the making of normally unauthorized copies. There is, though, an obvious stumbling block regarding information that the president claims he can individually declassify, although that’s a smaller set than TFG imagines.

                  Otherwise, not worth opening a bag of popcorn.

                • theartistvvv says:

                  WTF, dude?

                  Speaking only for me – you and the other dooshbags doing this moderator-attack shite are boring and a waste of electrons and my time culling through yer offal.

                  I’m catching up here on the last 10 threads and every one has a, or multiple, similar whine.

                  Please STFU.

                  (I understand why it’s not an option, but I would surely love a block-the-jackass posts option.)

  20. FL Resister says:

    Multiple copies of the unredacted binder were made at the White House just before Biden’s inauguration.

    Mark Meadows getting into a vehicle outside the White House for the last time with the original Russian interference binder tucked under his arm would be a Pink Panther moment for investigators watching White House video, if there is such a thing. Perhaps Mr. Meadows more discreetly tucked the highly classified, 10-inch binder of unredacted intelligence documents into a satchel someone carried out for him after he removed it from a safe in his office. Trump says he has it. Looks like the elusive Mark Meadows has quite a few tin cans attached to his tail.

  21. Thomas Paine says:

    Frank Figluzzi (FBI – Retired) believes that bringing the WH intelligence the 21st Century on this stuff like the rest of the US Government would eliminate the loose document problems and most unauthorized disclosures. Two most important measures are going 100% paperless so that all reviews are on-screen from a logged-in terminal, ONE controlled printer, and having a non-political appointee from the National Archive serve as the Document Control Officer and the sole access point to the terminal(s), and operator of the printer. The WH is and has been an uncontrolled mess with classified information for DECADES.

  22. earthworm says:

    in my teens i was a “Spy vs Spy” fan — they were so slippery!
    i keep turning over mentally all the bait& switch moves of White and Black WRT to the dumbass binder scenario.
    suppose IC has it, or knows where it is, but can use it to make a BFD out of its disappearance? cui bono?

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