This graphic shows what we know about how the Trump search was conducted so far.
Author Archive for: emptywheel
Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.
Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.
The news that the FBI returned three of Trump’s passports doesn’t mean they’re using a filter team. It means that at least for some of the seized material, the FBI is making scope determinations.
The CFR guidelines regarding standards for storing classified information not only dictate what type of lock one must used, but it also requires that someone inspect the Secret information stored in non-compliant closets every 4 hours, which may be why DOJ subpoenaed Trump for his surveillance footage.
Trump is complaining that a subset of the boxes seized from his golf resort include privileged materials. But his complaints are remarkably week, and haven’t been accompanied by any legal challenge on an unsealed docket.
The investigation of Donald Trump under the Espionage Act should be compared not with the example of Sandy Berger and David Petraues, but with Nghia Pho and Hal Martin, whose actions contributed to devastating global cyberattacks by malicious actors.
The big secret Trump was keeping this week was not, as I thought, that he is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act, but instead that because he refused to turn over classified documents the Archives knew he had, he gave FBI urgent reason to come and also get evidence he obstructed other investigations.
Here’s the warrant.
If Donald Trump let Kash Patel and John Solomon sort through boxes that–the FBI discovered–included Top Secret documents, Trump may have additional liability under the Espionage Act.
Twice in his short 500-word statement yesterday, Merrick Garland used language that admits the possibility that the former President might be indicted.
The report that the FBI suspected Trump of stealing a document or documents pertaining to nuclear weapons may not entice a supine press. But perhaps Marco Rubio’s rank hypocrisy about the seriousness of such issues will.