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Trump's Latest Tirade Proves Any Temporary Restraining Order May Come Too Late

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emptywheel
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.
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The ABCs (and Provisions e, f, and g) of the Espionage Act

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emptywheel
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.
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Trump's Timid (Non-Legal) Complaints about Attorney-Client Privilege

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emptywheel
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.
[Photo: National Security Agency, Ft. Meade, MD via Wikimedia]
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18 USC 793e in the Time of Shadow Brokers and Donald Trump

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emptywheel
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.
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Other Possible Classified Materials in Trump's Safe

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Rayne
Is it possible there were crimes still in progress at the time Trump left office, ones which might be outlined in classified documents Trump held at Mar-a-Lago? Is one of them a war crime?
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Obstruction: The Two-Receipt Search of the Former President's Golf Resort

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emptywheel
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.
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John Solomon and Kash Patel May Be Implicated in the FBI's Trump-Related Espionage Act Investigation

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emptywheel
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.
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Merrick Garland Preaches to an Overseas Audience

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Peterr
Legal folks, politicians, media people, and ordinary Americans are watching the DOJ's handling of the theft of documents from the White House. But around the world, a whole lot of others are watching as well, and how DOJ moves this case forward is critical to the future of US foreign policy.

Three Ways Merrick Garland and DOJ Spoke of Trump as if He Might Be Indicted

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emptywheel
Twice in his short 500-word statement yesterday, Merrick Garland used language that admits the possibility that the former President might be indicted.
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The Legal and Political Significance of Nuclear Document[s] Trump Is Suspected to Have Stolen

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emptywheel
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.

Merrick Garland Calls Trump's Bluff

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emptywheel
Merrick Garland just revealed DOJ has moved to unseal the parts of the warrant for the search of Mar-a-Lago that Trump already has. Effectively, Garland has called Trump's bluff.
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Trump Keeps Using the Word "Cooperate." I Do Not Think That Word Means What Trump Wants the Press To Think It Means

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emptywheel
Trump has trained a gullible press corps to treat a citizen who voluntarily shares information with the FBI as inconceivable without some more formalized kind of cooperation.
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Expected Response is Expected: Trump and Right-Wing DARVO

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Rayne
We could have seen it coming after all this time. They’re reliably predictable, no crystal ball required. You know what lies ahead, too: more DARVO.

DOJ's June Mar-a-Lago Trip Helps Prove 18 USC 793e

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emptywheel
DOJ's trip to Mar-a-Lago in June would make it far easier to prove the elements of 18 USC 793e.
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The Likely Content of a Trump Search Affidavit

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emptywheel
We don't know what was in the affidavit showing probable cause to search Mar-a-Lago. But we know a lot about what would be in it.
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All Republican Gang of Eight Members Condone Large-Scale Theft of Classified Information, Press Yawns

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emptywheel
The lazy-ass press has mainstreamed claims from three Republican Gang of Eight members minimizing the theft of highly classified information without calling out the hypocrisy of such claims, much less noting the way these men put party over America's national security.
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Some Likely Exacerbating Factors that Would Contribute to a Trump Search

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emptywheel
There are a number of topics -- Trump's first impeachment, his ties to Middle Eastern countries, his conversations with Vladimir Putin, and security records pertaining to January 6 -- that might exacerbate the legal complications of investigating a former President for stealing classified documents.
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FBI Executes a Search Warrant at 1100 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL 33480

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emptywheel
Trump's home got searched. And virtually the entire press corps has taken that as an opportunity to give Trump their social media real estate from which to lie for free.
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