DOJ Fortifies Case vs Donald Trump For Filching Secret Papers
The Department of Justice called defeated US President Donald Trump’s bluff and revealed the search at his Mar-A-Lago resort yielded boxes of top secret documents even as Trump earlier swore he no longer kept documents and had turned them over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Photo Insert: The classified documents collected by the F.B.I. agents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as the work of the January 6th committee, show that Trump was increasingly reckless at the end of his Presidency.
Commenting for the New Yorker, David Rohde said Trump —as he has done so effectively in the past—will deflect and dissemble.
One of his initial defenses on Friday was to falsely claim in social-media posts that President Barack Obama had taken tens of millions of government documents after leaving office: “What are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”
NARA refuted Trump’s assertion. The archives said that roughly 30 million pages of unclassified records from Obama’s eight years in office were transferred to a National Archives facility in the Chicago area and that they continue to be maintained by the agency.
“The exposure of Trump’s lies is not new. During his four years in office, Trump was regularly shown to make false claims, exaggerate achievements and smear enemies. But he was also careful to avoid crossing certain legal thresholds and to generally obey the advice of his lawyers. The Mueller report, for example, revealed that Trump was saved from patently obvious obstruction of justice when top aides—particularly White House counsel Don McGahn—declined to carry out his orders or managed to restrain him. When Trump withheld $400 million in aid from Ukraine as leverage to demand an investigation of his likely Democratic opponent, he kept his language vague in phone calls with President Volodymyr Zelensky, which helped him deny wrongdoing,” Rohde argued.
The classified documents collected by the F.B.I. agents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as the work of the January 6th committee, show that Trump was increasingly reckless at the end of his Presidency. Former Trump Administration officials have testified that the President’s behavior changed after he lost the election to Joe Biden in November 2020.
“For Americans who wish to look, their worst fears about Donald Trump are being confirmed. He recklessly handled some of the country’s most important secrets, including, apparently, information related to nuclear weapons. Tens of millions of Americans, undoubtedly, will continue to believe his conspiracy theories. But the steady compilation of facts by the January 6th committee, the Justice Department, and the FBI. is creating a post-November, 2020, record of negligence that exceeds Trump’s actions earlier in his tenure. The Mar-a-Lago search warrant showed that Trump has grown more rash, thoughtless, and heedless—and more unfit than ever for the Presidency,” Rohde concluded.