For some context, on Friday afternoon a federal indictment against former president Donald Trump was unsealed, detailing 37 counts of classified document retention and mishandling. Much of the evidence against Trump was gathered in an August 2022 search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and in eyewitness accounts of the former president sharing top secret documents at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
This follows a previous indictment against Trump by a Manhattan Grand Jury back in April with 34 counts of falsifying business records, most scandalously detailing “hush money” payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels to protect the Trump campaign in 2016.
As damning as the evidence against the former president is in the indictment released last week, some of it is also… pretty entertaining. Disappointing, yes, that our former Commander-in-Chief so carelessly dealt with classified documents, but also kind of funny. I mean, just wait until you read some of these.
“Lock her up!”
Page 9 of the indictment outlines past statements the former president has made regarding the handling of classified documents.
“We also need to fight this battle by collecting intelligence and then protecting, protecting our classified secrets… We can’t have someone in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word confidential or classified,” a September 6, 2016 direct quote reads.
What makes this detail within the indictment ironic is that Trump initially campaigned on ‘Crooked Hillary’ and her storing of top secrets in a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton was investigated by a Republican-led House Committee during her Democratic primary run in 2015 for her involvement in the Benghazi incident and her supposed irresponsibility for using a private email server.
Naturally, one could see the irony in Trump’s own voiced support for a classified-document-mishandling-witch hunt being used as evidence against him in his own classified-document-mishandling-witch hunt.
Documents stored centerstage:
Here, we can see a not-so-secure place where the former president decided to store boxes upon boxes of top secret documents; on a ballroom stage at Mar-a-Lago. According to the indictment document, during the period of time that the boxes were stored on the ballroom stage, ‘events and gatherings took place’ implying anyone in attendance potentially had access to top secret information.
While this in and of itself is ironic, in the fact that top secret documents were stored on a stage, the second piece to this is even funnier.
The boxes stored on the stage were eventually moved after a couple of months, but not to a secure location. No, that would make too much sense. The documents were moved from the ballroom stage to a bathroom to preserve office space. So much for someone in the Oval Office that understands confidentiality. (However we can’t exactly say that Biden understands confidentiality. Remember all the stowed documents from his vice presidency?) Anyone that had access to the bathroom had private access to national secrets, including reports on other countries’ ability to defend themselves from foreign adversaries.
‘Stored in the bathroom’ wasn’t an exaggeration in any sense of the word. According to the indictment, there were initial boxes already being stored in the shower. The boxes surrounding the toilet and sink were transported and stored there after the fact. These look like evidence photos from a DEA meth bust. How often do evidence photos expose items being hidden in bathrooms? Where’s the stack of cash?
Military alliance “eyes-only” intel spills onto floor:
Page 14 exposes boxes of classified information spilling onto the floor, revealing information marked exclusively for the Five Eyes intelligence alliance between the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the United States.
The indictment reads further that Trump employees were texting about the spill on December 7, 2021.
“ ‘I opened the door and found this…’” Nauta texts to an unidentified entity, called ‘Trump Employee 2’ for clarity.
“‘Oh no oh no’” they simply respond. ‘Oh no oh no’ is something you text when you forget to put away the dishes before going out, so at least I have something in common with presidential staffers. Future’s looking up after all!
The ‘concealment of boxes’:
Between the issuing of the subpoena and the FBI interview, Trump allegedly instructed his lawyers to lie to the Department of Justice and indicate that there were no classified or confidential documents needing to be turned over to the federal government, despite that evidently not being true. Some action was taken at this instruction, as when subpoenaed that May, Trump’s lawyers turned over few documents that fell under that classified umbrella, while weeks later a FBI search of Mar-a-Lago proved there were many, many more documents being kept from the federal government unrightfully.
What’s fascinating, though not entirely surprising about this is that a man that led our country, and supposedly upheld the standard for justice and transparency, is being accused of lying to the Department of Justice- a department he once appointed the head of. The most entertaining part about this, I suppose, is how poorly portrayed Trump is in his own lawyers’ testimonies outlined in the indictment. Scroll down page 21 and you’ll see his own lawyers nail him for trying to obstruct justice and further conceal his classified documents.
While the details of this indictment are disturbing considering the defendant is the former president of our country, some of them are just as ludicrously entertaining as his gaffes during his time in the Oval Office. How many presidents have stored state secrets behind a shower curtain? The danger posed by such careless maintenance of state secrets almost forces you to laugh; our national security hung in the balance with the guest towels at Mar-a-Lago.
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