Trump and his allies can continue to call “foul” all they want, but the unsealed warrant issued to the Department of Justice says it all. They wanted it released, and they’re likely regretting that right about now. All we have heard over the years is Republicans’ cry: “But her emails.” Using a private server to send and receive emails is nothing compared to the astounding news that Donald Trump took classified documents with him when he left the White House. Now that the warrant has been released to the public, we’re all saying: “But that warrant.”
So much is wrong with what happened last week, beginning with Trump’s belief that confidential, top-secret documents belonged in his home. Even an idiot knows that “top secret” means what it says. Trump was no longer in power and had no right to see those documents, let alone hoard them. Republicans have been quiet since the warrant was released, except for one: Rand Paul. Business Insider reported that Paul has “called for the repeal of the Espionage Act.” Really? Paul claims the act was “abused” and that it is “an affront to the 1st Amendment.” The First Amendment prevents Congress from making laws that violate free speech or free press, peaceable assembly, freedom of religion, etc. You get the picture: The First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with stealing and stashing records that can put this entire country in jeopardy.
The Espionage Act, on the other hand, was enacted to ensure that information relating to national defense remains protected, not in the basement at Mar-a-Lago. What these two have to do with each other is only clear in Rand Paul’s twisted mind because Trump has certainly violated the law, and that violation has nothing to do with free speech, religion, or any other activities protected by the First Amendment. Paul is hoping that his constituents don’t have the sense to look into either issue and will merely continue to take him at face value, without one thought to the fact that they are jeopardizing every person in this country. Unbelievable.
What’s happening now all boils down to Trump’s inherent ability to lie and try to cover up the truth. As CBS News (and others) have reported, one of Trump’s lawyers signed a statement in June that all classified documents were returned to the National Archives. Obviously, they were not. Now, the story is that Trump “declassified” the documents. Trump no longer has any authority to do so. Yes, a president can certainly declassify materials but not after he has been voted out of office. This is merely another in a long line of lies and cover-ups from Trump, his allies, and the people who work for him. None of us know what Trump was planning to do with nuclear secrets, but it’s a good bet he wasn’t planning to convert them to wallpaper for Mar-a-Lago. He had intentions for them, and though we may never know what those intentions were, we do know that his continued possession of these documents was not a good thing for this country.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years