Everyone has an opinion on the latest Donald Trump scandal, but Raw Story consulted one who knows about such things. Andrew Weissmann, a DOJ prosecutor for former special counsel Robert Mueller, discussed the importance of classified documents. Weissmann opined on whether the documents Trump secreted from the White House were declassified: “I think it’s largely irrelevant whether the documents were declassified by the president on the way out the door because the national security interests of top-secret compartmentalized information state the same whether the label has been taken off or not.” These documents should have never left the White House and belonged in the custody of the National Archives. Weissman went on to say: “It doesn’t really matter whether he thought he could take a label off or not. The national security impact is exactly the same.” In other words, the information contained in the documents Trump took are imperative to national security. Had they landed in the wrong hands-and we cannot be sure that some of them have not-those documents pose a threat to the existence of every American citizen. That fact makes what Trump did even worse, and Weissmann believes that this is what is driving Attorney General Merrick Garland. The question to which we may never find an answer is “why.” Why would Trump do such a dangerous thing? Raw Story thinks it has zeroed in on that as well.
While many believe Trump took the documents to “sell to the highest bidder,” Raw Story reveals, via CNN’s “New Day,” that Trump’s reasons were totally selfish. Tim Weiner, a former New York Times national security expert, appeared on that show. According to Weiner, Trump took the boxes to have them searched for a “smoking gun” that would, once and for all, prove his “deep state” nonsense. Weiner explained his thought processes: “I think in the last chaotic days of the Trump administration, Donald Trump was desperate for documents that he thought would somehow absolve him of the offenses for which he was impeached and criminally investigated.” Donald Trump is an idiot, and he shows that every day. His biggest problem is that he thinks the rest of us are idiots.
Trump’s demand to unseal the affidavit on which the search warrant was based is getting little traction. Politico reported that Judge Bruce Reinhart is reluctant to release the full contents of that affidavit. Judge Reinhart was satisfied that the affidavit was “reliable” because he “carefully reviewed the FBI’s evidence.” Judge Reinhart’s decision rests with his belief that the DOJ’s investigation will be compromised by the release of the information in the affidavit, and he believes that heavy redaction would be required, rendering the document “useless.”
The media wants to know what’s in the affidavit for its own purposes in creating blockbuster headlines, but Donald Trump likely wants to know who ratted him out. Either way, the court needs to keep this document under seal until such time as criminal charges are filed. That is typically how criminal cases proceed, and this one should be no different simply because the target is a faux former “president.”
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years