Even as the absolute worst of pundits keep pandering to people’s sense of outrage by accusing the DOJ of being too timid or clueless to search Donald Trump’s other residences, I’ve kept pointing out why this obviously can not be the case. If the DOJ is fearless enough to search Mar-a-Lago, it’s obviously not too “afraid” to search his other homes. And since it’s long been documented that the DOJ cultivated sources inside Mar-a-Lago to help it locate the documents hidden there before going in, it was a given that the DOJ also cultivated sources inside Trump’s other properties.
But after a New York Times article last night reported (surely out of context) that the DOJ is simply asking nicely for Trump to return a}ny remaining documents, the scuzziest of pundits jumped on the opportunity to portray the DOJ as being “weak” or worse. The media has since spent the day jumping on the opportunity to reward these pundits by playing up their bullshit tweets about the DOJ somehow being too “timid” to search Trump’s other properties.
Now Rolling Stone is reporting this evening that months ago the DOJ began talking with people in Trump’s orbit about whether there were classified documents inside Trump’s other properties. The brief article doesn’t reveal whether or not it was determined that there are any documents at those properties. But it does confirm what was logically obvious all along: the DOJ has had its eyes all over Trump’s other properties for as long as it’s had eyes on Mar-a-Lago.
As I’ve spelled out before, this leaves us with a couple of explanations. One is that there are documents in Trump’s other residences, and that the DOJ has cooperators inside those properties keeping an eye on them, even as the DOJ waits to go in and take them for unknown strategic reasons. The other is that the DOJ has determined that there are no documents at those properties, and that the remaining documents have been in the wind all along, and that the ongoing cat and mouse game we’re seeing is the DOJ’s attempt at goading Trump and/or his inept attorneys to unwittingly cough up clues about who has those documents and where.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report