All who wanted the affidavit leading to the warrant granting access to the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago are likely less than satisfied by the redacted version released by Judge Reinhart. Redactions aside, one thing is clear: the DOJ and FBI executed the warrant in connection with a criminal investigation. Trump, et al. can also stop calling the search “politically motivated.” The DOJ referral came from the National Archives, which organization is tasked with keeping presidential records safe. The opening text in the affidavit is clear: “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.” Trump can continue to cry “mine” all he wants, but it is painfully clear to whom those documents belong.
We can easily see why the DOJ wanted those records back where they belong. Much of the top-secret information Trump took involves national intelligence and national defense. Eric Swalwell spoke with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi on the issue. According to Swalwell, Trump has jeopardized our troops. Swalwell said that “defense information” includes information about the troops, their movements, and their locations. The information taken by Trump also jeopardizes sources who help the U.S., putting their lives at risk. Swalwell made a very valid point by reminding everyone that Donald Trump never wanted to take part in intelligence briefings while in the White House, yet that’s the very information he removed. As Swalwell said: “We can only conclude the worst,” and that is exactly how the intelligence community is taking this egregious act.
According to Politico, the U.S. intelligence community has begun to evaluate the risks involved in Trump taking these records to his private property, where virtually anyone could have accessed them. This does not include anyone he might have willingly given the information to, and there is no reason to assume he did not do that. Why else would he take documents of this nature? Politico obtained a copy of the letter from Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff. As the affidavit intimated, the DOJ is continuing its criminal investigation, and in her letter, Haines assured that their review will not “unduly interfere with DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation.” It certainly sounds like Trump has finally crossed enough lines to suffer consequences. God only knows what all he took and what he has done with documents that have not yet been recovered.
This investigation promises to go on for some time. As frightening as all of this seems, what is more frightening is the people who are still chanting “Trump 2024” and Trump’s allies trying to make excuses for his unlawful behavior. Do these people honestly not realize the level of danger Trump has put this nation in or even imagine possible, plausible scenarios behind Trump’s behavior? They may not get it, but the rest of us are grateful that the DOJ has finally stepped up to the plate and is addressing the lawlessness of Donald Trump.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years