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“FBI Had No Legally Valid Cause” For Mar-a-Lago Raid and Warrant “Had No Legal Basis,” Argue Top Lawyers

“FBI Had No Legally Valid Cause” For Mar-a-Lago Raid and Warrant “Had No Legal Basis,” Argue Top Lawyers

David Rivkin and Lee Casey in WSJ: “if the Justice Department’s sole complaint is that Mr. Trump had in his possession presidential records he took with him from the White House, he should be in the clear, even if some of those records are classified.”

Couple of reminders of things I’ve already written, and should have written.

First, I acknowledged that I don’t claim any expertise in the law regarding classification and records, so I’d have to rely on others until I could come up to speed. What I didn’t write but should have, is that I’m not going to rely (and neither should you) on the mostly politically-driven lawyers who populate CNN and MSNBC, #TheResistance Twitter Lawyers, and what’s written in NYT, WaPo, or mainstream corporate media as to the law.

Second, I didn’t understand why Trump’s lawyers took so long to file a motion regarding the search warrant, and why the motion didn’t expressly challenge the warrant itself, not just the scope of the records seized. It was just a gut instinct, I not only claim no expertise in the law regarding classification and records, I also don’t practice criminal defense law. But something seemed wrong from the start.

Someone whose legal analysis I would credit is David Rivkin. I’ve seen him and his team in action, and they are really good. He’s been involved in the notorious Wisconsin John Doe cases representing the conservative victims of the prosecutorial misconduct.

Rivkin and his law partner Lee Casey, had an Op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on August 22, 2022, that confirms my gut instinct that the search warrant was rotten from the get-go, The Trump Warrant Had No Legal Basis. Here’s an excerpt, but read the whole thing at the link:

Was the Federal Bureau of Investigation justified in searching Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago? The judge who issued the warrant for Mar-a-Lago has signaled that he is likely to release a redacted version of the affidavit supporting it. But the warrant itself suggests the answer is likely no—the FBI had no legally valid cause for the raid.

The warrant authorized the FBI to seize “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§793, 2071, or 1519” (emphasis added). These three criminal statutes all address the possession and handling of materials that contain national-security information, public records or material relevant to an investigation or other matters properly before a federal agency or the courts.

The materials to be seized included “any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021”—i.e., during Mr. Trump’s term of office. Virtually all the materials at Mar-a-Lago are likely to fall within this category. Federal law gives Mr. Trump a right of access to them. His possession of them is entirely consistent with that right, and therefore lawful, regardless of the statutes the FBI cites in its warrant.

Those statutes are general in their text and application. But Mr. Trump’s documents are covered by a specific statute, the Presidential Records Act of 1978. It has long been the Supreme Court position, as stated in Morton v. Mancari (1974), that “where there is no clear intention otherwise, a specific statute will not be controlled or nullified by a general one, regardless of the priority of enactment.” The former president’s rights under the PRA trump any application of the laws the FBI warrant cites.

Got that? According to Rivkin and Casey, the entire premise for obtainin the warrant was legally faulty. Read the rest for more of the reasoning:

Nothing in the PRA suggests that the former president’s physical custody of his records can be considered unlawful under the statutes on which the Mar-a-Lago warrant is based. Yet the statute’s text makes clear that Congress considered how certain criminal-law provisions would interact with the PRA: It provides that the archivist is not to make materials available to the former president’s designated representative “if that individual has been convicted of a crime relating to the review, retention, removal, or destruction of records of the Archives.”

Nothing is said about the former president himself, but applying these general criminal statutes to him based on his mere possession of records would vitiate the entire carefully balanced PRA statutory scheme. Thus if the Justice Department’s sole complaint is that Mr. Trump had in his possession presidential records he took with him from the White House, he should be in the clear, even if some of those records are classified.

Harvard Law Prof. Jack Goldsmith disagrees with Rivkin and Casey:

… The PRA gives a former president certain rights to access and limit access to the documents in the possession of the United States; but it rules out the possibility of a former president possessing presidential records after his presidential term.

Rivkin and Casey claim that the PRA “doesn’t address the process by which a former president’s records are physically to be turned over to the archivist, or set any deadline, leaving this matter to be negotiated between the archivist and the former president.” True. But the absence in the PRA of a “process” or “deadline” for a former president to transfer records to the archivist is irrelevant to whether former president Trump has or ever had lawful possession. Again, the records are by statute owned and controlled by the United States, not the former president. Even if the documents are not in actual possession of the archivist at the end of a presidential term, the PRA makes clear that the former president has no claim, none, to keep the documents for himself. They are not his documents to take, or keep, or negotiate the transfer of.

Whether the three criminal statutes cited in the warrant can be a basis for a prosecution for a violation of the PRA, especially against a former president, is a trickier question. But I don’t think this complex legal question matters to the validity of the warrant. First, the applicability of these criminal statutes—18 U.S.C. § 1519, 18 U.S. Code § 2071, and 18 U.S.C. § 793—does not necessarily turn on whether the PRA was violated; they can apply in several ways whether or not Trump had a valid claim to possess the documents.

Second, Rivkin and Casey assume throughout that the only potential violator of these statutes is the former president. But the warrant does not say this. The warrant describes the location of the documents connected to a crime, not the identity of the violator. And—this is important —many people connected with Trump might have handled these documents in ways that violated the statutes.

#TheResistance Twitter lawyers also disagree:

My money is on Rivkin and Casey. Trump needs to send his best people to court.


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Biden will be the last president of the Union as 50 states.

    And the Three GOP Stooges (McConnell, McCarthy and Ronna Romney) will grease the skids.

    I’m ready to split

      Nothing else will work. If we continue on this road, we’ll be enslaved, hungry and scared.

      Imagine our lives away from these evil bastards and their sick useful idiots.

      Colonel Travis in reply to gonzotx. | August 24, 2022 at 11:26 pm

      I remember seeing packs of Texas secessionists throughout the Obama years at various places. I thought – eh, whatever….


      I’m kinda open to it.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 25, 2022 at 5:14 am

        I am as well, without the “kinda”.

        That would be a disaster. It would ultimately lead to civil war as the former US becomes the site of a proxy war between China and Russia. Let’s not learn a grown-up lesson about how few friends we will have if we turn out to be that stupid. Consider this:

        NATO and WEF orchestrating the demolition of Europe? More than plausible. The WEF (Fourth Reich) is very much a big player in our own self-destruction and sparking a war of any kind whether it be a race war or civil war, is exactly what will lead to our demise in the worst possible way.

        The only thing stopping an invasion of the US right now is that China is having serious and growing doubts about their own viability while they watch the US rallying at the grassroots level to fight the Fourth Reich and gaining traction. They are losing time while we are gaining it.

        The last thing these globalists want right now is to have Trump win in 2024 and this years elections, unless the RINOs once again orchestrate their final act of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, probably requiring massive voter fraud, we will soon be reaching a climactic battle for the hearts and minds of America.

        We should be focusing on not allowing ourselves to be fragmented over picking one powerful candidate vs the other. We need ALL of them and they ALL are gaining power right now. Trump deserves to be the leader and is best positioned to win. DeSantis is getting stronger and stronger. Let’s not turn that into a self-destructive Trump vs DeSantis clown show. We need both of them and as many more as we can get fighting in unity for our survival.

        This is not the time to be talking foolishly about secession nor civil war. This isn’t the 18th century where we are protected by two huge oceans. We are a super power and much of the world has the power to take us down if they unite, even for a short time, for the single purpose of taking us down.

        Remember, in international affairs, there are no friends. Just interests. In whose interest would it be to help a perverted, corrupt America that self-destructs by turning it’s own military against itself?

        Get a grip.

          taurus the judge in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 25, 2022 at 7:54 am

          Very well said Phil

          drednicolson in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 25, 2022 at 10:40 am

          So much for self-determination, then. The OWG might as well already be here.

          JLSpeidel in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 25, 2022 at 11:00 am

          We need Trump to be the brutal fighter he can be. He needs to gut the behemoth that is the Federal Government. Dismantle any agency that has outlived its original mission. Return as much power back to the states as Constitutionally possible.

          DeSantis or someone else Conservative can come in after and work with a limited government and start us back on the right path.

          @JLSpeidel: DeSantis is getting brutal himself. He released an awesome “Ron DeSavage video with himself being “Top Gun”. He also attacked Fauci with: “Someone needs to grab that elf and chuck him over the Potomac!” I thought I was listening to Trump. Now if he can incorporate his own “mean tweets”, maybe those who are arguing that they prefer DeSantis because he is nicer that Trump will stuff it.

          Let’s see if we can come up with more Trump clones… an army of clones heading to DC.

          What’s with the down vote?

          @Ira. Someone here doesn’t love me as much every one else.

          “The only thing stopping an invasion of the US right now is that China is…”

          Oh please, china can’t even invade Taiwan. Stop with the dopey shit. China has no ability to fight an external military battle for more that about 10 minutes. They cannot resupply even a small number of personnel.

          If you do not understand how international military adventures work, stop making fools of yourself.

          “He released an awesome “Ron DeSavage video with himself being “Top Gun”…”

          Creepy ass video.

          Y’all are falling for the same old republican plan they roll out every time to try and stop someone that actually cares about Americans.

          DeSantis is now controlled by the GOPe. It’s as clear as glass. Which explains his complete silence on the illegal raid of a home in the state of Florida by the corrupt FBI. Haven’t heard ‘ol Ron opine on the FBI have you?

          tlcomm2 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 25, 2022 at 2:04 pm

          Are you just bitter because you would be on the wrong side of any new border? 😉

          M Poppins in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 25, 2022 at 4:14 pm

          not to mention that Democrats control most of the cities, and the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego, the East Coast from Boston to Newport News.

          Ah, the poor DeSantis fooled are upset. The truth hurts.

          DeSantis funding comes from Wall St, the hedge fund managers, the money men, in other words the GOPe.

          Name one politician that received funding from those sources that wasn’t beholden to those same sources.

Ya think?

It doesn’t matter, the mission has been accomplished and they had made copies of everything. Invalidating the warrant is the cost of doing business to them.

    Dimsdale in reply to buck61. | August 25, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Well, if the President (the real one) is as smart as I believe he is, the have copies of exactly what he wants them to have, perhaps with a few “danglers,” and they will once again end up standing there with their, um, warrants in their hands.

    That aside, they still gain the media advantage, which President Trump will never get. Of course, they could also fake materials in directed leaks, which gain validity because of the exalted “leaks” aura.

      Dimsdale in reply to Dimsdale. | August 25, 2022 at 7:49 am

      ….THEY have copies….

      Why do I always catch those after I hit the submit button?

      I’d discount the “Trump knew about every document” crowd, both the Antis and Pros, because I don’t even know what’s in every box in my garage. Likewise, I’d discount the delay in filing for a special master as either a genius move or boneheaded flop and put it more in the category of getting more complete information before jumping off the handle, as Trump tends to do (and is learning some restraint).

      As an example, if it had been filed when the FBI raid started, they could not have referenced anything in the warrant because they had not been *given* it yet. Filing immediately after the raid would mean they could not (as far as my non-lawyer knowledge goes) refer to anything inside the sealed warrant. I’d put the delay as a mixture of the old “Give them enough rope” and “Watch things come out” as the media went into frantic “It Could!” mode and the FBI promptly leaked like a fifty year old garden hose. Trumps move for a special master and to claim the raid was invalid only gets stronger as things are revealed. Jumping the gun could have gotten the request squashed before all the good details came out in favor of it.

    Romynomask in reply to buck61. | August 25, 2022 at 8:15 am

    I agree. The Dems don’t care about the laws. They use them to cover their crimes.

“But the warrant itself suggests the answer is likely no—the FBI had no legally valid cause for the raid.”

Glad to see the crap WSJ has finally begun figuring out what most of us knew the day of the raid. Really brilliant minds in the journal offices. Next, I bet they’ll figure out the russia/russia/russia investigation was also bogus.

Wait? Someone is actually claiming that the presidential records act gives the president no right to possess presidential records?

I’m no lawyer. If I ever become one and then ever make arguments that ridiculous, please send me off to the memory care unit that Biden should have been in by now.

The problem with laws is that you can find a lawyer to argue any side of it and come up with a reasonably sounding position.
One theory of this unprecedented political hitjob is that Trump took all the background on the Russia nonsense and the DOJ was desperate to get it back to destroy it. Maybe, but to me and many others it looks like a fishing expedition orchestrated by the white house to prevent Trump from running again.

    #FJB <-- Disco Stu_ in reply to diver64. | August 25, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Unless, of course, their law “degree” was granted by Univ. of Pennsylvania. Then any other side of an argument is automatically tagged as “hate speech”.

    (Good luck in court, children. And out there anywhere else in the real world.)

    M Poppins in reply to diver64. | August 25, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    actually it’s both

The legal questions here can only be resolved by the Supreme Court, and they can’t resolve it until an actual case is before them. Other prior rulings, as in the Clinton sock drawer case, were from lower courts and are not binding precedent. I expect the Biden DOJ to be maximally aggressive with Trump. He will be charged with everything they can, and he will be jailed incommunicado without bond before trial because he poses “an insurrection or civil-war risk”. The trial will take place in DC, before a judge favorable to the prosecution. He won’t be able to appeal until after he is convicted, and that process could easily take a year. There is no way he can run from jail because he won’t be able to campaign or communicate with his supporters. While the convictions could be overturned on appeal, that is not guaranteed.

    Dimsdale in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 25, 2022 at 7:53 am

    While I am sure that is the favorite fever dream of the useful idiots of the left, the result would be, as we say, quite unpleasant.

taurus the judge | August 25, 2022 at 7:52 am

Well, this falls in line with many suspicions I have held almost from the beginning of this. I still hesitate because its clear that there are critical pieces of evidence/information still out there that will put a lot of this in proper context and alter/totally invalidate all thoughts thus far.

Down the list

No “legally valid cause”…..: In terms of a “plain language violation (Jimmy shot Joey and that’s homicide) I agree totally. It was clear from the beginning this was a “CONTRIVED” charge (matter of law requiring a judgement at a later date). I’m very confident Trump will eventually win this but it has to go through the process. The DOJ knew this when they did it ( they have great expertise twisting and selectively interpreting law)

Trump waiting so long: I posted way back also he needed to protest ASAP or the court will legally assume he waives. I have no idea why they waited based on what’s available in the media but ASSUMING IT WAS NOT AN ERROR ( that’s a possibility)- I might accept that given the deviousness and secrecy and clearly ill intent displayed by the DOJ, they may simply have waited to see what may follow next.

    Romynomask in reply to taurus the judge. | August 25, 2022 at 8:20 am

    All this, to protect the Bidens

      taurus the judge in reply to Romynomask. | August 25, 2022 at 8:32 am

      Personally, I think this goes FAR BEYOND Biden and that’s what has them so scared.

        Nailed it.

          taurus the judge in reply to amwick. | August 25, 2022 at 10:54 am

          Personally, I believe Biden was a sacrificial lamb from the day the puppet masters identified him to be appointed President after the stolen elections and expected that at the 25 month mark (2 yrs and a month) to resign (or get resigned if he balked).

          That would theoretically have given them 10 years with the Camel. I am certain they didn’t anticipate the hatred of her and the rejection of the leftist mantra.

          I think Trump also suspected this back then ( he did say it at times) and he may even have “stuff” identifying people and things.

          We can speculate.

Connivin Caniff | August 25, 2022 at 8:27 am

Trump’s lawyers sucked. Trump should have known that they were not even close to acting like seasoned criminal defense lawyers.

    taurus the judge in reply to Connivin Caniff. | August 25, 2022 at 8:34 am

    OK, what did they do wrong and why was it wrong and what was the “right” thing to do?

    Explain in detail please

      DaveGinOly in reply to taurus the judge. | August 25, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      The right thing to do was to rely on Judicial Watch v NARA. Judicial Watch tried to force the National Archive and Records Administration to seize records ((and turn over copies) held by former POTUS Bill Clinton. The court ruled it could not order NARA to do that which it was not authorized to do by statute – NARA has no authority to compel a former POTUS to turn over even presidential records. (I write “even presidential records”, because a POTUS can also designate any records from his administration as “personal”, forever keeping them from public inspection.) NARA must negotiate with a former POTUS for the surrender of presidential records. The PRA doesn’t establish a time schedule, nor does it provide NARA with any legal leverage. The presidency is a branch of government independent of Congress, and POTUS’s authority over records is in Art II. There’s little that Congress can do without violating the separation of powers.

      Obama carted 40 tractor-trailer loads of documents to Chicago, is storing them in a relatively insecure warehouse, and NARA can’t do a damn thing about it. The trove is known to have (formerly) classified documents. (The court’s opinion in the NARA case says there’s a presumption that any documents held by a former POTUS are presumptively legally held. Thus, any classified documents in his possession are presumptively declassified. A POTUS can’t mishandle classified information. If he keeps or divulges it, it is presumptively declassified. There is no statutorily-required process for a POTUS to declassify records.)

      (The above is a synthesis of several sources on the subject, including the opinions of Robert Barnes.)

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to Connivin Caniff. | August 25, 2022 at 11:02 am

    I also expect that Trump’s lawyers will be prosecuted. Remember, a lawyer signed a statement affirming that no classified documents were at Mar a Lago.

      gospace in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 25, 2022 at 12:01 pm

      And- there were no classified documents at Mar a Lago. A classification stamp on them means ditsquat. Trump declassified them before leaving office. I could sign a peper attesting to that from my house haviing never been there and it would be equally correct.

      First, I dare you to find a single lawyer that would ever sign such a declarative statement. At best the would agree that they are unaware of any documents.
      Second, all the documents are declassified.

taurus the judge | August 25, 2022 at 8:31 am

People need to realize this as this “thing” unfolds regarding Trump and his actions as they apply to this specific case (et al)

Its very similar to preparing/reacting to a terrorist attack.

Trump KNOWS he has committed no crime so unlike “guilty people”, he spends no time worrying that they are going to” find the smoking gun” because there isn’t any.


Trump is facing a united enemy (The left, the administration, our foreign enemies, the GOPe/RINO, the media, Academia, Big Tech, The US Dept of Interior and even the AARP) in what clearly is a coordinated series of integrated attacks designed to fully take him out of the political scene and MAGA with him.

This enemy has no need or regard for truth, law, reason, integrity, honesty and certainly wishes destruction of the USA as we know it in favor of their leftist “utopia”. There is nothing “off limits” or too extreme for them to do or try.

So, given that knowing Team Trump has the impossible task of trying to anticipate and defend against everything all at once,

It is reasonable to believe Team Trump will take measures the casual observer may deem “whatever” and they will NOT make the “right” decision every time.

No single human in the history of this country (probably the world) has been subject to this type of treatment by such an organized and well funded effort by so many.

Another new wrinkle from John Solomon:

DOJ had improperly withheld a memo admitting that since the Mueller investigation concluded that there was no obstruction of justice, therefore there was no obstruction of justice. No crime justifying the raid.

    CREW went absolutely bats***-crazy over the memo, declaring in no small way that it was proof, PROOF of Barr’s evilness.

    I read it. To me, it seems quite simple and well laid-out that there was no legal basis for charges against Trump, either for the fictional collusion with Russia, or the invalid obstruction of justice charges that Weissmann was so determined to get shoved in there.

Is there a legal basis to build concentration camps and force people into them? What if people disagree?

Questions of legality are moot when confronted by men with guns, That is why there is a Second Amendment.

    FEMA. Their camps are everywhere. I am sure there is one near you.

    taurus the judge in reply to George S. | August 25, 2022 at 10:48 am

    There is in fact a basis in law for this (involuntary relocation/commitment) but you wont see the term “concentration camp” due to WWII.

    Its in several forms already- some are…

    Simple arrest ( violation of law/ordinance)

    Emergency powers (War, disaster and so forth)

    Suspension of Habeas

    In the event of disagreement- expect a response in force.

    As of this post, I acknowledge this is an eventual possibility if the left goes unchecked but I still believe highly unlikely.

    As a protective measure I recommend a rigorous exercise of 2nd Amendment rights and “preparation” in terms of logistics should such measures be necessary.

      “There is in fact a basis in law for this…”

      And then there is the constitution which trumps the “law”.

        taurus the judge in reply to Barry. | August 25, 2022 at 2:51 pm



        You would profit a whole lot more and be a lot less stupid if you actually put as much effort into learning and understanding a “thing” then reasoning through it before posting emotionally charged incorrect rhetoric like a babbling fool.

        Sadly, I actually respect many of your positions but your actual knowledge of the subject causes more harm than good.

          Look, I know you cannot or have not read the constitution. You certainty exhibit an inability to understand it.

          You are nothing but an FBI plant, here to persuade others the greatness of the government.

          You have zero knowledge. You just regurgitate the opinions you are given to support the government narrative.

          You can prove I’m wrong by showing us where in the constitution the government is allowed to build “concentration camps”.

          One of the most egregious errors of the Supreme court has been the ruling that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional except when the separate were Japanese. It took several decades before the convictions of the Japanese that refused interment were overturned, vacated, thrown out, but they were, righting a wrong. Eventually congress passed the Civil Liberties Act, putting an end to such illegal nonsense.

          Now, you explain it to us. Tell us how the constitution allows for concentration camps. Give us an example where they have been legally used. Remember that any such camp will be selective of those interred.

          And by the way, I’ve come to have zero respect for anything you have to say. For you to call anyone stupid is laughable. So babble on, fool. It’s all you do,

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to George S. | August 25, 2022 at 10:59 am

    If there is an insurrection declared, Biden can impose Martial Law and suspend Habeas. A detention camp can be built quickly anywhere there is open land, or in a commandeered hotel. I’m sure many of his people are itching to do something like this.

Steven Brizel | August 25, 2022 at 9:45 am

Goldsmith ignores the fact that any and all records that Trump declassified no longer have the imprimatur of any classification and do not belong to the federal government

    DaveGinOly in reply to Steven Brizel. | August 25, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    Well, they may still be marked “classified”, but if they not, in fact, classified, then the mark is meaningless. And also probably no longer subject to rules for the proper marking of classified docs, as the docs aren’t classified, in fact.

Apparently, Barrack Obama sent his presidential records to a storage facility in Chicago as his presidency was coming to an end. But then the National Archivist, David Ferriero, was his appointee. By the way, the law only applies to OFFICIAL records, not everything a president wrote or received.

This is all pure BS. Nobody gets to run around with classified documents. Trump can’t keep such documents by simply declassifying them with a standing order when they leave his office.

Get grip folks. He can’t keep classified documents at his home or anywhere else.. He whines and lies about not knowing stuff when knows. He just likes to ignore stuff and send his lawyers over to keep him out of jail, However it’s time for a trial.

National Security Classified material is not declassified on a Trump whim. it is carefully tracked, and the proper folks will know what is missing. When DOJ has gone to Trump and asked for the material a couple of times and he has lied again. They already knew what he had taken because it was missing. They knew the exact pages he kept.

When the DOJ asked him to return the documents, they already knew what he had exactly. What else other than specified materials and knowledge of where they are at is required for a warrant. They recovered what was missing.

Trump is guilty of the theft of classified material that belongs to the United States, not him personally. Just like the other Presidents Trump can have the documents in a Presidential secure vault operated by the Records folks but not him.

Trying to claim he has done nothing wrong is ignorant.

    taurus the judge in reply to lcr1946. | August 25, 2022 at 10:39 am

    Hello Troll

    Every point you raise has been effectively debunked by experts with the ability to refute in detail both here and elsewhere.

    So, hand carry your ignorant @$$ back to Politico and tell them you need more training because frankly you suck at spreading disinformation.

    starride in reply to lcr1946. | August 25, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Well that’s untrue….. Classification starts and ends under presidential authority.

    Barry in reply to lcr1946. | August 25, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    “Trying to claim he has done nothing wrong is ignorant.”

    lcr1946 is a poor dumb paid idiot that has no idea how the law is supposed to work in this country.

    You have no proof of wrongdoing by Trump, you have nothing, which means he is innocent.

    What we do have proof of, in abundance, is of the illegal and corrupt actions taken by the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and throughout the government.

    And since I’m wasting my time responding to a person that should be in an insanity ward;

    “Nobody gets to run around with classified documents.”

    Then there can be no classified documents.
    The president can do as he damn well pleases with “classified” documents. He can go jogging with them if he likes, he can swim with them, he can sleep with them. He can declare them no longer classified and turn them over to the enemy.
    In short, the constitution grants all power to the president with respect to classified documents.

number crunch | August 25, 2022 at 11:34 am

Not a lawyer but I took the time to read the 44 USC 2201-2209 (PRA), 18 USC 2071 (general court records document concealment or removal), 793 (unlawful defense information removal with intent to harm the US) and 1620 (destruction of corporate audit records).

The PRA clearly delineates between personal and presidential records as well as differentiating that documents received by the President that are a part of an Agency’s official record are NOT presidential records. As far as I can tell, the President makes this delineation between presidential and private records and there’s no legal recourse with the Archives to challenge or retrieve private data designation. So it’s a negotiation if something is deemed amiss.

Section 793 hinges on intent to harm the US with retention of classified data.. First, if there’s no attempt to harm then there’s no legal issue. Second, the President is the declassification authority there should be some official presidential record of declassification in the record and if so, the document is declassified.

In my layman’s mind, I view the PRA and 793 issue a red-herring especially in view of an existing investigation. This is an administrative issue easily remedied and quickly resolved without FBI involvement. It does create a smoke screen and political maelstrom. and this overreach should have political repercussions FBI.

The use of 2071 and 1620 seems like the crux of the matter. An ongoing NYC investigation into Trump business dealings is well known. This seems like a raid to try to find business records hidden amongst the private records of a previous President. That’s what the affidavit should contain and if that’s not in the record seized, then there should severe legal repercussions for the FBI and DoJ..

We’ll see.

    DaveGinOly in reply to number crunch. | August 25, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    No record of the declassification is necessary. If a former POTUS retains classified records, there’s a presumption they were declassified before he left office. (And Trump is known to have officially declassified documents and records related to Crossfire Hurricane.) A POTUS’ authority over government documents (that is, excluding documents generated by Congress or the judicial branch) is found in Article II, putting his personal discretion beyond the reach of statute, and preventing Congress from dictating a process of classification/declassification that would control POTUS. (Those exercising authority delegated from POTUS are required to adhere to regulations as a condition of the delegation. But a POTUS can literally wave his hand and the documents are declassified, even if he doesn’t inform anyone of his decision. This is why there’s a presumption that any “classified” docs in the possession of a former POTUS are, in fact, declassified, because there’s no way to prove that they’re not. It’s presumed that the former POTUS’ possession of them is evidence they were declassified, because otherwise their possession would be a crime.)