PanamaTimes

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Trump demands return of seized documents – by order of social media

Trump demands return of seized documents – by order of social media

FBI took records including some top secret national security files after a search of the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago property

Donald Trump has demanded the return of some documents seized by the US justice department in an FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida last week – apparently under the impression that posts on his Truth Social platform carry legal weight.

In a post on Sunday, the former president wrote: “By copy of this Truth, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!”

It is generally held that social media posts are not legal documents.

According to an actual legal document, a search warrant unsealed on Friday, records concerning top secret national security matters were among those seized by the FBI. It has been reported that some such documents concerned nuclear weapons.

Trump has called the nuclear weapons report a “hoax” and claimed to have had authority to declassify top secret records while in office. No evidence has been produced that he did declassify the records in question.

On Saturday, citing anonymous sources, Fox News reported that in the search at Mar-a-Lago last Monday, the FBI seized boxes “containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege”.

Fox News also said anonymous sources said the justice department turned down Trump lawyers’ request to have such records reviewed by an independent third party.

Trump’s post on his Truth Social platform – which he launched after being thrown off Twitter over the Capitol attack – appeared to be in response to the Fox News report.

He also said: “Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken.”

The former president has used claims of mistreatment to boost fundraising and positioning for a potential presidential run in 2024, his complaints echoed by supporters in the Republican party and across the American right.

Among them, Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota argued on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press that releasing the affidavit that persuaded a judge to permit the FBI search “would confirm that there was justification for this raid”.

“The justice department should show that this was not just a fishing expedition,” Rounds said.

The Ohio congressman Mike Turner, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee, said: “We want to know what did the FBI tell them?”

On Monday afternoon the justice department said it objected to requests to unseal the affidavit, as doing so would “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation”, possibly by “chill[ing] future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations”.

The DoJ also said: “The fact that this investigation implicates highly classified materials further underscores the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and exacerbates the potential for harm if information is disclosed to the public prematurely or improperly.”

Trump continued to rage on Truth Social, claiming both that “Republicans could win many additional seats, both in the House and Senate, because of the strong backlash over the raid at Mat-a-Lago” and that the FBI “stole my three passports (one expired), along with everything else”.

He added: “This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!”

John Dean knows a thing or two about assaults on political opponents, having been White House counsel under Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal 50 years ago.

He told CNN Trump and his allies “don’t seem to want to appreciate that the FBI and other federal law enforcement, as well as state and local, they enforce search warrants every day, against every kind of person”.

“And there’s a reason Trump provoked this,” Dean said. “He’s the one who didn’t cooperate. He’s the one who forced [US attorney general] Merrick Garland’s hand. We don’t know what it is [Trump] has or had.

“Garland isn’t a risk-taker. He isn’t a guy who’s bold and goes where no one else has ever gone. He’s somebody who does it by the book, so I think these people are going to have egg all over their face when this is over.”

Trump has claimed the Mar-a-Lago search is comparable to the 1972 break-in at the Washington offices of the Democratic National Committee which fueled and christened the Watergate scandal.

On Saturday, a Fox News host also went to the Nixonian well, citing a famous claim about presidential authority the disgraced 37th president made in an interview with David Frost in 1977.

Will Cain said: “You know, if I listen to alternative media today, and they’re telling me, ‘Oh, classified documents, no one is above the law, right? The rule of law applies to everyone.’

“I’m curious. When it comes to classified documents, famously, President Nixon said, if the president does it, then it is not illegal. Is that not truly the standard when it comes to classified documents? The president has the ability to at any time declassify anything.”

Experts agree that is not the standard when it comes to handling classified material. Furthermore, Nixon himself backed away from his infamous claim.

After the Frost interview, Nixon said: “I do not believe and would not argue that a president is above the law. Of course he is not.

“The question is what is the law and how is it to be applied with respect to the president in fulfilling the duties of his office.”

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×