More to ignore, Book 87.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FaGFT4OXoAUBvcm
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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A man shot and killed himself after driving into a vehicle barricade near the US Capitol Building early Sunday morning, US Capitol Police said.

The incident happened shortly after 4 a.m. ET, when the man drove his car into a barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street. He then exited his car, which became "engulfed in flames," and fired several shots into the air, Capitol Police said in a statement.

He then fatally shot himself when authorities approached him. There were no additional injuries and the man's name was not immediately released, according to the statement.

"At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any Members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons," the statement read. "Our investigators are looking into the man's background."......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The truth is that Trump's discarding and hoarding of documents just might be pathological

Frank Vyan Walton

A lot of people have clearly written about this, but I also want to weigh in because I have a unique perspective. My first real job was working for a defense contractor in a TS/SCI classified environment. I’ve handled literally millions of pages of classified documents so the full-on craziness of what Trump has done here is not at all lost on me.

One thing we already know about Trump is that he has no respect for the law and no respect for document retention procedures, and hasn’t for decades. As Kurt Eichenwald documents, he had a tendency to destroy and hide documents from courts and legal procedures going all the way back to the 70’s.

For months, the Trumps ignored the government's discovery demands, even though court procedure in a civil or criminal case requires each side to produce relevant documents in a timely manner. This allows for the plaintiffs or prosecutors to develop more evidence in support of their claims, as well as for the defense to gather proof to fight the case against them. When litigation is filed or even contemplated, scrupulous lawyers and corporations immediately impose document-retention programs or require that any shredding or disposing of records be halted. Courts have handed down severe sanctions or even criminal charges of obstruction of justice against executives and companies that destroyed records because they knew they were going to be sued.
Yet when the government filed its standard discovery requests, the Trumps reacted as though seeking that information was outrageous. They argued in court that prosecutors had no case and wanted to riffle through corporate files on a fishing expedition. Once again, this led to more delays, more replies, more hearings...and another specious argument thrown out of court.
Six months after the original filing, the case was nowhere because the Trumps had repeatedly ignored the deadlines to produce records and answers to questions, known as interrogatories. When a government attorney finally telephoned a Trump lawyer to find out why, he was told the Trumps had not even begun preparing their answers and had no plans to do so. The Trumps also postponed and blocked depositions, refused to provide a description of their records, as required, and would not turn over any documents.

Trump and his companies ignored subpoenas and destroyed emails that were under court order indiscriminately. We know due to press reports that Trump’s companies kept separate books for the value of the properties, increasing the value for banks and loans while lowering the value for the assessment of taxes. New York Attorney General Letitia James has been trying to gain access to the filing cabinet located inside Trump Tower that has hundreds of hand-written notes by Trump adjusting these valuations to his particular whims, but has been stonewalled.

James’ team also argued Trump has not provided documents responsive to the subpoena. While the memorandum noted Trump “famously does not use email or a computer,” it said there were voluminous records from the former president. According to testimony from Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten, Trump “regularly generated handwritten documents” and “there were file cabinets … containing Mr. Trump’s files.” Garten, who did not respond to a request for comment, also said Trump “used Post-It Notes to communicate with employees.”
“This game must end. Mr. Trump should be ordered to produce all responsive documents in his possession, custody, or control, including those within the possession of the Trump Organization,” the memorandum said.

So this behavior by Trump in regards to the National Archives is really just his normal behavior. This is the bullshit that he does.
..............
First I want to point out that whether the documents are classified or not is actually a side issue. The FBI noted 18 USC 2071 as part of their reasons for the search warrant and that law doesn’t involve classified documents at all. It’s about the removal of any government document.

(b)
Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.

So the argument about whether these documents were or weren’t officially classified is actually a moot point. Removing any documents subjects the offender potentially vulnerable to three years in prison and/or disqualification from holding any office in the United States. This only gets worse and worse when the documents are classified.

Anyway, here we have former FBI Deputy Counter-Intelligence Head Peter Strozk commenting on Trump’s behavior just after he stated for the record that there were multiple search warrants served in the Hillary Clinton email investigation — an investigation which he personally headed up. Then he’s asked why does Trump have all this material?



Strozk: The intelligence community tried to get him to pay attention to the President’s daily brief. They tried and struggled to get him to listen to the intelligence. He’s happy to listen to Vladimir Putin, but he had no appetite to sit and listen to what it was that folks inside the intelligence community were trying to tell him. Now he’s out of office, and he suddenly pivots to take 27 boxes of classified material that he couldn’t be bothered to read? He’s not writing some details memoir about the political ins and outs of what he accomplished in the middle-east or with North Korea. It makes no sense why he would keep it. And that really, when you look at what it is that he appears to have had, it’s really troubling.

That is the question, isn’t it? Why does he have all this? We do know that none of these items were part of the Presidential Daily Brief because those are delivered on iPads, not on paper. Perhaps we need another source on the subject, like Gen. John Kelly.

"A Trump adviser said the former president’s reluctance to relinquish the records stems from his belief that many items created during his term — photos, notes, even a model of Air Force One built to show off a new paint job he had commissioned — are now his personal property, despite a law dating to the 1970s that decreed otherwise," the newspaper reported.
The newspaper interviewed Kelly, who also served as Secretary of Homeland Security and as a four-star Marine Corps general.
“His sense was that the people who are in the intel business are incompetent, and he knew better,” Kelly said. “He didn’t believe in the classification system.”
Former national security adviser John Bolton told the newspaper, “almost nothing would surprise me about what’s in the documents at Mar-a-Lago.”

“People were nervous enough about his lack of concern for classification matters that the briefers typically said, ‘Well, we need to take it back,’” Bolton said. “He’d usually give it back — but sometimes he wouldn’t give it back.”

Trump treated White House documents like his own private property. He didn’t believe in the classification system which is established by law. He ignored the rules, he ignored what intelligence professionals told him — HE THOUGHT HE WAS SMARTER.

Why does Trump have boxes and boxes of documents? Because he’s so stupid
he thinks he can. He thinks he’s a King, that he’s all-powerful. And frankly, it’s hard to show an example of where that hasn’t been true after the entire Mueller investigation and two separate impeachments. There might be some strategy to the documents he retained on some level but look at his behavior overall.

He has throughout his entire business career hid, hoarded and destroyed documents that were incriminating and damaging. He won’t use email. He won’t use text messages. He passes hand-written notes back and forth like a fourth grader then he flushes them down the toilet to cover his tracks. He’s like a mob boss trying to constantly destroy the trail of evidence he’s left behind.


At the same time, he has a massive cabinet in his office full of these types of notes. He’s like a mad magpie cobbling up scraps of paper a squireling them away for safekeeping. It doesn’t make sense, and that itself may explain everything. It’s not logical, it’s pathological. As the character Danny Witwer states in Minority Report; It’s an “Orgy of Evidence.” He likes to keep the truly incriminating stuff close to him where he can control it and ensure that no one else can access it unless he chooses. He did it with his company, he did it with his Presidency.

He just couldn’t help himself. While he was President his staff would repeatedly tell him not to tear up documents —
but he wouldn’t listen.

Trump’s style of handling White House documents has been described by people who worked for him as slapdash and ad hoc, contributing to the debacle he now faces. He was known to rip up records that aides would have to retrieve from trash cans or from the floor and tape back together, according to former aides and multiple reports.
“It worried people all the time,” John Bolton, one of Trump’s former national security advisers, recalled in an interview.
“Trump had a habit of grabbing intelligence documents,” said Bolton, who has been a sharp critic of the former president.
“God knows what he did with it.”

Since he himself revealed that the FBI search warrant was implemented on Mar-A-Lago, he has auditioned excuse after excuse as a method to squirm his way out of it.

First, he claimed that “They could have just asked?” for the documents. Now we’ve learned that they did ask, with a subpoena, back in June. They followed that up with a visit and took 15 boxes of material back to the National Archives, then Trump himself signed a document that proclaimed that he “didn’t have any more classified documents” in his possession. Uh huh.

Second, he claimed that the FBI has “Planted” documents. That idea has been shot down by the fact that his lawyers were watching the FBI perform their search on the remote surveillance cameras available at Mar-A-Lago. If they have any evidence that the FBI “planted” anything — it would be on tape. Also, the FBI would *know* that it would end up on tape because they found out about the documents in the basement by subpoenaing those very same surveillance tapes.


Third, he tried to complain that Barack Obama had “taken” 33 Million documents for his Presidential Library as if that was done the same way. It wasn’t. Obama took no documents at all, everything at his library are copies of documents that are on loan from the National Archives. The Archives have all the originals, they have all the documents. Classified or Not.

Fourth, he then tried to assert that this set of boxes were documents that he had to decide to take out of the Oval Office to his residence for further review and that he had “automatically” declassified them each time he did that.

That is a pile of horse shit.

The President can not just “automatically” declassify documents with a wave of his wand and Expelliarmos them away. There is a declassification process that includes having the original classifying agency conform that the information no longer needs to be protected and then remarking the “caveats.”

From working in a TS/SCI environment I can tell you that each and every page of classified documents have to have a caveat in the margins which identifies its security level. One of my jobs was actually making sure every document we printed in the IT department was properly marked. Any mismarked documents had to be destroyed, immediately. Classified, Secret, Top Secret and TS/SCI are all specified in the margins. When that document is declassified, the markings in the margins have to be changed and crossed out — they are stamped by the NSC, a new written classification is added and there are notes indicating the original classification agency, and the declassification date. Also, anything else that remains classified has to be redacted, and anything that was classified by statute rather than executive order — such as Nuclear documents — can’t be declassified by the President.

If you look here at James Comey’s declassified notes from his encounters with Trump you can see the classification caveat on each page, and the caveat modifications which are hand-written. This is the process.

If documents Trump took back to his residence were “automatically” declassified, each and every one of them would have gone through this process and the original markings we’ve now been told were on the documents
would have been replaced with “Unclassified.”

I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest based on everything that has been reported so far: that’s not the case. The documents haven’t been remarked or else they all really would be “unclassified” and they haven’t been redacted.


Lately, besides begging Merrick Garland to “turn down the heat” while members of Fox News and the GOP are physically and legislatively threatening the FBI he’s gone back to excuse #2 and again suggested that the “planted” evidence even while admitting that he and his family had them on
surveillance the entire time.

He concluded, "The whole World was watching as the FBI rummaged through the house, including the former First Lady’s closets (and clothing!), alone and unchecked. They even demanded that the security cameras be turned off (we refused), but there was no way of knowing if what they took was legitimate, or was there a “plant?” This was, after all, the FBI!"

So you’re saying the cameras were “On?” That would be one way of knowing, wouldn’t it? These are the excuses of a raging ignorant dumb ass. They’re pathetic and ridiculous. He’s literally making up bullshit on the fly and he should — for his own sake — shut the frack up because all of his nonsense could come back and bite him in court just as it did Alex Jones. He shouldn't have had any documents at all, period. They don’t belong to him, they belong to the American people.

When I worked with this defense contractor one of the other employees, who had gotten massively behind on his credit card payments due to frequent trips to the Bahamas, decided to take two documents home. He then called the Russian embassy in San Francisco and offered to sell them. They hung up because they knew their phone was bugged, but the FBI called him back because it was them who had bugged the phone. They met in a local hotel and arrested him on the spot — he is in prison now doing two concurrent life sentences.

What Trump has done here is tantamount to Eric Snowden, Reality Winner, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange without absolutely any of their “Government Whistle-Blower” sheen. He wasn’t exposing any wrong-doing or misdeeds by the government — other than potentially his own, accidentally. And just remember that Winner and Manning both got solitary confinement. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in Leavenworth. This is where Trump belongs.

So, I’m telling you that the manner in which the FBI executed this search warrant was extremely polite and sensitive to the former White House resident. They could have him and members of his staff who they watched moving documents around in custody
right now if they wanted.

And I’m not the only one that thinks so.


Law Prof. Rick Hasen wrote, "Do any of us doubt that someone besides Trump or someone in Trump's orbit who lied about possessing such documents and didn't give them back would already be held in custody pending further proceedings?"
Attorney Pam Keith said Attorney General Merrick Garland "still hasn’t detained or even questioned Trump. People are acting like that’s normal or justifiable. Given what we know, It’s INSANE!!"

They have not done that. He should be in custody already.

I suspect they will subpoena those members of his staff to talk to the grand jury and identify if their actions were a direct result of Trump’s orders. They will discover if the reason for the documents being there are because of Trump or not.

Exactly why they are there will be part of that questioning.

Many theories abound, most of whom center around the idea that Trump was using the documents in his wheeling and dealing with Foreign governments and companies. We already know how much he likes to brag and show off like when he verbally blurted out TS/SCI classified info from Israel to impress Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak in front of Live Russian TV. Or that time he tweeted a classified satellite photo of Iran. That was smooth. Then he had all the notes destroyed when he had a private meeting with Putin in Helsinki. Exactly why did the Saudis sign a $2 Billion investment deal with Jared Kushner when he couldn’t keep 666 Park Ave going as an investment without the help of the Qatar Investment fund? What could information on Nuclear Weapons/Energy be used for in regards to the Saudis — especially after Michael Flynn tried to get a joint US/Russia project together for building Nuclear power plants for the Saudis? How could Putin benefit from having inside information on our Nuclear programs? Who could benefit from having inside information on French President Emmanuel Macron? All of these could be business opportunities to Trump — also known as espionage.

Perhaps, like he apparently does with his business fraud with his own company, he was compulsively collecting all of what he thought was negative evidence against him from these various documents in an effort to keep them away from being visible to the public. We already know what happened when other people had access to his phone call with Zelensky don’t we? He’s only “safe” if he has all the incriminating evidence under his control where no one else can see it.

On the other hand, there might not be a specific organized plan at work. This may not have been a collection of after-the-fact business opportunities for Trump but rather collections of data that sparked his conspiratorial National Enquirer-focused mind. Considering that in truth he is a full-on Qanon believer even on some of the wackiest of their dribblings about the “Deep State” and globalization there is almost no telling how wild and ridiculous some of the items he decided to keep — while throwing the actually valuable intelligence away — just might be.


Or it could be a weird concoction of all the above. Trying ridiculously to hide his dirty work in the Government by grabbing up the evidence as if the missing documents wouldn't be noticed, plotting to profit or advance his own private goals, and also building his own document fort of conspiratorial nonsense because he has a mad deluded compulsion to do so.

Right now we don’t know… but what I do know is this.

We have an orgy of evidence.

We already know he’s guilty — it's just a matter of how guilty
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Remember When We Extracted a Top Spy from Russia After Trump Mishandled Classified Intelligence?

Bethesda 1971

And remember when we thought that in addition to the Mueller criminal investigation, the FBI was running a separate counterintelligence investigation about Trump’s ties to Russia.

And remember how Deputy A.G. Rod “Land the Plane” Rosenstein lied to the FBI because he secretly killed the counterintelligence investigation without telling the FBI, which thought Mueller was conducting a counterintelligence as well as a criminal investigation? This is detailed in a recent story by Alterego55, The reason Trump has appropriated US classified documents is far more sinister than you might think.

This is my second story on Trump Russia events few seem to remember, but need to be revisited in light of the explosive FBI search at Mar-a-Lago. The first story, last Thursday, was Remember when Trump gave Security Clearances to Kushner/Ivanka despite Lies.

I. The Extraction

CNN reported on September 9, 2019: Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017:

In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.
A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.
The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.

[Note: a recent post on Empty Wheel’s blog is the only recent mention of this issue I have found.]

So early in the Trump administration, in May 2017, according to CNN, our national security team
did not trust the President of the United States to insure the safety of a high placed spy in Russia. This was in the same time period when Trump disclosed classified information to Russian diplomats [Lavrov and Kislyak] in the White House. According to a NY Times story on September 9, 2019,

The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself.

Note that the same Times article also cited some CIA officials saying concerns about Trump’s actions were not the reason for the spy’s “exfiltration.” My research has not yet found any update on this difference between the Times and CNN reports, but the circumstantial evidence, including the timing of the Lavrov/Kislyov meeting and the spy’s role in outing Putin’s aid to Trump, gives credibility to CNN’s report.

II. The Phantom Counterintelligence Investigation


The 2017 extraction happened at about the same time that Trump fired Comey and Robert Mueller was appointed special prosecutor. Comey’s investigation, continued by his Deputy, Andrew McCabe was initially a counterintelligence investigation into Trump and Russia.

McCabe discontinued that investigation at Rosenstein’s direction, because Rosenstein lied and told McCabe Mueller would be doing both a criminal and counterintelligence investigation. For those two years, the FBI and the public believed either that Mueller was doing both of these, or that there was a separate, "double secret” counterintelligence probe going on. I know I was waiting eagerly for that “other” counterintelligence report to be released.

In January 2019, the Times reported that the FBI had started a counterintelligence investigation in May 2017 that ultimately was subsumed into the Mueller probe. Trump then tweeted:

just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!

For once, he was right. There was no counterintelligence investigation. After the Mueller Report was released, in March and April of 2019, people like Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee became suspicious about the supposed counterintelligence investigation:

The Post: What, as you understand it, is the current status of that investigation into the president?
Schiff: The short answer is: We don’t know. Just as a reminder, this all began as an FBI counterintelligence investigation into whether people around then-candidate Trump were acting as witting or unwitting agents of a foreign power. So it began as a counterintelligence investigation, not as a criminal investigation. Now obviously a criminal case — many criminal cases — were spun off of this but we don’t know what happened to the counterintelligence investigation that James Comey opened.

Schiff was right to be suspicious because in August 2020 we found out there never was a counterintelligence investigation:

Mr. Rosenstein never told Mr. McCabe about his decision, leaving the F.B.I. with the impression that the special counsel would take on the investigation into the president as part of his broader duties. Mr. McCabe said in an interview that had he known Mr. Mueller would not continue the inquiry, he would have had the F.B.I. perform it.

With the help of co-conspirators like Rosenstein and Barr, Trump squelched investigation into his multiple contacts with Russia in the period before he was President, his role in our having to extract a high-up spy in Russia, his continuing obeisance to Putin and other suspect Russia involvement. He was impeached, but not convicted. He thought he got away with his Russian collusion and collaboration.

Until now.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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FaI9NghWYAIYANi

HUH? Trump Now Says Docs the FBI Retrieved From Mar-a-Lago Were Covered By Attorney-Client Privilege

News Corpse

The evidence of Donald Trump's criminality continues to mount with each new day. While Trump and his glassy-eyed disciples in politics and the press complain that there is no precedent for an American president to be investigated as much as Trump, what they are missing is that there is also no precedent for an American president who has been implicated in so many crimes.

Trump's relentless whining about what he calls "hoaxes" and "witch hunts" is a poor substitute for a substantive rebuttal. It just affirms that he is an emotionally stunted coward with a persecution complex. As a result, rather than providing proof of his innocence or coherent explanations for his unsavory behavior, the only thing we get from Trump World is a stream of implausible excuses that are inevitably shown to be pure nonsense. That has been strikingly evident in his increasingly bizarre reactions to the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago Bunker.

Trump's past parade of pleadings could be summarized thusly: The documents that don’t exist, and which Trump refused to return when subpoenaed, were actually there, but he was using them, even though someone else packed them without his knowledge, which didn’t happen because the FBI planted them, and the documents that the FBI planted were all declassified in a secret ceremony, and once declassified they still weren’t released to the public, and can’t be released now.

However, apparently that wasn't enough to steer attention away from his legal and moral transgressions. So on Sunday morning Trump latched unto a report from Fox News, despite his conviction that they are part of the cabal that opposes him.

The "Exclusive" report by Fox News asserted that
"FBI seized Trump records covered by attorney-client privilege during search of Mar-a-Lago." The entire story was based on anonymous sources that Trump and Fox routinely claim don't exist. If these sources do exist - and they aren't notorious liars in the Trump cult - you have to wonder whether they had the necessary security clearances to review the sensitive documents Trump had stashed. Fox wrote that...

"The FBI seized boxes containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege during its raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News."

Based on that single report, Trump posted on his miserably failing (and grossly misnamed) Twitter ripoff, TRUTH Social, that...

“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. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!”

First of all, it is preposterous to say that we have "learned" anything from a story on Fox (Not) News. But more to the point, the allegation that attorney-client privileged documents were among those that the FBI retrieved is absurd in the extreme. The only communications that could be designated as privileged would be private and not mixed in with official White House materials.

Furthermore, why would Trump have to learn from Fox News that documents that he removed from the White House and stored at his golf resort were privileged? Is he confessing that he had no idea what were in all of those boxes that he took? Because that would destroy his excuse that any classified documents were declassified prior to their removal. He surely couldn't declassify documents that he didn't know were there. Nor could he claim that any of them were covered by executive privilege.

Finally, Trump's "request" that any documents be returned to him is downright laughable. He hasn't offered any proof that he has any right to any of the documents. And he cannot simply declare that his post on social media constitutes a formal, legally authorized demand. Just as he cannot declassify documents with a wave of his tiny hand. The only thing that Trump can reasonably expect to be returned are indictments for his copious criminal activities.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump supporters armed with guns outside Phoenix FBI office prove double standard is alive and well

Lauren Sue

Video captured by the independent media site News2Share shows supporters of former President Donald Trump armed with guns, waving confederate and American flags outside of the FBI office in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday.

"We're here in support of Trump, for what happened to him, the unlawful search with the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago home," someone at the demonstration told News2Share. "We are sick and tired of this tyrannical government called the Biden regime. We will not stand by and we will not stand down.

"We're gonna take the fight to the FBI if need be."



The latest in a string of Republican rantings, the demonstration is in response to the FBI executing a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday—an act that has led to the seizure of 11 sets of classified documents, including those related to nuclear weapons, according to The Washington Post.

Somehow though, Trump apologists still maintain the former president’s rights were violated while they go about the business of threatening the federal judge who signed the warrant and any other official they see fit to accuse without a shred of evidence of widespread election fraud.

In Gillespie County, Texas, a county about 80 miles west of Austin, elections administrator Anissa Herrera said she resigned from her work due in large part to threats she faced, according to the Fredericksburg Standard.

“After the 2020 (election), I was threatened, I’ve been stalked, I’ve been called out on social media,” Herrera told the newspaper. “And it’s just dangerous misinformation.”



FBI Director Christopher Wray condemned such threats in a statement on Thursday. “Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” he said. “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans.

They are to Democrats. Many tweeted their outrage at the double standard propagated when a group of white men and women were allowed to threaten federal officials while armed.



A social media user who goes by Jason V. tweeted on Sunday, that the "armed domestic terrorists" probably haven't been taken down yet "because they're not black or brown."

Shannon Watts, founder of the grassroots movement for public safety Moms Demand Action, pointed to a trend of recent violence following GOP reaction to the search of Trump’s home.

The most recent of which is a Capitol Police report that a man started firing in the air then drove his car into a vehicle barricade in a fiery crash early Sunday at East Capitol Street and Second Street.

”When our officers heard the sound of gunfire, they immediately responded and were approaching the man when he shot himself,” Capitol Police said in a news release. “Nobody else was hurt.

“At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any Members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons.”

No other injuries were reported in the incident, and investigators are still looking into the man’s background. But for many, the incident is an example of violence spiraling out of control as Republicans instigate a greater divide between Trump supporters and the rest of the country.



Regarding the protest outside of the Phoenix FBI building, Democrat Eric Smith tweeted congressional candidates of North Carolina:

“This is a Declaration of War & as such the Federal Government will be well within its rights to use all the firepower at its disposal to put these traitors down & down for good”

Majid Padellan, a blogger and influencer who goes by "Brooklyn Dad" on social media, tweeted on Sunday:

"Not a single Republican leader has called upon the armed trumpers at the Phoenix FBI to stand down. Any blood will be on their hands."

In another tweet, Padellan laid out a series of actions and statements by Trump that created the kind of climate in which his supporters would feel emboldened to threaten federal officials. "First he told domestic terrorists to ‘Stand back and stand by,’” Padellan said. “Then he refused to call the National Guard on January 6th.

“Then he wouldn't call off his armed supporters outside the Phoenix FBI. Donald trump is a pathetic, cowardly traitor."

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Trump took classified docs and tried to hide them from investigators. His excuses don't hold water

Hunter

The Republican Party is now obsessively inventing excuses for why the man who attempted to overthrow the government rather than abide his election loss is allowed to make off with whatever classified nuclear weapons documents he wants to, after the coup's failure, but we've been learning much more about the actual circumstances of the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club with each passing day.

None of it is looking any better for Trump than it did the day of the raid, and a whole lot of it looks worse. The facts of the case remain the same: When leaving the White House, Donald Trump took a large quantity of government documents with him. Those documents were, by law, required to be turned over to the National Archives. Some of the documents were classified. Some reportedly pertain to classified "nuclear weapons" secrets.

We now know that the government subpoenaed Trump to get the documents back, he didn't return them, the Department of Justice had good reason to believe he was still hiding classified documents, and when they executed a search warrant based on suspected violations of the Espionage Act and other laws they indeed found and seized "secret," "top secret," and "confidential" documents from Trump's for-profit, spy-infested private club.

There's really no possible excuse you can come up with for that one. The government has Trump dead to rights violating multiple U.S. laws, including the Espionage Act, and the purported inclusion of nuclear weapons secrets in the mix escalates the severity of the offense to hair-raising levels.

That doesn't mean Trump's allies aren't trying. But if anything, the excuses are still just making things worse.


One actually useful round of excuse-making came from a perhaps too-gullible NBC report. In this version, The Butler Did It. Donald Trump never packed those boxes in the first place, you see; he was too busy wallowing in darkness after his failed coup attempt and was making no attempt to get himself packed up and out of the White House before Joe Biden's inauguration. White House aides and government workers instead "frantically tossed" documents into boxes to be shipped with "other, previously packed records set aside by Trump," and the whole lot was moved to the Mar-a-Lago basement.

So it was the fault of government workers, then, that numerous classified documents got thrown in alongside Donald's other keepsakes.



Well, not really. It’s both useful to know and, ahem, excruciatingly obvious, but it doesn't actually help Trump. If anything, it just moves the timeframe of possible crimes around a bit. Donald Trump did not intentionally move nuclear weapons secrets to Mar-a-Lago; instead, he was so cavalier about mixing nuclear weapons secrets in with his own supposed possessions, bringing them to the White House residence and leaving them scattered about, somewhere, that workers couldn't distinguish those papers from the rest of the clutter.

That's ... not better. It just means that highly sensitive U.S. secrets were floating around the White House residence, accessible to every cleaner, plumber, coup-plotting lawyer, and family guest, for the duration of Trump's White House stay. A government charge that Trump mishandled government documents is a shoe-in, at this point. He mishandled them so badly that the staff simply couldn't keep up.

As for the meat of the excuse, that The Butler Did It, we'll likely know more soon enough. A CNN report notes that investigators have been interviewing Trump staff and White House workers "involved in" moving the documents. Investigators likely know, then, whether those staffers saw classified markings on some of what they were moving. They likely know which boxes Trump "set aside" himself and which were packed by hurried staffers.

Which set of boxes were the classified documents found in? Investigators either already know or are trying to find out.

A highly related excuse being peddled by Trump sycophants is that Donald Trump had a "standing order" that if he wanted to take procedure-protected secret documents to the Oval Office or other places then, from now on those documents were automatically declassified.

That is extremely not how that works, of course. There is a process for declassifying government documents; it is impossible for the "president" to declassify documents by power of thought, without ever
telling the rest of government to do it.

And the argument is functionally useless, even as excuse. The question is whether the documents were classified or not, and that's not an ambiguous thing. The government now has those documents in their possession. If they are documents with classified markings that were later deemed unclassified by Trump, they now know. If they are documents that are still classified, they will know that too. There's a list.

There is no presidential power Trump can declare that broadly says "if I put it down my pants, that means it's not classified." Government documents classified above "secret" level often get those designations not just because the information itself should be kept secret, but because
admitting the government knows it can immediately tell foreign nations how that information was obtained. The declassification process requires identifying which U.S. assets—that is, spies—will be burned by releasing the information and, if possible, securing their safety.

For example:




A "standing order" to declassify any document Trump shoved down his pants, or into a pocket, or gave to Barron so that Barron could impress his friends with it, would result in an organized intelligence operation to tell each involved asset "the information you provided us with went down Donald Trump's pants, so we can't guarantee your identity hasn't been compromised."

Are there such records? The government already knows. And even if there are, that doesn't absolve Trump of the crimes being hinted at in the now-released warrant documents. The government asserts the mishandling of government documents—a slam-dunk case. The documents don't need to be classified in the first place.

Of course, if the Trump White House really
did have a system by which Trump could remove any above-top-secret nuclear documents he wanted to from government control by pocketing them and leaving it to his staff to work out whether that meant they should be declassified, that might count as mishandling them from the moment he did so.

There have been no new revelations that help Trump. Not one. If there is any good news at all, for Donald and his forever-enablers, it is that he is not being accused at this point of taking classified documents with the intent of selling them to foreign spies.

But the case that he took above-secret classified documents to Mar-a-Lago
on purpose is getting stronger, and it's Trump himself who's undermined his own defense.

If the government wanted to prove a criminal case against Trump, and the odds that the Department of Justice will have the stomach to do remains iffy even when nuclear secrets are in play, it would be helpful for the government to be able to prove that Trump did not merely take the documents out of negligence during his post-coup ennui. It would be much worse if Trump took the documents on purpose, and in fact tried to keep the documents even after they were discovered.

He did. That's another bit of information we've learned since the FBI raid; Trump and his legal team appear to have taken steps to hide classified documents from the government after the government became aware that such documents were in his possession.


News reports of the government's actions in June to get the classified documents back have painted the subsequent FBI raid in a new light—and have obliterated any premise that the FBI was being heavy-handed against a supposedly cooperative Trump. A grand jury subpoena was served against Trump in June that reportedly led to 15 boxes of government materials being taken from Mar-a-Lago, including classified materials.

But government investigators remained convinced that there was more classified material that Trump was intentionally hiding from them. We don't know why, but the information used for the resulting warrant reportedly included testimony from "at least one witness."

Why did investigators believe that they needed to go to extremes in order to get that classified information back? It's probably because they had a witness testifying to such documents still being in Trump's possession, but back in June Trump's legal team signed a written statement declaring that all classified material had now been turned over to the government.

That's huge news. The Trump team asserted to the government that there was no classified material left in the boxes that remained at Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department had a witness telling them otherwise.

And when the resulting warrant was executed, numerous "secret," "top secret," and "classified,"-stamped documents were found and seized by investigators.

That changes the situation, and once again it's not in Trump's favor. Federal investigators now have solid evidence that Trump sought, through his lawyers, to hide the remaining classified material in his possession, and you can't get more "solid" than an affidavit from Trump's team insisting that there was nothing left there to find.

Trump's lawyers might attempt to make the case that they were just brazenly incompetent, and signed that statement without actually looking for any such documents. They could make the case that Trump simply affirmed to them there were no remaining classified comments, and they didn't check.

The second case would be a case of Trump attempting to deceive the government agents looking to get the classified documents back, and that would be ... much worse. Much, much, much worse. It's one thing to "accidentally" take classified government documents and dump them into an unlocked room in your Spyland Pleasure Club. Lying to federal investigators who come looking for them is another.

So now we've got an intentional act, at least to the extent that anything that rattles around Trump's brain before dropping from his mouth can count as an "intentional" act. Whether or not Trump knew the White House staff had "accidentally" shoved classified nuclear secrets into the boxes containing the rest of his post-coup detritus, upon being visited by government agents informing him that they knew he had them, Trump allowed agents to take what they saw, then lied about the documents they didn't see.

There’s still more to suggest that Trump’s handling of those documents was more nefarious than accidental. In reporting the Trump-lawyer-signed document claiming no more classified documents to be present, The New York Times also reports that subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago showed that “after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.”

“That activity prompted concern among investigators about the handling of the material,” reports the Times. Yeah, no kidding. And there’s nothing in the report to confirm whether it was Trump’s lawyers doing the box-moving or an unknown somebody else.

It's still unlikely that Trump pocketed classified nuclear weapons secrets with the explicit intent of selling them to foreign Mar-a-Lago visitors who expressed an interest, and by "unlikely" we mean it's of course quite transparently something he'd do but if the government had any indication of such a thing, they're certainly not sharing it with the rest of us. But on the charge of mishandling government documents, both classified and not, as outlined by the Espionage Act and not, the government's case is ironclad.

Trump's allies can debate over whether he was so ignorant that he didn't realize there were above-secret classified documents mixed into his luggage, but the documents would only have gotten packed if they had previously been mishandled, falling out of the rest of government's security controls, to begin with. And Trump made a specific attempt to keep those documents, hiding them from investigators who came calling.


None of the current excuses hold water. Not even a little bit. Trump's been once again caught dead to rights on this one, and what happens next will depend much more on government stomach to pursue it than on Republican theories about Magic Declassification Pants or Nefarious Moving Guys.

It still doesn't top an attempted coup, but attempting to hide classified nuclear weapons documents from the government agents tasked with retrieving them is something that regularly lands other Americans in prison cells. Trump's executive powers ended the day he moved out. Now he's just another guy caught with sensitive government intelligence documents in his basement.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Rand Paul wants to repeal the Espionage Act. Why the sudden rush?

AKALib

Rand Paul, who has been adding to the long list of excuses for why it is OK for trump to steal classified documents belonging to the U.S. Government, seems to have woken up to the fact the trump will likely be charged with espionage. So, his solution is ...



Why this sudden change of mind this week? He has been a strong proponent of using the espionage act to charge and imprison people when they are non-republicans.



This seems like a more likely explanation —



After all, Rand has been carrying water (and letters) for putin over the years -



John McCain told us ...



Rand Paul in a nutshell -



We live in dangerous times — not just because of trump, but because of his army of brown shirts and a republican party that has gone 100% fascist in its quest for power and wealth and is controlled by a group of sociopaths, both domestic and foreign.

Let’s fight back this ugly narrative from the lawless right to defend trump, a narrative that is getting uglier and uglier by the minute with calls for violence and calls to dismantle the state. Let’s seize the moment to educate the American public that trump and his enablers, which includes the entire republican party leadership, are modern-day Nazis, whose goal is to destroy our Democracy and the American way of life, so that they hold on to power and wealth. They are a vocal group, they are a minority, but they will remain a minority only if the majority fights back.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Russian leadership reportedly retreats from Kherson as bridges are blown

kos

Russia continues to flood forces into the Kherson area in response to Ukraine’s repeated declarations that it is just this close from launching its long-expected counter-offensive to retake its land. The whole situation continues to have the feel of a trap as Ukraine systematically eliminates ammunition depots and supply routes into the region.




This now means that both supply routes into the west side of the Dnipro river in the Kherson region are now blown.

Bridge.png


Only two bridges connect Kherson and all that red territory to the north of the Dnipro river. The Antonovsky bridge near Kherson (which remains inoperable), and the bridge at Nova Kakhovka. This is why the betrayal at the beginning of the war was so painful—all Ukraine had to do was blow both bridges and Russia would’ve never been able to take Kherson. Local government officials conspired with Russians to sabotage the city’s defense, and countless lives have been lost as a result, and countless more will do so in the months ahead.

Ukraine has also begun hitting the two bridges connecting Crimea (the purple at the bottom of the map) with Kherson oblast. Cutting off Melitopol from the south will be critical to retaking that city. Russia can barge some supplies across the Dnipro, as well as helicopter stuff over, but their insatiable artillery can’t be fed by barges and aircraft. And Ukraine’s degradation of Russia’s air defenses means Ukrainian aircraft can better engage moving target—those barges and supply helicopters.

Russia isn’t surrendering that territory without a fight, but … its generals may have lost their appetite for being on the wrong side of the Dnipro.



This could obviously be propaganda, but several Russian generals and other high command have already bit the dust in this region, particularly at Kherson’s airport at Chernobaivka. If true, it could certainly be a sign that Russian high command expects Ukrainian forces to advance.
.........
Some odds and ends, this is a great thread: Russians don’t care about dead Ukrainians or dead fellow Russian soldiers. They don’t even care about starvation out in the hinterlands. What do they care about? Having several varieties of yogurt available at the supermarket:



This one is so fantastical, it can’t possibly be true:



Igor Strelkov is the war criminal who led Donbas forces in the 2014 war. He also has a regular Telegram podcast (or whatever it is they call it) where he rails against the incompetence of the Russian war effort. His doomcasting is incredibly entertaining, so I’m really hoping this isn’t legit, and that he will continue to entertain us with his coverage of the war.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022 · 10:37:07 AM EDT · kos
Russia begins repairing the Antonovsky bridge, for some bizarre reason, and Ukraine just smashes it again.




Sunday, Aug 14, 2022 · 10:40:09 AM EDT · kos
If you’re wondering why there are explosions in the air, the Russian propagandists will tell you that they are intercepting HIMARS rockets. The reality? Russia is attempting a WWII tactic—trying to take out air targets using timed fuses and flak.



Russia has no way to intercept HIMARS rockets.