Ever since federal agents raided Mar-a-Lago back in August to retrieve boxes full of stolen classified documents that Donald Trump (illegally) took with him when he left the White House, the former president hasn’t been able to successfully pick a lane as to his defense. On a good day, Team Trump might allow that maybe, possibly, some classified documents might have gotten mixed up in his personal belongings when he was hastily packing. Other times, Trump swears he declassified the documents with his mind. But on Monday, as Raw Story reports, Trump essentially just outright confessed to stealing the documents, and lying about it.
Trump was off on one of his now-regular TRUTH Social tears when he suddenly — and presumably accidentally — revealed the reality of the situation while playing the victim card. The target of Trump’s tirade was Jack Smith, the new special counsel tasked with investigating the former president’s many indiscretions. But it was Trump himself who ended up being on the losing end of this one-sided dialogue in which he raged:
This fully weaponized monster, Jack Smith, shouldn’t be let anywhere near the political persecution of “President Donald J. Trump.” I did nothing wrong on January 6th, and nothing wrong with the Democrats’ fix on the Document Hoax, that is, unless the six previous Presidents did something wrong also….
….When will you invade Bill and Hillary’s home in search of the 33,000 emails she deleted AFTER receiving a subpoena from the U.S. Congress? When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?
“Not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?”
Mary McCord, the DOJ’s assistant attorney general for national security from 2016 to 2017, pounced on Trump’s message right away and pointed out that this admission really negates his ability to try and go back to his whole “I believed these documents belonged to me” BS.
“So, even if there was a Pollyannaish defense, he has destroyed it with his own changing of stories,” McCord said. “I think he is going to say his defense to what he said today in that Truth Social post is ‘Oh, no — again I do everything transparently and openly, of course, it wouldn’t be anything I had any knowledge of that was unlawful.’ … But at some point, that just doesn’t hold up anymore.”
Andrew Weissmann, former FBI general counsel and prosecutor who worked with Robert Mueller’s team, added that: “With Donald Trump, one of the things that you have learned through history and you know is a posture is… this is never about the actual facts.” But Weissmann, too, believes that Trump just inadvertently changed the rules of the game by brazenly stating that he took the documents and knew that they were classified (two things he hasn’t always admitted to).
“He seems to be saying, ‘Oh, I, openly and notoriously took these documents, but I believed they were my personal documents,’” said Weissmann. “That the mere act of taking them from the White House sort of magically transmogrified them to be my personal documents. That is belied by the fact that, of course, he didn’t have the power and he has said inconsistent things with that latest defense as has his lawyer, where they agreed that these were documents that belonged to the Archives. So, again, I think again I think it’s really important to remember that this is not at all about the actual facts. It is really Donald Trump engaging and media relations, and it’s going to hurt him at trial.”
As with all things Trump, his words and his actions don’t always match up — so only time will tell how his slip-up might affect his future defense.
(Via Raw Story)