On Friday, the Justice Department released the redacted affidavit outlining the FBI’s probably cause for a search warrant. As in, this was the affidavit given to a Trump-appointed judge, who then signed the search warrant allowing the FBI to “raid” Mar-a-Lago this month. The affidavit, while heavily redacted, is extremely damning for Trump. All of the information that’s come out in the past two weeks has been extremely bad for Trump. Even if Trump had argued in good faith that there were some mix-ups with what his team took out of the White House, that doesn’t excuse the absolute clusterwhoops of lies and obstruction which has been unfolding for months now.
After Trump turned over 15 boxes to the FBI in January, the National Archives and intelligence agencies were like “nope, he has so much more.” So the FBI kept pressing Trump to turn over everything classified. In May, his lawyer wrote a letter to the DOJ claiming “hahaha you can’t do anything to an ex-president, we’re keeping everything!” In June, the FBI executed a subpoena to recover more classified material stored at Mar-a-Lago. After the FBI removed those boxes, Trump’s lawyers swore that was it, the FBI now had everything. Now we know that Trump had actually kept boxes and boxes full of classified, top-secret documents, including highly sensitive information about spies and intelligence assets. Not only that, after the June visit from the FBI (who arrived with a subpoena, mind you), Trump MOVED those top-secret documents to different little secret-squirrel locations around MAL.
Given that Trump’s lawyers lied in writing (!!) to Justice and given Trump lied to the FBI, and given that this was a year-long ordeal and no one knows who ELSE had access to the material, it’s looking more and more like the DOJ has an excellent case for obstruction of justice. The affidavit spelled it out: “The government has well-founded concerns that steps may be taken to frustrate or otherwise interfere with this investigation if facts in the affidavit were prematurely disclosed.” It’s not just that Trump stole all of these incredibly top-secret classified documents, it’s that he refused to give them back, he lied about having them, and the FBI is still trying to figure out who else saw the documents.
One more thing the affidavit revealed: the FBI has “multiple witnesses” and informants. This didn’t just happen on the testimony of some Mar-a-Lago tennis instructor. This isn’t just one dogged archivist with a grudge. There are several people within TrumpWorld speaking to the FBI and Justice. Not only that, the affidavit shows the DOJ is concerned about witness tampering, as in Trump has already been calling up people who have spoken to the FBI or Justice.
“Last year, a top-secret memo sent to every C.I.A. station around the world, warned about troubling numbers of informants being captured or killed”
Trump Inquiry Fueled in Part by Concern Over Human Intelligence Sources in Documents Trump Improperly Took https://t.co/rDD2qOOMvN
— 🇺🇦Paula Chertok🗽🇺🇦 (@PaulaChertok) August 27, 2022
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.