We don't need to rifle through the many folders' worth of excuses offered by Donald Trump and his defenders for his document retention policies down at Mar-a-Lago. For one thing, we already did, and for another, he just assembled multiple, all in one "Truth." Yes, the former president took to his coping machine and seemed determined to tick every bullshit box in the span of three sentences:
Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see. Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!
So we've got both a soft-pedaled version of Trumpworld's earlier fantasy that the FBI "planted" documents or otherwise framed him, and the now-familiar claim that Trump magically declassified these documents. (Meanwhile, the Justice Department said in a court filing Tuesday night that "the government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the storage room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.") There's also some (mockery?) of the notion the Feds would want to keep Top Secret stuff Secret, with the apparent claim that taking a photo of the outside of the folders reveals the contents of the folders. A few minutes later, he Truthed again:
Whatever happened to NUCLEAR, a word that was leaked early on by the FBI/DOJ to the Fake News Media!
You'll note that he does not actually deny there was nuclear material among the documents here, but regardless, he's banking on the idea that the Feds will not be showing the contents of these files to the public. That's a problem they face: it is difficult to convey why these Top Secret docs are serious without the ability to describe the contents. The photos clearly show files marked "TOP SECRET/SCI," or Sensitive Compartmented Information, but it's unlikely we'll know why they are marked that way.
Maybe they're classified for no reason and it's all no big deal! Maybe Trump did nothing wrong and will not be charged with a crime! It just seems like a bad time—which it always is—to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. He and his people have lied about every aspect of this, down to the notion the federales never asked for the documents before sending in agents and also that they were cooperating with requests from the authorities. You'll notice there are some contradictions here, and besides, if what's in the files is no big deal, why couldn't they just give them back?
But yet another undercurrent of this steady stream of bullshit is the idea that it doesn't matter even if the materials in question are quite serious, because Trump declassified them and he has the power to declassify anything. That isn't strictly true, and there's no evidence to suggest he declassified any of these specific documents. But also, on this logic, Trump really could declassify nuclear weapons plans and then throw them out the window without consequence. No harm done! Didn't you hear? They're declassified! I expect they'll soon go with the argument—or at least the implication—that Trump is merely a fool who liked to hoard these shiny objects. Look at those fun markings on the outside! Makes you feel important to have all these important docs. Wait, they're not important, that's why he declassified them and left them in the basement of a classy club! And even if they were important it wouldn't matter! Jesus.
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