Trump stole nuclear secrets, only confirming Biden's warnings about the MAGA threat
When the worst case scenario is true. And yet, a Trump-appointed federal judge has halted the DOJ investigation. It underscores that democracy is in grave peril.
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What was perhaps the worst fear of many observers appears to be true: According to a bombshell report in The Washington Post, Donald Trump had top secret documents on the nuclear capabilities of a foreign government in his possession at Mar-a-Lago:
A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed in the Florida property.
Some of the seized documents detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them….
…Investigators grew alarmed, according to one person familiar with the search, as they began to review documents retrieved from the club’s storage closet, Trump’s residence and his office in August. The team soon came upon records that are extremely restricted, so much so that even some of the senior-most national security officials in the Biden administration weren’t authorized to review them.
Trump’s response is, of course, to claim the FBI is “colluding” with the media in its “witch hunt” against him. But there is no reason given for why he had nuclear secrets. Trump had earlier denied having anything related to nuclear weapons programs when the Washington Post reported on it weeks ago. But now, with more details, he didn’t deny it — his spokesperson just deflected.
This revelation completely lays to waste the idea that Trump declassified the documents, as it would be enormously dangerous — and the pushback in the White House and intelligence community would have been fierce — to declassify this kind of document. And why would he do that?
What country the document refers to is not known. But there are only a handful of other nuclear-armed nations — eight — and we don’t know if there are other documents on any other nations’ nuclear capabilities than the one cited in the Post article.
What could Trump be doing with these documents?
We now know many documents marked as “Top Secret” were found in his desk at Mar-a-Lago. This is the kind of stuff Trump would use to blackmail and extort foreign leaders — something he was impeached for the first time around — or use against even U.S. government officials and the Biden administration.
This is also the kind of crime that would be covered under the Espionage Act — which we know from the unsealed search warrant is one of the crimes for which Trump is being investigated.
That Trump might have had information on nuclear weapons programs — which the Washington Post previously reported — had jarred many who were concerned about what they were doing at Mar-a-Lago. It wasn’t known, however, that it was information on a foreign government’s programs. This is a crime in and of itself, and if Trump shared them with enemies or adversaries of the U.S., or anyone with an interest in them, which would harm the U.S., it is treason.
And yet, over the holiday weekend a judge Trump appointed halted the DOJ’s investigation while a special master pours over the documents — something so unprecedented that even Bill Barr, Trump’s former pit bull attorney general, says the DOJ should appeal.
Legal experts from across the political spectrum were dumbfounded and outraged by the decision, noting that it was staggering, and accusing the federal judge, Aileen Cannon, who was confirmed in Trump’s last days as he was trying to overturn the election, of “unconstitutionally inserting herself into a legal proceeding.”
Legal experts blasted the overall ruling and questioned how it could be implemented, while warning that an appeal by the government could drag the investigation out further.
“I think it’s a corrupt decision. I think it is a special law just for Donald Trump by a Trump appointee, and it is unmoored from precedent, insupportable in law, will not be approved of by anybody who isn’t a Trump fanatic,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a Department of Homeland Security official under former President George W. Bush.
The justice department plans to appeal, according to reports, and even conservative observers believe it will win. But Trump judges are populated up and down the judiciary, so who knows?
All of this only underscores how right President Biden has been in pointing to Trump and his “MAGA Republicans” as dangerous and a threat to democracy. Trump’s judicial appointments while in office are now shielding him from crimes he committed, and giving him further fuel to try to get elected again. The GOP politicians who are attacking Biden’s speeches as “partisan,” and as a terrible assault on half the country, look more idiotic by the day.
Biden’s strategy is working, as his poll numbers rise and independents are shifting toward the Democrats. He needs to hit MAGA again and again, portraying the violent, authoritarian cult — and I was glad he did it again in Milwaukee over the weekend.
The only answer, as Biden says, is to vote like your life depends on it this fall — and get many more to vote — because the threat to democracy is very real and the ongoing coup continues, right before our eyes.
Note: Taking a little vacation this week into next, so posting may be light — and perhaps a dispatch from my travels. Thanks again for subscribing!