Kash Patel, a former official in the Trump administration, argued on Sunday that the former president could declassify piles of documents with a single utterance.

In an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Patel defended Trump after FBI agents reportedly used a search warrant to seize classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

“On the way out of the White House he issued further declassification orders declassifying whole sets of documents,” Patel said. “And this is a key fact that most Americans are missing. President Trump, as a sitting president, has the unilateral authority for declassification.”

Patel added: “He can literally stand over a set of documents and say these are now declassified and that is done with definitive action immediately.”

According to The Washington Post, there is a declassification process for a president to follow when declassifying documents. And there is no evidence that the documents found at Mar-a-Lago had been declassified.

Watch the video below.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) warned that “tyranny is going to come into everyone’s living room very shortly” after he had his phone temporarily seized by FBI agents.

In an interview on Fox News, Perry said that the search of his phone and a new bill to fund the IRS are signs of “tyranny” in the United States.

“Tyranny is going to come right into everyone’s living room very, very shortly,” he explained.

Perry suggested that he would have already destroyed his phone if it had evidence of crimes related to the 2020 election or the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“This is an abuse of power,” he said. “Look, they are using these tactics to intimidate people, coerce people, and it’s not something that anyone aspires to.”

“But, Maria, people that BleachBit [to erase] their phones and hit them with hammers, smash them with hammers and those types of things have something to hide,” Perry added. “People that keep the same phone a year and a half after the election aren’t worried about what’s on their phone, and so that’s me.”

The congressman accused the FBI of wanting to “destroy” him politically.

“Anybody that doesn’t bend the knee, that isn’t intimidated, that isn’t parroting the narrative is now subject to these kinds of third-world banana republic tactics,” Perry complained.

According to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Perry is one of several Republicans who sought pardons after trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election on behalf of then-President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below from Fox News.

During a very contentious interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Brianna Keilar was finally able to get a word in and put a Republican lawmaker who serves on the House Intelligence Committee on the spot as he defended Donald Trump’s hoarding of stolen government documents at Mar-a-Lago while also trying to smear Attorney General Merrick Garland.

During his appearance on the CNN Sunday show, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) repeatedly claimed Garland has to be forced to answer questions about the Mar-a-Lago search while dismissing concerns about the sensitive documents that were kept stored in an unsecured room at the Florida resort.

With Turner constantly speaking over the CNN host as she tried to pin him down, she finally broke through when asking him about his experiences handling top secret documents.

Defending the former president he complained, “We don’t know if they rise to the level of being a national security threat, but the fact you have here the attorney general, who is going after President Biden’s political rival, whose own personal career was derailed on the way to the Supreme Court by Donald Trump himself.”

Continuing in that vein he added, “And unequal application of the law between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and the fact you have the FBI previously submitting in warrants materials that were bogus, that were politically motivated that targeted Donald Trump.”

“Attorney General Garland needs to provide these materials,” he continued. “You have bipartisan calls to do that. Put the materials in a room, let us see them and we can tell you what our answer is what our discernment is of whether or not this is a true national security threat or whether or not this is an abuse of discretion by Attorney General Garland.”

“Do you take home documents marked special access?” CNN’s Keilar cut in.

After a pause, Turner offered up a curt, “No.”

Watch below:




CNN 08 14 2022 09 05 52

youtu.be

A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.

“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”

“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”

But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.

“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”

Watch the video below from ABC.

During a panel discussion on CNN’s “Inside Politics” on Sunday morning, it was noted that Democratic lawmakers are remaining, for the most part, very subdued in their attacks on Donald Trump in light of his burgeoning legal problems after the Department of Justice sent FBI agents armed with a warrant to his Mar-a-Lago resort.

With the walls closing in on the former president as he faces DOJ scrutiny, a House select committee investigation, multiple civil cases in New York City, and a special grand jury in Georgia looking into election tampering, CNN host Phil Mattingly asked the Washington Post’s Leigh Ann Caldwell why Democrats aren’t piling on.

“You are very well-sourced on the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill,” the host prompted. “I have been kind of interested to watch how Democrats have responded to date on this. It’s been a little more cautious and I think they think it’s damaging and not a good thing in any way, shape or form.”

“But you haven’t seen the kind of jump-all-in, he’s going to jail, when are they going to be marching him out of Bedminster or wherever he is at this time? Why?” he asked.

RELATED: The DOJ now has ‘the strongest case against Trump yet’: legal expert

“Well, they have held back because, first of all, they were also taken by surprise with this,” Caldwell replied. “No one knows all the facts yet. We have a lot more information now than we did last Monday when this [the Mar-a-Lagon search] happened. But throughout this process, Democrats also know [Attorney General] Merrick Garland very well. They know how thorough he is and they have trust in him and the Department of Justice.”

“So they are just going to see what happens because they also think the Republicans are overreaching by far here,” she elaborated. “They jumped to conclusions so quickly after this search was announced on Monday night and they think Republicans are kind of sowing their own seeds and could regret a lot of their statements depending on what moves forward.”

“And, as far as Donald Trump is concerned, Democrats still think Donald Trump is the best Republican nominee for Democrats to run against. They think he is politically weak, not only with Democrats but with moderate and independent voters as well,” she added.

Watch below:




CNN 08 14 2022 08 12 02

youtu.be

In a column for Politico, former prosecutor Renato Mariotti maintained that Department of Justice now has a very prosecutable case against Donald Trump after FBI agents were forced to get a warrant to recover boxes of stolen highly-sensitive government documents from Mar-a-Lago last week after weeks of negotiations with the former president’s lawyers.

According to Mariotti, Trump has only himself to blame for helping the Department of Justice put together a case that will stick.

With the New York Times reporting that surveillance video at the luxury Florida resort owned by Trump showed the disputed boxes of government reports were moved in and out of a room that was supposed to be secured, thereby alarming DOJ officials, the former prosecutor claimed that would be a contributing factor if investigators seek an indictment.

Writing for Politico, he asserted, “while it is possible the DOJ merely wanted to retrieve and secure the material that Trump refused to give back to the government, if they decide to press forward with charges, their case looks quite strong.”

RELATED: Trump launched a late-night attack on the FBI after latest damaging Mar-a-Lago revelations

“One strategy I used as a federal prosecutor was to have agents serve targets of investigations with a notice indicating that what they were doing was breaking the law. If the target continued to violate the law after receiving the notice, we had the proof we needed,” he explained. “DOJ’s repeated requests and demands to Trump and his team served the same purpose. It will be difficult for Trump to claim that he did not realize that the records he kept were national security secrets that rightfully belonged to the government, given that the government repeatedly told him so and demanded their return.”

The attorney added, “Although Trump may believe that highly classified defense secrets are his own personal property, or that he could keep Top Secret documents because he informally ‘declassified’ them without following established procedures, it will be difficult to convince jurors that he had a legitimate reason to keep such sensitive national security information at his Florida resort.”

Mariotti also pointed out that Trump has been treated with “kid gloves” by the DOJ until now, but that seems to have come to an end.

He also added that Trump’s “best defense” in this case would likely blow up in his face.

“Trump’s best defense would likely be that he didn’t really know that classified material remained at Mar-a-Lago, because he relied on his aides and lawyers, who told him that they gave all the classified material back to the government. The problem for Trump is that doing so would likely waive attorney-client privilege between himself and the lawyers he is pointing the finger at, and it’s unclear whether any of them would be willing to take the fall for him,” he wrote

“I would not be surprised if DOJ refuses to pursue charges, regardless of their strength, in the absence of a ‘plus factor’ like obstruction. But that factor might be present here, given recent reports that one of Trump’s lawyers signed a written statement falsely asserting that “all material marked as classified” had been returned to the government. That falsehood might be why an obstruction statute was included in the search warrant executed at Trump’s residence,” he predicted. “That false representation creates potential liability for the lawyer, because lying to the federal government is a crime if it is done knowingly and willfully. DOJ could investigate that lawyer, who could claim that she relied on Trump’s false statements or — if she lied on her own — potentially flip on him.”

“If DOJ can establish that Trump was personally behind efforts to obstruct their investigation, they very well might charge him,” he concluded.

You can read more here.

Hours after the New York Times released a report that Department of Justice rushed the search at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort after seeing a surveillance video showing the boxes of stolen government documents were being moved, the former president lashed out at the FBI in a post-midnight attack

The Times report stated, “The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage 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.”

Taking to his Truth Social account, Trump aimed multiple accusations at the FBI including “was there a ‘plant?'”

He first stated, “The FBI gas (sic) a long and unrelenting history of being corrupt. Just look back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover. In the modern era, nothing has changed except that it has gotten far worse. Look at Comey, McCabe, Strzok and lover Lisa Page. Check out the brilliantly written but damning I.G. Reports. See what they were willing to do in order to get Crooked Hillary Clinton elected (they failed), and got caught!,” before adding, “They spied on my campaign, pushed the FAKE Dossier, and illegally used the FISA Court.”

RELATED: Feds obtained surveillance footage showing boxes being moved after discussions with DOJ: report

“The Inspector General said the FBI acted with ‘gross incompetence and negligence.’ I was fully vindicated in the Russia, Russia, Russia SCAM, the ‘No Collusion’ Mueller Investigation, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and all else,” he continued. “NOW THEY RAID MY HOME, ban my lawyers and, without any witnesses allowed, break the lock that they asked us to install on the storage area that we showed them early on, which held papers that they could have had months ago for the asking, and without the ridiculous political grandstanding of a “break in” to a very storied, important, and high visibility place, just before the Midterm Elections.”

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!”

When Joe Biden met last week with a “select group of scholars” for a “Socratic dialogue” about America’s future, the esteemed historians compared the current crisis facing our democracy with two other historical periods: The years immediately preceding the Civil War, which broke out shortly after Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the 1860 presidential election, and the years before World War II, when proto-fascist or explicitly fascist movements like those led by aviator Charles Lindbergh popped up all over the land.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Yet there is a third, and closely related, chapter of American political history worth examining at this moment: The one that occurred not immediately before the Civil War, but during that conflict. Even during the worst carnage of the worst war in American history, elections were still held — a remarkable accomplishment all on its own. One of the two major parties of that period, the Democrats, who dominated the South and were largely pro-slavery (or at best not opposed to it) were severely depleted because so many of them had joined the Confederate rebellion. The Republicans, a party that had only existed for a few years, held commanding majorities, but in a climate of intense partisan division.

It would be ludicrous to suggest that Joe Biden can ever match Lincoln’s legacy. Except, perhaps, when it comes to the question of how to handle Donald Trump.

This is uncomfortably similar to the United States today. While a handful of Republicans have denounced Donald Trump’s coup attempt, most are either sticking with the disgraced former president or trying to find some (nonexistent) middle ground. So Biden faces with the question of how to deal with an opposition party that seems ready to tolerate or even encourage actual violent rebellion when it loses an election.

So how did Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans of his era handle this situation? First, it’s important to note that congressional elections were quite different 160 years ago at this time. For one thing, they were scheduled in a manner that might seem bizarre to modern Americans. That was especially true during the 1860 elections, which were spread out over an extended period of time that included the secession of 11 Southern states, giving the Republicans (almost exclusively a Northern party at that time) overwhelming majorities in both depleted houses of Congress. In the Senate, Republicans held a 30-11 advantage, while in the House they held 105 of the 149 seats.

For a party that had only been formed in 1854, this was an astonishing opportunity to transform America, and the Republicans seized it. Going into the following midterms, in 1862-63, Lincoln’s party faced intense public backlash for the Union’s inability to end the war, the intense controversy around the Emancipation Proclamation, government policies that restricted free speech and civil liberties, and a range of economic issues, including inflation and taxes. Republicans lost 22 seats in the House but managed to hold onto effective control of that body — and actually gained three seats in the Senate.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

In other words, because the Democrats both literally and figuratively relinquished power during Lincoln’s presidency, the Republicans reaped political capital even during extremely adverse conditions. They spent some of that capital on the history-changing project of ending chattel slavery — the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t actually do that, but it certainly started the process — and also pursued a wide range of economic programs that appear remarkably progressive, even by modern standards: Creating the Department of Agriculture, funding the transcontinental railroad, reforming monetary policy, and creating the first national parks and land-grant colleges. One policy, the Homestead Act, made millions of acres of government-held land available at very low cost. (For good measure, Lincoln made Thanksgiving into a national holiday for the first time.)

“His vision of the Union meant opportunity for all — hence homestead acreage for the many,” Lincoln historian Harold Holzer told Salon about the 1862 Homestead Act during an interview last year. “It meant encouraging farming over hunting — independent farming to replace plantation aristocracies — hence [creating] the Agriculture Department.”

Because the opposition party both literally and figuratively relinquished power, Lincoln and his party were granted a historic opportunity to change America — and seized it.

Just as important, most Republicans understood it was essential to hold the Confederate traitors accountable. Despite critics from moderate Republicans and Northern Democrats, Lincoln wanted to make sure that prominent Confederates would be barred from political office in the future. He was inclined to be lenient with rank-and-file rebel soldiers, while the so-called Radical Republicans favored a more punitive policy. But no one doubted there had to be consequences for people who took up arms against the government because they were unhappy about losing an election.

This brings us back to the present, and the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which might not match the grandeur of Biden’s original Build Back Better agenda, but still counts as the landmark achievement of his term and one of the biggest pieces of policy legislation in decades. Biden has had other achievements, as well as a number of obvious setbacks, but it would be ludicrous to suggest he comes anywhere near Lincoln’s legacy. Arguably, he does face a similar problem in deciding how far to go in pursuing and prosecuting Donald Trump and supporters of the Trump insurgency. Whether or not Biden truly holds Trump and his enablers accountable is likely to determine how history views his presidency.

Russian propagandists stated that if former President Donald Trump was indeed hiding classified documents related to nuclear weapons at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach, Florida, the Kremlin has already seen them.

Russia 1 host Evgeny Popov issued his taunt hours after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida unsealed the warrant that the United States Department of Justice obtained ahead of what Trump called the “raid.” The warrant revealed that Trump is suspected to have violated the Espionage Act.

“Turns out that the investigation against Trump has to do with the secret documents from the White House, related to the new development of new nuclear weapons by the US,” Popov said.

“The FBI isn’t saying what kinds of weapons or what they found at Trump’s estate. Obviously, if there were any important documents, they’ve been studying them in Moscow for a while,” Popov continued. “What’s the point of searching?”

Watch below: