First, it was Alex Jones’s comeuppance in court. He mouthed off to the judge and ended up with two judgments resulting in about $50M in punitive and compensatory damages for claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre was staged.
This weekend though it was watching Donald Trump writhe in Bedminster while FBI agents raided his Mar a Lago estate and left with eleven sets of documents, most of which were classified, all of which his lawyer attested in June did not exist.
Some of the material seized contained the Top Secret classification, and some of it was marked as SCI material. I once had a Top Secret clearance, and I could view certain siloed Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (SCI). I’m pretty sure I never did, because I don’t recall going to a SCIF (SCI facility), which is the only place I could have read it. If I had a need to read it though I would have had to prove my need, needed to have read it in the facility, and would have had my entry, exit and the documents I read logged. I would have been watched the whole time too.
So it really can’t be overstated how big a security breach this is. The Oval Office is not a SCIF. I’m not sure where the nearest SCIF is but there is probably one in the basement. The War Room might be considered a SCIF. If so, Trump couldn’t be bothered to walk there. A president that follows the law would read it (and leave it) there.
But at least the White House is a secured building. Mar a Lago is not, at least it’s not up to federal security standards. And while Trump may think that when president he could instantly declassify anything, he couldn’t. He’d have had to go through a process which would have included feedback from the agencies affected.
Instead, he threw the stuff in boxes and brought them with him to Florida and appears to have largely stored them in rooms that were not even locked and in a resort open to the public, presumably full of people who never passed a background investigation. Why? It’s not too hard to figure out. Trump is thoroughly corrupt and probably saw some way to profit from their possession. That it was also illegal probably didn’t cross his mind, or simply didn’t bother him.
Meanwhile, his supporters cheered him on, even as his excuses kept changing and were contradictory. From the Law and Order Party and their reactions, we learned that Law and Order applies only to non-Republicans, but certainly not to a former President of the United States, unless they are a Democrat. How dare the jack-booted thugs of the FBI raid his home! The only reason they would do this is because it’s a political act.
For years, Republicans were in a lather because a potentially classified email might have been stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server. But actual voluminous classified documents, including some containing sensitive intelligence sources and methods were stored offsite and unlocked doesn’t bother them at all as long as it was on Donald Trump’s estate. Because, well, reasons.
Trump, of course, said the “raid” was illegal, as if a search warrant signed by a federal magistrate is not legal. This sent his supporters into a predictable tizzy. One unhinged supporter who also posted on his Truth Social site stupidly entered a Cincinnati FBI field office to wreak vengeance with his gun to be quickly shot to death by the many heavily armed agents there.
Next, Trump said that if classified information was found, it was only because the FBI somehow planted it there. This is after he voluntarily returned classified information he had taken with him when he left office. I’m sure Mar a Lago has a surveillance system. I can’t wait to see the videos of FBI agents surreptitiously bringing classified documents into Mar a Lago just so they could later find them. I’m sure his supporters think these videos must exist. But if it doesn’t, it’s no matter. The government somehow surreptitiously erased the data. It was probably the CIA or NSA.
His supporters are convinced the only way to make things right is to get rid of the FBI altogether. Well, if no one is around to enforce the law, that certainly solves the problem of future Donald Trumps doing the same thing. We won’t need much of the court system either because there won’t be much left to bring before a judge if no one is investigating crimes. Anyhow, they tell us that we need to do this because of the danger of tyranny. Umm, if there are no FBI agents, instead of tyranny you’ll get a lot of anarchy, as who will be around to enforce the laws? You know, those laws the Party of Law and Order supposedly want prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law except, of course, if the lawbreaker is a Republican.
These rationalizations don’t matter in the least. Republicans don’t care about reasons, only outcomes. The only acceptable outcomes are that those in their party get to act with impunity and the rest of us don’t. Any means needed to achieve this outcome are perfectly okay. Democracy obviously means nothing to them. In fact, the law means nothing to them. The only thing that matters is power, and that they are the only ones allowed to wield it and to decide what it is.
And that’s because they clearly know best. Watching their ping ponging explanations as Donald Trump changed his explanations clearly demonstrates their sound minds, even temper and fairness. It’s a mystery to them why the rest of us would object.
If we do have a country of law and order, Trump will be prosecuted and convicted for these egregious violations of national security. Should it come to it though I’m confident that Trump will evade justice somehow. It looks like Russia is waiting for his exile. At least he’d feel at home there.