Poll

Two part quesiton:  Do you think Trump has done anything wrong (pick one of first 3 choices)?  Part 2 is what do you think of this alleged informant (pick one of the last 2 choices)

Trump willfully removed White House documents, including some classified, and tried to conceal them from the Achieves and the FBI
34 (45.9%)
Trump was careless with White House documents but did not willfully do anything wrong
3 (4.1%)
Trump did not do anything wrong at all, he is being framed and the FBI probably planted documents
6 (8.1%)
This alleged informant who recognized that Trump was concealing confidential White House documents did the right thing to report it to the FBI and should be considered a courageous patriot
31 (41.9%)
The informant should have been loyal to Trump and should have protected Trump even if Trump was willfully and unlawfully withholding documents
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 45

Author Topic: Donald Trump and White House Records  (Read 19125 times)

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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #165 on: August 18, 2022, 04:08:49 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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Judge orders that some of the affidavit can be made public.

WOW!
Kinda strange given that DOJ said about 90% of the document would need to be redacted for national security purposes.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #166 on: August 18, 2022, 04:30:29 PM »

Offline Celtics2021

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Judge orders that some of the affidavit can be made public.

WOW!
Kinda strange given that DOJ said about 90% of the document would need to be redacted for national security purposes.

He actually told the DOJ to redact what it needed and then he’d make a ruling next week.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #167 on: August 18, 2022, 04:32:09 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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Judge orders that some of the affidavit can be made public.

WOW!
Kinda strange given that DOJ said about 90% of the document would need to be redacted for national security purposes.

He actually told the DOJ to redact what it needed and then he’d make a ruling next week.
Ah. Makes sense. This might turn out to be very little to nothing after all.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #168 on: August 18, 2022, 07:38:58 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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One of the documents released today said there was "willful retention of national defense information". That seems to implicate Trump as one of the main targets of the investigation, since he is the final word on whether to return the documents. I'm sure his "they are mine" comment being floated around doesn't help in deflecting this as someone else being the decision maker on willfully retaining the docs.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #169 on: August 19, 2022, 10:29:30 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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Interesting citations to case law here:

https://twitter.com/mrddmia/status/1560101595337179136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1560341805513822208%7Ctwgr%5E5941d1700d964ccdcc003cf1cf0cae0fe711e39f%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftownhall.com%2Ftipsheet%2Fmattvespa%2F2022%2F08%2F19%2Foped-impeach-ag-garland-and-fbi-director-wray-over-dojs-maralago-fiasco-n2611977

The argument is that because Trump could declare any document he wanted unclassified, and because he could declare any document he wants as personal property, then Trump didn't commit a crime.

I haven't read the second opinion, but the excerpt is interesting to some extent.  If the president has the sole right to determine what is a personal record vs. a presidential record, that might apply to notes, letters, and some other material.  But, if it was a national security record, would that still apply?  My guess would be no.

Same author:

https://www.newsweek.com/garland-wray-must-impeached-unconscionable-trump-raid-opinion-1733523


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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #170 on: August 19, 2022, 10:35:04 AM »

Offline Surferdad

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One of the documents released today said there was "willful retention of national defense information". That seems to implicate Trump as one of the main targets of the investigation, since he is the final word on whether to return the documents. I'm sure his "they are mine" comment being floated around doesn't help in deflecting this as someone else being the decision maker on willfully retaining the docs.
Nope doesn't help. In fact, his statement is an admission that he stole them.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #171 on: August 19, 2022, 10:44:53 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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One of the documents released today said there was "willful retention of national defense information". That seems to implicate Trump as one of the main targets of the investigation, since he is the final word on whether to return the documents. I'm sure his "they are mine" comment being floated around doesn't help in deflecting this as someone else being the decision maker on willfully retaining the docs.
Nope doesn't help. In fact, his statement is an admission that he stole them.

It's not an admission to "stealing".  It's an admission to possessing certain documents, and expressing a belief that he has a legal right to them.

I think nick's point -- and he'll correct me if I'm wrong -- is that if Trump says "they're mine", he is undercutting any defense of "I didn't pack the boxes and I didn't know what was in them".  There seems to be a concession that these documents were wilfully (rather than negligently or unknowingly) taken.

Of course, Trump's lawyers are allowed to argue in the alternative, so I expect a future argument to be "It wouldn't have been illegal for me to take those documents, but even if it were, there's no proof beyond reasonable doubt that I did so willingly", or something of that nature.  He'll throw as many legal defenses up against the wall as he can, and will hope that a court buys into one of them.


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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #172 on: August 19, 2022, 10:50:54 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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I like legal arguments and the complexities of the law.  I'd like an honest, fair panel of judges to look at the statutes in question and relevant precedents, and tell us what the law actually says.  Not what it *should* say, or what the moral answer is, but what the law says.

But, I'm skeptical that there is any panel of judges in the federal court system that can give a truly objective opinion.  That doesn't apply just here, but throughout are system when appointed judges hear political cases.  More and more, whenever there is a question of political importance, a politician or political party wins when the judge was appointed by a member of the same political party, and loses when going before a judge appointed by the opposite political party.  Judges weren't brazen enough to overturn the 2020 election based upon scant evidence, but give them a couple of decades. 


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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #173 on: August 19, 2022, 11:39:27 AM »

Offline Vermont Green

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Some of this discussion seems to be setting the stage to say "well, Trump didn't technically break the law" as a pretense to continue to support him or rationalize previous support for him.  Trump's crimes (at least he ones that are known) are not as heinous as OJ Simpson, but you could say that OJ was not technically convicted of murder.  But you would look pretty silly defending OJ the way that many politicians are defending Trump.  California weaponized law enforcement against OJ.

Trump did not declassify any documents.  Had his intentions been to honestly declassify certain documents that he wanted to retain, there is a process for that.  But he didn't.  He snuck these documents to his basement for Lord knows what purpose.  He wanted the documents and didn't want anyone to know he had the documents.

When OJ "got off" I felt is was a sad day for our justice system.  If Trump gets off with stealing documents, it will also be a sad day for the justice system.  I actually don't think he will be indicted for this.  Garland does not want to be that AG.  Georgia or NY or someone will get him though.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #174 on: August 19, 2022, 11:54:51 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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Some of this discussion seems to be setting the stage to say "well, Trump didn't technically break the law" as a pretense to continue to support him or rationalize previous support for him.

How are you gleaning the intent of other posters?

Quote
If Trump gets off with stealing documents, it will also be a sad day for the justice system.

Does the issue of whether Trump technically broke the law matter to you?  Should it matter to a prosecutor, grand jury, or judge?

I find the legal intricacies of this stuff to be fascinating.  Some poorly written statutes have been on the books for generations with nobody in Congress changing them.  We've seen one come up, the Electoral Count Act (which still hasn't been amended).  Another may be the Espionage Act.  In roughly 250 years, Congress hasn't passed legislation clarifying the "classification" process.

To see how judges handle this will be interesting.


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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #175 on: August 19, 2022, 12:14:31 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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Some of this discussion seems to be setting the stage to say "well, Trump didn't technically break the law" as a pretense to continue to support him or rationalize previous support for him.

How are you gleaning the intent of other posters?

Quote
If Trump gets off with stealing documents, it will also be a sad day for the justice system.

Does the issue of whether Trump technically broke the law matter to you?  Should it matter to a prosecutor, grand jury, or judge?

I find the legal intricacies of this stuff to be fascinating.  Some poorly written statutes have been on the books for generations with nobody in Congress changing them.  We've seen one come up, the Electoral Count Act (which still hasn't been amended).  Another may be the Espionage Act.  In roughly 250 years, Congress hasn't passed legislation clarifying the "classification" process.

To see how judges handle this will be interesting.

I firmly believe in all the intricacies of the law and the principles of innocent until proven guilty.  It is the American way.  And all of this applies to Trump just like any other citizen.  But there was a post or thread a while back where someone was relaying a story about a lawyer friend or relative who was bragging about getting a DUI charge acquitted by working some legal loop hole or something.  That was how the legal system worked in that case but it didn't feel good or just.

To me, Trump not getting convicted on this would feel the same as a guy who was clearly driving drunk (and probably will drive drunk again) getting off.  And to make it worse, you are going to have all the Trump supporters howling about Democrats weaponizing the DOJ.  So my issue with this is not with following the legal process, however flawed it can be in certain cases, it is the continued support of Trump, be it the loud support or the softer quieter support.  To hear these politicians with their howling is kind of like taking the DUI guy out drinking and then putting him in a car to drive home again.  It is enabling Trump to do whatever it is he is going to do next to further erode our democracy.

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #176 on: August 19, 2022, 12:28:03 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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Some of this discussion seems to be setting the stage to say "well, Trump didn't technically break the law" as a pretense to continue to support him or rationalize previous support for him.

How are you gleaning the intent of other posters?

Quote
If Trump gets off with stealing documents, it will also be a sad day for the justice system.

Does the issue of whether Trump technically broke the law matter to you?  Should it matter to a prosecutor, grand jury, or judge?

I find the legal intricacies of this stuff to be fascinating.  Some poorly written statutes have been on the books for generations with nobody in Congress changing them.  We've seen one come up, the Electoral Count Act (which still hasn't been amended).  Another may be the Espionage Act.  In roughly 250 years, Congress hasn't passed legislation clarifying the "classification" process.

To see how judges handle this will be interesting.

I firmly believe in all the intricacies of the law and the principles of innocent until proven guilty.  It is the American way.  And all of this applies to Trump just like any other citizen.  But there was a post or thread a while back where someone was relaying a story about a lawyer friend or relative who was bragging about getting a DUI charge acquitted by working some legal loop hole or something.  That was how the legal system worked in that case but it didn't feel good or just.

To me, Trump not getting convicted on this would feel the same as a guy who was clearly driving drunk (and probably will drive drunk again) getting off.  And to make it worse, you are going to have all the Trump supporters howling about Democrats weaponizing the DOJ.  So my issue with this is not with following the legal process, however flawed it can be in certain cases, it is the continued support of Trump, be it the loud support or the softer quieter support.  To hear these politicians with their howling is kind of like taking the DUI guy out drinking and then putting him in a car to drive home again.  It is enabling Trump to do whatever it is he is going to do next to further erode our democracy.

I see distinctions between legal "loop holes" such as not giving Miranda rights, coercing confessions, etc., as opposed to "the law just doesn't consider that a crime".  In the former, somebody committed a crime, but they're getting away with it.  In the latter, a crime wasn't committed.

In Trump's case, if he gets prosecuted and acquitted, it will be through blind luck.  I think he probably had criminal intent, and that his legal defenses have been retrofitted to his actions.  So morally, in my opinion he's certainly guilty, although I'm basing that upon the representation that these documents relate to national security and aren't some love letter written by the PM of Finland.

But legally, it matters what the law says.  If that law is ambiguous, then in the future it needs to be clarified.  In that ambiguity, if Trump's actions are a grey area, he should be acquitted, or not prosecuted in the first place.  Not because he's the president, but because that's how every citizen should be treated (and very often are not.)



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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #177 on: August 19, 2022, 12:38:58 PM »

Offline keevsnick

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Interesting citations to case law here:

https://twitter.com/mrddmia/status/1560101595337179136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1560341805513822208%7Ctwgr%5E5941d1700d964ccdcc003cf1cf0cae0fe711e39f%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftownhall.com%2Ftipsheet%2Fmattvespa%2F2022%2F08%2F19%2Foped-impeach-ag-garland-and-fbi-director-wray-over-dojs-maralago-fiasco-n2611977

The argument is that because Trump could declare any document he wanted unclassified, and because he could declare any document he wants as personal property, then Trump didn't commit a crime.

I haven't read the second opinion, but the excerpt is interesting to some extent.  If the president has the sole right to determine what is a personal record vs. a presidential record, that might apply to notes, letters, and some other material.  But, if it was a national security record, would that still apply?  My guess would be no.

Same author:

https://www.newsweek.com/garland-wray-must-impeached-unconscionable-trump-raid-opinion-1733523

Does whether the information was classified, or whether he declared the documents to be his property, actually matter?

The espionage act for example was passed before the classification system we use today was implemented, and before the presidential record act was passed. Clearly then the application of that law can't be dependent on those two systems then?

 I've seen very few if any serious legal scholars out there making the case that the president can do whatever he wants (legally) with state secrets. The reason for that is simple, its a dumb made up argument. If you suggested it in the abstract NOBODY would buy it.  Trumps entire legal response to this so far has serious "throw out a bunch of nonsense and see what sticks" energy.

Maybe something will stick. But boy it feels like a legal temper tantrum.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2022, 12:45:02 PM by keevsnick »

Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #178 on: August 19, 2022, 12:53:32 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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Interesting citations to case law here:

https://twitter.com/mrddmia/status/1560101595337179136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1560341805513822208%7Ctwgr%5E5941d1700d964ccdcc003cf1cf0cae0fe711e39f%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftownhall.com%2Ftipsheet%2Fmattvespa%2F2022%2F08%2F19%2Foped-impeach-ag-garland-and-fbi-director-wray-over-dojs-maralago-fiasco-n2611977

The argument is that because Trump could declare any document he wanted unclassified, and because he could declare any document he wants as personal property, then Trump didn't commit a crime.

I haven't read the second opinion, but the excerpt is interesting to some extent.  If the president has the sole right to determine what is a personal record vs. a presidential record, that might apply to notes, letters, and some other material.  But, if it was a national security record, would that still apply?  My guess would be no.

Same author:

https://www.newsweek.com/garland-wray-must-impeached-unconscionable-trump-raid-opinion-1733523

Does whether the information was classified, or whether he declared the documents to be his property, actually matter?

The espionage act for example was passed before the classification system we use today was implemented, and before the presidential record act was passed. Clearly then the application of that law can't be dependent on those two systems then?

 I've seen very few if any serious legal scholars out there making the case that the president can do whatever he wants (legally) with state secrets. The reason for that is simple, its a dumb made up argument. If you suggested it in the abstract NOBODY would buy it.  Trumps entire legal response to this so far has serious "throw out a bunch of nonsense and see what sticks" energy.

Maybe something will stick. But boy it feels like a legal temper tantrum.

The first case regarding classification is rooted in the fact that the president is the commander in chief.  That's why he has the power.  He would presumably have the power to do whatever he wants to do with national defense documents as defined under the Espionage Act.  And, if the second cited case applies here, then it would be solely up to the president to determine what documents belong to him, versus the office of the presidency.  It seems like a stretch to apply that to documents that seemingly belong to the US government (like military secrets), but I haven't read the case.

And, the author of that tweet and article is a "serious legal scholar".  He certainly is partisan and is presenting legal advocacy on a partisan basis, but he's also brilliant and serious.  He clerked for Gorsuch, etc.  I'm not saying he's correct, but I find it interesting.




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Re: Donald Trump and White House Records
« Reply #179 on: August 19, 2022, 01:53:50 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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One of the documents released today said there was "willful retention of national defense information". That seems to implicate Trump as one of the main targets of the investigation, since he is the final word on whether to return the documents. I'm sure his "they are mine" comment being floated around doesn't help in deflecting this as someone else being the decision maker on willfully retaining the docs.
Nope doesn't help. In fact, his statement is an admission that he stole them.

It's not an admission to "stealing".  It's an admission to possessing certain documents, and expressing a belief that he has a legal right to them.

I think nick's point -- and he'll correct me if I'm wrong -- is that if Trump says "they're mine", he is undercutting any defense of "I didn't pack the boxes and I didn't know what was in them".  There seems to be a concession that these documents were wilfully (rather than negligently or unknowingly) taken.

Of course, Trump's lawyers are allowed to argue in the alternative, so I expect a future argument to be "It wouldn't have been illegal for me to take those documents, but even if it were, there's no proof beyond reasonable doubt that I did so willingly", or something of that nature.  He'll throw as many legal defenses up against the wall as he can, and will hope that a court buys into one of them.
Exactly. Thank you. TP4U.

But also, that in not returning the documents, it's his ultimate decision to retain the documents after several attempts to procure them back by the government because his state of mind was they were his documents. Goes to motive as well.