Trump Accused of Flushing Evidence

The first thing I read this morning was this:

While President Trump was in office, staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper, Maggie Haberman scoops in her forthcoming book, “Confidence Man.”

Of course he did. One, because he was a spoiled brat and probably never got punished for flooding the bathroom, so he never learned that some things don’t flush. And two, because he had a lot to hide.

A couple of years ago he was going on about how toilets don’t flush any more at his rallies. At the time, people assumed he resented government water-saving regulations. But I guess if he was trying to flush documents he probably did need to flush ten times. More, even. The White House custodial staff must have been glad to see him go.

So Trump ripped up documents that had to be taped back together to be preserved, and in some cases what the National Archives sent to the January 6 committee was just paper bits that hadn’t been re-assembled. I believe some time back I wrote about Trump’s poor staff having to scotch tape papers together after he’d ripped them up, but I can’t find the post now. Then the Archives had to retrieve 15 boxes of White House documents, including the love letters from Kim Jong Un and the famous Sharpied hurricane map, from Mar-a-Lago.

The map definitely needs to be in the Trump Presidential Library, if it’s ever built.

Trump’s representatives — the Mar-a-Lago staff, I assume — said they “are continuing to search for additional presidential records that belong to the National Archives,” the Archives said in a statement.  There are reports that some of the documents Trump removed from the White House and took to Florida may have been classified. An inspector general in the Justice Department is supposed to be looking into this.

And it’s known he took a scale model of a redesign for Air Force One from the Oval Office to display in Mar-a-Lago. I think the White House staff needs to audit the art and the silverware.

And, of course, Trump was advised multiple times about the Presidential Records Act and why he couldn’t destroy documents, but he did it, anyway. This tells us he can’t change. He probably even was told as a child not to flush random things down the toilet and clog it up, but he won’t do as he’s told, probably because he’s a sociopath and he’s never had to do as he’s told.

Could Trump be prosecuted for violating the Presidential Records Act? I take it this has not happened before, although it’s never been so flagrantly violated before. Per Peter Weber in The Week:

Trump’s repeated ripping up of documents “is against the law, but the problem is that the Presidential Records Act, as written, does not have any real enforcement mechanism,” James Grossman at the American Historical Association tells the Post. One Archives official described the Presidential Records Act as functionally a “gentlemen’s agreement.”

“You can’t prosecute for just tearing up papers,” Charles Tiefer, former House counsel, tells the Post. “You would have to show [Trump] being highly selective and have evidence that he wanted to behave unlawfully.”

Trump routinely ripped up papers throughout his presidency, despite repeated warnings from lawyers and two chiefs of staff that he was violating the Presidential Records Act, the Post reports, citing 11 former Trump aides and associates. “He didn’t want a record of anything,” one former senior Trump official said. “He never stopped ripping things up. Do you really think Trump is going to care about the records act? Come on.”

While Trump was still president the citizens’ watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a suit challenging the use of encrypted messaging apps among the Trump White House staff, which was a lot skeezier than anything Hillary Clinton did with the damn emails. CREW said the messaging apps violated the Presidential Records Act, since there was no record kept of the messages. Other groups filed similar suits when it was learned Trump was not keeping records of meetings and phone calls with foreign leaders — especially Vladimir Putin — and also that he was ripping some documents up. The cases were all dismissed by various courts; I don’t believe any are still pending. As I understand it, the various courts ruled that the Presidential Records Act is a rare thing that can’t be enforced through a court. Congress or the Justice Dpeartment would have to get involved, I believe.

But we also learned that the White House phone records received by the January 6 committee from the National Archives have gaps during times it is known Trump was on a phone.

The call logs obtained by the committee document who was calling the White House switchboard, and any calls that were being made from the White House to others. Mr. Trump had a habit throughout his presidency of circumventing that system, making it far more difficult to discern with whom he was communicating.

This really cannot be allowed to stand.

Elsewhere in Trump World — the Derp abides. I got a kick out of this Lawrence O’Donnell sequence calling out the relentless stupidity of Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Trumpers.

7 thoughts on “Trump Accused of Flushing Evidence

  1. I wrote about the Gazpacho Police on the earlier post.

    MTG:  "What a dope.  What a MAROON!!!" By B. Bunny.


  2. You know, after you become more and more aware of tRUMP and all of his mobster-like traits and methods, the more you see Tony Soprano as a saint.

    If they're still looking for missing documents, I hope they check the toilets and drains at all of tRUMP' many mansions and properties – and the port-o-potties at all of his resorts and courses.

    Oh, and yeah:  Then hand him the bill for labor and materials.

  3. Sorry for the 3 in a row, but I thought you might find this interesting:

    According to one of the articles at the Raw Story website, former Solicitor General Neil Katyal said that if tRUMP is found guilty of destroying government documents, the punishment is either jail, or being disqualified from holding office again.

    Hey…  Why not both?

  4. I really think what's going to take him down are the cases where 1) the crime is relatively narrow and yet severe, 2) the evidence is clear-cut (no missing records), and most important 3) a jury that will convict, with no ambiguity about enforcement.

    I'm hopeful Fani Willis, the Fulton County GA DA will be able to pull it off, for election tampering.

    I enjoy watching Beau of the Fifth Column. He makes a good point that even with all the evidence in the world, there’s still a third of the country who will never be convinced. And so getting a jury that will unanimously convict may be the hardest task. It’s tantamount to Trump bragging he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and never get caught.

    • An impartial jury is possible in NY or DC. I hope GA does prosecute but it may depend entirely on the judge who tries the case. In my prosecution, my lawyers were concerned the judge was hostile to my offense. They were certain the judge would have screened every juror with the question "DO you swear to follow my instructions to the jury when you are sent to deliberate?" (or words to that effect) And the judge, with unlimited power to reject jurors, would have rigged the jury (quite legally) to eliminate any chance of jury nullification. 

      If the judge eliminates all jurors with a pro-Trump bias, a conviction in GA is possible. But it feels like a long shot.

      Trump found out early that a raft of laws has no penalty clause. In other words, the administration is expected to enforce – like the Hatch Act which prohibits the federal government from engaging in partisan politics, especially campaigning. While a carrier for the US Post Office, I joked about putting an Obama bumper sticker on my white postal truck. I would have been fired. Period. But there's no provision to charge me with a crime for a violation – it's expected the POTUS will have the integrity to enforce. Trump was the first and only president who can't even spell integrity much less exhibit it. 

      I'm sure Trump destroyed docs for three reasons. 1) The facts made Trump look stupid. 2) The facts demonstrated a crime for which there is a potential penalty (jail) defined. 3) The document proved the opposite of the reality Trump lives in. Unable to accept that Trump can be wrong, Trump tries to adjust the facts. (I suspect a LOT of Covid-19 evidence, as the growth became explosive, got flushed.

      The important documents, as far as jail time goes, are in category two – documents that prove a crime for which there is a criminal penalty. Here's the thing – every item Trump flushed has a "source" counterpart. Somebody wrote the report Trump canned and it's probably there with a witness that Trump was notified. WHich makes proving Trump's habit important to refute the defense Trump did not know because there's no doc in the National Archives. 

      The investigation should look at who might have told Trump that such-and-such plan is a violation of Title xyz of federal law. That would trigger a tantrum for sure. So who was in the know who might be willing to flip because there is no client-attorney obligation to conceal a crime.

      I'm remembering that Watergate unfolded VERY slowly over a long time – a complete nothing-burger. And then it came apart explosively. Nixon was re-elected in a landslide (49 states) during Watergate speculation and Nixon resigned a year and a half later. That's how fast things can turn around. 

      The GOP turned on Nixon when defending Nixon was a liability for the party. How can the Republican Party abandon the Trumpsters who worship Trump? (Facts and criminality be damned!)  I predict that Trump will exile himself rather than risk actual jail. If that happens, what is Trumpism without Trump? If Trumpism is a cult of personality, and Trump leaves, within the GOP administration there will be open warfare in the GOP. (Cheney family, Bush family, Chris Christie, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney) against the power-hungry fascists (DeSantis, Cruz, Greg Abbot, MTG, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, etc).  

      I think things will get very bad very soon but the full lunacy of the racist, fascist, anarchists of the far-right will be exposed for the majority, including a big chunk of people who won't buy into random violence against institutions. 

  5. Ah the world of the elite.  Don't like the reality of the moment just flush it down the toilet.  Plug the toilet and cause a flood the help will take care of it.  Get them paid, no the taxpayer can take care of that.  Break the law, not a problem. The fix is in.  It puts people in their place.  Like that Hillary, she can't get away with that kind of stuff because she is not elite enough.  See must play by the rules as the really elite get to cut in line and run through the loopholes.  

    It is the real world, unfortunately, when some of the elite have no class.  They are the ones who want all the power and privilege but none of the responsibility, work and suffering.  

    I hope more are learning that the empowerment of these types just makes a giant mess of things that have to be cleaned up.  


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