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The Mahablog

The Affadavit Is Damning, as Expected

The affadavit is out. I’ve been listening to MSNBC, where a panel of security/legal experts has been reading and interpreting the affadavit in real time.

They’re talking a lot about obstruction of justice. At one point the affadavit says there is evidence of obstruction within Mar-a-Lago. They’re talking a lot about “signal intelligence” and “human sources,” which I understand refers to top secret expionage and the identities of spies still working as spies.

Large parts of the affadavit are redacted. The affadavit was accompanied by another document explaining the redactions, which itself contained redactions. This was to protect the identies of witnesses as well as methodologies being used in an ongoing criminal investigation. This ain’t over.

Emails, documents and interviews show that the search followed months of conflict between the former president and law enforcement agencies about getting the documents — which are protected under the Presidential Records Act — into the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The search intensified Trump’s long-standing animus toward the Justice Department and the FBI. Senior government officials say the investigation and search were necessary to prevent grave damage to national security.

The affadavit also juxtaposes events in this investigation with some of Trump’s public statements, including on Truth Social, that reveals (as if we didn’t know) Trump was lying his ass off. For example, after the recovery of 15 boxes of documents in January 2022, Trump “truthed” that “The National Archives did not ‘find’ anything, they were given, upon request, Presidential Records in an ordinary and routine process to ensure the preservation of my legacy and in accordance with the Presidential Recordds Act.” But that was bullshit, because the feds had been asking for this stuff since May 2021, and Trump was still hanging on to highly sensitive classified material after this.

Seriously. This is like asking the teenage kid to stop playing Minecraft and do his homework 27 times. And then after some number of hours, when you finally confiscate the Gameboy, he whines “that’s so unfaaaaaair. I was gonna do my homework as soon as I got the magic shovel of power” or whatever they do in Minecraft.

In June 2022, the archivists told Trump he needed to leave the documents remaining at Mar-a-Lago to be kept in their current location “until further notice.” No moving them around. Trump interpreted this to mean they were okay with him keeping the documents as long as he put a padlock on the basement door, which he did, but really the feds were thinking in terms of preserving evidence until they were able to retrieve the boxes. I infer this is when the feds began to put together a case for a warrant, so they could just come and take it all and stop playing the bleeping moron’s ego games.

The wonder isn’t that the DoJ got a search warrant; the wonder is why the DoJ didn’t get a search warrant a whole lot sooner.

In the affadavit, Trump is referred to as FPOTUS. We’ll be charitable and assume the F is for “former.”

I’ll link to more comments as they become available.

Update: Greg Sargent, 3 Big Things We Learned from the Mar-a-Lago Affadavit. The three things are:

  1. “Trump improperly hoarded a large amount of documents, including ones potentially identifying human intelligence sources.”
  2. “This could get much bigger.” It’s clear from the affadavit that this is an ongoing investigation, and there’s a lot the DoJ doesn’t yet know.
  3. “Trump’s conspiracy-theorizing is baloney.” But you know that.

8 thoughts on “The Affadavit Is Damning, as Expected

  1. > And then after some number of hours, when you finally confiscate the Gameboy, he whines “that’s so unfaaaaaair."

    I think treating the FBI as shitty parents is showing them in a too-pleasant light.

    Both Trump and FBI are the kind of thing that, even if redacted heavily, are unfit for a Hallmark film.

  2. The fact that Trump was told to put a padlock on the storage area of the documents that remained behind, and that he complied with that request shows that Trump understood the authority over those document belonged to the government. If it was just newspaper clippings and his personal scrapbooking articles I'm sure he would tell them to go fuck off. Trump was playing his usual games of pushing the boundries and it blew up in his face. Bag of shit that he is!

    Lock him up !!

    • Re the padlock… I think someone suggested to TFG that NOT putting a padlock on the storage would create an excuse for a search. The feds are so touchy about secret documents. (sarcasm) 

      Trump intended to continue cat and mouse games. (TFG thought he was the cat.) In this period of time, DOJ became convinced (I think.) that some really scary, secret stuff was there and recovering it was long overdue. Also, I haven't seen a timeline of the WH counsel saying the administration intended to stay out of it. But I think that DOJ became alarmed at the serious stuff TFG had squirreled away in the basement like a bunch of walnuts, and they got a not-red light to proceed as appropriate. 

      TFG expected an escalation of rhetoric (especially with a bad-ass padlock to keep things safe) before threats of a search. (I don't think DoJ gave FPOTUS a warning because they did not want the stuff moved. I only hope they got it all and nothing was leaked. We may find out by a string of funerals that human sources were compromised. 

  3. The "F" could also be for "FAILED POTUS."

    Today, it occurred to me that I have a new reason to stay alive.

    I'm old and broken down, so I need some reason to stick around.

    So my new goal is to stay alive and coherent – no jokes! – until the day when I can watch MSNBC for a few hours, and not hear the name tRUMP.  Mostly Don.  But I could also use a break from Dumb & Dumber, Princess Ivanka, Tiffany, and/or Baron.

    No tRUMP!!!


    How GREAT will that be?!?!?!

    Obviously, it'll be after the psycho's been dead for a bit.

    FYI:  I hope he dies in some stupid and funny way.

    And soon.

    Don't worry that after not hearing Suck a l' Orange on MSNBC for a whole day, you'll think I'll go too.

    Well, goals can always be reset, now can't they?!?   😉

  4. The fourth thing that we learned from the affidavit is that Trump's lawyers are now in a world of shit. The only way for them to possibly extract themselves from their world of shit is to cast all blame and guilt back at Trump. They can claim they've been had by Trump just like the insurrectionists. Or sing for a jury….Hank Williams – I Saw The Light – YouTube

  5. The DoJ opposing the release of the affidavit feels a lot like Brer Rabbit saying, "Please, don't throw me in that briar patch." The judge "compromised" by allowing extensive redactions. More hard info from the affidavit is out there which undermines the PR campaign that TFG thinks is a legal defense.

    Those of us who grew up in the Nixon era are cynical about whether Trump will be charged. Merrick Garland may be the right guy, and this time nobody in the WH is going to issue a blanket pardon "to help the nation heal." I read quotes from "experts" who say FPOTUS will be charged. 


    One problem with Garland being as methodical has he's reputed to be is that he may be inclined to follow all the cases that are linked to their final result. That's bound to be so tangled that it will be a lengthy and convoluted trial of many charges. Lawyers for TFG will try to spin the complexity into a defense all by itself. This offense alone looks pretty clear-cut (I'm no lawyer.) because I've read the statute. He had stuff he's not authorized to have and it was the property of the US Government. He resisted requests for the return, lied before the search about possessing the portion which was seized in the search. The status of the documents is not relevant in the statute. What will be introduced as evidence and not read, even by the jury, is printed on paper owned by the US Government. The defense will say the personal property of TFG is in dispute, like the "love letters" from Kim. ALL precedents aside, the dangerous stuff like communication intercepts and the names of foreign spies was NEVER a gift to TFG. 

    I hope DoJ keeps it simple and narrow. If there's a hung jury the first time around, take it right back into court with a new jury. Please, do it soon.

    The exception might be if TFG was engaged in negotiating with foreign governments to exchange information for backing in the 2024 election. That's treason, which is not hypothetically, a capital crime. 

  6. Garland is such a little sneak. While he keeps our attention diverted with splashy headline news about Mar-a-Lago, in the background he's busy picking off true patriots. It's so unfair. They don't even get their 15 minutes in the limelight of patriotic fame in exchange for 3.10 years in the big house. What's this world coming to?

    Jan. 6 defendant who beat officer with Trump flag sentenced to 46 months in prison (

    72 year old patriot?…"Fight if you must you old gray head, but spare your Trump flag she said."

  7. Slightly off-topic – Lawyers for the former guy revised the request for a "special master" to keep the DoJ from going through what they've had for weeks. The original was flawed – laughably so. The revision (I predict) will get tossed. It was filed in Florida but…

    "Left unaddressed is a provision of the Presidential Records Act requiring any legal disputes by a former president under that statute to be filed in the federal district court in Washington D.C." 

    My guess is that the DoJ has already sorted and evaluated the trove from MAL. By the time the clowns file anything a judge will consider, the horse won't be out of the barn, it will be out of the pasture, down the road, two counties away. TFG has the Keystone Cops representing him (how appropriate) – only one of the three might have passed the bar exam without cheating.

    Returning to a previous theme, Garland has to be concerned with how much damage to national security the breach has done. It is more urgent than the prosecution and is a legitimate cause for delay. But delay is Trump's favorite strategy in civil litigation, a tactic that also worked well for him as POTUS. So, Merrick ol' buddy, keep the charges simple and don't provide the excuses for years of delay getting this before a jury.


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