Trump’s Empty Folders

From the New York Times:

The F.B.I.’s search of former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida club and residence last month recovered 48 empty folders marked as containing classified information, a newly disclosed court filing shows, raising the question of whether the government had fully recovered the documents or any remain missing.

The filing, a detailed list of items retrieved in the search, was unsealed on Friday as part of the court fight over whether to appoint an independent arbiter to review the materials taken by federal agents from Mr. Trump’s estate, Mar-a-Lago, on Aug. 8.

Along with the empty folders with classified markings, the F.B.I. recovered 40 more empty folders that said they contained sensitive documents the user should “return to staff secretary/military aide,” the inventory said. It also said that agents found seven documents marked as “top secret” in Mr. Trump’s office and 11 more in a storage room.

The list and an accompanying court filing from the Justice Department did not say whether all the contents of the folders had been recovered. But the filing noted that the inquiry into Mr. Trump’s handling of the documents remained “an active criminal investigation.”

The empty folders don’t necessarily mean the contents were sold or discarded, IMO. Trump has no respect for record keeping, obviously. He likely pulled things out of folders and never put them back.

Let’s all remember that Trump never had a job. That means he never had a job in  which his career depended on finding the specification sheet that could prove he wasn’t the one who screwed up the work order. Most of the rest of us have been there.

He also probably has a psychological aversion to being told what to do, and he never had to grow out of it. I blame bad parenting.

Lawfare Blog has a fascinating first-person account of what went on in the documents hearing yesterday. Recommended.

In other news — I think President Biden was right to give the speech he gave last night. It’s a shame the networks didn’t air it, though.


11 thoughts on “Trump’s Empty Folders

  1. It's coming down to how good the government's record-keeping really is. If they know exactly what should be in those empty folders – even a minimal # of pages – then they know what to look for. If they know what should be in those folders it means Trump is still sandbagging, sold them or destroyed them, making his day of reckoning that much clearer and certain.

  2. Hmm…

    Where did the documents go?

    Well, maybe "The Turd Man of Alcatraz ll" (we'll open the old prison up just for him) might have flushed them.

    He might have eaten them (another way to flush them).

    He might have sold them to Russia, or China – or another nation.

    He might have lost them somewhere around one of his shitty properties.

    I don't think he sold them.  I don't think even tRUMP is stupid enough have sold the documents, and then handed them over.  Only a moron wouldn't send the purchasers photos of the…  Actually, he might be, no?

    One thing I can guarantee:  Not a single fragment of the documents was used in a book as a bookmark.

  3. My opinion is that tRump's first question after the riad was whether a trial can be delayed until after the election. Just a guess Twenty-six months because if tRump wins, he can install an A/G to kill the trial. IMO, tRump would resign just before his term ended with the understanding the VP would issue a pardon. 

    This would be an impossible burden for any candidate to run for office to derail a criminal investigation when the candidate is obviously guilty to anyone except a cultist. It also makes the entire election for the accused about the crime instead of issues. Only the culttists will vote for tRump so that tRump can keep his rump out of jail. Everyone else wants the condition of the country to improve.

    McConnell knows that tRump killed his chance of control of the Senate in 2022. If tRump runs in 2024, McConnell will sit out two more years in the minority.  Whatever bad stuff for the GOP happens in November, tRump gets the blame. The base thinks it's great stuff and TFG will prevail and vanquish. The leadership can't win with The Former Guy and they don't know how to get rid of him. 

    The link to Lawfare is enlightening. I don't see any hint that DoJ is not preparing to take this to trial. If they've looked at tRimp's history of games in civil court, (kinda likely) the DoJ is pushing back without giving three warnings. "You're playing in the big leagues and the little-league stuff won't fly here." I'm not sure that means the DoJ can get the case before a jury before 2025. Please, Merrick – don't make the charges so complex you create the opportunity for endless delay. 

    This is an open wound for the entire GOP associated with tRump for as long as it drags on. I'd like the Orange Guy in jail, like yesterday, but the conversation is where we want it and the longer it's there, the better for Democrats. I wonder if anyone can ask the former A/Gs that Trump rode if tRump demanded federal charges be brought against Clinton. Why weren't charges pressed? I'm sick of the argument that tRump can't be charged because HRC is not in jail. TFG wanted her in jail and the brown-nosers who worked as A/G refused to bring a case that they would have lost and would have forever tarnished their reputations. THAT'S the difference.

    Break point for Clinton may have been that there was no harm. IF Garland can prove that the FBI and CIA are scrambling to repair the damage done, there IS harm done by TFG. What I read is that the intelligence community has to treat info of this importance lost for this length of time in an insecure location as compromised. They won't wait for proof that our enemies now have this stuff – the CIA will assume they do and it will cause chaos to reposition. This is the answer to the "overdue library book" argument. it's not that the idiot-in-chief might have done the US harm – he DID enormous harm, whether enemy agents snuck into the basement and took pictures or not. 

    • There are at least two clocks that are running: the Jan 6 committee must complete its work before swearing-in next year, when the R's could take over the House and scuttle the proceedings.

      The other clock, as you mention is Jan 2025, when the new President can dispatch Garland, the DOJ, and hope of Trump ever seeing prosecution from this quarter. I'm sure everyone in DOJ is aware that time is running out.

      What I fear is that Garland will complete enough of his work – the mishandling of documents case is far more cut and dried than the insurrection / election fraud cases – but a President DeSantis would pardon the TFG.  It would make Gerald Ford's odious pardon of Richand Nixon like forgiving someone for jaywalking.

      • A definition of chutzpah: A person convicted of killing both parents asks the court for mercy because of the recent condition of becoming an orphan.

    • Thanks for the link, Swami. What a hapless idiot and his stupid defenses. Not a word about owning what he did, or remorse. Just very sorry he got caught, is what came across. Glad the judge read him out and threw the book at him.

  4. One thing I know from my prosecution by DOJ is that they will examine and use any public statement as evidence. So I look forward to TFG doing rallies for his failing flailing candidates.

  5. It might be behind a paywall, Women Are So Fired Up to Vote, I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It

    …But once the actual Dobbs decision came down, everything changed. For many Americans, confronting the loss of abortion rights was different from anticipating it. In my 28 years analyzing elections, I’ve never seen anything like what’s happened in the past two months in American politics: Women are registering to vote in numbers I’ve never witnessed. I’ve run out of superlatives to describe how different this moment is, especially in light of the cycles of tragedy and eventual resignation of recent years. This is a moment to throw old political assumptions out the window and to consider that Democrats could buck historic trends this cycle.

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