I am temporarily back in Missouri to wind up things here. And I’m trying to keep up with the news. Today CNN reports:
The National Archives has informed former president Donald Trump that it is set to hand over to special counsel Jack Smith 16 records which show Trump and his top advisers had knowledge of the correct declassification process while he was president, according to multiple sources.
In a May 16 letter obtained by CNN, acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall writes to Trump, “The 16 records in question all reflect communications involving close presidential advisers, some of them directed to you personally, concerning whether, why, and how you should declassify certain classified records.”
The 16 presidential records, which were subpoenaed earlier this year, may provide critical evidence establishing the former president’s awareness of the declassification process, a key part of the criminal investigation into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents.
The records may also provide insight into Trump’s intent and whether he willfully disregarded what he knew to be clearly established protocols, according to a source familiar with recent testimony provided to the grand jury by former top Trump officials.
I personally think the more incriminating thing was something he said in the infamous CNN “town hall” last week:
When asked why he took government documents from the White House, Trump answered: “I was there and I took what I took. … I had every right to do it. I didn’t make a secret of it. You know, the boxes were stationed outside of the White House.”
Yes, it’s very likely all kinds of people tried to educate him about the classification thing, and he just ignored them. And it appears he still hasn’t figured out why the documents aren’t “his.” Or else he’s trying to hide behind ignorance of the law, but that’s not supposed to be a legitimate defense.
The John Durham’s report on his investigation was released a couple of days ago. Paul Waldman explains that while the investigation was a total flop, the report is a propaganda triumph. It doesn’t matter that Durham didn’t find actual wrongdoing in the FBI investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. But the Right has still been able to spin it to claim the FBI investigation was just political and never should have been started.
I don’t know what’s going on with the debt ceiling, and part of me doesn’t want to know. I just want the thing resolved. Apparently I’m not the only one.