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Trump's Document Stash Put American Lives at Risk


THE CLASSIFIEDS DOCUMENTS THAT Donald Trump is charged with mishandling were marked “SECRET” or “TOP SECRET,” the highest classification we afford our nation’s secrets. By definition, the uncontrolled release of that information could be expected to cause “serious” or “exceptionally grave” damage (respectively) to our national security. As bad as that sounds, it gets worse: According to the indictment against Trump, eight of the TOP SECRET documents may have had information about or derived from so-called Special Access Programs (SAPs). The sensitivity of these documents was so great that prosecutors were obliged to redact even the codewords on the documents. The implication is that even publicly acknowledging the codenames of these projects, without discussing their operations at all, was deemed a great security risk.

These included documents about the nuclear capabilities of another country, military attacks by a foreign country, the military capabilities of a foreign country, the timeline and details of an attack in a foreign country, the regional military activity of a foreign country, the military activity of foreign countries and the United States, and military activity in a foreign country.

And as sensitive as the subjects of those documents are, what was really put at risk by our former commander-in-chief were the nation’s most sensitive activities and information derived from them.

Broadly defined in Executive Order 13526, which governs classification, an SAP is “a program established for a specific class of classified information that imposes safeguarding and access requirements exceeding those normally required for information at the same classification level.” These are programs or activities so sensitive they require enhanced safeguards and the strictest access requirements. Even those who go through the arduous and sometimes years-long process of obtaining a Top Secret clearance often require additional security adjudication for to gain access to SAPs. Details of SAPs are usually limited to the bare minimum number of people with a “need to know.” Some are divided into several compartments with individuals given access only to those compartments requiring their expertise or knowledge; only a select few—a dozen or so, maybe fewer—might have access to the totality of the SAP.


703 Ways Trump's Mar-a-Lago Conduct Bears No Resemblance to Hillary Clinton's Emails


“When caught, Hillary [Clinton] then deleted and acid washed ... 33,000 emails in defiance of a congressional subpoena already launched,” ex-President Donald Trump lamented on the evening after his federal arraignment on 37 counts of willful retention of national defense information, obstruction of justice, and false statements. “There’s never been obstruction as grave as that. . . . Hillary Clinton broke the law and she didn’t get indicted.”

“Is there a different standard for a Democratic secretary of state versus a former Republican president?” asked Florida governor and Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis shortly after news of Trump’s classified-documents indictment broke. “I think there needs to be one standard of justice in this country.”

Many Republicans who know in their guts that, as I will establish in this piece, Trump’s conduct is palpably different from Clinton’s are publicly encouraging the corrosive myth that a double standard has been applied in the indictment of one and the non-prosecution of the other. Here’s Sen. Lindsey Graham doing just that on ABC’s This Week earlier this month: “Most Republicans believe we live in a country where Hillary Clinton did very similar things and nothing happened to her.” Note that Graham didn’t say that he believed we live in that world. Yet he managed to leave the impression that he was sympathetic to that view and that Republicans who held it were justified in doing so.

Even Fox News chief political analyst Brit Hume, while voicing concerns about Trump’s conduct, did a version of the “many-Republicans-believe” dodge recently:

At the same time, of course, . . . we’re going to hear an awful lot about the unequal application of justice from [Trump’s] defenders and perhaps from his defense team in light of the way in particularly the Hillary Clinton case was handled, where she was, where James Comey, then FBI director, had conducted an investigation of her handling of material at her home in New York and outlined a case that he said could be brought but shouldn’t be. He didn’t dispute her guilt.


Judd Legum: Your guide to the nonsense about Trump's federal indictment


Today, for the first time in American history, a former president of the United States will appear at a federal courthouse to be arraigned on criminal charges. The indictment against Trump alleges that he took hundreds of classified documents from the White House to his social club in Florida, where he stored them in cardboard boxes along with newspaper clippings and other miscellanea. The boxes containing classified materials ended up in storage closets, ballrooms, and bathrooms without meaningful security measures — all while thousands of people visited the club.

The charges against Trump, made public by Special Counsel Jack Smith last week, related not only to Trump's retention of the nation's national security secrets, but also his efforts to conceal the materials from law enforcement. The indictment is devastatingly detailed, incorporating audio recordings, photographs, text messages, and contemporaneous notes.

All told, Trump faces 37 charges related to violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction, and conspiracy.

Nevertheless, millions of people are convinced that Trump is being railroaded. This includes supporters "planning mass protests" at the Miami courthouse today and promising to arrive "well armed." But it also includes an assortment of TV pundits, op-ed writers, and elected officials.

Some of the arguments sound persuasive at first blush. But a closer examination reveals that none of them hold water.


Interactive guide to rights the Supreme Court has established -- and could take away.


Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion established 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade, raising concerns about the future of other rights rooted in Supreme Court rulings. Although most rights are secured by statutes and regulations, others are guarantees extrapolated by the court from the often abstract language of the Constitution. Some of these are recent rights, like the right to carry a handgun in public. But many are longstanding, like the right to be read a Miranda warning by police before being interrogated, and trace their origins to the liberal majorities that presided on the court from the 1950s through the 1970s, an era often called the “rights revolution.” Because these rights were established by the court, the court alone gets to decide whether to preserve, shrink or unmake them.

To get a better sense of which rights may be at risk — in whole or in part — ProPublica scoured judicial opinions, academic articles and public remarks by sitting justices. Some justices, like Clarence Thomas, have had decadeslong careers and lengthy paper trails. By contrast, Ketanji Brown Jackson, the newest justice, has almost no prior record. We found dozens of rights that at least one sitting justice has questioned. Below, you can explore these rights and the objections levied against them. We include federal legislation that’s been introduced to protect a given right, as well as lawsuits active in lower courts that could become vehicles for the justices to revisit existing rights in the future.



Model Prosecution Memo for Trump Classified Documents (Just Security)


This model prosecution memorandum assesses potential charges federal prosecutors may bring against former President Donald Trump. It focuses on those emanating from his handling of classified documents and other government records since leaving office on January 20, 2021. It includes crimes related to the removal and retention of national security information and obstruction of the investigation into his handling of these documents. The authors have decades of experience as federal prosecutors and defense lawyers, as well as other legal expertise. Based upon this experience and the analysis that follows, we conclude that Trump should–and likely will–be charged.

Before indicting a case, prosecutors prepare a prosecution memo (or “pros memo”) that lays out admissible evidence, possible charges, and legal issues. This document provides a basis for prosecutors and their supervisors to assess whether the case meets the standard set forth in the Federal Principles of Prosecution, which permit prosecution only when there is sufficient evidence to obtain and sustain a conviction. Before a decision is made about bringing charges against Trump (and co-conspirators, if any), prosecutors will prepare such a memo.

There is sufficient evidence to obtain and sustain a conviction here, if the information gleaned from government filings and statements and voluminous public reporting is accurate. Indeed, the DOJ is likely now, or shortly will be, internally circulating a pros memo of its own saying so. That DOJ memo will, however, be highly confidential, in part because it will contain information derived through the grand jury and attorney work product. Since it will not be publicly available, we offer this analysis. Ours is likely more detailed than what DOJ will prepare internally for explanatory purposes. But, given the gravity of the issues here, our memo provides a sense of how prosecutors will assemble and evaluate the considerations that they must assess before making a prosecution decision.

Our memo analyzes six federal crimes in depth:

Mishandling of Government Documents
1. Retention of National Defense Information (18 U.S.C. § 793(e))
2. Concealing Government Records (18 U.S.C. § 2071)
3. Conversion of Government Property (18 U.S.C. § 641)

Obstruction, Contempt, False Information

1. Obstruction of Justice (18 U.S.C. § 1519)
2. Criminal Contempt (18 U.S.C. § 402)
3. False Statements to Federal Investigators (18 U.S.C. § 1001)


"This kid must have attended one of MAGA's Hitler Youth camps."👇


This is how they want to indoctrinate kids.

American Police are Basically Untouchable. How did it get this bad?



Chris Hedges:

The police in the United States through a series of Supreme Court decisions as well as policies enacted by state and city governments have become largely immune from prosecution even when they commit serious felonies such as murder. Police officers are criminally charged in less than 2% of fatal shootings and convicted in fewer than one third of those cases. When officers injure but do not kill, they are even less likely to be prosecuted. Police in America are virtually omnipotent, prosecuted in a handful of high profile cases that receive national attention, but otherwise free to engage in lawless behavior, especially in poor communities.

University of California law professor Joanna Schwartz, in her book, Shielded: How The Police Became Untouchable, details the myriad of ways the legal system has stripped the citizens of protections from police abuse. The wholesale blocking of civil rights litigation means the police are rarely held accountable for the crimes they commit. Blunting all efforts to enact meaningful police oversight, legal accountability and reform. Joining me to discuss her book, our failed justice system in police forces that function especially in poor communities as rogue militias, is Professor Joanna Schwartz. Let’s begin as you do in the book with the legal antecedents, especially Section 1983 became law in 1871. What was Section 1983? Why was it made law and how did it protect the citizenry and why and how has it been rolled back?

Joanna Schwartz:

Section 1983 was first passed by Congress in 1871 following the Civil War during reconstruction when newly freed slaves, former slaves, black Americans were being tortured and killed by the newly created Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups and local law enforcement and government was doing nothing to intervene if they were not themselves participating in the violence. And Congress looking at this evidence, decided that there needed to be a federal law allowing people to sue for violations of their civil constitutional rights in order to give those rights actual meaning. And so they enacted what is now known as Section 1983 for its place in the US code, but was at the time referred to as, the Ku Klux Klan Act. Very soon after Section 1983 became law, decisions by the Supreme Court and by Congress made Section 1983 and other reconstruction era acts lose much of their power.

And it was really not until 1961 when the Supreme Court first recognized that Section 1983 could be used to sue government officials, police officers in the case, which is called Monroe versus Pape, for the violations of their constitutional rights. So after 90 years in obscurity and disuse, Section 1983 was recognized by the Supreme Court as being this tool that could be used to sue for constitutional violations in 1961. But then after a sort of momentary heyday with the power and potential of 1983, the statute has lost progressively its power and it’s lost its power through Supreme Court decisions primarily that have cut away at the ability to sue in a variety of different ways that I outlined in the book that begin at the very initial stage of trying to find a lawyer through pleading a complaint with the court through proving a constitutional violation, qualified immunity, holding local governments responsible and beyond.


Unfurling the Book Banner Lies


This week, book banners showed up to the Douglas County Public Library board meeting in Colorado to protest books in the system’s collection. It is not the first time they’ve done it, and it’s also not the first time counter protestors have shown up to push back. None of this is news nor is it all that interesting; at this point, it’s pretty standard, even if there are still folks choosing to ignore this is happening in their own back yards at their public library.

What is more interesting than that, though, is looking at how these crisis actors are presenting their message and courting people to their cause. Propaganda works when an uninformed public — usually folks who aren’t engaged in the inaccurately named “culture wars” online — sees it and is appalled by what is presented. Good propaganda works because it’s convincing and presented in such a way as to appear authoritative. But y’all, this isn’t even close to good, and the book banning bigots do not even care. By presenting their false narratives in the most outrageous manner, they’re able to stoke anger and fear in new ways…and it is working.

But let’s break down what is truth here and what is spin (spoiler alert: it’s all spin). The purpose of sharing this is twofold: first, exposure matters since too many folks who care about the First Amendment Rights of all and the freedom of access are putting their heads in the sand and not looking at this stuff and second, this will help in your own talking points with friends, family, board meeting members and attendees, educators, and legislators, debunking fact from fiction.

Because sorry, that’s your job, too. You can’t not look and pretend it is not happening.


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