So, I read the entire indictment and if you want to read it, you can download the document right here. It’s not very long, only 50 pages, but I’ll save you the trouble and simply say that I think the government has Trump dead to rights.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not an attorney and I have never been the subject of a criminal complaint. So, I’m not the kind of ‘expert’ in these matters which would get me on CNN or Fox News.
But I do know how to read English fairly well, and what I read in this indictment didn’t make me feel that Trump’s protestations of innocence won’t get him very far.
Know the name Robert Hanssen? He was a former FBI agent who died last week, but before that he was serving a life sentence in Colorado’s Supermax because he sold counter-intelligence secrets to the Russians for more than 15 years.
They even made a pretty good movie about this story, ‘Breach,’ starring Chris Cooper, Laura Linney, and Ryan Phillippe.
Now, every document that Hanssen sold to the Russians was classified, every document contained information about national security, every document gave our enemy a leg up in its attempts to penetrate our national security shield.
But that‘s not what Trump did or tried to do. What he did was to take a bunch of classified documents home with him after his Presidential term came to an end, stash the documents in a toilet in his private residence (see picture above) and then use them as props in what has been his daily reality show for the past twenty years.
Inter alia, I should add that Trump’s the only guy I know who would stick a chandelier into the ceiling of the room where someone goes to pee or take a shit.
Trump is charged with committing 37 violations of the United States Code, the word ‘violation’ being a polite way of saying ‘crime.’ Of these violations, 31 are violations of Chapter 793, subsection (e), defined as ‘willful retention of national defense information,’ each violation carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years, a maximum fine of $250,000 and 3 years of ‘supervised release’ after the poor bastard gets out of jail.
National defense information includes document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense.
When did Trump willfully retain this documentation? When he lost his security clearance at the end of his Presidential term and had classified documents loaded onto Air Force One for his last trip paid for by the taxpayers on January 20, 2021.
Worse, when he got to Florida, he unloaded all the documents into a van and then unloaded the cartons at his home. He then not only moved the documents from one storage location to another, but sometimes took out a document, waved it in front of another person or persons, and referred to the document or documents as ‘secret’ information which he was allowed to keep.
The difference between what Trump did with the documents he took to Mar-a-Lago and what Robert Hanssen did with the documents he took home from the FBI was that Hanssen sold the documents to a foreign country which he knew would use them to threaten our national security, whereas Trump stashed the documents in a toilet in his apartment because he was just a dumb schmuck.
Now if being stupid could be used as a credible defense in violations of the federal criminal code, the federal prison at Leavenworth or the Supermax could be used as storage depots because there wouldn’t be just about anyone who needed to be locked away for ten years or more.
One of the defendants charged with engaging in the January 6th riot had a lawyer who actually tried to defend him by telling the court that his client was ‘dumb as shit.’ By the way, the defense didn’t work.
Trump has been charged with ‘willful’ violation of criminal statutes because he consciously disregarded the advice of attorneys who told him that keeping control of classified documents meant he was breaking the law.
Did we actually elect someone President who is so friggin’ stupid that he could show sensitive materials to anyone who walked through his office door?