Yesterday, Donald Trump introduced that throughout the Mar-a-Lago raid, FBI brokers “stole” his three passports, certainly one of which was expired. The Division of Justice initially tried to disclaim this declare, or not less than weasel out of it. By way of RedState:
NEW: In line with a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports. Trump had accused the FBI of stealing his three passports throughout the search of his Mar-a-Lago house.
— Norah O’Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) August 15, 2022
That is typical of how the Biden Division of Justice and the FBI function. They piously assert that they will’t touch upon a lot of something publicly, after which leak falsehoods and half-truths to pleasant and gullible media shops. The cautious wording of this explicit leak is apparent: the FBI “is NOT in possession” of Trump’s passports–not that they didn’t take them, as Trump mentioned.
It seems that Trump was proper:
So Trump group now publicizing this electronic mail, which reveals:
1) DOJ obtained three passports (two expired, not one, as Trump mentioned) and alerted Trump legal professionals
2) They have been recovered by a filter group, which weeds out privileged data.
3) Trump publicized this after DOJ provided them again pic.twitter.com/lz8wneIQ0a
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 15, 2022
A phrase of clarification: Trump and his brokers have identified that among the supplies seized by the FBI have been lined by attorney-client privilege. This occurs lots. The same old observe, as I perceive it, is to have a group not related to the investigation (the “filter brokers”) overview the supplies and take away privileged paperwork earlier than the investigative group digs into them. Apparently the “filter brokers” eliminated the passports and the FBI provided them again to Trump. Is that this in keeping with the DOJ leak claiming that the FBI was “NOT in possession” of the passports? Provided that the filter group didn’t encompass FBI workers, and even then, provided that you construe “possession” with deceptive narrowness.
The subsequent query is whether or not the passports have been throughout the scope of the search warrant. DOJ tells us the FBI was trying to find “nuclear secrets and techniques,” which wouldn’t doubtless be hiding in a former president’s diplomatic passport. However the phrases of the search have been terribly broad. The FBI was approved to hold away from Mar-a-Lago:
a) Any bodily paperwork with classification markings, together with any containers/bins (together with some other contents) during which such paperwork are positioned, in addition to some other containers/bins which are collectively saved or discovered along with the aforementioned paperwork and containers/bins;
So if the FBI brokers who performed the raid discovered a number of paperwork with classification markings, they have been approved to hold away not simply these paperwork, and never simply the containers or bins that held such paperwork, however any containers or bins “discovered collectively” with them. That would come with any container or field in Trump’s basement, and might need been construed extra broadly by the brokers, to incorporate any containers or bins at Mar-a-Lago. It will be attention-grabbing to know the place Trump’s passports have been saved.
The incident of the stolen passports reveals the extraordinary breadth of the Mar-a-Lago raid, and I believe can pretty be mentioned to solid doubt on DOJ’s self-serving declare to have been trying to find “nuclear secrets and techniques.”