Secrets and Lies

Believe it or not, Trump might have done something even worse than inciting January 6th.

Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida. It is not yet clear if one of the things the DOJ is investigating is crimes against architecture.

Remember when August was traditionally a slow news month?

This week I had a whole essay about Donald Trump’s theft of classified documents ready to go when even bigger news on that front broke. The kakistocracy, apparently, is a fast-moving train. A shinkansen even.

I’m sure Republican hypocrisy will still be going strong next week, so no worries about wasted effort or the perishability of that story. In the meantime let’s dive into the latest breaking news. But first, let’s be clear about our terms, because the media largely has not been.

What’s being investigated here is not merely “the unauthorized possession of classified material,” as it is often coolly described. Trump hasn’t been caught holding, like a kid with a joint. He actively and illegally took classified documents containing state secrets — some of them, evidently, highly classified — from secure government facilities to his personal post-presidency residence at Elba-Lago. That’s called theft, and is subject to laws regarding espionage and worse. And it is not a mere allegation; that part of the story is already established fact.

What remains to be explained is why he did so and what he intended to do with that material…especially if, as alleged, it contained top secret information regarding nuclear weapons.

Today in Conjecture

At the risk of pulling a muscle patting myself on the back, earlier last week, before the apocalyptic, atom-splitting part of this story broke, I asked online:

Since the right wing is roiled with conspiracy theory over Raid-a-Lago, let’s indulge in some wild speculation of our own.

What sort of classified material do you think Donald Trump illegally took out of the White House and down to Florida? Stuff that was incriminating about his own activities, re Jan 6th or anything else? Maybe. But why? Why not just destroy that stuff?

OK. So more likely he took documents and information that were otherwise valuable to him….and in his world, “valuable” can equate only to something he can monetize. (The man buried his first wife on his golf course for a tax break, after all.)

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Robert Edwards / The King's Necktie

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie