Would ya look at that:
Some of the White House documents that Donald Trump improperly took to his Mar-a-Lago residence were clearly marked as classified, including documents at the “top secret” level, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The existence of clearly marked classified documents in the trove — which has not previously been reported — is likely to intensify the legal pressure that Trump or his staffers could face, and raises new questions about why the materials were taken out of the White House.
While it was unclear how many classified documents were among those received by the National Archives and Records Administration, some bore markings that the information was extremely sensitive and would be limited to a small group of officials with authority to view such highly classified information, the two people familiar with the matter said.
In other Trump news:
Investigators have not uncovered evidence that any official records were tampered with or deleted, and it is well known that Mr. Trump used his personal cellphone, and those of his aides, routinely to talk with aides, congressional allies and outside confidants.
But the sparse call records are the latest major obstacle to the panel’s central mission: recreating what Mr. Trump was doing behind closed doors during crucial moments of the assault on Congress by a mob of his supporters.
There are two potential reasons for these gaps. The first is that they either intentionally did not log them, or they destroyed them after the fact, OR, as we might suspect, Trump was still using his own personal unsecured phone, which he probably did his entire presidency. I suppose there is another reason- his staff may have been participating in the riots and been unavailable to log them.
James Comey was unavailable for comment.
And finally, there’s this gem:
While President Trump was in office, staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper, Maggie Haberman scoops in her forthcoming book, “Confidence Man.”
Yes, the same Maggie Haberman who breathlessly pushed the Clinton email story sat on this for years to save it for her books. Some are saying it is because she wanted to make money on the book, but the reality is probably uglier. She’s not an investigative journalist, she’s an access journalist. She had to sit on it because otherwise she would lose access to Trump and his inner circle and would be unable to regurgitate whatever they tell her.
You tell me which is worse.
It sure would be nice if DOJ is pursuing this. Might be even better if they advertised a little bit.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
All these years I had plenty of Feckless Corporate Press Stooges with higher tumbrel numbers than Maga Habs.
She’s now #1.
They absolutely won’t advertise it. That’s what we hate Comey for.
@Baud: Uh, no, that’s not why people hate Comey.
I was thinking just this morning that we just had the most well documented insurrection in history. Thank goodness.
Old Man Shadow
Media: Yawn. Information security practices with classified data is soooooo 2015.
Talking about a pending investigation?
Any kernel of truth to the rumors that he ate a document or two?
Lying, cheating, pooping, that’s all you seem to do
Always the same, playing your game
Drive John insane, trouble is gonna come to you
John also mops naked and cans fruit.
You edited your comment. Ugh.
@Baud: Cats. Cats make you do things.
@Baud: I am ashamed… *joking
I keep hearing about how “intent” is key to some of these crimes, but just how many additional and related crimes does it take to prove altogether intent? Is it like a bingo card where they have to line up?
And how long until it’s RICO of the entire Republican Party?
Your time is gonna come….. We owe kitten names, too!
@Damien: unfortunately no the card was chewed on and flushed…but you can pull the cell phone records
@daize: 1 or Physical Graffiti or Houses of the Holy… love you
I would like to think Clyde Haberman sits in the dark each evening, drinking heavily and dwelling on what he unleashed on the country. But I doubt it.
In other news, mark this as Chapter Infinity of the only show running longer than 60 Minutes, IOKYAR. Nothing will happen.
Trump wanted access to the NY Times even though he claimed to hate them.
The NY Times wanted access to Trump.
I read somewhere that the NY Times initially missed the Watergate story because they had regular secret access to Henry Kissinger and he assured them that the burglary was nothing.
They never learn.
Love you, too, my dear.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
how would that make it better?
Gin & Tonic
If he was using his personal cell phone for these calls, the call logs (actually what are called “call detail records”) are kept by the cell service provider.
I am being inundated by fucking tv ads for all the carpetbagging multimillionaire GQPers running for Senate here. Each trying to out crazy the next. I’m not going to survive the onslaught until the primary.
And then we have this totally astroturfed trucker stupidity.
And on top of it all, I have to hear about Trump and his fucking obsession with toilets and flushing them. From MAGA Haberman and that rag Axios, no less.
How did I get stuck in this shitty timeline?
@Gin & Tonic:
Yep. Get that metadata.
@daize: taunt me with your proper grammar no more
Gin & Tonic
At least you have us.
Someone on PBS just explained that it would be difficult to get Trump on the classified document issue, because the president can declassify documents, and it would be hard to prove that he hadn’t waved his hands over them and declassified them before taking them.
@CROAKER: mmmm punctuation
@dnfree: I would imagine that there is a way documents are declassified and just waving your hands over them is not sufficient.
And my mustard. At least my mustard has never gone AWOL. Could be worse, I guess.
Gin & Tonic
@Starfish: Adam and others have explained that there is a process which must be followed. Waving one’s hands is not part of the process.
@dnfree: you still have to have a record of it being declassified. The process still has to be documented. This isn’t kindergarten playground time where you just wave your hands, and poof! Either the shit is documented or it’s not. And considering this fucking cavalcade of assclowns, dollars to dotards there’s no documentation for any of that shit.
For those who are frustrated about what the DOJ is not telling us, here is an alternate view:
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@dnfree: yup, that’s the problem with the endless calls for criminal prosecutions: The DoJ has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to twelve people that there has been a clear (and in many cases it seems, IANAL, a conscious, willful decision to commit) violation of a statue spelled out in specific words.
“Of course he’s fucking guilty!”, however true it might be, and it is, isn’t going to put trump in an orange jumpsuit
@daize: remove me from this blog of cole … i cannot bear it :-)
@Baud: There’s wiggle room, vast amounts of it, between doing nothing (which Adam Schafer is concerned about) and going full Comey
ETA: Schafer = Schiff.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: ‘Advertise’ meant here as simply letting the unwashed masses know that they are at least willing to investigate crimes. You know, do their jobs. As I mentioned earlier, and others have brought up, even Adam Schiff is concerned that DOJ has simple decided not to pursue Trump. That’s not good.
@CROAKER: A Christmas Carol. We love the Alistair Sim version above all.
@Baud: Speak for yourself. I’m must a visitor here, too, looking for my lost towel and appreciating the free fish.
Yes, the president can declassify, but if the document is about a top-secret weapons system or nuclear strategy, that dog won’t hunt
No point in speculating what the material was, but you can bet it would be worth a lot of money to some foreign government
How much are they paying these dismissive idiots at PBS?
@Mallard Filmore: Wow, that is nice
ETA: Maybe send it to Adam Schiff?
I want to know if the Archives ever got the Mr. T. Starter Set that the Saudis gave to TFG when he visited there and placed his tiny hands on the Crystal Globe.
Not when it comes to leaking information. Either it’s disclosed or its not.
@Mallard Filmore: Thanks for the link. The article seems to be about concerns people may have about the DOJ not going after “Trumpsters,” whatever those are, and concerns about DOJ even protecting them. I’m talking about Trump, the former president. Big difference, based on what Schiff has said about Garland.
That said, I’m still reading the article, so maybe I haven’t gotten to the issue of pursuing a former president (not his underlings). Thanks again for the link.
ETA: Article = threa
ETA: Read the whole thing. While it was a nice stroll down memory lane, there was nothing about Trump being pursued. My bottom line is: If the president is above the law, if anyone is above the law, are we really a nation of laws?
@Chief Oshkosh: but the pandimensional beings were? one always must carry … cloths in the form of
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Baud: I can’t imagine their phones aren’t ringing off the hook from the executive suites of Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda etc. To say nothing of the UAW. Maybe we need a better class of corporate overlord.
@Baud: Who’s talking about leaking information?
Old News! Fake News! Fake Old News!! (Something like that).
Newsweek (from 2018):
I’m shocked, shocked.
2016: “I’d vote for a woman, just not that woman.”
Fixed and fuck ’em!
Ella in New Mexico
I feel like I heard the clogged toilet story a while back and assumed it was his clean fetish and wadded up toilet paper.
are we sure Maggie isn’t trying to put out disinformation to keep people from finding out it WAS his shitter habits?
Given the unlikelihood hell ever face justice for an of this document destruction crap anyway
How else would DOJ “advertise” its investigation, as you suggested in the first comment?
They have a referral from Congress as it is. That necessarily means they are looking into it at some level.
@comrade scotts agenda of rage: Cave in Mags’s fucking fascist-enabling face.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
We invaded countries for less. Just saying.
Oy, but thanks.
Most of the other timelines are shittier than this one. People just groan at TVTropes style reality jokes. :-)
@Chief Oshkosh: Forget the towel, I’m just looking for my lost shaker of salt.
May our Dump-humping fascist shitstain enemies be ridiculous, dumbshit, white trash morons who livestream their crimes against American democracy for the world to see so that Lady Justice can punch them in their fucking fascist faces in their own homes and then throw their dumbshit fucking fascist shitstain asses into jail pending trial. CRY HARDER, TRUMP TRASH!
@Gin & Tonic:
I do hope they weren’t using something like Signal, which (according to at least one court case) doesn’t keep such metadata. (If “Show calls in recents” is turned on, then iPhone backup will backup calling metadata, and a subpoena could get them. Don’t know the default for this setting.)
“Money Guys on line one.”
@Baud: I did not know that. Thanks
ETA: As to advertise, they could simply say: We’re investigating the former president for possible crimes. No leaks, just a statement.
?Shake it to Pina colada, and your (Morton) salt in the rain!?
(Yeah. Don’t care. More of an ass shaking song.)
@lowtechcyclist: Fuckin’ Parrotheads. They’re over half responsible for the inflationary rise in tequila prices.
@Baud: Only white men are allowed to shut down the economy. Learn your place.
AFAIK, this is wrong. The president has plenary power over classification, but he (or one of his minions) has to keep proper records of what is and isn’t classified for it to count. So, for example, Trump could have decided one day that he wanted to declassify our nuclear war plans and publish them on the White House web site. That would be all legal and above board provided somebody kept proper records of that decision. If the people around him forgot because he was too busy getting in a Twitter spat, they could probably backdate it and nobody would get in too much trouble. But he can’t retroactively declassify something now, since his minions are no longer in charge of these things. If he didn’t keep proper records showing that the documents were declassified, he can’t correct the oversight today.
And that’s completely apart from the fact that he isn’t supposed to take records of any kind, classified or not, in his personal possession. Those things are all supposed to go to the National Archives. In practice, presidential records are kept in the presidential library, which the president has easy access to, rather than in some central location, but they are under the watchful eye of the government at all times.
Villago Delenda Est
The illustration is spot on, Cole. Five stars.
@Brachiator: borrowing from atrios, time for an ethics panel.
@Another Scott: It sounds like it wasn’t the first time Trump ate paper. Manigault Newman saw a career criminal in action.
Surprised it isn’t being reported more, but shitbirds have a design out for the “presidential library”. Would love to get Suzanne’s take on this.
@Leto: There’s also not going to be any documentation for declassifying because Trump didn’t declassify them. Trump took those things to hide them. There wasn’t even any meaningless handwaving.
@Bill Arnold: These two things are different from one another.
If you are touching your cellphone provider at all, they know what number called what other number and how long that call lasted.
That is not the details of the call. People may be able to spoof their phone numbers, but the cellphone company has some type of information about the call, even if it is not all the information about the call.
All of these programs are only as good as their programmers. As a programmer, I want to assure you that we are not perfect, unlike whatever it is that the crypto folks want you to believe. We make mistakes all the time. We just have to be a little unflappable and fix our screw-ups as quickly as possible.
Here is a news story about a 17-year-old finding a bug in Signal.
@Fair Economist: Oh, I believe that. Worked around too much classified, and how much documentation goes into that, to believe that they even did the bare minimum. And Roger made salient points above.
@Chief Oshkosh: Now there’s a First World Problem.
Villago Delenda Est
@Geminid: TFG: Teppichfresser
Taking classified information out of secure locations, in and of itself, is a violation of security laws/rules. Intent doesn’t matter.
I’m not sure what the punishment will be. Probably could go from misdemeanor and a fine to jail time, depending on what and how much was taken.
@Damien: And how long until it’s RICO of the entire Republican Party?
According to Popehat, it’s never RICO.
Let’s say that they do say they are investigating SFB.
If they had said that out loud, and/or in print, might that have changed the possibility of getting the documents that they were able to get from him at his Merry Loco golf club in FL? And wouldn’t capturing those documents somewhat signify that they are looking in his direction, carefully and fully?
That was a while ago, and was patched. Another concern is that it is only as secure as the endpoints; seize (and unlock) one of the phones and the metadata is present unless it was (securely) deleted.
Signal (currently Signal Technology Foundation) itself says that it doesn’t keep metadata about calls, and this has been tested at least once in court. If the NSA(/etc) can break Signal they’re not going to spill those beans for something trivial, and it’s possible that they cannot. (It’s also open source FWIW and has attracted a lot of eyeballs.)
As you say, cellular phone metadata is obtainable through a subpoena, so at least on the surface Signal is better in that respect. Certainly the efforts to ban end-to-end encrypted messaging services are suggestive that governments are worried about them.
If I were seriously paranoid, I’d build a private service using a fork of Signal (hosted in some place hostile to where I’m using it), and put it on burner smartphones for the most secure calls.
@comrade scotts agenda of rage:
Hey. They’re ALL #1 in my book.
@Gin & Tonic:
Is digestion part of the process?
@Chief Oshkosh: You lost your towel?
That is not very hoopy, my frood.
Ah well, no need to panic. I’m sure Cole will loan you one.
@mrmoshpotato: Dial it back a little, dude. You’ve been on a violent streak the last few days.
“And we oop -”
SOMEone saw the pics of god fearing burly Christian patriots deploying their little toddlers as bipedal flak vests…
Whatever those documents were, I hope the administration knows to just assume the information has been compromised. I think we can take it to the bank that just about every large and medium sized nation in the world has at least one agent on the housekeeping staff at Mar A Lago and/or Bedminster.
I’m assuming the NYT is reporting this as a small box in the classified ads section?
I think it’s pretty obvious he was on his private, unsecured phone. Somewhere someone should have that number. Maybe you could find it in Rudy Giuliani’s phone logs.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: “BANKSTERS!” all over again, basically.
@different-church-lady: You are correct. It’s in a small box at the bottom of the front page, with headlines like “Trump turns documents over to National Archives,” and with a modest article on p. A15.
Just One More Canuck
@Baud: did you see the name of the interim conservative leader