Trump knows the answers to the most important unanswered questions: What material did Mr. Trump take from the White House, why did he take it, what had he done with it and what was he planning to do with it? There is nothing that prevented Mr. Trump for over a year from publicly answering those questions; he surely has not remained silent because the answers are exculpatory.
Above all, the newly released redacted affidavit (and an accompanying brief explaining the redactions) reveals more evidence of a righteous criminal case related to protecting information vital to our nation’s security.
I can assure you, based on my experience as the general counsel of the F.B.I., that although there may be too much information deemed sensitive at the lowest level of classification, that was never the case with top-secret material.
Indeed, the redacted affidavit details some of the material found in a triage of material earlier returned by Mr. Trump at the repeated requests of national archives officials, including “184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as confidential, 92 documents marked as secret, and 25 documents marked as top secret.” An agent who reviewed that earlier material saw documents marked with “the following compartments/dissemination controls: HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN and SI.”
The markings for top-secret and sensitive compartmented information indicate the highest level of security we have. Those levels protect what is rightly described as the crown jewel of the national security community.
Especially with information classified at that level, the government doesn’t get to pick and choose to defend the nation’s top secrets based on politics — it doesn’t matter if the person in question is a Democrat or Republican, a former president, a secretary of state or Edward Snowden. These documents belong to the government, and their having been taken away posed a clear risk to our national security. [Continue reading…]