Searching the Mar-a-Lago compound

poor stewardship

Mar-a-lago compoundThe news that the FBI executed a warrant to search djt’s Mar-a-Lago compound was welcome news to those who believe in democracy and the rule of law. Of course, there has been a lot of speculation and even disinformation about this.

Rolling Stone reported that djt asked associates if they thought his phones were bugged. Newsweek said the raid resulted from a “confidential human source,” citing government sources.

Since late April, the source says, “a federal grand jury began deliberating whether there was a violation of the Presidential Records Act or whether President Trump unlawfully possessed national security information. Through the grand jury process, the National Archives provided federal prosecutors with copies of the documents received from former President Trump in January 2022. The grand jury concluded that there had been a violation of the law, according to the Justice Department source.

“In the past week, the prosecutor in the case and local Assistant U.S. Attorney went to Florida magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in West Palm Beach to seek approval to search Donald Trump’s private residence. The affidavit to obtain the search warrant… contained abundant and persuasive detail that Trump continued to possess the relevant records in violation of federal law and that investigators had sufficient information to prove that those records were located at Mar-a-Lago—including the detail that they were contained in a specific safe in a specific room.”

The FBI informant must be someone very close to djt, according to former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who didn’t even know there was a safe at the compound. Who is the mole inside Mar-A-Lago? teased The Lincoln Project.

A bad habit

He has a habit of mishandling records destinated to the National Archives. The Washington Post “reported that the former president’s habit of shredding documents… meant to be preserved… was so ‘relentless that Trump’s team implemented protocols to try to ensure that he was abiding by the Presidential Records Act.’

“That process involved ‘aides from either the Office of the Staff Secretary or the Oval Office Operations team [coming] in behind Trump to retrieve the piles of torn paper he left in his wake,’ and then painstakingly ‘jigsawing the documents back together, using clear tape.’ One person familiar with the matter told the Post the National Archives staff was ‘stunned at how many papers they received from the Trump administration that were ripped,’ calling it ‘unprecedented'” and unpresidential. Illegal too!

The reason this is such a big deal is that djt and the Republican Congress boosted penalties for “mishandling classified docs to spite Hillary Clinton” over her damn emails. The Daily Show ripped over the GOP’s Hillary Clinton hypocrisy “in a video that highlights Trump’s allies ‘talking about Hillary’ while showing FBI agents entering Mar-a-Lago.”

Unfair, unfair!

Of course, many Republicans reflexively have come to djt’s defense, even Mike Pence.  Kevin McCarthy, who will become speaker of the House if the GOP takes control, said he would launch an immediate investigation of the DOJ: “Attorney General Garland … clear your calendar.”

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) calls “The FBI’s raid on President Trump’s Florida home…a dark day in American history. The political weaponization of the FBI and Department of Justice is an actual threat to democracy. There must be an immediate investigation and accountability into Joe Biden, and his Administration’s weaponizing this department against their political opponents – the likely 2024 Republican candidate for President of the United States.”

But what’s concerned me is countless online threats of violence and “civil war.” It is something we should not ignore.

FBI head Christopher Wray bewailed threats to law enforcement. For instance, a Jan. 6 protestor, armed and decked out in body armor, tried to breach a security screening area at an FBI field office in Cincinnati, OH, just yesterday. After an hours-long standoff, the gunman was killed.

CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph, noting the ‘big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke” the night before.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) “posted audio of a violent death threat against him and his family. The Congressman is married, and the couple has three children. The speaker in the audio also calls for ‘all Democrats’ to be killed and ends with a call for ‘Trump 2024.'”

“Republican extremists went into overdrive with their violent online rhetoric—”This. Means. War.” “When does the shooting start?” “Summertime was made for killing fields.'”

A Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. They believe ‘God Anointed Him’:

Absurd

Red State, a rightwing online magazine that I won’t link to, wrote that Whether You Like It or Not, You’re Now a Part of The Resistance. “One big difference between conservatives and leftists is that, for the most part, conservatives want the smallest amount of contact with government possible as they go about their lives.” Like not ratting out people who seek information about abortion; yeah, right.

“On the other hand, progressive leftists want the government involved in every single aspect of our lives and are willing to spend every waking moment working to achieve that goal. Instead of volunteering and being a part of community organizations, progressives spend their time protesting and agitating for the government to be in charge of everything. And when they’re not protesting and agitating, they’re scouring social media to see which of their neighbors is possibly engaging in wrongthink and trying to make their lives miserable.” The last sentence, in particular, is jaw-dropping.

Finally

“Attorney General Merrick Garland said he ‘personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant of the former president’s residence.” The Department of Justice has filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and the itemized receipt of what was taken from Mar-a-Lago. This should, but probably won’t assuage those who believe djt has been persecuted. Will djt’s lawyers even allow for the release?

I won’t even get into djt’s appearance at “the New York Attorney General’s Office” to plead the fifth Amendment. Attorney General Letitia James is investigating “his real estate pricing practices. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 that his former boss would increase what he claimed his properties are worth when attempting to arrange credit and decrease their value for tax purposes.”

Finally, a little satire: Feds Seizing Documents at Mar-a-Lago Unable to Find Trump’s Health-Care Plan. “It’s got to be around here somewhere,” one F.B.I. agent

James Comey testimony as entertainment

Watergate took a LONG time to unravel, over two years from the break-in to the resignation.

I guess I’m not zeitgeisty enough – no, I don’t think it’s a word – because the anticipation over former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 made me oddly uncomfortable.

As an old poli sci major who sat in front the TV set for HOURS taking in all the nuance of the various committees investigating Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal back in the 1970s, I suppose I should be happy that the American public is interested in a civics lesson.

But it was more like theater, specifically a movie theater, where comedian/late night host Stephen Colbert is seen eating from a bag of popcorn. As the Boston Globe put it, “Comey’s testimony puts Washington in party mode.” As some conservative website noted, “The hearing was treated like a major sporting event by D.C. locals, who lined up to gain entrance to local establishments for standing-room only viewing parties.”

And it wasn’t limited to the District of Columbia. “Festivities” seemed to be particularly popular on the West Coast, with folks at bars in time for the 7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time event.

At the end of the day, almost no one was convinced of anything they hadn’t been thinking before except that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) seemed befuddled. Those who dislike the regime think that impeachment is just around the corner. Those on the other side believe they’re, in the words of Lou Dobbs, “No crime, No evidence.” Comey was just a “disgruntled employee.” I saw that specific description a lot.

At the end of the day, it’s what Bob Woodward, Washington Post editor, and one of the reporters who helped bring down Nixon said on CBS News This Morning: “We know 5, maybe 10 percent of what we will know” when the various investigations are over.

No, there was no smoking gun, yet. Nor was the regime “vindicated”; saw THAT word a lot, especially on the Twitter feed #MAGA, where I actually read:
“He is bringing back respect and class to this country
#proudAmerican #TRUMPPENCE2020 #MAGA #BUILDTHEWALL #YESTRAVELBAN #DTS#JOBSJOBSJOBS #OBAMASFORPRISON2017 #CLINTONSFORPRISON2017 #STOPTHELEAKS#STOPFAKENEWS #CNNVERYFAKENEWS #MSNBCFAKENEWS #CBSFAKENEWS #ABCFAKENEWS#NYTIMESFAKENEWS #WASHINGTONPOSTFAKENEWS #LATIMESFAKENEWS #USATODAYFAKENEWS#GOOGLEFAKENEWS #YAHOOFAKENEWS”

Regardless of the results of the investigations, his secret isn’t that he lies. It’s that he crowds out the truth. “The question isn’t whether you’re winning the argument — it’s whether you’re dominating and driving the coverage of the argument.”

I will acknowledge that clearing the room of other people, then being asked by a person in a superior position if you would consider taking a particular action reeks to high heaven, to my mind.

Watergate took a LONG time to unravel, over two years from the break-in to the resignation. This Russia influence/election rigging thing is going to take awhile too. It won’t be solved with a few hours of testimony, but people want more rapid gratification when it simply not how these things work. Or, as some folks interviewed on NBC News this week acknowledged, “It’s too complicated.”

I think, like those in the slow cooking movement, we ought to take our time and let the facts simmer, with the evidence determining the results of the investigation. Because no one still supporting the regime will convince those who don’t of a damn thing, and pretty much vice versa.

February rambling #2: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M.

A Beach Boy asks, “Why am I the villain?”

colbyjones

Sharp Little Pencil: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M..

What Happens Now That We Know Gravitational Waves Are Real? Compare with Introduction to the flat earth, how it works, and why we believe it.

The Latter Days of a Better Nation. For instance, Florida Legal: Man Shoots Young Girl Neighbor In Her House From Homemade Gun Range.

Looking Back BY Jeffrey Toobin, re: Antonin Scalia.

John Oliver: on voting and on abortion. Plus an interview.

The Apple/FBI question is harder than it looks.

simonpeter

How Writers Ruin Their Amazon Links (Yes, You Probably Do It Too), which is keeping unnecessary stuff in the URL; I mentioned this here.

What I Mean When I Say ‘I Have Anxiety’.

‪What makes a good life‬.

The Dark Underside of the Show-Dog World .

What Is Face Blindness?

Dustbury would stand up straight if he could. I SO relate.

Arthur’s dad would be 100.

The Uncanny Adventures of (I Hate) Dr. Wertham.

Now I Know: The Trees of Hate and The Science Behind the Slogan (Morton’s salt) and The History of Being on Hold and A Stinky Suit.

Muppet commercials from 1965.

Four Rare JEOPARDY! Scenarios. Plus Canadians Left With Questions After Being Barred From ‘Jeopardy!’

The obligatory Donald Trump section

I think he’ll be the Republican nominee.

How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable.

Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump.

For Donald Trump, internet bullying is a highly effective campaign tactic.

America’s Agitator: Donald Trump Is the World’s Most Dangerous Man.

Why We Secretly Love Donald Trump (and Why We Should Fight It).

What it would take to build Trump’s border wall.

An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Donald Trump.

Why I am Endorsing* Trump. Note the asterisk.

Nearly 20 percent of Trump’s supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves.

Canadian island welcomes Americans who wish to move if Trump wins. Actually, they welcome people from all political stripes.

New liquid Trump and I know, right?

The other folks running

What that Cruz-Rubio ‘He doesn’t speak Spanish’ thing was about.

Neurologist explains why it’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s creepy ‘unsettling’ face.

Why do so many people from Europe want Bernie Sanders to be the President of the United States?

Music

Bohemian Rhapsody – the Maniacal 4 Trombone Quartet.

10 Artists Who Hated Their Biggest Hit.

K-Chuck Radio: The Sugarhill Pulse.

Song stylist Nancy Wilson.

The Ballad of Mike Love. A Beach Boy asks, “Why am I the villain?”

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

Arthur’s Internet Wading for February 21.

The FBI is sending me money!

This sounds pretty authentic. Odd numbering, bad punctuation, and everything.

Like too many of us, I get a lot of junk e-mail. Fortunately, most of it goes into my spam folder. A recent one came from the “Anti-Terrorist And Monetary Crimes Division” of the FBI, but signed by Mr. Robert Mueller, the director, informing me that they have “have completed an investigation on an International Payment in which was issued to you by an International Lottery Company. With the help of our newly developed technology (International Monitoring Network System)” – WOW! – “we discovered that your e-mail address was automatically selected by an Online Balloting System, this has legally won you the sum of $2.4million USD from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America.”

Yay, I’m practically rich!

“You will be required to settle the following bills directly to the Lottery Agent in charge of this transaction who is located in Cotonou, Benin Republic. According to our discoveries, you were required to pay for the following,
(1) Deposit Fee’s ( IMF INTERNATIONAL CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE )
(3) Shipping Fee’s ( This is the charge for shipping the Cashier’s Check to your home address)
The total amount for everything is $96.00 We have tried our possible best to indicate that this $96.00 should be deducted from your winning prize but we found out that the funds have already been deposited IMF and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from you the winner, therefore you will be required to pay the required fee’s.”

This sounds pretty authentic. Odd numbering, bad punctuation, and everything.

Seriously, usually, I ignore these things, but in this case, I thought I ought to report it to the REAL FBI, in case someone else is foolish naive enough to believe this rubbish. Surprisingly the FBI doesn’t seem to have an e-mail address in Estonia. I went to the FBI website and reported this scam to The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI “and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).” I dutifully filled on the form, then submitted it. Or tried. It took me FOUR times to send it because the word verification was so tricky – it’s really difficult to tell the difference between m and rn, for instance, when any given letter has TWO colors.

So when I got a SECOND, totally different message from the FBI in Atlanta (Japanese e-mail), I didn’t bother reporting it. Ya got to make it easier, FBI.
***
My URL shows up in Dustbury’s spam. Oy.

 

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