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Posts tagged ‘classified documents’

Classified Documents Are a New Potential Trap for Any Politician Who Crosses the Deep State


BY: JOY PULLMANN | JANUARY 30, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/30/classified-documents-are-a-new-potential-trap-for-any-politician-who-crosses-the-deep-state/

Chuck Schumer and Merrick Garland talking
The Trump years saw a massive acceleration in the trend of unelected bureaucrats exercising power over elected officials, including by weaponizing classified information.

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Procedural complaints about classified documents are quickly turning into a catch-all trap that can depose duly elected officials, especially those tasked with oversight of U.S. intelligence agencies. Last August, an unprecedented classified document complaint provided a pretext for an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s home, in an eerie echo of the use of police and military resources against opposing politicians typical of banana republics.

That administrative power flex has now been turned into the unprecedented appointment of three special counsels, most recently against the deeply unpopular current Democrat Party figurehead, Joe Biden. This all reverses the American structure of elected officials maintaining oversight of unelected permanent administrators. Instead, we now have unelected bureaucrats performing selective “oversight” of elected officials.

Of course, that pattern erases Americans’ deepest political birthright: government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A government not ultimately controlled by elected representatives of the citizenry is not a republic, nor is it any kind of democracy. Without elections truly affecting government policies, the original United States is no more, and its elections are a sham.

The subversion of elected representative government via weaponized intelligence has been expanding for some time. The Trump presidential years saw a massive acceleration in this pre-existing trend of unelected bureaucrats exercising increasing power over elected officials, including by weaponizing classified information, usually via highly selective leaks to leftist media.

Recall that Michael Flynn, a would-be reformer of U.S. intelligence, was neatly precluded from becoming Trump’s national security advisor via leaks of classified intel to the media that a (still) gullible Vice President Mike Pence bought hook, line, and sinker. Rather than the leaker being sought, caught, and punished, Flynn was. The selective and deceptive leaks were shanghaied into a Justice Department investigation that ended with Flynn narrowly escaping jail time and professional repercussions for his son so long as he promised to disappear from public view.

The same pattern occurred in multiple cycles with Spygate, the wholly manufactured projection of treasonous collusion with Russia from the Democratic Party onto Trump. Rep. Adam Schiff, who has been recently kicked off the House Intelligence Committee, repeatedly used his access to classified intelligence to fan the Spygate flames as well as the two impeachments of Trump. So did multiple other deep-state actors, including the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Notice there’s no probe into Schiff’s blatant and repeated misuse of the classified information he was privileged to receive on the House Intelligence Committee. But there could be if he stopped being such a useful Democrat.

This is how, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer threatened Trump early in the latter’s term, intelligence agencies “have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” It is how the intelligence tail can — and now does — wag the congressional dog. This has been ongoing now for decades and is perpetually expanding its reach.

This allows the document-holders to function as a shadow government that essentially controls the elected government by picking what bits of information to release to achieve its own ends rather than the priorities of American voters. This selective deployment of intelligence has been even used to goad the United States into wars it doesn’t win that expand the military-industrial complex and distract U.S. officials while defenestrating U.S. national interests. It was used to lie to Trump about U.S. military activities and prevent him from exercising his due presidential authority over U.S. military affairs.

Those who presented unreliable, counterproductive, and false intelligence to presidents from George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Trump have not been punished, nor often even identified. Neither has the person who compromised the safety and collegiality of the U.S. Supreme Court by leaking the pro-life Dobbs decision last May.

Curiously, neither have there been any administrative-state leaks about the many connections between the Biden family and the Chinese Communist Party. This is not a tool to be applied equally, you see, or in service of the public good. It’s only yet another knife to pull out against those who cross the wrong people.

That’s how expansive, vague, and proliferating laws, regulations, and bureaucracies all work: as tools of selective prosecution to be wielded at the whims of the powerful against those who threaten their power. The erasure of self-government and the rule of law go hand in hand, collapsed by the administrative state’s erasure of the separation of powers that protect individual liberty and justice for all.

This expanding weaponization of classified intel into selective probes of those who have access to at least some of it allows deep-state entities even more control over elected officials. This standard of probes for possessing “unauthorized” classified documents can be applied to any current or former president, as well as many other officials.

As a Project for Government Oversight lawyer told USA Today: “I’d bet you that if they go back to all of the living presidents and root through their homes and their libraries and their warehouses and garages, they’re going to unearth some classified documents there.” Other presidential experts told USA Today that essentially every presidential administration since 1978 has mishandled classified documents.

The same applies to numerous other elected and unelected officials, such as those on House and Senate military intelligence committees and in the executive branch. This is partly because U.S. intelligence agencies improperly classify “millions” of materials, partly to hide their activities by lying that materials elected representatives seek implicate “national security.” It’s a convenient, unfalsifiable excuse that allows U.S. intelligence agencies to function as poisonous self-licking ice cream cones.

U.S. intelligence agencies improperly classify “millions” of materials, partly to hide their activities by lying that materials elected representatives seek implicate “national security.” It’s a convenient, unfalsifiable excuse that allows U.S. intelligence agencies to function as poisonous self-licking ice cream cones.

This all recalls one of the famous lines of one of the world’s most famous of secret police, Joseph Stalin’s NKVD chief, Lavrentiy Beria: “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” That is how secret police function. It is how U.S. intelligence agencies function now, with help from their administrative-state allies such as the Department of So-Called Justice. Their use of selective prosecutions and investigations to hamstring and punish their enemies may not be unlimited now, but it is expanding.

All members of Congress must be aware of this and use all the powers at their disposal to fight it, for as the administrative apparatus strengthens, the American republic dissolves.


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her just-published ebook is “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. Her many books include “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. Joy is also a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.


The Real Scandal In The Classified Documents Debacle Is Washington’s Overclassification Problem

BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE

JANUARY 25, 2023

4 MIN READ

top Secret sign
Laws governing classified documents in private possession have become a primary vehicle to thwart political opponents.

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Washington D.C. has long had an overclassification problem.

According to Yale Law Professor Oona Hathaway, more than 50 million documents are classified every year. In fact, “we don’t know the exact number because even the government can’t keep track of it all,” Hathaway told NPR last week. Now, laws governing classified documents in private possession have become a primary vehicle to thwart political opponents.

More documents marked classified have now been found in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana residence, his team announced to Congress on Tuesday. The revelation marks the latest episode in classified documents popping up in the apparently improper possession of individuals who’ve conducted state business at the highest levels of government.

Last week, a 13-hour FBI search of President Joe Biden’s Delaware residence turned up yet another trove of documents with classified markings from his tenure in public office before he was afforded total classification powers as commander-in-chief. The search by federal agents came after the president’s attorneys found secret records in several locations, including a Washington office closet and his Delaware garage.

In August, it was first former President Donald Trump who found himself in hot water when 30 plainclothes FBI agents raided the 128-room palace at Mar-a-Lago in search of classified documents. Operating under a broad warrant issued by Attorney General Merrick Garland that allowed officials to confiscate any record Trump may have come into contact with, agents took 15 boxes of material from the Florida residence. Deep-state DOJ officials then began to leak to their public relations team at The Washington Post that former President Trump was harboring nuclear secrets.

[READ: There’s A Difference Between Biden And Trump’s Classified Documents Snafus, But It’s Not What You Think]

“A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Post reported, “underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed in the Florida property.”

Of course, the public has little to no idea what, exactly, the documents spelled out. They are classified, after all. But the constant drip of document appearances from now three potential presidential contenders showcases how laws governing classified records can be used to get rid of nearly any federal elected official. Given that a criminal conviction of Trump has remained the top item on the Democrats’ policy agenda since 2016, it’s a conspiracy to think the enforcement of the rarely prosecuted Presidential Records Act is not being pursued for the sole purpose of thwarting his 2024 campaign — that is until the dam of others’ classified documents broke.

The real scandal isn’t that the current president, his predecessor, and the last vice president were improperly harboring classified documents beyond their government tenure. The real scandal is Washington’s chronic overclassification problem, which leads to the laws governing classified records becoming weaponized to take out political opponents. It’s probably only a matter of time before classified documents appear in the possession of any former federal employee who wants to run for president, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Even The Washington Post highlighted D.C.’s obsession with classifying everything way back in 1989. In classic swamp fashion, 34 years have gone by without fixing the problem. Congress did try to address the overclassification issue in 2010 with the Reducing Over-Classification Act. President Barack Obama signed the law, but lawmakers failed to define “over-classification,” rendering the legislation practically useless.

The federal government can and should keep certain information concealed from public view. It’s probably not wise to reveal details about American nuclear operations. But anyone who’s ever submitted a request for public records through the Freedom of Information Act understands Washington hates making anything public.

The Federalist is still waiting on the Department of Transportation, of all agencies, to comply with a records request that was filed in late 2021 related to Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s prolonged eight-week absence amid a supply-chain crisis. Once the agency coughed up documents as a result of a lawsuit from Protect the Public’s Trust this month, the secretary’s husband, Chasten, berated reporters for focusing on old news.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

Obama office won’t say whether it will conduct a search for classified documents


By Patrick Hauf | Fox News | Published January 24, 2023 3:20pm EST

Read more at https://www.foxnews.com/politics/obama-office-wont-say-conduct-search-classified-documents

Former President Barack Obama’s office declined to answer questions about whether it is searching for classified documents at his residences after documents have now been found in the homes and offices of President Biden, former President Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

We have nothing for you at this time,” Hannah Hankins, the communications director for Obama, told Fox News Digital when asked if searches for classified material were underway.

REPUBLICANS CALL FOR SEARCH OF BIDEN’S SENATE PAPERS: ‘NO STONE SHOULD BE LEFT UNTURNED’

Former President Obama's office declined to comment on if they are searching for classified documents at his residences.
Former President Obama’s office declined to comment on if they are searching for classified documents at his residences. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Five batches of classified documents from President Biden have been discovered since November from his time as Obama’s vice president. One batch was located at the Penn Biden Center and four at his Wilmington, Delaware, residence. A special counsel investigation into the matter was launched in January by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

BIDEN’S OFFICE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT ‘POLITICAL SENSITIVITIES’ OF RELEASING SENATE PAPERS, 2010 EMAIL REVEALS

Five batches of classified documents have been located at President Biden's residences.
Five batches of classified documents have been located at President Biden’s residences. (Anna Moneymaker)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida to recover classified documents in August. Former Vice President Mike Pence informed Congress Tuesday that classified documents were discovered at his Carmel, Indiana, residence.

COMER WILL ‘CONTINUE TO PRESS’ FOR INFO ON BIDEN DOCS SCANDAL AFTER WHITE HOUSE SAYS NO VISITOR LOGS IN DE

Former Vice President Mike Pence informed Congress Tuesday that classified documents were discovered at his Carmel, Indiana residence.
Former Vice President Mike Pence informed Congress Tuesday that classified documents were discovered at his Carmel, Indiana residence. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The office of former President George W. Bush said he turned over all classified documents upon leaving the White House.

Obama has residences in four cities, according to Homes & Gardens: Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; and New York City.

Patrick Hauf is a politics writer for Fox News Digital.

Discovery Of More Biden Docs Proves Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 23, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/23/discovery-of-more-biden-docs-proves-mar-a-lago-raid-was-just-another-russia-collusion-hoax/

Joe Biden gets off Marine One
The discovery of more Biden documents highlights the ridiculous plot to destroy Trump that culminated in the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

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The FBI recovered an additional cache of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, following a 12-hour search conducted by federal agents on Friday. While this development adds to the scandal surrounding the current president, it does much more: It highlights the ridiculous plot launched to destroy Donald Trump that culminated in the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

“Six items” were recovered on Friday from Biden’s Delaware home, which consisted of “documents with classification markings and surrounding materials,” the president’s lawyer said in a statement released after the search. While the “crafty legalese” deployed by the attorney left unclear how many classified documents were contained within the “six items” recovered, Biden’s lawyer confirmed that the documents dated back to the Delaware Democrat’s time as both vice president and senator, so spanning from 2017 to as far back as 1973

The president’s lawyers had previously searched the Bidens’ Wilmington home (and garage), and while they discovered a handful of other documents marked classified, they apparently overlooked the “six items” the FBI found last week. 

The search of Biden’s home followed the discovery in November 2022 of at least 10 classified documents, including ones reportedly marked “top secret.” Those documents also dated back to his days as vice president under Barack Obama and were stored in a closet at a private office building in D.C. But the so-called “think tank” where they were stored, the Penn Biden Center, did not open until February 2018, meaning Biden had kept the classified documents found there at another location for the year following his time as vice president. 

That the classified documents Biden removed from the White House and earlier the Senate were not missed at the time and are only now being discovered — at least a decade later for some — and then only after multiple searches of different locations, contrasts sharply with what happened following Trump’s time in office. 

According to then-archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, he watched “the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter” at the end of Trump’s term. Ferriero recalled someone was “carrying a white banker box,” prompting Ferriero to ask himself, “What the hell’s in that box?” 

Ferriero claimed, “[T]hat began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives,” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “going through materials transferred from the White House in the chaotic final days of Trump’s presidency.” According to The Washington Post, “officials had noticed that certain high-profile documents were missing,” such as “Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he had termed ‘love letters.’” 

The NARA also could not locate the “National Weather Service map of Hurricane Dorian, which Trump had famously marked up with a black Sharpie pen to extend to Alabama,” or the letter Obama had left for Trump upon the change in administrations.

NARA sought the return of these documents, and in January 2022, Trump representatives worked with NARA employees to arrange for 15 boxes of presidential papers to be returned to the archive. Within those boxes were some documents marked “classified,” which led NARA to refer the matter to the Department of Justice. 

The DOJ then launched an investigation into Trump, even though when alerted to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, NARA made no such referral. A grand jury later issued a subpoena for any presidential documents, and following a search of Mar-a-Lago by Trump’s representatives, those documents were turned over. However, after a source told the DOJ that some documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed a surprise raid on the former president’s home.

This entire sequence began because NARA went looking for missing documents and then, rather than work with Trump to establish his presidential library and to arrange for the documents to be stored under the auspices of NARA’s custody at a mutually agreeable location — something NARA had done for Obama — NARA created a federal criminal case out of the matter.

Had NARA dug through former Senator and then-Vice President Biden’s documents looking for the smoking gun that was not there, they would have discovered the classified documents Biden absconded with too — and likely many more documents that over the last decade-plus years disappeared forever. Ditto for Obama.

The most recent discovery of “six items” containing an untold number of classified documents at Biden’s Delaware home illustrates this point. It also brings into focus the get-Trump scheme launched by a “backbench bureaucrat” that culminated in the raid on the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home.

With this reality now in focus, Americans would be wise to revisit the timeline leading up to the Mar-a-Lago raid because the Trump classified-document scandal bears all the hallmarks of a hoax peddled by the deep-state cabal and their corrupt media partners. 


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco cartoon – The Plop Thickens

A.F. BRANCO | on January 23, 2023 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-the-plop-thickens/

Biden’s think tank is rife with Communist China’s money and pay-to-play corruption.

Biden Think Tank
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2023

DONATE to A.F.Branco Cartoons – Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including NewsMax, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Rep. Devin Nunes, Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Chris Salcedo, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Garage Sale

A.F. BRANCO | on January 19, 2023 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-garage-sale/

The left-wing Mainstream has a definite double standard when covering Biden’s classified document scandal vs Trump.

Double Standard Classified
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2023.

DONATE to A.F.Branco Cartoons – Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including NewsMax, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Rep. Devin Nunes, Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Chris Salcedo, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A. F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Crook by Hook

A.F. BRANCO | on January 17, 2023 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-crook-by-hook/

The Deep State has 7 ways from Sunday to destroy Trump, now it may be being used against Biden.

Biden Classified Documents
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2023.

DONATE to A.F.Branco Cartoons – Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including NewsMax, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Rep. Devin Nunes, Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Chris Salcedo, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

Biden Turned Classified Documents into A Scandal to Get Trump, But Who’s Laughing Now?


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 12, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/12/biden-turned-classified-documents-into-a-scandal-to-get-trump-but-whos-laughing-now/

Donald Trump laughing at a rally
This entire scandal is a joke. And now, thanks to the get-Trump franchise, irresponsible Biden will be forever cast as a laughingstock.

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News broke late yesterday that a search of the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, uncovered additional classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president, stored unsecured in the family garage and separately in another room of the house. And I still haven’t stopped laughing.

Since August of 2022, when the FBI launched an unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, the entirety of the anti-Trump universe insisted — insisted — that the recently departed commander-in-chief’s possession of documents marked classified was a big f-ing deal. 

Never mind that Trump had declassification authority as the president of the United States, or that the documents were stored at his home under the watchful eye of his Secret Service protection. Ignore too the fact that the National Archives could have worked with Trump to coordinate the storage of the documents under the technical possession of the government, but at a location of the former president’s choosing, just as was done with former President Barack Obama. 

But because the loony left couldn’t resist one more sequel in their get-Trump franchise, as Trump exited the Oval Office, a backbench bureaucrat at the National Archives launched another hoax meant to finally, finally destroy Trump. Several leaks and a year-plus later, the plot culminated in the raid of Trump’s home followed by the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump.

And because the National Archives and the Biden administration went nuclear against Trump for possessing documents at Mar-a-Lago marked classified, they have no option but to pretend to treat Joe Biden’s possession of classified documents in an equally serious way. So, the National Archives referred the matter to the Department of Justice, just as it had with Trump, even though when it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mishandling classified documents, no criminal referral followed. 

Likewise, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed a U.S. attorney to investigate Biden’s mishandling of the classified documents, to create the impression of equal justice under the law. Of course, given Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump, a plain ol’ ordinary U.S. attorney doesn’t level up, and for that, the attorney general is already receiving heat.

But the heat comes from the hypocrisy, not the gravity of the situation. 

The Biden classified documents scandal is not a serious scandal. The botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is a serious scandal. Biden’s refusal to faithfully execute his duties as president of the United States by securing the southern border is a serious scandal. The Biden family pay-to-play escapades are a serious scandal. And the weaponization of the FBI and the intelligence community to interfere in the 2020 election and hand Biden the presidency is a serious scandal. This is not.

Laughable. Delicious. Outrageous. It is all those things and becomes more so by the day, with news that more classified documents are reposed in a residential garage, in addition to the closet at a D.C. think tank. And the story just becomes funnier the more the corrupt press tries to distinguish Biden’s possession of classified documents from Trump’s because Biden himself on video declared the possession of classified documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to be “just totally irresponsible.” 

But a garage, Joe? Seriously? And is not knowing there were classified documents there, as Biden claims, any better?

The bottom line here is simple. This entire scandal is a joke. And now, thanks to the get-Trump franchise, irresponsible Biden will be forever cast as a laughingstock — and so will the propagandists in the press. 


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A. F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Paper Trail

A.F. BRANCO | on January 13, 2023 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-paper-trail/

Biden is caught with illegal Classified documents after ripping Trump for the very same thing. Media ignoring it.

Biden Clasified Documents
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2023.

DONATE to A.F.Branco Cartoons – Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including NewsMax, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Rep. Devin Nunes, Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Chris Salcedo, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

Mark Levin turns the tables on FBI over controversial photo included in DOJ court filing: ‘A grossly negligent use of classified documents’


By CHRIS ENLOE | September 01, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/mark-levin-fbi-espionage-act-photo/

Mark Levin suggested Wednesday that FBI agents who raided Mar-a-Lago may also have violated the Espionage Act, the same federal law that former President Donald Trump is accused of possibly violating.

The search warrant used to raid Mar-a-Lago last month revealed that Trump is under investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act. Most likely, investigators are probing potential violation of the controversial law over Trump allegedly retaining highly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, documents that could imperil national security in the wrong hands. Government attorneys included in a Justice Department court filing this week a picture of classified documents strewn on the floor of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office.

Image source: The Department of Justice

The problem is that it’s not exactly clear where the documents came from. Were they discovered strewn on the floor of Trump’s office, as the picture suggests? Or were they found in a part of the property not where they were photographed, then staged for an evidentiary photo?

According to Levin, who is an attorney, staging the sensitive documents for a photo to be eventually released to the public via a court filing is a “grossly negligent use of classified documents” that should itself be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

“It seems to me an argument should be made that spreading highly classified documents on the floor, with the covers of the documents noting that the documents are indeed classified and taking a photograph even of the covers purely for gratuitous public use (i.e., for no reasonable or legal purpose), is a grossly negligent use of classified documents and the FBI should be held accountable under the Espionage Act,” Levin wrote on Twitter.

Specifically, Levin quoted the original 1917 version of the law, which corresponds to Section F of 18 U.S. Code § 793. The law reads:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

So the argument goes, the documents were strategically photographed and the picture released to drive the public narrative in a certain direction. Indeed, constitutional lawyer Johnathan Turley outright said he believes the photo was “clearly intended for public consumption.”

“It is curious that the DOJ would release this particular picture which suggests classified material laying around on the floor. The point is to state a fact that hardly needs an optical confirmation: the possession of documents with classified cover sheets,” Turley wrote. “The government could simply affirmatively state the fact of the covered pages and would not likely be challenged on that point without the inclusion of this one photo.

“For critics, the photo may appear another effort (with prior leaks) to help frame the public optics and discussion. Clearly the court did not need the visual aid of a picture of documents with covers,” he added. “It seems clearly intended for public consumption.”

Sources, Trump lawyer make eyebrow-raising accusations against FBI agents who conducted Mar-a-Lago raid: ‘Trying to shield what they’re doing’


By CHRIS ENLOE | August 10, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/sources-trump-attorney-accusations-fbi-mar-a-lago-raid/

Law enforcement sources and an attorney for former President Donald Trump are making eyebrow-raising accusations as more details about the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago are sifted through the media. The New York Post reported Tuesday the purpose of the raid was to retrieve “presidential records and evidence of classified information being stored there.”

Sources further alleged that FBI agents barred Trump’s attorneys — who arrived at Mar-a-Lago shortly after the raid began — from witnessing the search, which is unusual. Once a judge approves a search warrant, authorities have the ability to execute the warrant without consent from the person whose property is being searched, thus attorneys or the person being searched are typically allowed to witness the search. Shockingly, sources even alleged FBI agents demanded surveillance cameras be switched off, but Trump’s employees did not comply with the request.

After searching Trump’s property for nearly 10 hours, the FBI removed boxes of documents and personal mementos that Trump collected during his presidency. It is not clear what other items the FBI confiscated, the Post reported. However, sources told the Post that FBI agents searched every room — including Melania Trump’s wardrobe — and repeatedly boasted to Trump’s lawyers, “We have full access to everything. We can go everywhere.”

Secret Services agents who are stationed at Mar-a-Lago reportedly granted the FBI access to the property after likely receiving instructions from U.S. Secret Service attorneys.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a Trump lawyer confirmed the FBI confiscated about 12 boxes of documents from a basement room. The documents were reportedly taken from the same room that FBI investigators, according to CNN, had already inspected in June.

Trump attorney Christina Bobb — one of the attorneys who responded to Mar-a-Lago after the FBI arrived — confirmed that agents were looking for documents in compliance with the Presidential Records Act and allegedly classified documents. She also described the warrant as “thin” and explained that she does not yet know the probable cause for the warrant because the affidavit remains sealed.

In another interview, Bobb suggested the search is related to other matters and the DOJ’s purported attempts to prosecute Trump.

“I think this is clearly a situation where they’re looking for a way that they can easily prosecute President Trump,” Bobb claimed. “They want to do it under a national security-type guise because they can hide things from the public and they can say, ‘Oh, we can’t tell you. We can’t give you the details because it’s confidential information, subject to national security concerns, so we can’t tell you, but we’re just going to prosecute [Trump].

“They’re trying to shield what they’re doing,” she charged.

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired under the Trump administration, agrees the aggressive nature of the raid suggests it was about something more than documents.

“This is such a bold, such a disruptive, such an aggressive move,” McCabe said on CNN. “The idea they would do this simply because they weren’t getting the sort of compliance they were looking for out of securing the room with the documents, things like that, seems really unimaginable to me. It seems like they must have — I hope they have more than just that.”

New details leak about FBI’s shock raid on Mar-a-Lago — and GOP leader fires back at AG Garland: ‘Preserve your documents and clear your calendar’


By CHRIS ENLOE | August 09, 2022

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/new-details-fbi-raid-mar-a-lago/

The FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago was reportedly part of an investigation into former President Donald Trump removing classified documents from the White House and storing them in his south Florida resort. FBI agents began the raid early Monday morning around 9 a.m. and searched the property until 6:30 p.m., according to News Nation reporter Brian Entin, who cited his sources. The agents arrived in plain clothes — thus appearing to be Secret Service agents — and only notified the Secret Service about the raid right before it began. “That is why it didn’t leak earlier,” Entin explained.

Three of Trump’s lawyers arrived at Mar-a-Lago after the raid began, and the FBI agents did, as Trump claimed, open a safe in his office.

The purpose of the raid was to retrieve classified documents that Trump allegedly removed from the White House, the New York Times confirmed.

From the Times:

Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action to retrieve them. The case was referred to the Justice Department by the archives early this year.

Eric Trump confirmed about 30 FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago, that nothing was found in Trump’s safe, and the purpose of the raid was to retrieve documents.

The raid does not confirm that Trump has committed a crime. It does, however, signal that investigators convinced a federal judge they had sufficient probable cause that a crime had been committed and that raiding Mar-a-Lago was necessary to retrieve evidence. Legal experts believe the raid must have been approved by the most senior levels of the Justice Department, perhaps even by Attorney General Merrick Garland, because Trump is a former president and raiding his residence would require approval at the highest levels of government.

The White House allegedly did not know about the raid beforehand.

But Republicans say the raid is more evidence the Justice Department has become politicized under President Joe Biden. After the raid, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised an investigation into the DOJ should Republicans retake control of the House after the 2022 midterm elections.

“I’ve seen enough,” McCarthy said in a statement. “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.”

“Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar,” he added.

Trump Admin. ARRESTS Leaker, Guess Who it is…


The Justice Department has filed charges against a 25-year-old woman. Reality Leigh Winner has been accused of stealing Top Secret information and providing it to the online news outlet, The Intercept.

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The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Georgia. The report states Winner is accused of “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.”

Winner lives in Augusta and worked for Pluribus International since Feb. 13. There, she did have Top Secret clearance.

On May 9th, according to the complaint, “Winner printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, and unlawfully retained it.” She then mailed (yes, mailed, envelope, stamp, the whole nine yards) the information to the online news source a few days later. The documents “appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space.” 

The agency conducted an internal audit and found only six people had printed the information. One of them was Winner.

“A further audit of the six individuals’ desk computers revealed that WINNER had e-mail contact with the News Outlet. The audit did not reveal that any of the other individuals had e-mail contact with the News Outlet.”

leaker

Not the smartest leaker if you ask us.

Though the news outlet was not named in the complaint, NBC News reported that the recipient of the information was The Intercept, a website founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. 

The U.S. agency that contracts with Pluribus International was also not named, but it is known that the National Security Agency does contract work through the firm.

The content of the stolen documents also leads to the conclusion that it was the NSA. The documents contained Top Secret information about Russia’s attempts to hack into voter registration systems prior to the election.

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FBI agents interviewed Winner at her home on Saturday. During the interview she acknowledged that “she intentionally identified and printed” classified information “despite not having a ‘need to know,’ and with knowledge that the intelligence reporting was classified.”

“Winner further admitted removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet, which she knew was not authorized to receive or possess the documents,” the complaint reads.

The U.S. agency notified the FBI of the breach on June 1. The news outlet to which Winner provided the information contacted the agency the day before and said that it was in possession of documents it believed were authored by the agency. The news outlet said that it planned to publish an article based on the documents.

The federal complaint then states that the news outlet published the information on May 5. That appears to be an error. The Intercept published an article based on stolen NSA documents on Monday.

The Daily Caller

She was definitely not the smartest leaker ever and it was pretty easy to find her.

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