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FBI Agents And DOJ Attorneys Required New Additional Clearances To See Documents


The Washington Post’s report on DOJ’s filing from last night contains a devastating detail that drills home the seriousness of Trump’s security breach. According to the Post, neither the FBI’s special agents (From the Counter-Intelligence division, no less) nor the DOJ attorneys involved in the matter had the requisite clearance level to view the documents thought to be kept by Trump and thus needed a new grant of special access to handle the material found at Mar-a-Lago:

When agents conducted their court-ordered search on Aug. 8, they found material so sensitive that “even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys conducting the review required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents,” the filing says.

That is utterly devastating to the nation and perhaps the lives of American assets abroad. It is also utterly devastating to Donald Trump. If a criminal case went to trial, FBI special agents in the Counter-Intelligence Division will be asked about the nation’s classification levels and will testify that even they were not cleared to view the materials until additional special access was granted for the sole purpose of the search and then preparation of the case.

Imagine the impact on a jury upon hearing that the documents were in a storage room by a pool. Imagine the impact if Trump held those special documents in his safe or in his desk.

It is also a bit devastating to Americans generally. If one is going to prosecute a former president, it is critical that the proceedings be as transparent as possible. And yet there is no chance that the American people will ever learn exactly what Trump held and why such information would be so harmful in the wrong hands. As a hypothetical example, if one of the files in Trump’s desk included a report from an asset deep in the Kremlin, it would be overwhelmingly apparent that Trump either sold state secrets or was about to sell state secrets. Any other justification dulls Occam’s razor to the point of uselessness. There are countless other hypotheticals one can toss out as an example of evidence that the vast majority of Americans could accept as traitorous on its face. But Americans will never be allowed to know such damning details.

Regardless of the impact on Trump and the nation, this one detail brings home the seriousness of the security breach and the damage done to the nation. The best case scenario is that Trump put human lives at risk. The worst-case scenario likely requires special access to fully appreciate.

 

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