With the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals having recently approved an expedited schedule for dealing with a challenge from the Justice Department to the selection of what is called a special master for reviewing documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, a key portion of Trump’s obstructive games targeting the related criminal investigation could soon be over.
Department personnel are investigating after Trump harbored numerous documents from his administration, including some marked with some of the highest levels of classification and forms of security in the U.S. government. Information tied to the gathering of intelligence from covert human sources was found in a personal office for Trump at Mar-a-Lago, and reportedly, a document going over a foreign nation’s nuclear capabilities was also recovered from somewhere on the property. The special master, a court-appointed third party, is overseeing a process in which Trump can challenge the status of individual documents seized in the raid with claims of some kind of privilege — and that’s slowing things down. Trump complained on Truth Social, his alternative social media platform, this Thursday about supposed corruption at the FBI.
Alongside a post with claims of FBI Director Christopher Wray — a Trump pick, mind you — allegedly removing concerns from a report about politicization at the FBI, Trump insisted: “The Rank and File in the FBI is disgusted and embarrassed at the criminal activity going on within the once great FBI—including “covering” for crooks and scoundrels. The Public is angry!” These claims mirror some he made about the FBI under James Comey in the early parts of his presidential administration. Infamously, Sarah Huckabee Sanders — a press official on the Trump team — claimed after Trump fired Comey that “countless” agents at the law enforcement agency indicated to the Trump administration they lost confidence in the director. Sanders, who is now running for governor in Arkansas and seems likely to win, admitted in an interview amid Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation that she didn’t actually have evidence for that allegation.
Trump also suggested an official at the FBI who someone claimed would be involved in reviewing materials seized from Mar-a-Lago — suggesting they could seek to shape what they find to make fellow department personnel evade further scrutiny — might be planting or removing documents. “Is Auten “planting” or removing documents? We’ll never know,” Trump said on Thursday. Presumably, Brian Auten, if actually involved with reviewing the materials once okayed for the investigation, wouldn’t be doing so in a locked room at his house — so Trump’s rhetorical hand-waving about supposedly possible meddling is unrealistically overdramatic.
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