EXTRA EDITION: The Don's Indictment Worse than Imagined!
Maximum penalty if he is found guilty on all 37 charges would be 100 years in prison!
This extra edition is because there are no weekend editions of The Daily Doom; and, after the first articles on Donald Trump being indicted were published this morning, the actual indictment has now been released.
It is — even in the words of Jonathan Turley, Fox News’s conservative constitutional law professor — “Extremely damning” and “overwhelming.” The details and sources of evidence, he says, are “hits beneath the waterline” compared to any of Trump’s former indictments for other charges; and Turley has typically written strong articles in Trump’s defense against the weakness of previous cases against Trump.
The details in the full indictment, carried in the headlines below, may make it almost impossible for a jury to believe Trump was not lying through his teeth when he claimed many times he had turned over all documents. Photographic evidence shows the documents were not even locked away in a “secure closet.” A huge stack of boxes sat out in the open on the stage of the ballroom. Other boxes were stored in an unlocked bathroom by Trump’s order. Boxes had tipped over with documents that included highly classified documents, strewn across the floor. The sheer sloppiness, even for those that were not classified records, but merely historic records, is stunning.
There was no way Trump could not have known these boxes had not been turned over. They are all over his home. The FBI found far more boxes than ever reported — well over a hundred — and they were moved multiple times between private residences. His own conversations to ditch the evidence are testified to by those to whom he gave the orders. His orders were, of course, often given in mafia-don style where one does not state an order directly but just says multiple times in code that it would be very nice, should it happen, that someone did this or that for him. Someone might get special favors for that kind of kindness. In some instances, however, Trump’s orders were overt and will be hard to explain away.
To Trump’s favor, the federal prosecutors chose to take the case to trial in Florida as being the most legally appropriate jurisdiction, which resulted in the judge appointed to his case being one Trump appointed to her bench, who is the same judge who was roundly criticized in the press for going along with him earlier over how the documents and warrants were to be handled. Holding the trial in Trump’s Republican-leaning home state will also make it much easier for Trump’s attorneys to find a jury that is not biased against him than had it been held in DC where it could have been since it is a matter of federal law, and some of the alleged crimes began there. However, most of what is claimed to have happened in the indictment took place in Florida, so the DoJ thought it best to avoid an opening battle over jurisdiction, even though taking that route tilts the playing surface a little against themselves.
There is a lot to digest here, but it looks far worse than I imagined it would, having actually written editorials here about how bad some of the other cases against Trump looked for the people making them. More importantly, Turley sounds like it looks worse than he thought it would, and he’s a seasoned, conservative lawyer in a high-level teaching position.
The classified documents included military vulnerabilities of US allies and information about US nuclear weapons. Trump boasted to people around him that he knew one was still top-secret as he waved what appeared to them to be the actual document around, bragging that he had it, anyway. (That one was written about weeks earlier in the news, but we now have more detail.) In another instance that had not been written about, Trump personally showed someone with no classification clearance a still-classified map of a military operation!
Many of the documents do not appear to have been kept under lock and key. Stacks of boxes were in plain site in rooms that the indictment says many Mar-a-Lago guests passed through and around while the documents were stored there. Many were even transported insecurely in employee cars in batches of fifty or sixty boxes (multiple trips) to private residences of employees by the employees at Trump’s request in order to hide the fact that the documents had ever been kept at Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s personal valet was so deeply involved he is also being charged with many of the crimes.
According to the indictment, Trump instructed his attorney to tell the FBI and grand jury that Trump did not have the subpoenaed documents that are shown all over the place in the FBI’s photo evidence. The reason Trump told employees to move the documents, according to the indictment, was specifically to cover the lie he had just told his attorney to tell. He even suggested one of his attorneys destroy documents.
Here is the really problematic part for Trump: These are statements the FBI says were all made under oath directly by the people Trump was directing, often with other witnesses present. It appears they are all first-hand accounts, and there are many of them. In some cases, they are statements made under oath by Trump’s own attorneys, two of whom also resigned today, although without stating why.
You can “read all about it” in the indictment included below in this free EXTRA edition:
[Note: I apologize for the many typos in the earlier emailed editorial. Because of the length of the editorial and of the indictment stories I was reading to write the editorial, I was running way past my self-imposed 9:00 AM PDT deadline, so I did not proofread. (Some simple typos were made worse because a hyperactive spellchecker automatically replaced words that had one wrong or missing letter with an entirely wrong word. I won’t put the deadline ahead of the proofreading again, and I’ll try to be more succinct in the editorials so as not to miss the AM deadline either.]
You can gain full access to all the headlines every weekday by becoming a paid subscriber, but this time I am giving them away even to free subscribers as a good gesture because of their critical importance for months to come: