The Mar-a-Lago documents

The news of Donald Trump’s retention and display to unauthorized persons of classified documents has raised serious questions about national security. It has also further polarized an already polarized nation. I have personal experience in this area I’ll share so that people have actual facts. Those who don’t want to believe them probably won’t, but as a retired FBI agent and attorney I feel it’s my responsibility to educate those willing to be educated.

In my FBI career, the case closest to the Trump case about which I have direct knowledge is the Allen John Davies case. I executed the search warrant at his house and I also saw the one document he attempted to provide to a Soviet (Russian) diplomat. Read the linked article for more detail. The information he provided orally was years out of date with no tactical or strategic value at the time he tried to pass it. The drawing he made was crude, not marked classified and, in my opinion, useless to anyone. I’m quite sure the Soviets already knew the basics of what he had to say anyway. He plead guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. If he had gone to trial and been convicted, he probably would have gotten ten years.

The material the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago by the FBI is thousands of times more damaging to the U.S. national security. I can tell this by looking at the covers of the documents shown in the released photos and by the transcripts of the recordings Trump made and which are revealed in the indictment. If Trump knowingly stored the documents as shown and described, or directed his “body man” Walt Nauta to move them after the subpoena was served on him, then that is an additional crime of obstruction of justice. Most troubling, though, is that if the indictment is true, Trump showed classified material to a publisher or agent who had no clearance. In short, the conduct alleged in the indictment is extremely serious and threatens the security of the nation. Anyone engaging in that conduct should do no less than ten years in prison if the law is to be applied fairly.

 

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