J. Michael Luttig, a top conservative attorney who then-Vice President Mike Pence consulted with as Donald Trump pushed him harder and harder to unlawfully attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, is out with a warning that has experts sitting up and taking notice.
Luttig is a former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge who was almost nominated to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and regardless of politics is highly respected by the left and the right.
This is his warning, which appears in a Monday afternoon New York Times article:
“At the moment, there is no other way to say it: This is the clearest and most present danger to our democracy,” Luttig told the Times. “Trump and his supporters in Congress and in the states are preparing now to lay the groundwork to overturn the election in 2024 were Trump, or his designee, to lose the vote for the presidency.”
National Review senior editor Jay Nordlinger says in response to the quote, “When Luttig says so — I sit up a little straighter.”
Former Asst. U.S. Attorney at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Richard Signorelli quotes Lutttig and blasts Attorney General Merrick Garland:
“At the moment, there is no other way to say it: This is the clearest & most present danger to our democracy.”-J. Michael Luttig
They do not fear accountability. Garland’s incompetence is indefensible. Shame on those who make $ here by defending him.https://t.co/HrOe6Lr56T
— Richard Signorelli (@richsignorelli) April 18, 2022
“This article pretty nicely summarizes the five-alarm fire for the republic right now, and we are just letting it burn,” says Patrick De Klotz, an attorney and former U.S. Dept. of Justice official.
Project Lincoln co-founder Mike Madrid points to the Times’ piece and says: “These traitors must be prosecuted.”
Others on social media retweeting the quote include noted attorney George Conway, GOP pollster Frank Luntz, NBC News political reporter Allan Smith, former Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Politico Danielle Decker Jones, and CBS News Chief Election & Campaign Correspondent Robert Costa.
Image via Shutterstock
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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama
Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.
“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.
“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.
“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”
Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.
None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.
“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”
That is also false.
The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.
“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.
“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”
‘So Much Worse!’ Morning Joe Rips GOP for Defending Trump After Burying Clinton Over Classified Info
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough hammered Republicans for spending years excoriating Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified materials and then turning around defending Donald Trump over far worse allegations.
The FBI carried out a search of Mar-A-Lago this week, where agents reportedly expected to find nuclear secrets among the classified materials Trump took from the White House, and Scarborough and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski laid into Republicans for attacking law enforcement to protect the former president from serious allegations.
“The conundrum you just put out there,” Brzezinski said, “about it being just as bad when a Democrat has some improper use of classified documents as when a Republican does, on this show, you will see us saying the same thing in each situation. Roll the tape, you know, rewind the tape — critical of Hillary Clinton, everything to do with the email, very, very critical. Here, you have a situation where Trump’s following and his friends on TV won’t cover the story the same way. In fact, they will go to fantastical lengths to not ask the right questions, to twist the truth, to push his big lies. It is dangerous.”
Scarborough said there was no comparison between what Clinton did and what Trump has been accused of doing, even as the facts remain scant.
“What is so maddening about the Republican response to this is, despite the fact — and I hope our liberal friends can deal with this — despite the fact we brought up Hillary Clinton’s emails, in this same time, we’re bringing up Donald Trump’s classified information that he’s reportedly taken to Mar-A-Lago, there is no moral equivalency,” Scarborough said. “The two are brought up because what Donald Trump has done is so much worse, so much more dangerous.”
An Ohio man tried to force his way into FBI headquarters in Cincinnati on Thursday, apparently prompted by Republican attacks on law enforcement officials over the Trump search, and Scarborough called out their violent rhetoric.
“The order of magnitude is overwhelming, and I bring it up to make a bigger point about Republican hypocrisy,” Scarborough said. “They were worried about a former secretary of state’s emails. They’re completely discounting the possibility of nuclear secrets being stolen from the White House and taken down to Mar-A-Lago and hidden from the Department of Justice.”
“Where are the Republicans? Where are the Republicans? Where are the Republicans?” he added. “Hold a press conference, condemn these actions, condemn the hate speech, condemn the targeting of law enforcement officers. Condemn the targeting of FBI agents and professionals at the Department of Justice. Is there not one that will do it?”
Watch the video below or at this link.
DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report
The U.S. Dept. of Justice served Donald Trump with a grand jury subpoena months before the FBI raided the former President’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday, according to a right wing media outlet.
News of the existence of the grand jury subpoena being served on Trump months ago comes from Just the News, a website created by John Solomon. Solomon is a longtime journalist who in 2019 was labeled by The Daily Beast as “the Trumpian right’s favorite ‘investigative reporter,'” and the “Trump-friendly scribe” whose “Biden-Ukraine conspiracies were cited multiple times in the whistleblower memo.”
“Many of his co-workers are ashamed to be associated with him,” The Daily Beast reported, citing “his questionable reporting, which often seems specifically tailored to stoke the flames of right-wing paranoia.”
Solomon on Thursday writes: “Two months before his Florida home was raided by the FBI, former President Donald Trump secretly received a grand jury subpoena for classified documents belonging to the National Archives, and voluntarily cooperated by turning over responsive evidence, surrendering security surveillance footage and allowing federal agents and a senior Justice Department lawyer to tour his private storage locker, according to a half dozen people familiar with the incident.”
If accurate, that’s news.
“Very clearly not the intention of that John Solomon article, but it inadvertently reflects very well upon the Justice Department,” NBC News Justice reporter covering the DOJ, Ryan J. Reilly observes. “A subpoena was issued to the former president of the United States and it held for nearly three months, until Trump’s own team publicly disclosed it!”
National security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler adds: “Here’s what propagandist John Solomon says FBI had reason to believe Trump didn’t turn over in the original 15 box collection of stolen documents: Correspondence with foreign leaders.”
She points to this section of Solomon’s article:
“The subpoena requested any remaining documents Trump possessed with any classification markings, even if they involved photos of foreign leaders, correspondence or mementos from his presidency.”
According to multiple news outlets, FBI agents carted away an additional 10 to 12 cartons on Monday, in addition to the 15 the National Archives was forced to travel to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve earlier this year.
Even Rupert Murdoch’s Trump-friendly New York Post on Tuesday reported a “showdown over the materials first erupted back in January when the National Archives said it had retrieved 15 boxes of White House records — including classified information — from Mar-a-Lago that Trump should have turned over when he left office. The feds took another 12 boxes of material on Monday.”
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