Republicans fend off national security implications of Trump having classified documents in Mar-a-Lago

The fact that the top Republican in the Senate, even with the documents, continues to downplay Trump and question the actions of the Justice Department and the FBI speaks to his enduring influence within the party. the depth of his legal troubles and potential national security implications for the country.

At one end of the scale is Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. He is a staunch supporter of Trump and is often mentioned as a future presidential candidate once the former president finally leaves the political arena. Hawley touted Trump’s remarks that the key issue was his FBI search of the former president’s home, not what he may have kept there.

“I don’t know what he has or doesn’t have, but I’ve heard a lot about the FBI raiding the home of a former president of the United States who is likely to be a 2024 presidential candidate. I am concerned, please learn more about what is going on with the FBI,” Hawley told CNN’s Manu Raju on Wednesday.

When asked if it would be permissible for the former president to keep sensitive materials in his private residence, the senator shied away.

“Maybe I don’t know,” said the Missouri Republican. ‚ÄúPart of it depends on whether you declassify it or not. The procedure is what the document is. I don’t know. That’s it.”

Hawley also Sandy BurgerAs National Security Advisor in the Clinton administration, he brought back classified material and nothing was done to him. In fact, Berger was fined $50,000 and he was sentenced to 100 hours of community service after he admitted to illegally removing classified documents from the National Archives.
The Mar-a-Lago drama has put Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in a delicate position between re-election this fall and his position as the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.of NBC 6 interviewon a Miami television station, he downplayed the entire incident by downplaying the seriousness of the Justice Department investigation.

“This is really the crux of the custodial debate they’re claiming,” Rubio said, adding that “the dispute over custody of the documents deserves what they did: a full-scale raid.” I don’t think so.”

according to Recently Opened Search Inventory, Trump was sorting documents mixed with personal belongings and other materials in boxes and in his office.Previously unsealed, FBI agents identified 11 sets of classified documents from the former president’s residence and resort in Palm Beach, including one marked “Classified/SCI,” one of the highest levels of classification. The government recovered At least 325 unique confidential documents From Mar-a-Lago, according to documents Trump filed in January, subpoenas Trump remanded to the Justice Department in June, and court filings describing materials seized during an FBI investigation in August.
When Washington Post Among the items the FBI removed from Mar-a-Lago was a document outlining a foreign power’s nuclear weapons program, it reported Tuesday.

An uncomfortable political spot for Trump’s GOP enabler

Trump and his legal team are able to effectively answer questions that have caused concern among former intelligence professionals and officials who understand the serious penalties they face for violating rules on classified materials. I haven’t been able to.

And these are not hypothetical questions. Even the possibility that critical information has been compromised can cause serious disruption to a country’s secret capabilities. may force you to do so. Subsequent loss of vital intelligence can have disastrous consequences. If information relating to our foreign friends in the United States becomes public, it could prevent us from sharing important and sensitive information in the future.

Trump and his allies filled the void in the answers with a smokescreen of unproven claims, such as that Trump declassified the material or that it could have been planted by the FBI to persecute him. A recent ruse by his legal team was to absurdly claim that since he was a former president, of course he would be dealing with classified documents.

Former Attorney General William Barr He has repeatedly questioned publicly what his former boss was doing with the classified information. There is speculation that Trump may want such material as a keepsake or some form of leverage in future business deals. And we weren’t told anything about it.

In response to Trump’s actions, Republican senators have shied away from Trump’s actions or simply shared their fate with the former president, knowing that future political ambitions rest with Trump’s supporters. did.

Rubio, for example, went much further in 2016 when he accused then-Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton of State Department emails found on her private email server by the FBI over the issue of “storage” of classified materials. Didn’t seem relaxed.

In a July 2016 statement, Rubio said, “Hillary Clinton’s conduct and mishandling of classified information as secretary of state are shameful and unfit to aspire to the presidency.”

“There is absolutely no excuse for Hillary Clinton setting up a home-cooked email system to leave sensitive national security information vulnerable to theft and exploitation by America’s enemies. Her actions were grossly negligent, undermining national security and endangering lives.”

Clinton and her aides’ practice of viewing classified information outside of their official State Department email accounts has indeed raised serious questions. Equally, however, one of the major concerns regarding the classified materials found at Mar-a-Lago was that they were either vulnerable to outside exploitation by foreign intelligence services or that adequate security was provided to an American without his clearance. is likely to be seen.

The FBI said in 2016 that out of 30,000 emails Clinton provided to the State Department from her server, 110 contained sensitive information in transit. Eight of her email chains contained information classified as “Top Secret” when sent or received, and 36 chains contained “Confidential” information. Then-FBI Director James Comey criticized Clinton’s carelessness, but concluded that no reasonable prosecutor would sue her based on the evidence found in her and the applicable law.

Even if Trump had the material he was entitled to as a former president, the apparently bogus way he holds it violates all accepted standards for preserving such information. Probably. Many of these documents are available only to those who require government security clearance at secure facilities known as Classified Information Facilities (SCIFs).

Trump legal exposure

Mr Trump, who has not been charged with a crime, has repeatedly said Ms Clinton should be locked up for handling classified material.

An FBI search warrant for his home revealed that the investigation was linked to at least three potential crimes. Espionage law violations, obstruction of justice, and criminal disposal of government records.

Some of Trump’s supporters argue that if Trump were indicted when Clinton was not, he would be a victim of double standards. The two cases cannot be truly compared until more information about

Another Republican, John Thune, the second-ranked Republican in the Senate from South Dakota, took a more neutral stance on Trump’s question, but called on the DOJ to be more transparent. He told reporters that the rules for handling classified information were “pretty clear.”

But he also called the FBI raid on Trump’s luxury resort an “extreme measure” and “unprecedented”, adding that “a very good reason is required and at some point they You may share it with us,” he added.

The comments of senators like Thune, Rubio, and Hawley are basically position-holding and seem designed to avoid political embarrassment and vulnerability to the greatest possible extent. If the darkest interpretations of Trump’s actions are confirmed when more information comes to light, they may not last long.

Source: www.cnn.com

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