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Big Bite: Helpful Facts for Frustrating Conversations: Mar-a-lago Raid Edition
Big bite | A detailed dive into big news
I spend a lot of time on social media. Mainly Instagram and Twitter, occasionally TikTok. I have separate accounts for each platform, each with very different feeds.
Demonstrating how easy it can be to curate your world on social media. On one end, I have my accounts where I follow, engage and consume primarily news and culture. Those feeds are interesting, to say the least.
Then I have my happy place account with feeds filled with food, puppies, workouts, and homesteading. A bit of politics and culture sneaks into this feed, but the content tends to lean to the left when it does. It's clear to me that the algorithm sees that I am a woman, so periodically, posts that are pro-abortion and feminist / women's rights content sneak in—focusing on informing me that my rights are being whittled away.
It emphasized how social media can influence our perception of what is happening in the world.
I am very conscious and careful about who I follow and interact with within my "happy place" accounts. These are my escapist accounts. My approach to my news and culture accounts is very different. I follow all types of accounts from across the political spectrum.
Recently, I began following So.Informed run by a woman (I know she is a woman because of her she/her pronouns in her bio) named Jess Natale.
I will be honest; I like the aesthetic of this account. And the slide-deck media is one of my favorites, which she uses to promote progressive issues or help followers debate or debunk conservatives.
Of course, since the news has been dominated this week with the raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, she created a slide deck titled "Helpful Resources for Frustrating Conversations." The frustrating conversations being with conservatives.
I thought it would be interesting to go through the post "There is a "witch-hunt going on against Donald Trump from the far-left Biden Administration" and point out a few flaws. Such as presenting conclusions with little to no backup or arguments with incomplete information.
I am not doing this to pick Natale apart but to help you understand the full story of what is happening with Trump, the arguments from the left, and some helpful facts for frustrating conversations.
See what I did there? I used her same title but replaced "responses" with "facts." I know I am so clever.
I will touch on each point of this post and provide you with facts, sources, rebuttals, and a little opinion.
The Claim: "There is a "witch-hunt going on against Donald Trump from the far-left Biden Administration."
Point 1: First, it's critical to acknowledge that no one in the Biden administration is "far-left." Biden rejects most policies commonly associated with the "far-left" – Medicare for All, defunding the police, free college – note: these are simply progressive ideas.
Here she narrows the definition of "far-left" to Medicare for All, defunding the police, and free college. Arguing the support of these issues is simply progressive but not far-left.
Arguably these are all "progressive ideas," meaning that they are ideas that appeal not only to the far-left but also to people in the center. However, let's evaluate "free college." Although it is true that "among all U.S. adults, 63% favor making tuition at public colleges free, including 34% who strongly favor the proposal. Slightly more than a third oppose tuition-free college (36%), with 20% strongly opposed."
The problem with free college is that nothing is free; the same goes for Medicare for all. How will these allegedly free services be paid for? With our money through taxes. The Democrats claim that the only people who will be taxed are the rich and corporations, who need to pay their "fair share." But if you think that only taxing corporations and the rich will not negatively impact the rest of us, you have an issue with seeing past your nose. Individuals and companies have the means to take their money and business to more favorable countries and states, taking the tax revenue and jobs with them. If a company doesn't decide to move, they can make changes with higher prices or less/automated labor.
Anyway, enough tax talk.
Then there is the fact that this administration is actively pushing and promoting gender ideology in schools, medical "affirmative care" for minors (which is mutilation), and implementation DEI thought out the administration. There is no question that these issues are far-left. If you are questioning me on DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion), it sounds admirable, but let me remind you that equity and equality are not the same. Equity is about equal outcomes, while equality is about equal opportunity. It is a significant difference.
Point 2: Second, there is no "witch hunt" going on against Trump. There are valid investigations into his activities. Whether it's his direct and documented involvement in trying to overturn the 2020 election results, the shady practices of his organization (of which he was deposed for and pled the fifth), or his instigating the insurrection on January 6th, every current investigation that he is facing stems directly from his actions.
"Witch hunt" is defined as the unfounded persecution of an individual. It derives from the Salem Witch Trials, where fabricated evidence was used to persecute innocent individuals. Often, an accuser could maintain a position of power, vengeance, possession of property, or to be rid of an unwanted wife.
This point touches on many issues, and to be genuinely through; you have to go even further back. Because the "witch-hunt" did not start with the problems, she points out. It started before Trump's presidency ever began with the laundered Christopher Steele dossier and Russia-gate, which turned out to be a literal witch-hunt. Considering that Trump endured these investigations thought out his presidency from not only Democrats but also from some of his appointees, it is not unreasonable for people to be skeptical that the witch hunt continues.
But evaluate the issues she addresses.
Point 2a: There are valid investigations into his activities.
This is a matter of opinion. I mean, are they valid?
Point 2b: His direct and documented involvement in trying to overturn the 2020 election results;
In 2020, many election challenges stemmed from lawsuits involving voting by mail options related to the COVID-19 crisis. The fact is that many states and counties changed or expanded their election process through executive orders and not through the legislative process.
According to the Election Law Blog, at least 300 lawsuits were in play as of September 28 related to COVID-19 election issues, ranging from disputes about the postal service to deadlines to witness requirements.
Unlike what the Democrats all argue, the goal of these challenges was not voter suppression but election security.
Also, to contest an election is not the same as attempting to overturn election results. Every election since 2000 has been challenged in one way or another. To contest an election is not the same as "overturning election results." The Constitution provides that the settlement of presidential election disputes first happens within the state legal system under powers granted by Article 2, Section 1.
In 1887, Congress passed the Electoral Count Act to deal with a future scenario of rival or contested electoral votes presented at the joint session of Congress required under the 12th Amendment to certify election results.
Point 2c: The shady practices of his organization (of which he was deposed for and pled the fifth);
What is the definition of shady? Is this a legal term? I will concede that many business practices can be categorized as shady, but unfortunately, shady is not illegal. Do corporations and individuals work the system to benefit themselves at times? Yes, but that does not mean it's illegal. I am not saying it is moral or fair; I am saying it is not illegal.
Not to mention that pleading the fifth, a constitutional right, does not prove guilt. (By the way, neither does a settlement nor plea deal.) Pleading the fifth is not even permitted as evidence in a trial unless agreed upon by both parties.
If a person is arrested and questioned and refuses to talk to the police, does that mean they are guilty? Do we do away with the principle of innocent until proven guilty if we dislike the person? If this is her belief, she is very short-sighted. In timetables of power are turned, the same can be used against those she supports.
Point 2b: His instigating the insurrection on January 6th, every current investigation that he is facing stems directly from his own actions.
Although I will concede I was not a fan of Trump's tone and rhetoric leading up to the election and what appears to be the slow reaction to the riot, he was not wrong in questioning the security of the election. And I seriously doubt any election interference when it comes to hacking. But it is not unreasonable to question the results when the security of the election was so drastically changed, in favor of one party, in the most contested areas.
Finally, the accusation of instigating or inciting an "insurrection." First, I do not condone the riot that occurred on Jan. 6. However, along with the rioters in the front that were shared all over the news, numerous people were let in by Capitol police. But I am not here to discuss the behavior of those that entered the Capitol or the officers who let them in. The question is, did Trump incite an insurrection?
On January 6th, during the rally, Trump said, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."
"If they don't fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don't fight," Trump said. "You primary them. We're going to let you know who they are." The primary means to vote out senators and representatives two years later.
Finally, of course, he is being investigated for his alleged "own actions". He cannot be investigated for the actions of others. The question is are the investigations justified?
Point 3: It should be noted that the Biden administration is not responsible for any of these investigations. The January 6th commission was put together by the House of Representatives and is made up of Democrats and Republicans; the investigation into his organization is being conducted by the Attorney General of New York State; and the investigation into his attempts to overturn votes in Georgia is being conducted by the Fulton County District Attorney.
These investigations indeed are not to be conducted by the executive branch. Because they do not have the power to conduct such investigations, it does not mean they cannot encourage or influence them.
Although the January 6th commission indeed has both Democrats and Republicans. All those on the commission have openly voiced that they already believe Trump guilty. Furthermore, the Republicans who were initially submitted for appointments who questioned the former President's guilt were blocked by Speaker Pelosi. Call me crazy, but there appears to be some stacking of the deck and skirting due process.
Regarding the Attorney General of New York and the Fulton Country District Attorney, she is correct that they are not part of the Biden administration. Still, I think we can argue that Democrats are doing their best to thwart any possibility of Trump running for President again and being reelected. The Attorney General of New York and the Fulton Country District Attorney are democrats. So, let's say, possibly an adjacent witch hunt.
Point 4: The current acting director of the FBI (the one who oversees what goes on in the department and would have known about this search) was appointed by Trump himself. Further, the Senate voted to confirm him. (Senators Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Ted Cruz all voted to confirm him in 2017.)
Unfortunately, to his detriment and following the advice of others who did not hold Trump's best interest, he appointed many people who opposed him. The FBI and the DOJ institutions have proven themselves to be less than trustworthy. This is not to attack all agents within these institutions but the corrupt bureaucracy at the leadership level.
Newsweek reported that DOJ did not have anything to do with the raid. However, since this Natale post was published, Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted that he approved the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago and that it was "narrow in scope." Which it was not, the warrant demands the seizure of any record that Trump ever saw, read, or created over his 4-year term.
Spoiler alert, Trump did not appoint Garland.
Point 5: The search of Trump's Florida home – according to many sources and Eric Trump (Trump's son) – was centered around documents that Trump took from the White House when he left. In 2018, Trump himself signed a law which makes it a felony to mishandle classified documents. (Public Law 115-118, which Trump signed in January 2018, included a provision which increased punishment for anyone who knowingly removed classified materials with intent to retain them in an "unauthorized location.")
It was reported that the search was over presidential records that should be turned over to National archives. Although Trump's lawyer certified in June that no classified material remains at Mar-a-Lago.
There have been many occasions where past presidents have taken documents with them after leaving the White House, including sensitive, confidential, and even top secret documents.
In 2017 Obama proposed a new modal for the Obama Presidential Library for the storage and access to White House documents during his administration. The National Archives and Record Administration and funding from the Obama Foundation would work together to digitize the documents. The Obama Foundation agreed to complete the digitization of the records no later than August 21, 2021, and make them available on the Barack Obama Presidential Library Website and the NARA's website.
Presidents are required to turn over documents to the NARA when they leave office. But it appears that "turn over" is more along the line of "know where they are kept and that they are properly preserved and secure."
When Hillary Clinton left office as Secretary of State, she took 30,000 emails with her which were kept on an unsecured server, had the server purged with a software called BleachBit, and phones and servers were "decommissioned in some way." Also, she was never President, an issue I will address later.
When there was a question if she had classified documents, the FBI coordinated with her attorney to avoid having to raid Clinton. The FBI determined that she had mishandled classified documents but did not have intent and therefore was not charged.
Trump signed a law in 2018, which made it a felony to mishandle classified documents. He did this in response to cases like Clinton, Manning, Winter, and others. None of which were ever President.
Why is this important?
Because the sitting President is who classifies and declassifies records, also, a president maintains their level of security clearance after leaving office. It is a practice that most former government officials keep their security clearance even after leaving their office.
A former president can't declassify documents after leaving office; that is solely the power of the sitting President.
I am no expert, so you can take this conclusion as you will. But it would stand to reason that if Trump as Commander in Chief had the right to handle classified documents, declassify documents, and maintain clearance status. Especially for documents during his presidency, as long as they were secure, he did nothing wrong. Specifically if they were secured and the NARA knew where they were.
The question some will pose is how does a president declassify documents, and were the documents in Trump's possession declassified? But as I said, does this matter if the former President had clearance and secured the documents?
In this video Kash Patel, an aide to House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes, argues that Trump declassified the documents.
Trump, through his attorneys, had been cooperating with the NARA complaints, and in June, Trump's attorney certified that no classified documents were in Trump's possession.
Point 6: Finally, if all of the aforementioned wasn't enough to bring some clarity, it is important to remember that Trump has a copy of the search warrant. He could make this public at any time, should he want people to have more of an understanding of the situation. His reluctance to do so - just like his reluctance to release his tax returns despite promises to do so - speaks for itself.
Trumped called for the release of the warrant along with any supporting affidavits. The affidavits are not served along with the warrant. They are kept sealed until it is decided if the prosecution will go forward. The warrant was unsealed on Friday without the affidavits.
Why is it significant to see the affidavits? Because they were used as evidence for probable cause. It is essential to determine the legitimacy of the evidence presented. Especially considering that in the past, the FBI used bogus laundered proof to justify the FISA warrant that led to the Trump/Russia investigation.
Interestingly enough, shortly after Garland ended his press conference, the Washington Post reported that "unnamed sources confirmed" Trump was in possession of nuclear documents.
Trump has denied having any such documents and that any documents he did have he had were declassified before leaving the White House.
Additional relevant information
The warrant cited three potential crimes, violations of the espionage act, obstruction of justice, and criminal handling of government records. However, the warrant was vague on what exactly they were looking for. It asked for all physical records and documents constituting evidence of contraband fruits of crime or other items illegally possessed. Andrew McCarthy, former U.S. Attorney of NY points out “This warrant is so open-ended, and it so defies the 4th amendment requirement that a warrant specifically describes the things the agents are allowed to seize, this is a general warrant, this is basically what we have the fourth amendment to prevent.”
The fourth amendment states it shall not be issued without probable cause, “particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.” It could be argued that the warrant did not meet and could be unconstitutional. Which means anything that was obtain during the execution of the warrant cannot be used in any court proceedings.
Listen to the August 15 episode of Morning Wire for a quick explanation.
He started as an Epstein prosecutor, and resigned from the U.S. attorney's office to work for the law office representing Epstein and his affiliates.
The federal magistrate judge who issued the Mar-a-Lago warrant was an Obama donor and former defense attorney on the Jeffery Epstein human trafficking case. Brett Tolman, former United States attorney for the District of Utah, explained "securing a warrant is one of the few circumstances where judges can be shopped, instead of issued at random."
Moreover, why were the FBI agents sent in wearing tactical body armor, even though Mar-a-Lago is a sterile environment secured by the U.S. Secret Service if it was not politically motivated? No coordination was done with the U.S. Secret Service or local Florida law enforcement.
The National Archives official, David Ferriero, who served as the director of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from November 2009 until he retired this past April, who notified DOJ in Trump probe declined to do the same over Clinton emails.
A look at the past
To pretend that we should look at this raid or what the MSM will call "execution of a warrant" in a vacuum is ridiculous. Never in U.S. history has a raid been conducted on a former U.S. President.
Federal institutions have historically and increasingly overstepped boundaries and abused power.
* Pushed Russia collusion hoax
* Spied on law-abiding Americans
* Lied to FISA court
* Ignored Hillary's server escapades
* Ignored Biden Family criminal activity
* Persecutes journalists at Project Veritas
* Treats J6 trespassers like terrorists
* Goes after PTA moms/
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) August 9, 2022
A few more:
FBI leaked document of "How to Spot a Domestic Terrorist." Which included common historical imagery and quotes such as the Gadsden Flag and the Betsy Ross Flag.
IRS aggressive scrutiny of conservative organizations during the Obama administration plus the expansion of the 87,000 IRS agents, some of which are expected to be armed and be willing to use deadly force.
What are your thoughts? What did I miss?
This is not a defense of Trump. I am questioning the past and current actions of our federal institutions.
In fact, I have many issues with Trump and his presidency as well as there were many things that I supported and agreed with. However, I have no desire for Trump to run for president again. I think we have better options. I do not see him as some savior or an individual that is above scrutiny. I do however take serious issue with what appears to be a politically motivated attack on a former president. Because my priorities are with the protection of the U.S. Constitution and the republic.