About The Redacted MAL Raid Affidavit
I’ve pasted in some Twitter comments by two of my go-to legal guys, SWC and Jonathan Turley. I think SWC’s bottom line is exactly what was to be expected: From a legal standpoint the unredacted portions of the affidavit provide little meaningful information. Beyond that, however SWC makes a number of important points regarding classification and declassification, including that 1) classification markings are not dispositive as to whether the docs are still classified, and 2) there is evidence that Trump regarded the docs as declassified—and that’s all that really matters.
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For his part, Turley points out that the affidavit confirms that the Trump’s team was in communication with government officials about the docs and wasn’t wholly uncooperative. That means there were—at a minumum—discussions of differences going on. That drastically undercuts any rationale for a search warrant. The affidavit further confirms that Trump told the FBI that the docs had been declassified. That, too, should have ended any consideration of a search warrant.
This was not about presidents and the documents from their administrations. It was solely about Donald J. Trump. Which suggests almost conclusively that the real purpose was to grab embarrassing or incriminating docs that the Zhou Regime doesn’t want made public.
Having read the redacted affidavit, it leaves most questions unanswered. It also raises further doubt over the Court's acceptance that the DOJ found the Goldilocks point of getting this "just right." The DOJ released what was largely already leaked or known.
...When the court called for the release of the affidavit, he indicated that he could push back on the DOJ redactions but did not do so...
...Yet, the affidavit confirms a couple points that appeared in leaks. The affidavit does not establish that the Trump people were wholly uncooperative or non-communicative while noting that they were asked to turn over material and did not do so.
...It is confirmed that the FBI told the Court that Trump was claiming to have declassified the documents. However, there is little else on those communications, particularly after June 9th.