C&B Take a Deep Dive Into All of Trump’s Potential Defenses
15 Aug 2022
BUCK: Governor Ron DeSantis is pointing something out here about the, “Oh, you can trust the FBI” line you’re hearing in the background.
Gov. DeSantis calls out the FBI’s raid of Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 15, 2022
BUCK: Clay, I remember it, and you remember it, and I think everybody listening does well. And it’s important context for everything that’s going on right now. The people that are demanding trust have broken our trust on these issues and related to Trump. But to circle back to what you just said a second ago —
BUCK: — the documents. Why would president — I mean, I’m, honestly — this is beyond — you know, I was — I was a worker bee, right? Like, I was working in these documents, in a vault in a secure facility all day long at the CIA. But presidents have different powers, obviously, different authorities and also they’ll keep documents I believe to go into a presidential library; so perhaps that’s part of this. But I have had people tell me that they believe that some of these documents were declassified specifically having to do with Russiagate, and that is why Trump wanted custody of them so that he could have his team at some point go through them.
We’ll ask Kash Patel about this later. What do you think? Why the boxes of docs?
CLAY: I think the idea that Trump was going through, in the final hours of his time in the White House and saying “yes,” “no,” “yes,” “no,” the analogy that I’ve made that I think registers with a lot of people is if you’ve ever moved, how often are you unable to even hardly keep track of what you are moving from one residence to another residence? How long does it take you to get everything unpacked?
This is why, Buck, to your point, I do think some things, however, he intentionally. We discussed the Kim Jong-un letters. I think he may well have wanted to keep those. There may be investigative materials that are confidential that he believed buttresses his argument that he did nothing wrong with Ukraine or that the Russia collusion hoax was all made up. And remember, they, long before this became a controversy — and we’ll talk to Kash about this in the next hour — they made a big show, Buck, of saying the president has declassified a massive tranche of documents. And I don’t believe those have been released to the American public yet. So he may wanted to have keep some copies of these documents to ensure that they were not destroyed by members of the FBI or the intelligence community that he had come to distrust.
But this all kind of rolls into why this is such a difficult case, in my opinion, to bring criminal charges on but also why Trump’s responses can be somewhat contradictory. Number one, Buck, I think the president’s best defense is going to be all of these documents were declassified. I made it clear — we’ll talk to Kash about this — and so the idea that I was mishandling classified documents is impossible because I had declassified all of this. He has basically the absolute power and privilege, as you’ve talked about, to declassify documents.
Now, did he follow — the argument, I would imagine, from the Department of Justice will be, he didn’t follow properly protocols in order to officially declassify these documents. What were they, what did those protocols look like? But also I think he has a defense of, “Look. You came down here in early parts of this year and I said, hey, go through it. If you need to take some of these documents back, you can.” I think he has a good defense that he can offer there as well that he tried to comply with authorities and wasn’t trying to keep these.
And then I think he finally can say, I didn’t even know about some of this stuff, right? Like I’m not going through my boxes of memorabilia. Buck, I’ve got all of my baseball cards. My sons sometimes are going through them. I can barely remember what I had from the early eighties. There are sometimes finding stuff like, Dad, did you know you had this card? Yeah, got boxed up 25 years ago. I think he has a lot of defenses which would ordinarily lead to not a conviction being able to be granted. And remember, Buck, what they said about Hillary was no reasonable prosecutor would bring these charges ’cause they don’t believe they can get a conviction. That’s the one thing hanging out here about this that I think is significant. Can they get a conviction?
BUCK: The problem that we face — and I discussed this with a number of legal experts over the weekend. This is what I do on vacation, ask legal experts over at Gin & Tonic, “Excuse me, sir” — it’s true, actually. That’s what happened. A number of them were saying that if you bring this in D.C., the chances —
CLAY: — no matter what.
BUCK: — Trump jury, you can indict Trump for assassinating Abraham Lincoln and you’d get a guilty verdict in Washington, D.C., right now. It doesn’t matter, right? They would go anything that you brought against Donald Trump would be a sufficient charge to get a conviction.
I also think it’s interesting that there’s this story we’re told that there’s so much urgency. I saw this — I remember I was texting with you before the Friday show about, “Oh, now it’s nuclear secrets,” right, ’cause they have to, oh, my gosh, get everyone as scared as possible. Trump left 18 months ago, give or take. There’s been back-and-forth negotiation over this. If it really is the kind of information that they want people to believe, the notion that they should wait — and this would go back and forth between lawyers — seems a bit of a stretch, right? If this really was, “Hey, here’s where all of our, you know, super-secret submarines are with their nuclear capability”, whatever — I don’t know what the information is. But think of the most sensitive stuff imaginable. And if it’s not that, which I don’t believe it is, Clay, this stuff is being held under lock and key at Mar-a-Lago where there’s a Secret Service — you and I have been there numerous times —
BUCK: — Secret Service detail patrolling the grounds, security patrolling grounds, surveillance cameras on the storage areas where this is. So, you know, how much more secure does the information have to be before they would say, well, maybe it isn’t some grave threat to national security after all. And that’s why we’re at some level we’re going back and forth in the dark here because without knowing what the info is, they keep saying you gotta take our word for it, and I refuse to take their word for it. That’s the problem. It would be silly to take their word for it.
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