Donald Trump's behavior on Truth Social this week has been sat squarely in the realm of bizarre. Whether re-"truth"ing Q-Anon conspiracy theories or lashing out against the FBI and Joe Biden, it's been a whopper of a week for Trump's Truth timeline.
But last night, he may have taken things just a step too far - apparently admitting to a serious crime, while trying to make the FBI look bad. It's the kind of gaffe only Trump could make, the kind that makes his legal team lose sleep at night. Here's what was said.
Donald Trump Admits to More than He Should Have
The former President this week has been wielding his social media like a sword, striking at those he perceives to be his enemies and sharing a lot of fringe political memes that are whipping his base into a frenzy.
But last night, things went a little sideways after Trump wrote on Truth Social, "There seems to be confusion as to the 'picture' where documents were sloppily thrown on the floor and then released photographically for the world to see, as if that’s what the FBI found when they broke into my home. Wrong! They took them out of cartons and spread them around on the carpet, making it look like a big 'find' for them. They dropped them, not me - Very deceiving…And remember, we could have NO representative, including lawyers, present during the Raid. They were told to wait outside."
While it sounds great to voters who are already looking for reasons to criticize the FBI, there's one little problem: Trump admitted to not only knowing the documents were still in his possession despite swearing everything had been returned, but he went so far as to admit that he knew where and how they were stored. Those are details that provide enough information to prove that Trump knew it was a lie when his lawyer swore that they had returned all classified documents, and that he was even an active participant in keeping them where they were - which was not in the hands of the proper authorities.
Gizmodo adds, "[The] thing Trump’s new Truth Social post makes clear is that these documents couldn’t have been planted by the FBI, an allegation that has been made repeatedly by Trump supporters on Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN. The idea that documents could’ve been planted isn’t impossible, as we’ve seen plenty of videos showing police officers planting drugs in recent years thanks to the advent of body cameras. But let’s take the drug analogy further. Imagine Trump had been accused of holding heroin at Mar-a-Lago. Replace the word 'documents' with 'heroin needles' and you can see that Trump is admitting he knew exactly where they were and how they were organized.
There seems to be confusion as to the 'picture' where [heroin needles] were sloppily thrown on the floor and then released photographically for the world to see, as if that’s what the FBI found when they broke into my home. Wrong! They took them out of cartons and spread them around on the carpet, making it look like a big 'find' for them. They dropped them, not me - Very deceiving."
Trump's team has tried to argue that the documents were declassified, but there is precedent for this. Gizmodo adds, "But even if you want to believe Trump somehow declassified these in his head, as some of his lawyers have tried to argue, that’s not how it works. The president has to declare documents declassified and then they get marked with a line striking through the 'top secret' notation on each page. Anyone who’s received formerly classified documents through the Freedom of Information Act is familiar with what this looks like ... None of the documents in the photo taken by the FBI show markings that indicate anything there was declassified."
To Indict or Not to Indict, that is NOT the Question: It's 'When'
Trump's team made a filing late Wednesday that is raising eyebrows everywhere for its bizarre approach to defense. Basically they said, "it's just not that serious." And Trump's lawyer made an even bigger primetime blunder while trying to defend the former POTUS.
Per Business Insider, "A lawyer working with former President Donald Trump said he 'frequently' had guests in his Mar-a-Lago office where the DOJ alleged numerous classified documents were being kept.
Alina Habba, speaking on Fox News' 'Hannity' on Wednesday, revealed the telling detail as she sought to defend Trump over the August 8 search."
Habba explains, "That is not the way his office looks. Anybody that knows President Trump's office, he has guests frequently there." Guests frequently in the vicinity of classified documents in a private residence? Nothing to see here.
As more and more is revealed through DOJ filings, it seems more likely that a criminal indictment will occur. The question is: when. Experts believe that there are signals coming from the Department of Justice that they won't file any potential indictments until after the Midterm elections. They are guided by regulations that prevent them from influencing the outcome of an election and dropping a criminal indictment right before many Trump-backed politicians are on the ballot could be seen as political interference. So the question now is less "if" and more "when."