Trump, guilty | The Journal of Montreal

Reading the affidavit of the FBI agent against Donald Trump, it appears that the situation is even more serious than what had so far leaked in the media. Even if its text is substantially redacted.

First, the FBI agent informs the judge that he has found various criminal elements during his investigation, but that he will concentrate on a single category: those relating to the illegal retention of confidential, secret or top secrets. Next, the document quotes excerpts from laws that affect national defence.

Finally, the affidavit cites espionage laws for foreign powers. These are all elements that suggest what the FBI agents were looking for. The statement also explains that the search request is based on the fear that several documents will disappear.

Finally, the FBI agent explains that for several months, Trump refused to cooperate and hand over the documents, on the pretext that he could declassify all the documents he wanted anyway.

1) Can Trump declassify top-secret documents?

Trump could ask for these kinds of documents to be declassified when he was president. But he is no longer. This defense does not hold.

2) Why is the statement redacted?

Several reasons explain the censorship of the declaration. Before the judge ordered its release, the Justice Department opposed its release, in order to protect FBI informants and to prevent evidence from being destroyed in any related investigations.

3) Why did Trump insist on keeping these documents top secret?

It would have been possible that in the hubbub of departure, Trump took with him inappropriate documents. (The lack of planning for his departure, moreover, supports the thesis of the attempted coup.) However, the excuse falls on reading the declaration. For months, Trump voluntarily withheld top-secret documents. Worse, their access was poorly secured. All the hypotheses are open as to his deep motivations, from his narcissism to espionage, through an attempt to monetize these documents against various advantages.

4) What is Trump looking for?

Trump wants the American justice system to appear to be a biased actor. It is not so. A search of a US citizen is an extraordinary act that can only be authorized in specific circumstances. A search of the home of a former American president is a historic first. This descent has therefore been prepared with the greatest care. Especially since Trump has the financial means to hire the best lawyers for his defense.

5) Why was the statement leaked?

The game is not only played in court. It is also public, as with all major trials. At the end of a possible judgment, the Americans will have to have the feeling that justice has been done, otherwise the judiciary would be shaken. In general, this feeling stems from the nature of the offense committed, the reputation of the accused persons and the arguments argued in court. But Trump doesn’t seem interested in debating the facts. Rather, he is trying to make people believe that the American justice system is in the pay of the administration of Joe Biden. This is an aberration for anyone familiar with the principle of the separation of powers in the United States. It is also an implicit admission that he cannot fight on the merits, because he is guilty.


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