Tag Archives: national security

That’s what I call ‘speedy’

You want Donald J. Trump to go through a “speedy trial” in connection with the document pilfering for which he has been indicted?

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said “OK” to one, setting a tentative trial date of Aug. 14 — that’s this coming Aug. 14! — for Trump to seek to fend off allegations that he put our national security at risk by squirreling away classified documents in his mansion as he left the White House.

To be sure, Cannon’s trial date is sure to get pushed back, as both sides likely will want more time to prepare for trial.

But … holy fast-track, Batman! This is what I call speedy in the truest sense of the term.

What makes it so remarkable is that Judge Cannon is seen as a Trump ally, given that the ex-POTUS nominated her to the federal bench. She also had been rebuked sternly by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals over some rulings she handed down in the handling of those documents right after the FBI seized them.

I have to hand it to Cannon, though, for placing this matter on the fastest track … ever!

I just hope the expected delays won’t keep us from reaching a verdict fairly soon in what looks for all the world like a slam-dunk case compiled by the special counsel and his team.


‘Trump is done’

Brian Karem, a writer for Salon, is preaching to the proverbial choir when he declares the storm that’s a brewin’ might be the one that takes out Donald Trump, sends him home to … wherever.

And then he’ll be gone from our consciousness. Presumably for the rest of his time walking this good Earth.

That’s my hope. That’s the hope, apparently, of a growing number of Americans who have grown sick, tired and bored out of their skulls at Trump’s one-note samba that kicks out the lyrics to The Big Lie.

Read Karem’s latest essay here:  A storm is coming: It might sweep Trump and the GOP into history’s dustbin (msn.com)

I have been struck by the stone-cold silence from the Trumpkin cabal of cultists over the documents the FBI seized at Trump’s posh estate. Not even the likes of Jim Jordan, or Rand Paul, or Lindsey Graham, or any other of the Trump cult followers can come up with an explanation on how top-secret documents found their way from the White House to Trump’s South Florida pad.

Then we hear from Trump himself, saying in a totally insane social media rant that the FBI grabbed the documents from his desk and scattered them on the floor for the world to see.

What the hell? That is a defense of what Trump did? Good grief, he just admitted to breaking federal law!

As Karem said in his essay:

So, yes — there is a storm coming. It’s not a civil war. It’s a reckoning — and I reckon the GOP would rather not face it. All the Democrats have to do is show up and vote, and the Republicans’ beloved Supreme Court gave them an excellent reason to do so.

The FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was merely an affirmation that those eager to flee the GOP needed, to let them know their instincts were right. When the facts are understood, Donald, it turns out that nobody likes a traitor.


All eyes on DOJ, but wait …

Millions of Americans — such as me — are fixated at the moment on the U.S. Department of Justice seizure of those “highly classified” documents from Donald J. Trump’s glitzy home in Florida.

I keep hearing an endless string of legal analyses that suggest an indictment of someone — perhaps the ex-president — is inevitable.

Let’s be clear, though, about something that is getting buried under all the rhetoric about the DOJ probe: It is just one of several investigations underway concerning the criminal behavior many of us believe occurred during the entirety of Trump’s single term as POTUS.

What’s brewing? Let’s see:

  • A Fulton County (Ga.) grand jury is looking into whether Trump tampered with election results by demanding that the Georgia secretary of state “find” enough votes to turn the election result there from pro-Joe Biden to pro-Trump.
  • The New York attorney general is examining whether the Trump Organization falsified its assets to (a) obtain favorable loans or (b) avoid paying debts it owes.
  • The House 1/6 select committee is probing whether Trump committed an act of sedition against the U.S. government by inciting the attack on the Capitol and then was derelict in his duty as POTUS by refusing to call off the attack once it commenced, resulting in injury and death to police officers and at least one attacker.

That’s several full plates, don’t you think?

Of all those probes, the one that needs to be finished soon is the congressional investigation. The midterm election well could result in Republicans taking control of the House and we all know what’ll happen then: the GOP leadership will shut it all down and will pretend there is nothing to see.

There happens to be plenty to see and do, which makes the House panel’s work all the more urgent.

It’s almost enough to make me wonder how in the name of sanity does the former president or those closest to him avoid being charged with some criminal act. I cannot assess which of the potential charges are forthcoming, or which of them will emerge as the most serious.

I do have this nagging gut grumble that’s telling me that when the legal eagles finish their work, we’re about to see history made in a way that will make the 45th POTUS a mighty unhappy man.

Shall we all just stay tuned?


Keep it secret, feds

Now comes word that Donald J. Trump and his dwindling ranks of allies want the federal government to unseal the affidavit that prompted the judge to approve a request by the FBI to search Trump’s south Florida home for criminal evidence.

I’ll join those who suggest that releasing that document would be a mistake, that it could compromise the probe and that Attorney General Merrick Garland acted in good faith when he sought permission to send in the agents.

The FBI has collected a substantial amount of paperwork that Trump took from the White House when he left office in January 2021. Some of it appears to be, um, highly classified. That’s a no-no. There could be violations of the Espionage Act and the Presidential Records Act that the Justice Department will consider as it ponders whether to indict the former POTUS.

The affidavit, though, is another matter. I am all in favor of transparency. However, if it compromises a criminal investigation, then there ought to be limits on how much we see.

As I have noted before, I trust the AG implicitly to be a man of high honor and integrity. He said he will “follow the law” wherever it leads. I believe he is doing that. He also is arguing that the affidavit need not be revealed for all the world to see.

Let the man and our Justice Department do their job.


Hard to grasp consequence of probe

I hereby acknowledge the difficulty I am having in trying to wrap my noodle around the events of this week involving Donald J. Trump and the search that revealed what the world has learned he had squirreled away at his luxurious South Florida digs.

A major part of me wants the Justice Department to proceed with all deliberate speed in determining whether the ex-president committed crimes in taking highly sensitive documents out of the White House. My ol’ trick knee, which I acknowledge has been unreliable at times, is telling me that Attorney General Merrick Garland has the goods on The Donald.

His public statement, brief as it was, this week explaining what he approved and then his stout defense of the FBI and DOJ suggested to me that Garland is riled up.

I will offer an admittedly half-hearted salute to Trump for agreeing to allow the search warrant to be unsealed. He is going to play the victim card and his base is going to scarf it up. The rest of us should be prepared for what might be coming … and possibly sooner than we anticipate.

That would be a criminal indictment against a former president of the U.S.A. The charge? I don’t know. Violation of the Espionage Act is one possibility. So is a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

What perhaps is the most glaring mystery to me is trying to determine what in the world Trump expected to do with what the FBI agents recovered. It’s been reported widely that Trump doesn’t read documents. He was infamously impatient with daily national security briefings and never looked — or so we have been told — at the reams of papers his national security staff delivered to him each day.

And did those documents fetched from Mar-a-Lago contain nuclear secrets? If so, then … holy crap!

We know already that some of the documents were of the highest security levels imaginable. And a president cannot just de-classify them because he gives the word.

I maintain my implicit faith in the attorney general’s integrity. What remains to be determined is whether he has the courage to withstand what will be a torrent of rage if he delivers on what I now believe he must … which is a criminal indictment against a former president of the United States.


It wasn’t a ‘raid’

One man’s “raid” is another man’s “search,” which of course depends on which side of the great divide you stand.

As I listen to the commentary after the FBI search of Donald Trump’s South Florida digs earlier this week, I am left to presume that the right-wing media have bought wholly and fully into The Donald’s description of the event as a “raid.”

It was nothing of the sort.

The Justice Department sought a search warrant from a federal judge. DOJ officials cited “probable cause” to believe a crime might have been committed. The judge agreed. The FBI entered the glitzy palace … in the presence of one of Trump’s legal advisers.

They left Mar-a-Lago with about a dozen boxes of documents.

It wasn’t a “raid.” Trump’s home was not “under siege,” as the former POTUS said initially. It was all done legally in accordance with federal law and, oh yeah, the U.S. Constitution.

Therefore, I will not refer to the event as a “raid.”

I now will wait — along with the rest of the nation — to learn what the FBI found. That ol’ trick knee of mine tells me they recovered even more evidence that is going to put Donald John Trump into more trouble.


Lock him up?

Donald J. Trump used to relish hearing crowds chant “Lock her up!” when the issue turned to how Hillary Clinton handled her email operation during her time as secretary of state.

You’ve seen the video of the Republican presidential candidate just letting the cultists go on and on. Right? Sure you have!

Well, what do we have now? We have reports that as a lame-duck POTUS, the White House hauled 15 boxes of classified information out of the presidential residence and sent them to Mar-a-Lago, Fla.

The Justice Department is now in the midst of an investigation into whether someone broke the law when The Donald exited Washington for his glitzy resort. Hmm, do ya think?

Donald Trump was the most ignorant imbecile ever elected to the nation’s highest office. He had no respect for the law or the secrets he took a solemn and sacred oath to protect.

I am left to simply shake my head and to wonder whether I should lead a chant of my own to “Lock him up!”


Lock him up?

What the hell is going on here? I could swear that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign made a lot of noise about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account while she served as secretary of state and the candidate himself allowed crowds to yell “Lock her up!” over the inadvertent use of that email server.

Now we hear that the former POTUS took classified material with him to Mar-a-Lago, Fla., after he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. Moreover, he reportedly flushed some presidential papers down the White House crapper to keep it from falling into the hands of, oh, the National Archives.

Hey, isn’t that a violation of the Presidential Papers Act? And … isn’t that punishable by jail time for those who violate it?

Hmm. What the hell, indeed!

I believe there is much more drama to follow. Stay tuned … eh?


No briefings for ex-POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Millions of us are aware of all the norm-busting practices of Donald Trump’s administration, starting with Trump’s refusal to receive “daily presidential briefings” aimed at alerting him to national security needs and potential crises.

Here’s another norm that needs shattering into a million little pieces. Former presidents often are given national security briefings from their successors. Donald Trump should not get anything of the sort from President Biden’s administration.

Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, through his reckless use of Twitter — prior to it being yanked — to say things that could jeopardize our national security. He had that infamous meeting in the Oval Office with Russian visitors and blabbed about security issues relating to Israel’s defense posture.

I have noted several times that Trump is unfit to be president. He’s only got two days left before he hightails it to Florida. He will stand trial in the U.S. Senate for the second time. This allegation deals with incitement of insurrection.

Does this clown need to know the nation’s top secrets once he becomes a private citizen? Not a chance!

Giving former presidents intelligence briefings is not a requirement. It has been a common practice. Former presidents at times are given those briefings to alert them of what might lie ahead and also to solicit advice on how they might handle a situation that could arise.

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Trump is untrustworthy and must not be allowed access to anything regarding national security.

I could not agree more. Keep this individual as far out of the loop as one possibly can do.

‘Under control,’ Mr. POTUS?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Here is a word to the wise.

When you hear the words “We have it under control” come from Donald J. Trump, you should pull the blanket up tightly over your head and not move for as long as you can remain still.

Trump decided to utter that phrase when asked the other day about the Russian hacking of our security system, which intelligence officials have called the worst such incident in U.S. — if not world — history.

Trump said it’s “under control” and said China might be the culprit … not those Russians.

Well, let’s harken back to a previous time the POTUS declared something to be “under control.” It was earlier this year. The COVID-19 coronavirus had just stormed ashore. We had a handful of cases. Trump said then it was “under control.”

Well … it wasn’t. It isn’t yet. It has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Help is on its way in the form of vaccines that have been developed and are being developed. However, Donald Trump’s so-called assurance that something is “under control” should be cause for serious alarm.

Therefore, I am terribly concerned about the latest Russian attack.