I invite everyone to read it in full, to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged.Okay, I am reading it. The gravity is that the Biden DoJ is attempting to obstruct justice by using an indictment to wrongly smear a political opponent.
It says that it was illegal for Trump to take boxes of documents from the White House. So why is he just being charged now, 2.5 years later? Apparently none of the documents are particularly sensitive, except that one is embarrassing to Gen. Milley.
It quotes Trump as saying that he will protect classified info, in 2016. After leaving office, it quotes him as saying that he could have declassified the documents as President. Yes, that is the law. Apparently his legal position is that he did declassify them.
I will look for some more informed opinion, but this all seems rather trivial to me.
Update: I heard a couple of people say: Trump's main legal argument is that he constructively declassified the papers by taking them out of the White House on Jan. 20, 2021. But he contradicts that by saying that he could have declassified them as President.
I don't see the contradiction. Everyone agrees that he could have declassified the papers as President. So it is reasonable for him to say that. There is some disagreement about what he has to do to effect that declassification. I guess people are trying to say that because he did not make his strongest argument in a private conversation, he forfeits it. No, it does not work that way.
(CNN) Former President Donald Trump acknowledged on tape in a 2021 meeting that he had retained “secret” military information that he had not declassified, according to a transcript of the audio recording obtained by CNN.No, this Trump statement does not imply that he had not declassified the info. He cannot declassify the info now, but it may have already been declassified.
“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t,” Trump says, according to the transcript.