Nothing else had worked

Andrew Weissmann, who was a senior prosecutor in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, clarifies some things.

The release of the redacted affidavit provides further clarity on why Attorney General Merrick Garland took the extraordinary step of approving the search of certain locations at Mar-a-Lago. The short version is that nothing else had worked and top-secret information was at stake.

Trump tried to leverage the search of Mar-a-Lago into a shocking violation of Trump’s rights and privileges and holy status as god-emperor, but it’s the other way around – the necessity of searching Mar-a-Lago underlines Trump’s repeated criminal refusals to return the documents he stole. It was a crime to take them and it was another crime to refuse to return them on request – a crime he repeated over and over as the feds kept asking him to return them. Each refusal is a crime.

In any normal case, in my experience, with a responsible, upstanding citizen who may have inadvertently taken government documents, a simple voluntary request for their return would ordinarily suffice. If that failed, a grand jury subpoena would typically do the trick. In this case, neither approach worked. The attorney general had to resort to the most intrusive method of obtaining the return of the documents, a search warrant approved by a federal court.

Because Trump isn’t your normal responsible upstanding citizen, but rather a hardened criminal with no moral compass of any kind, even the most rudimentary.

The redacted affidavit is further proof that Mr. Trump’s flouting of criminal statutes persisted for a long time and gives every appearance of being intentional.

But with Trump the possibility of sheer stupidity is always there.

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