Moving boxes

Is there a Stupidity Defense? Trump could use one.

Federal prosecutors have evidence Donald Trump was put on notice that he could not retain any classified documents after he was subpoenaed for their return last year, as they examine whether the subsequent failure to fully comply with the subpoena was a deliberate act of obstruction by the former president.

The previously unreported warning conveyed to Trump by his lawyer Evan Corcoran could be significant in the criminal investigation surrounding Trump’s handling of classified materials given it shows he knew about his subpoena obligations.

Well this is where the stupidity defense comes into play. Telling Trump things doesn’t equal Trump knowing things. First, he has to listen. Second, no, seriously, he has to listen. Three, he has to grasp. Four, he has to remember. Five, he has to understand. Six, he has to give a shit. Seven, he has to go on remembering and giving a shit for a long time. Really long. More than five minutes.

Last June, Corcoran found roughly 40 classified documents in the storage room at Mar-a-Lago and told the justice department that no further materials remained at the property. That was later shown to be untrue, after the FBI later returned with a warrant and seized 101 additional classified documents.

Trump concealed more than twice as many as he handed over.

The federal investigation led by special counsel Jack Smith has recently focused on why the subpoena was not compiled with, notably whether Trump arranged for boxes of classified documents to be moved out of the storage room so [that] he could illegally retain them.

In particular, prosecutors have fixated on Trump’s valet Walt Nauta, after he told the justice department that Trump told him to move boxes out of the storage room before and after the subpoena. The activity was captured on subpoenaed surveillance footage, though there were gaps in the tapes.

Deliberate act of obstruction, or no? Maybe he wanted them moved because he thought they would look prettier somewhere else.

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