Former CIA and FBI member Phil Mudd joined CNN’s Don Lemon for a discussion on the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, and what, if anything, the American public will learn from the forthcoming release of the DOJ’s search warrant affidavit.
The DOJ reportedly has until Thursday, August 25th to release the document, but Mudd said he fully expects the contents to be gutted during the redaction period leading up to that.
“I think…the government is overstating the threat from the release of this document, assuming that the government makes redactions that are substantial. And I think they’re going to gut the document, Don,” Mudd predicted.
The host of “Don Lemon Tonight,” who consistently needs to have basic concepts explained to him, asked, “What do you mean ‘gut the document’?”
“Well, this is interesting,” Mudd began. “I was watching the media today and sort of in my mind having a mental game with the media. I think the media got it wrong. They’re suggesting that both sides got something out of this, that is, information about the raid might be revealed, that’s something that maybe Republicans would want to see, but that the Department of Justice would have to say something. Clearly, Department of Justice doesn’t want to say anything.”
He continued, “Let me change that narrative for just a moment. If you get that document back at the Department of Justice from the judge and the judge says redact it, let me tell you as someone who’s done that what you’re going to do -what’s the minimum we can give back to the judge, maybe 15, 20 percent of the document, where he says ‘Man, you really gutted this but you left in a few things that help the American people understand this process.'”
“The Department of Justice is going to gut the document and try to do it in a way that the judge says that’s okay. I think we’re going to get a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ document, not a ‘Sex and the City’ document. It’s going to be much more boring than we anticipate, Don.” Mudd added.
And again, Lemon needed help.
“Do I really want you to explain that? he asked.
Mudd replied, “Come on, ‘Leave it to Beaver.’ I guess that’s in the 1950s. I was born just to be clear in 1961. I didn’t actually see ‘Leave it to Beaver,’ but it’s boring. ‘Sex and the City,’ I did see that. It’s interesting. The documents are going to be boring. How much do I need to explain to you, Don?”
Lemon then turned to the topic of the Mar-a Lago raid and the possibility of Trump’s legal team releasing surveillance footage of the raid, the prospect of which caused the host to wonder whether doing so would “add fuel to the fire.”
“This story I think is underreported. Let’s put a few pieces together,” Mudd responded. “Did you see how much Liz Cheney lost by? Unprecedented, almost. She lost by almost 40 points. My point is the American people are saying not only they’re angry, they’re saying we don’t like the Jan. 6 commission, we think you’re overrating what happened on Jan. 6.”
Lemon argued that Wyoming is a small part of the U.S. population and Liz Cheney’s defeat in her primary is not an indication that Republicans writ large believe the Jan. 6 committee to be a sham – except that he’s wrong and they do. Lemon and his ilk have demonstrated in the past they don’t understand the existence of the electoral college either, so this is nothing new.
Mudd explained, “If you look at the number of people who think Jan. 6 is illegitimate – the number of people who continue to support the president [Trump], that’s a large percentage of the population, Don.”
As far as the DOJ’s justification for the raid on Trump’s home, the purported offenses that have been made public are:
- 18 U.S.C. § 793 Willful retention of national defense information
- 18 U.S.C. § 2071 Concealment or removal of government records; and
- 18 U.S.C. § 1519 Obstruction of federal investigation
Time will tell if that amounts to anything at all.
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