Forty-eight empty file folders marked “classified” were included on a detailed list of what the FBI took from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The list was unsealed by district judge Aileen Cannon during a hearing in federal court on Thursday.
Following the release, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the Jan 6 Committee, appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with guest host Brianna Keilar, speculating about the former contents of those empty folders and where they might be.
“As a citizen, I would just ask the question, where are the files? Where did they go? And which ones of Donald Trump’s friends in the United States or around the world might have them? But who knows?”
Apparently, this is now standard operating procedure in the halls of power: speculate and investigate.
In Washington, it seems they don’t investigate crimes in search of a person anymore. In the Trump era, we saw relentless investigation of a person in search of a crime, as with the Steele Dossier investigation. The pattern continues. Speculations into criminal conduct used to be kept quiet until there was compelling evidence. Then and only then did it receive airtime. Now, an integral part of the process seems to be getting consumers of news into a froth over what could be true. It doesn’t matter that so many previous speculations came up empty after months or years of digging.
Perhaps reflecting a return to modest journalistic standards at CNN under its new president, Chris Licht, Keilar pressed Raskin, asking whether he had evidence to support his inflammatory speculation.
“I don’t believe you have evidence to support that… What informs you, raising that question?” asked Keilar.
“Well, again, I’m speaking just as one individual,” replied Raskin, perhaps forgetting that he represents more than 750,000 people in Maryland’s 8th District. “But my question would be, where are the missing documents? You know, who would have interest in those?”
Because that’s how we do law enforcement now – reacting to reckless statements from politicians and chasing down leads with a spurious predicate for doing so.
When asked why Trump would do such a thing with sensitive materials, Raskin went quickly to fevered character assassination.
“I have no idea. We saw through the Trump presidency, Donald Trump siding with various foreign powers and autocrats against our own intelligence services, against our own Congress, against the people of the United States. So, you know, I have no idea what’s taking place in this particular case, but it’s just interesting to me that people are afraid that there was an impairment of national security and the integrity of democratic government.”
If there is real evidence that Donald Trump, Mister America First, has ever been reckless or treacherous with US secrets, we should see it. But all we ever get are accusations. Never evidence. As for the profligate evidence that the Biden family has engaged in that kind of behavior, well… let’s not worry about that.
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