With the news of the FBI search of former VP Mike Pence’s residence turning up a previously undiscovered classified document dominating the news today, you may have missed some even more concerning classified document news involving Donald Trump that was also revealed this afternoon.
ABC News is reporting that Trump’s legal team last month handed federal agents a previously undisclosed folder labeled “Classified Evening Briefing” found at Mar-a-Lago.
This latest classified folder is in addition to the boxes of documents that Trump handed over to the National Archives after months of negotiations and in addition to the classified materials that were later found in a subsequent search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office and poorly-secured storage closet.
It was also in addition to another item handed over last month by Trump attorney James Trusty: a laptop and USB thumb drive belonging to “a current aide of the former president” to which the aide had copied the contents of the classified folder, as Trusty related to federal agents.
“It is customary in circumstances such as this for investigators to search the computer to see if classified material is still on that computer,” John Cohen, former acting undersecretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security told ABC News. “They will also seek to determine if classified material was transmitted electronically to other computers or devices via that computer.”
According to CNN, the aide, who works for Trump’s Save America PAC and whose security clearance status has not been disclosed, claims not to have realized that the documents that they were copying to the electronic devices were classified.
While it may be shocking to learn at this late date — after the infamous FBI search of Trump’s private office and the subsequent uproar over his claims of innocence because of his mental declassification of the materials (a bogus excuse of a non-existent declassification process) — that Trump still had classified documents in his possession, the news that a political aide had access to the secret material proves just how dangerous the disgraced former president’s cavalier attitude toward document security truly is.
The news certainly justifies the role of Special Counsel Jack Smith in his ongoing investigation of Trump’s purloining of classified material and its subsequent handling.
Unsurprisingly, Trump had a spokesperson tell ABC News that Smith’s investigation was “nothing more than a targeted, politically motivated witch hunt against President Trump, concocted to try and prevent the American people from returning him to the White House.”
“Just like all the other fake hoaxes thrown at President Trump, this corrupt effort will also fail,” Trump’s PR flack said. “The weaponized Department of Injustice [sic] has shown no regard for common decency and key rules that govern the legal system.”
With this latest new development in the classified documents probe, the biggest question remains as to why Trump has yet to be indicted for actions that so clearly violate federal law and endanger the security protocols that keep our sensitive government secrets safe from foreign eyes.
Original reporting by Katherine Faulders and John Santucci at ABC News and by . , and CNN
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