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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: hillary clinton

Judge Slaps Down Trump's Frivolous Lawsuit Against Clinton

While Donald Trump managed to find a highly unqualified judge who was willing to work hand in hand with his attorneys to grant his “special master” request, his court shopping isn’t always so effective. Back in March, Trump filed a sprawling, 108-page conspiracy theory-laden lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and others, claiming that he was the victim of a “conspiracy to commit injurious falsehood” and basically that people had the audacity to try and stop him from winning the 2016 election. Clinton’s name may be at the top of the list, but the actual suit includes 35 named defendants, 10 John Does, 10 corporations, and the government. The list of charges is even longer.

Over the last few months, Trump’s legal team has responded to questions about the filing by making it even longer, padding it with more rambling pages, even more claims, and with complaints that Federal District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks was also part of this grand conspiracy. On Thursday, Middlebrooks spent 65 pages explaining everything wrong with Trump’s ludicrous suit before dismissing “with prejudice” the charges against Clinton and others. The judge also sliced and diced claims from Trump that he was being nickeled and dimed over legal technicalities.

The inadequacies with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint are not “merely issues of technical pleading,” as Plaintiff contends, but fatal substantive defects that preclude Plaintiff from proceeding under any of the theories he has presented. At its core, the problem with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is that Plaintiff is not attempting to seek redress for any legal harm; instead, he is seeking to flaunt a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.

What makes this extra fun is that Trump really thought he might get something out of this despite the fact that the lawsuit reads very much like a transcription of one of his rambling, paranoia-filled rally speeches and includes an amazing list of charges against Clinton, the government, and everyone who opened their mouth to point out that Trump was, without a doubt, the worst candidate ever to stand for any office. Christopher Steele? In there. Peter Strzok? Of course. James Comey, Lisa Page, Fusion GPS, Bruce and Nelly Ohr, the DNC … Oh, the gang’s all here.

All of them are terrible, because not only does Donald Trump think that the only way he can lose an election is if someone cheated, he also believes that running against him in an election is a crime.

Why did Trump think any of this would work? Because Trump did with this suit did just what he did with the special master request: He filed it in a location where he knew there was a right-wing judge he had appointed. When his special master request reached Judge Aileen Cannon, she didn’t throw it back for not being properly filed or formed, she helped Trump’s attorney’s revise the document to get it over the transom. And when Trump failed to even make a request for injunction or relief that was okay because Cannon filled those those things in for him.

Trump certainly expected the same kind of loving care on this suit. However, the district court docketing system happened to toss the case to Middlebrooks. Who was appointed by President Bill Clinton. And Middlebrooks proceeded to make a tasty meal of Trump’s nonsense.

Trump tried to put the brakes on this outcome earlier by demanding back in April that Middlebrooks recuse himself because he wasn’t nominated by Trump. Middlebrooks took no time in denying Trump’s demand and explaining how all this is supposed to work.

Every federal judge is appointed by a president who is affiliated with a major political party, and therefore every federal judge could theoretically be viewed as beholden, to some extent or another. As judges, we must all transcend politics.

That would be nice. In this case, Middlebrooks then got on with the business of writing a novella on the silliness behind Trump’s claims.

In his lawsuit, Trump alleges that everyone, just everyone, was involved in a conspiracy in which they sought to “nefariously sway the public’s trust” and that they “worked together with a single, self-serving purpose: to vilify Donald J. Trump.”

If that was a crime, then a few hundred million people in this country would certainly be guilty. Fortunately, trying to win an election is still legal, for now.

Middlebrooks spent considerable time detailing the ways in which everything about Trump’s suit was the worst kind of nonsense. Not only did Trump wait so long in filing the complaint that he was well beyond the legal statute of limitations for such civil claims, this lawsuit repeated exactly the primary failing of his special master claim by failing to note any way in which Trump was actually harmed by any of the actions he described, or why anything said by Clinton and others was not “plainly protected by the First Amendment.”

The judge also made clear—at length—that court was not the place for this kind of dispute, that there was nothing that looked like legal harm to be found anywhere in all Trump’s claims, and that you can’t sue people just because you don’t like them.

In particular, Trump tossed in claims such as “racketeering” but failed to provide a single example of activity that fit such a charge. Middlebrooks actually pointed this out the last time he punted the suit back to Trump’s attorneys, but no one seems to have listened.

Fundamentally, Plaintiff cannot state a RICO claim without two predicate acts, and, after two attempts, he has failed to plausibly allege even one. Plaintiff cannot state an injurious falsehood claim without allegations of harm to his property interests. And Plaintiff cannot state a malicious prosecution claim without a judicial proceeding, but he unsuccessfully attempts to misconstrue, misstate, and misapply the law to do so anyway.

Trump claimed racketeering, but provided no evidence; charged that he was injured without showing any harm; and claimed “malicious prosecution” over something that didn’t even involve a court case. It is all just as foolish as it sounds.

But since, of course, the real purpose of this suit was to generate emails saying “Donald Trump needs $5 FROM YOU by MIDNIGHT or HILLARY Clinton might WIN!” What actually happened in court is of little consequence.

And Trump can now see if he can get such a filing in front of Cannon. She’s so helpful.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

A Final -- And Fully Fact-Checked -- Verdict On 'Her Emails'

The Washington Post's fact-checker Glenn Kessler has delivered a conclusive verdict on the subject that gave the presidency to Donald J. Trump: What about her emails? His analysis follows a column I wrote last week examining whether any of Hillary Clinton's emails contained government secrets that would have justified her criminal prosecution, as Trump has urged for years — and has repeated with vehemence since the FBI seized top-secret documents including sensitive nuclear intelligence hidden at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

Kessler has at last settled the controversy that lasted for seven years. Former Secretary of State Clinton, linking to my column in a September 6 Twitter thread, put it bluntly: "The fact is that I had zero emails that were classified."

Beginning in 2015 when "her emails" became the subject of a long and tortuous FBI investigation, Kessler scolded Clinton more than once for "legalistic parsing" of the accusations against her. But now he has closely examined the facts at issue again, done additional reporting, and found "new details" that mitigate former FBI Director James Comey's harsh, unprecedented, and decisive interventions into the 2016 election, which unquestionably swayed it for Trump.The so-called "scandal" stemming from "her emails" wildly dominated election coverage. "News reports on this topic ran 19-to-1 negative over positive," reported the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School.

As the veteran Post reporter explains in painstaking detail, "a review of the recent investigations, including new information obtained by the Fact Checker, shows Clinton has good reason for making a distinction with Trump." Quoting State Department reports and other official documents, with appropriate links, Kessler elucidates what few have understood about the disputes over classification between the State Department and other agencies, and how Comey distorted those disagreements to suggest that Clinton disclosed classified data even when the documents carried no classification markings.

A 2018 report by the Trump Justice Department's inspector general, cited by Kessler, reiterates Clinton's exoneration by the FBI two years earlier: "There was no evidence that... former Secretary Clinton believed or (was) aware at the time that the emails contained classified information," or that she intended to jeopardize classified data in any way.

Kessler also elucidates the flaw behind Comey's assertion that "110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received." This meant, as he notes, that "an intelligence agency, such as the CIA, had decided information in the email was classified, even if the email itself had not been marked classified."

How could Clinton — or anyone else — know that a document was deemed secret or even confidential if it carried no such markings? Comey stated that she or any reasonable person simply "should have known." If that sounds absurd, it's because it is absurd. Comey was playing a word game, suppressing essential information about the process of classification, and, after the damage was done to the Clinton candidacy, assumed a sanctimonious pose that his motive was above politics — all the while violating basic protocols of the Justice Department in making his public statements up to nine days before the election.

The absurdity of Comey's criticism is highlighted in one of several communications between a State Department security official and Clinton's attorney David Kendall. The official concedes that certain disputed information "was likely not classified at the time of sending, but the (department's) Senior Classification Review Panel (SCRP) later determined that it was." Such retroactive determinations are analogous to ex post facto laws, which are unconstitutional because they are so manifestly unfair and subject to abuse.

To maintain a semblance of order, the U.S. government has explicit rules and manuals controlling the classification of its files. Not a single one of the documents that appeared on Clinton's server was marked in accordance with those regulations, not even the three that Comey claimed had such markings. Eventually, he backed away from that claim in congressional testimony. Now the self-righteous Comey has declined to be interviewed by Kessler.

Finally, Kessler reports the conclusions of the two Trump State Department investigations of "her emails," both of which stated that beyond using a private server for State Department communications, a practice continued from her predecessor Colin Powell, she had done nothing wrong. "There was no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information," according to the Diplomatic Security Service, which conducted the department's final probe in 2019. And again: "None of the emails at issue in this review were marked as classified."

No longer should anyone — not any reputable reporter, not any credible news organization — report other than that irrefutable conclusion.

The facts laid out first in my column and now in fully documented detail by The Washington Post will not, of course, discourage Trump from his endless smears against Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and all his enemies who should be in prison, or how the FBI and the "deep state" are persecuting him.

Going forward the national media should avoid promoting any false equivalence between "her emails" and Trump's dangerous stashing of national defense secrets, and instead consult the now established facts. As the truth about his grotesque and felonious misconduct emerges in full, the contrast will become starker than ever.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

How Many Of 'Her Emails' Were Classified? Actually, Zero

Nearly every day fresh revelations emerge in the federal investigation of the national security and presidential records that Donald Trump purloined from the White House. So far, his alibis have been exposed one after another as empty, and we have seen no adequate public reckoning of why he took those papers, what he meant to do with them, how some went missing, or even exactly how many documents he hijacked to his Florida estate.

As more and more evidence of the former president’s reckless and potentially criminal misconduct comes to light, he and his defenders keep pointing to “her emails.” They insist that because the Justice Department declined prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after a long and thorough probe of how she handled allegedly classified information, there should be no investigation, let alone indictment or conviction of Trump.

But while we don’t yet know the extent or nature of Trump’s abuse of classified documents, we can determine how many were found by investigators, after exhaustive searches, among Clinton’s thousands of State Department emails.

The accurate and definitive answer is zero – although few if any news outlets have informed the public of that startling fact. Moreover, it is a fact that the Trump administration itself confirmed three years ago.

In the recent coverage that references her emails, former FBI Director James Comey is sometimes quoted as saying that of the 33,000 Clinton emails examined by bureau investigators, three had classification markings. That’s less than one-hundredth of one percent, and not worth comparing to Trump’s malfeasance anyway, but it’s still false -- apparently meant to bolster Comey’s absurd claim that other Clinton emails were “classified” although never marked as such.

Those three State Department documents were “call sheets,” innocuous memos reminding Clinton to make scheduled phone calls. During her FBI interview, investigators showed her one of those memos, reminding her to place a condolence call to the president of Malawi--not exactly a top secret matter. As Comey himself later admitted, any classification marking on that sheet had been wrongly applied.

In short, the three supposedly classified documents attributed to her emails were barely even confidential, let alone secret or subject to the sanctions of the Espionage Act.

Still, the hunting of Hillary never ends and – amid regular threats to her by Trump when he was president -- inevitably resumed after the FBI investigation concluded. What has been overlooked is that “her emails” and those of her State Department aides became the target of not one but two departmental probes that picked up where her exoneration by the Justice Department left off.

The first round, which began under Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first Secretary of State, opened with an inquiry into a claim of 41 “security incidents” attributed to Clinton and concluded, after months of argument and appeals by her attorneys at Williams & Connolly, that none of those alleged incidents was valid, though she shouldn’t have used a private email server. In that respect her conduct was no different from her Republican predecessor, the late Colin Powell, who advised her to use private email, or many officials in the Bush White House, including Karl Rove.

The second State Department review commenced with more fanfare in 2019 under Tillerson’s unscrupulous successor Mike Pompeo, who, it is worth noting, soon came under official scrutiny himself for gross and self-serving misuse of State Department resources. By then, the hypocrisy behind Republican indignation over “her emails” had been highlighted by massive, repeated security breaches in the Trump White House, where numerous officials , including Ivanka Trump, unlawfully used private email accounts and normal protective protocols were routinely flouted.

No doubt Pompeo, a veteran of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, hoped to find something, anything to arraign Clinton. But again, in the end, there was zero, zilch, nada. Although the second review began with a July 31, 2019 notice from State Department officials that they “suspected” Clinton might be responsible for 12 classified “spillages,” this investigation concluded nine weeks later that she did not “bear any individual culpability” for those incidents.

Again, the overarching absurdity of the State Department and FBI investigations lay in the fact that nearly all of the documents at issue had been classified retroactively – meaning they had carried no markings identifying them as such when Clinton handled them. Comey's assertion that documents can somehow be deemed inherently secret, without proper markings or any classification history whatsoever, is extremely dangerous and hostile to the concept of open democratic governance. It is an idea that should never have been entertained by a free press.

Nobody in their right mind would hold Clinton, or any official, to be culpable under those circumstances.

The same cannot be said for Trump in the current documents scandal, as must be obvious to anyone who has seen that photograph of the folders, clearly marked “TOP SECRET,” strewn around his office floor at Mar-a-Lago, or the folders emptied of their contents, who knows where.

Despite the hysterical accusations that persist to this day, Hillary Clinton was repeatedly judged to be innocent of jeopardizing national security, including twice by the Trump administration. It now appears frighteningly obvious that Donald Trump is not nearly so innocent.

GOP 'Whataboutism' Won't Save Trump If He Faces Federal Indictment

Temporarily anyway, Donald J. Trump resembles the Br’er Rabbit of the Joel Chandler Harris tales, flung into the briar patch by the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago country club. Not only has the former president gotten to star in his favorite role as heroic martyr by loudly denouncing the Justice Department’s seizure of stolen documents, but he's reduced his Republican rivals for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination to bit players.

Meanwhile, the grift goes on. Yesterday, I received two solicitations, one for “Official Donald J. Trump Fine Point Markers” just like those the great man used in the White House. Only $18. The second offered an “Official 2022 ULTRA MAGA MEMBER” decal for $45. I haven’t been so excited since receiving my very own glow-in-the-dark Flash Gordon magic decoder ring when I was eight.

MAGA cultists, of course, will buy anything. Trump’s reported to be pulling in a cool million bucks a day on this junk, not to mention the cash pouring into his legal defense fund. That’s the main reason he keeps hinting at declaring his candidacy but never crossing the line. Because the minute he does, campaign finance laws prevent him putting the cash in his pocket.

The estimable blogger Digby Parton thinks this is good news for the Biden administration. “Trump is the gift that keeps on giving—for Democrats” she writes. “[T}he drumbeat of Trump, Trump, Trump, has turned the midterm election from a standard referendum on the president to a choice between the undisputed leader of the Republican Party and the leader of the Democratic Party. And while it’s true that Biden’s popularity numbers are low, Trump’s are even worse.”

Exactly what the former president had in mind hoarding Top Secret documents is impossible to say. According to the New York Times, boxes seized during the Mar-a-Lago search “related to some of the most highly classified programs run by the United States.” The Washington Post describes papers “relating to nuclear weapons,” while the Wall Street Journal reported that “information about the ‘President of France” was listed on the FBI’s three-page receipt of items confiscated at Trump’s country club hide-away.

“Sacre bleu!”

But unless you believe Trump’s mutually contradictory alibis—the FBI planted the evidence, the president declassified it with his own magic decoder ring, Hillary Clinton got away with much worse, etc.—the Big Man would appear to have some explaining to do.

For Trump’s sake, it had better not take place in a federal courtroom, given the poor quality of lawyers he’s hired. (That’s what happens when you get a reputation as a deadbeat client.) Anyway, the time to petition for a Special Master to monitor the DOJ’s examination of the evidence was two weeks ago. It's just a stalling tactic now.

As for Trump’s magnanimous offer to help Attorney General Merrick Garland calm public anger after two weeks of yelling about the government’s “Gestapo” tactics, that’s particularly rich.

You do know, don’t you, that Kenneth Starr had the White House living quarters searched for Rose Law Firm billing records? Including Hillary and Chelsea’s underwear drawers. Also, when the records eventually turned up where an aide had misplaced them, they showed exactly what Hillary said they would.

As for the 30,000 “missing” emails Trump urged the Russians to find (knowing perfectly well, thanks to Wikileaks, that the Kremlin had already stolen them), they turned out to contain, according to FBI director James Comey, exactly eight containing “Top Secret” information.

Seven talked about CIA drone strikes that had already been in the newspapers. The eighth was about the secretary of state’s conversation with the president of Malawi.

And that’s why even the grandstanding Comey couldn’t find anything to charge her with.

Under what I used to call the “Clinton Rules,” however, reporters would skip over Hillary’s exoneration, scold her for acting suspicious, and move on to the next accusation.

Meanwhile, even ostensibly respectable Republicans are employing classic “whataboutism” to rewrite history in Trump’s favor. Writing in the New York Times, National Review editor Rich Lowry asks what if George W. Bush’s Justice Department had ordered Al Gore’s office searched? Would Democrats have said “Let’s wait, and see?”

Who knows? It never happened.

More tellingly, Lowry parrots Trump’s characterization of the “Russia investigation” as a “national fiasco that brought discredit on the F.B.I. and everyone who participated in it. The probe prominently featured a transparently ridiculous dossier generated by the Clinton campaign.”

This is simply false. Robert Mueller’s probe documented more than 70 meetings between Trump staffers and Kremlin operatives, including, let us recall, a sit down in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

It had almost nothing to do with the infamous “dodgy dossier.”

Trump hasn’t been charged with any crimes. But if that happens, it will be in a real courtroom, with real evidence.

Trump Admits FBI's 'Fake' Probe Of Hillary Clinton Gave Him 2016 Victory

Donald Trump is a prime example of someone who lies so often, that sometimes he ends up running into the truth, just by accident. On Saturday afternoon, Trump cranked up underpopulated and deeply in debt social media scam Truth Social to deliver a message that, breaking with precedent, I’m going to post in full.

In this post, Trump straight out says that: Comey conducted a “fake investigation” of Hillary Clinton and because of that, he was able to win the 2016 election. Which is, despite Trump’s twisting events through his own personal hate space, absolutely the truth.

From the moment Comey broke all rules and precedent at the FBI, taking matters into his own hands to announce an investigation not just days before the election, but before the first scrap of evidence had been collected, it was obvious that his statement benefited Trump immensely.

On the same weekend that Comey announced that the FBI would be investigating Clinton over emails that turned out to be nonexistent, it was also revealed that he thought investigating Donald Trump for his connections to Russia was “too political.” So anything the FBI learned on that front was covered up.

It was was immediately obvious that Comey played a decisive role in swinging the extremely narrow decision in 2016 to Trump.

Five Thirty Eight underlined this fact months later:

Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.

Just four days after the election, Clinton was cleared, for a second time, when the supposed new evidence that caused Comey to blow up the election turned out to be an absolute nothing. Which nailed down Comey’s role in history.

FBI Director James Comey’s too late “nothing to see here,” doesn’t make up for the bomb he hurled into the election process ten days ago. All it does is confirm that Comey, far from being a scrupulous guardian of big-J Justice and an exemplar of non-partisan honesty, is an easily-influenced dishrag willing to cause irreparable damage to the nation without a scrap of valid evidence.

It was indeed a fake investigation of Hillary Clinton. And it did absolutely put Trump in the White House. It was nice of Trump to admit that.

And it also explains why, having already seen the power of fake investigations first hand, Trump was willing to extort Ukraine in an attempt to launch a fake investigation of Hunter Biden.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Alarm Over 300 Classified Documents Held Illegally By Trump At Mar-a-Lago

How many classified documents is too many? When Hillary Clinton used a private email address during her role as secretary of state, there were three emails that had marks that may have made them classified that were stored on the still-secure server. That was enough to generate media coverage that was literally wall to wall, including every single column of the front page of The New York Times, as well as congressional investigations, a prolonged investigation from the FBI, and endless chants of “lock her up!”

But when it comes to the boxes of material removed from Mar-a-Lago, the number of classified documents seems to be somewhat higher. Like, orders of magnitude higher. Because on Monday evening, the same New York Times reported that Trump was hoarding more than 300 classified documents. That includes at least one set of materials containing an unknown number of documents that were marked with the highest level of ”top secret/sensitive compartmented information.”

More than 150 classified documents were in the first tranche of material that Trump finally handed over in January after long efforts to secure their return by the National Archives. It was looking through that information that made it absolutely clear that Trump was holding hostage secrets that are vital to the nation. What the FBI found when they went back into the material Trump had not returned was as least as many more examples of classified material as it had found on the first pass.

On Tuesday morning, the story of Trump’s massive cache of national secrets does at least rate an appearance in the Times, even if it doesn’t get the screaming headlines and full-page coverage of someone who kept secure an ambiguously labeled email.

Exactly what subjects were covered by the materials recovered in the FBI raid is not specified, but there are two things of immediate note. First, the 15 boxes of material recovered in January reportedly held “documents from the C.I.A., the National Security Agency and the F.B.I. spanning a variety of topics of national security interest.”

The nature of these documents was such that,” not only did the National Archives immediately continue their correspondence with Trump in an effort to secure the remainder of the documents he had taken to Mar-a-Lago, they almost immediately began preparing to contact the FBI.

The second notable fact about these documents is that Trump claimed to have gone through all the information personally. According to the Times, multiple people have reported that Trump “went through the boxes himself in late 2021.” So even if Trump can claim to be ignorant of what got tossed into the boxes that he illegally hauled away from the White House, he certainly knew what he had even before sorting out the documents that were given to the Archives in January, And he gave no more than half of the documents that were classified.

That includes Trump taking documents that former White House officials had selected to be returned and putting them in a set of boxes for things he wanted to keep. Boxes that Trump labeled “Mine.”

The 26 boxes that the FBI carried away from Mar-a-Lago following the raid reportedly contain at least 11 sets of material clearly marked as classified, including that set of Top Secret/SCIF material. Earlier this month, Trump all but admitted that the documents recovered included information on the nation’s nuclear secrets after reports that nuclear weapons information was part of what drove the urgency in getting the material back.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Don't Compare 'Her Emails' With Trump's Brazen Misconduct

Ever since the FBI searched Donald Trump’s premises at Mar-a-Lago on August 8 to retrieve the boxes of files he kept there unlawfully, he has tried to distract attention by reviving his bawling about "her emails."

For years, Trump has insisted that Hillary Clinton somehow escaped the punishment she merited — amid shrieks of "Lock her up!" from the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Mike Flynn— and now complains that he is somehow the victim of a "double standard" because the FBI is investigating his apparent theft of national security materials. "Absolutely nothing has happened to hold her accountable," he whined earlier this month.

In fact, the former secretary of state endured many months of an intrusive investigation that cost her heavily in legal fees and personal demonization —although she was finally and fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing or intent by the Justice Department.

Rather than benefiting from favorable treatment by the FBI, Clinton was the target of a concerted smear campaign by Trump allies within the bureau instigated by Giuliani. Their internal operation pushed then FBI director James Comey to brazenly violate strict Justice Department political guidelines by discussing her case publicly twice, the last time only weeks before the November 2016 election — while at the same time concealing the counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign's collusion with the Kremlin. The sanctimonious Comey, who claimed to be above politics, cowered under threat from right-wingers lodged within the Bureau.

So, while the differences between the Clinton and Trump cases are vast indeed, they leave little space for the feigned indignation of the former president and his flunkeys.

What we know about Hillary Clinton's emails is that of the many thousands examined by the FBI, only a tiny proportion — a number in the low single digits — were deemed to have been "classified." Of those, none disclosed sensitive information that could have jeopardized national security, such as nuclear weapons secrets, but instead involved drone strikes that had already been prominently reported in national news outlets. Most of the emails deemed secret had either been classified after the fact or were improperly marked in the first place.

As Comey explained at the time, the FBI found no evidence that Clinton, her aides, or her attorneys had intentionally withheld any information from the State Department, the National Archives or the Justice Department, or obstructed the investigation in any way.

We know far less about the documents that Trump allegedly removed from the White House, but what has been reported so far draws a sharp contrast with the Clinton emails episode. According to the search warrant and receipt released by Attorney General Merrick Garland, Trump evidently absconded with hundreds of hard copies of highly classified documents — all properly marked — that implicated serious national security and defense matters.

The Justice Department plainly suspects him of violating the Espionage Act, of hiding or destroying those sensitive documents, and of obstructing the government's efforts to locate and retrieve them.

In other words, Trump acted with purpose and in direct violation of the law, including the Presidential Records Act. He continued to defy the law even after the Justice Department issued a subpoena for documents he had withheld — which was why the FBI went to Mar-a-Lago to recover them.

Despite the excessive and obsessive media coverage that contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss, the more we learned more about the substance of Clinton's emails, the more their importance diminished, ultimately to the vanishing point. The opposite is true of Trump's purloined documents, whose significance only seems to be increasing. And we are still at the very beginning of this scandal.

In panic, Trump and his henchmen now insist that he had "declassified" all those papers, and many others too, supposedly for the sake of transparency. But top officials of his administration have openly ridiculed that assertion, which is absurd on its face, as a brazen lie. Much like his election lies, it is a hollow claim, devoid of any supporting facts or evidence. Donald Trump lie? What a surprise!

Protecting the nation requires a careful declassification process, even when the president wishes to alter the status of specific documents. For Trump to void secrecy with a wave of his hand would create a state of chaos, gravely damaging national security. And since he believes in exercising presidential power so recklessly, he must never be allowed anywhere near the nation's secrets again.

Trump and his minions only bring up Hillary Clinton as a ruse. Keep in mind that "her emails" only became an issue because House Republicans were trying to damage her politically, bring down her poll numbers, as the perpetually stupid Kevin McCarthy blurted out, by concocting a pseudo-scandal from the Benghazi attack. She put that to rest when she testified before the House Benghazi committee for 11 hours, answering every question posed by her inquisitors.

Three days after the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, on August 11, Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 440 times in response to questions from the New York Attorney General investigating his crooked business practices. In 2016, Trump said, “If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" We should expect that if he is ever compelled to testify about the potential crimes involved in swiping and concealing White House documents, we will hear him repeat the Fifth Amendment many more times.

The Threat To Abortion Rights Began In 2016

The demolition of Roe v. Wade began long before now. It started in 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders and his left-wing followers destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Had Clinton won the presidency, Donald Trump would not have been able to add three justices to the Supreme Court who have made ending a right to abortion highly likely.

That year, the senator from Vermont ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, as was his option. But he ran a scorched-earth campaign, tarring Clinton as "corrupt." And long after it became clear that he was not going to win the nomination, Sanders continued to sabotage her candidacy.

By April 2016, Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee. He said that women should be punished for having an abortion.

That same month, Sanders said that Clinton was not qualified to be president. That same month, Clinton trounced him in a string of liberal Northeast states, but Sanders continued to carpet-bomb her reputation.

This was a time when a significant segment of the Democratic left declared open season on women's dignity. After Clinton won the Nevada caucuses, as even Sanders conceded, the Bernie "bros" threw a misogynistic tantrum. Threatening violence at the Nevada Democratic state convention, they shouted the C-word at the female officials trying to certify the results.

Sanders should have come down hard on this shocking display by his supporters, but he held back. He finally issued a statement disapproving of their conduct — in the third paragraph. He then proceeded to blame both sides.

As it became clear Clinton was taking the lead, Sanders appealed to the party's superdelegates and claimed a victory for Clinton would result in a contested convention.

Most of his voters did eventually move to Clinton, but Sanders had groomed a cult open to swallowing conspiracy theories. Trump and his Russian trolls took them and ran.

"To all of those Bernie Sanders voters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates," Trump said, "we welcome you with open arms."

At the Republican National Convention, Putin pal Michael Flynn led the outrageous anti-Clinton chant, "Lock her up." Then, at the Democratic National Convention, some Sanders delegates parroted him by also shouting, "Lock her up."

Toward the very end of the campaign, Sanders announced his support for Clinton. Admittedly, she was not the cleverest candidate, but even then, Clinton beat Trump by Three million popular votes. Narrow victories in three pivotal states gave Trump a fluke Electoral College win.

Having slashed the tires on her campaign, Sanders later expressed bewilderment that Clinton failed to put Trump away.

Abortion rights are not some culture war bauble. Losing them threatens the ability of women and their mates to control their lives. (That said, Democrats would help themselves if they were more open to the nuances of the debate while ensuring that early abortions are easy to obtain.)

The white, educated liberals who dominate the left wing tend to live in states that would keep abortion legal even if Roe were struck down. And if they live elsewhere, they'd have the means to jet off to a state that provides the service — or to Mexico.

The politics of this do not favor Republicans. Some right to end an unwanted pregnancy has been taken for granted by many voters otherwise open to voting for Republicans. That right will be lost if the Supreme Court throws out Roe.

Clearly, the creation of a Supreme Court poised to do just that dates its origins to 2016, when Trump won the presidency. That's when Bernie Sanders played the Democratic spoiler who handed power to the right wing.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.