As we previously reported, journalist Paul Sperry was booted off of Twitter after he raised questions about the FBI raid of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
Real Clear Investigations is now tweeting some further questions that Sperry is raising about the affidavit that was released with redactions on Friday. They’re likely to get the ban hammer next, if Twitter interprets that as an attempt to evade a suspension.
Sperry notes multiple oddities in the affidavit that he has questions about.
When they refer to what was found in the 15 boxes, they refer to documents with “classification markings.” That leaves open the possibility that they aren’t classified any longer — that they may have been declassified. The affidavit says the documents “appear” to contain National Defense Information, but Sperry asks if they “triaged” the boxes, wouldn’t they know if it did or not?
There’s a line in there about “probable cause to believe evidence of obstruction will be found at the premises.” But as Sperry explains, there’s no heading about that “obstruction” or anything in the unredacted parts that justify this random sentence. The agent behind the affidavit says he believed the storage room and other spaces at Mar-a-Lago weren’t “currently” authorized for storage of classified information. Either they were or they weren’t, didn’t he know? And were they in the past and not now?
Then in the affidavit, there’s a letter dated June 8 mentioned, from the DOJ to Trump’s counsel, telling the Trump team that they have to keep the documents in the storage room until further notice.
So, they seem to think it wasn’t a secure location, but then they tell them to keep the documents there? They don’t take them immediately. They wait two months until the raid on August 8? Why not take them all when they took the original boxes? That seems to blow apart the claim that there was any urgency going on here.
Then of course they knew what was there because they told the Trump team to keep it there. Sperry interprets that as potentially trying to entrap Trump with what the DOJ told them to do. Why didn’t they just have NARA come and pick them up? If the DOJ told them to keep them there and now they turn around and said that’s wrong, then it’s hard to go after Trump for what the DOJ told them to do.
Sperry also picked up something else that was interesting — that according to the affidavit there were documents that had FISA markings. So, that might lend further credence to the report that the FBI may have been trying to grab Russia probe documents.
As the Trump legal team also explained, the affidavit raises “more questions than answers” — not explaining the justification for the raid. As they noted, the Presidential Records Act doesn’t provide for any criminal penalty–yet this seems to have been the premise under which the DOJ started this effort against Trump. Fortunately, it sounds like the judge may be going along with appointing a special master in the case.
But this screams like a fishing expedition. The GOP members in Congress need to demand some answers here from the FBI and the DOJ.