Democracy Has Prevailed.

August 14, 2022

STILL Looking For State Sen Mastriano To Amend His Trump/Mar-a-Lago Defense

On the 12th of April, I asked:

Would State Sen. Doug Mastriano Like To AMEND His Statement?

The "statement" being this:

The raid on Mar-a-Lago was an unprecedented assault on the fundamental norms of the American legal system and represents an outrageous weaponization of America’s tools of justice against political opponents of the current regime in Washington, DC.

In light of the reporting showing that the raid had been done legally.

Now there's even more reporting that further distances St Sen (and now GOP cand. for PA Gov) Doug Mastriano from reality.

For example, this from The New York Times:

At least one lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump signed a written statement in June asserting that all material marked as classified and held in boxes in a storage area at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club had been returned to the government, four people with knowledge of the document said.

The written declaration was made after a visit on June 3 to Mar-a-Lago by Jay I. Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in the Justice Department’s national security division.

The existence of the signed declaration, which has not previously been reported, is a possible indication that Mr. Trump or his team were not fully forthcoming with federal investigators about the material. And it could help explain why a potential violation of a criminal statute related to obstruction was cited by the department as one basis for seeking the warrant used to carry out the daylong search of the former president’s home on Monday, an extraordinary step that generated political shock waves.

Which is serious, to be sure. But then there's this:

An inventory of the material taken from Mr. Trump’s home that was released on Friday showed that F.B.I. agents seized 11 sets of documents during the search with some type of confidential or secret marking on them, including some marked as “classified/TS/SCI” — shorthand for “top secret/sensitive compartmented information.” Information categorized in that fashion is meant to be viewed only in a secure government facility.

I am sure I do not have to explain "classified/TS/SCI" to someone who had a career in military intelligence. However for the rest of us, the "SCI" means:

Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) is information about certain intelligence sources and methods and can include information pertaining to sensitive collection systems, analytical processing, and targeting, or which is derived from it. Access to SCI is only granted to individuals who have a need-to-know, have been granted a Top Secret clearance by Personnel Security (PerSec), and are approved by the Department of Commerce’s Intelligence Community granting agency, and only upon completion of a separate Nondisclosure Agreement, the IC Form 4414.

Information that has been determined to be SCI may only be stored and used in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). SCIFs have specific construction requirements, and their subsequent accreditation is separate from those for Controlled Areas and is coordinated by the Department’s Special Security Officer (SSO). [Emphasis added.]

A SCIF is, as I understand it, a secure room. NBC has a little more:

A SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, is a secure place where sensitive information can be viewed and discussed to prevent outside surveillance or spying.

The IC designation "classified/TS/SCI" for those documents held at Mar-a-Lago mean that those documents can only be viewed in a SCIF. They're that sensitive.

And they were in "storage" (whatever that means) in Mar-a-Lago.

Then there's the part about the video.

The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room. [Emphasis added.]

Does the Senator still believe that the raid "was an unprecedented assault on the fundamental norms of the American legal system and represents an outrageous weaponization of America’s tools of justice against political opponents" or would he agree that the raid reflects a serious concern of the FBI and the IC about how Donald Trump mishandled sensitive documents?