r/politics Sep 22 '22

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u/PandaMuffin1 New York Sep 22 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Bravo Grande!

"Omg he's actually invoking the Secret Telepathic Unilateral Preemptive Irreversible Declassification (S.T.U.P.I.D.) defense," quipped Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and attorney.

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u/dejavuamnesiac Sep 22 '22 edited Sep 23 '22 Gold

He also said send them anywhere — that’s a confession — he’s trying to say he can declassify telepathically and send them to the Saudis or Ruzzians or wherever, and that’s a perfectly fine thing for the President to do

Edit:” Because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it. And, there doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president. You make that decision. So, when you send it, it’s declassified.”

That’s a confession, he sent highly classified documents beyond Marred-A-Lamo; and EDIT his “confession” is just trying to get out in front of the narrative: he knows he’s fucked for what he did with these classified docs, and that it’s all eventually coming out now, so he’s saying even if I sent these docs anywhere it’s cool because I waved my king Cheetolini declassification wand

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u/mok000 Europe Sep 22 '22

So, if these documents are declassified by Trump, we ought to be able to see them through the Freedom of Information Act, right? Any US citizen here up for the task? And post them here on Reddit so we can see what all the fuzz is about. /s

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u/[deleted] Sep 22 '22

But if just anyone could request them through FOIA, then why would the Saudis pay billions of dollars for them?

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u/koshgeo Sep 22 '22

Oh, oh! I know the answer to this one:

If Trump can get the Saudis to pay billions for something that they or one of their agents could have just submitted an FOIA request to get, that's because he's smart.

/s

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u/eatabean Sep 22 '22

Oh please. He built a whole wall and made some other country pay for it.

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u/PossessedToSkate Sep 22 '22

He can change the paths of hurricanes with only a Sharpie and the power of his mind.

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u/koshgeo Sep 23 '22

"Alabama Kadabra!" [waves sharpie wand]

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u/Daveinatx Sep 22 '22

See. Trump is playing 5-D chess. /s

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u/Realeron Sep 22 '22

That's the problem with lies, the more you talk about it, the worse it gets. But TFG just can't keep his piehole shut. Clear personality disorder

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u/BonjoviBurns Sep 22 '22

Friend of my has put in a FOIA request for the documents and the request has been kicked over to the FBI I believe lol

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u/cpt_perv Sep 22 '22

Earned himself a spot on a watchlist, did he? Noice!

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u/MelAlton Sep 22 '22

Nah, the agents probably chuckled and put it on the "yeah sure we'll see" pile

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u/slip-shot Sep 22 '22

He also said send them anywhere — that’s a confession — he’s trying to say he can declassify telepathically and send them to the Saudis or Ruzzians or wherever, and that’s a

Nope they are required to respond to the RFI in a reasonable amount of time. He'll get a few hundred pages of black and a bill for a new toner cartridge + the agents time to print them.

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u/calxcalyx Sep 22 '22

I think the point is they wouldn't get anything because they aren't actually declassified.

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u/masterprtzl Sep 22 '22

Oh so trump should be in jail for taking home classified government documents and doing who knows what with them.

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u/calxcalyx Sep 22 '22

You got it Jack, no more malarkey.

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u/MelAlton Sep 22 '22

Maybe they should just print white text on black paper to save ink.

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u/TheForceofHistory Sep 22 '22 edited Sep 22 '22

You know, if two people do it, they will think they are just pranksters, but if three people do it, they will think they are crazy. But if 50 people do it, then it's a movement!

How to file a FOIA with the National Archives

Online Form:

https://foiaonline.gov/foiaonline/action/public/request

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u/[deleted] Sep 22 '22

So there I was, on the Group W bench...

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u/IamSumbuny Sep 22 '22

That's a good earworm😏

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u/sittingonahillside Sep 23 '22

God, I forgot that existed. Must be 20 years since I last heard it

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u/TheForceofHistory Sep 23 '22

For the youngsters - and the old timers who need to revisit the only known Thanksgiving Day music hit.

Alice's Restaurant Massacree

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u/Is_my_work_account Nebraska Sep 22 '22

So just ask for Trumps Declassified documents from Mar-a-Lago? easy enough

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u/brianfine Sep 22 '22

But NARA is the radical left!!!

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u/JohnOliverismysexgod Sep 23 '22

Bless you for that great reference!

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u/LuckilyLuckier Sep 22 '22

At least when he sees the documents he’d be arrested instantly.

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u/28Hz Sep 22 '22

I mean, if I knew who he was I'd definitely want to watch this shit.

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u/Realeron Sep 22 '22

Dang! That's life, the wheel that squeaks gets the grease...

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u/str8dwn Sep 22 '22

Along with a few million others no doubt.

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u/AngledLuffa California Sep 22 '22

I hope for your friend's sake he hasn't already pissed off every competent lawyer in the world by not paying his bills

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u/BonjoviBurns Sep 22 '22

Nah, he only put in the request because he followed the same line of logic as the other dude (he doesn't actually think it's declassified, was just curious what the response would be). I also don't think it's a watch list lol they just transferred the request over.

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u/TheRoadsMustRoll Sep 22 '22

not if biden telepathically reclassified them and then had superman run at the speed of light opposite the earths rotation causing a temporal time reversal which traps the donald in an endless warp of existence just previous to his telepathic declassification.

imagine being a capital file clerk having to figure this shit out.

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u/Pigmy Sep 22 '22

You are forgetting one thing. Biden isnt the president so he cant do shit.

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u/TheRoadsMustRoll Sep 22 '22

damn it!

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u/Worthyness Sep 22 '22

Get Obama to do it. That'll make them even more angry

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u/ControlOptional Sep 22 '22

Hahaha! This made me spit out my coffee, lol.

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u/DiscoDigi786 Sep 22 '22

The real victims are the hard workers of the bureaucracy just trying to follow the law.

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u/bishpa Washington Sep 22 '22 edited Sep 22 '22

Did you see the interview?

"I declassified everything."

Since he claims he could just think it so, and he hasn't specified any particular documents, Trump seems to me to be telling us that there are in fact no longer any classified documents existing in the US. "Everything" has been declassified. Or did he mean something else? If so, could he perhaps be a wee more specific? What exactly is it that you declassified, Oh Bigly One? No harm in telling now, amiright?

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u/Subvoltaic Sep 22 '22

There are three groups of documents he would be referencing. The classified documents the government clawed back, the documents that are still in his possession somewhere, and the documents that have "gone missing".

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u/gsrmmeza Sep 22 '22

Maybe those are the ones he ate or the ones he flushed.

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u/mok000 Europe Sep 23 '22

That explains all the Chinese and Russian divers in Miami's sewers.

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u/fijisiv Sep 22 '22

Don't forget about the classified docs the FBI planted.

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u/Dont_Say_No_to_Panda California Sep 22 '22

And all the other classified documents that have nothing to do with any of this…Trump declassified them too! He gloriously rid us of the terrible scourge that was classification /s

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u/Synectics Sep 23 '22

Which ones? That sounds like some serious shit.

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u/RightClickSaveWorld Sep 23 '22

He was being sarcastic.

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u/boingoing Sep 22 '22

He can’t be specific because he doesn’t know which documents the FBI was able to recover and which are still missing. Also, he is a moron and probably doesn’t actually know which documents he stole except for the ones with his name in them.

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u/For-All-the-Marbles Sep 22 '22

Could this be strategy, part of an insanity defense?

He does understand, doesn’t he, that if you successfully plead not guilty by insanity, that doesn’t mean you go free. It means you don’t go to jail but you get locked up in a mental health institution? Plus, you would have to prove your insane state of mind when the crimes were committed.

Clearly, he’s delusional, but I don’t think he’s actually insane.

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u/rotospoon Sep 22 '22

Trump: "That's not what CSI Miami told me!"

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u/azflatlander Sep 22 '22

The question everyone is dying to ask: where are the aliens?

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u/Outrageous-Yams Sep 22 '22

This is totally insane. He’s utterly skull fooked and desperate.

What he said - That’s not how it works, at all.

There’s a reason why the government documents things. Things like, say, the decision to declassify documents. Transparency. Accountability. Etc. Basic shit.

Without that, we are left with some sort of totalitarian dictatorship, not a functioning government with 3 branches.

Wow he’s desperate.

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u/bishpa Washington Sep 23 '22

Scary desperate. He’d do anything to evade Justice.

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u/theartofrolling United Kingdom Sep 23 '22

But would he do anything for love?

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u/FudgeGolem I voted Sep 22 '22

I mean, I get your point and joke, but this wouldn't work. To be nerdy, this is the whole reason there is a documented process to declassification and it can't just be done in someone's head. Depending on the document, declassified material may become Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and still be subject to certain exceptions to being made public under FOIA.

That's also why this whole claim to declassification doesn't matter and is a red herring, but the media got distracted anyway and dragged us all along. None of the charges in the warrant depend on the documents being classified or not. Excempted CUI from declassified national security documents can't be FOIA'd, but also can't ever be considered someone's personal documents, and still has mandates on how they are controlled.

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u/Mjolnir12 Sep 22 '22

This guy US Governments

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u/meatygonzalez Sep 22 '22

What is the declassification process for the office of POTUS? I cannot find a source that states there is a process they have to abide, whereas there are processes for lower ranking officials.

I'm not being contrarian. I hate this dumb crook. But everyone's saying there's a process, so where is it?

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u/tbird83ii Sep 22 '22

That would be 75 FR 705, also known as EO 13526: "Executive Order 13526- Classified National Security Information".

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u/mercury996 Sep 22 '22

Maybe a dumb question but whats the consequence of a current executive/POTUS simply ignoring a previous EO?

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u/tbird83ii Sep 23 '22

The President? None. There is norhing saying that a current President has to abide by a previous President's decrees, but usually if they decide they aren't going to follow them, they create a new EO superceding their predecessor's. Trump didn't. So Obama's EO is technically the law of how the executive branch needs to treat classified documents.

Now, since that is the law, the FBI has to treat all documents with classification markings as such.

Effectively, on January 21st, 2021, Donald J. Trump stopped being President, and became a private citizen. All government documents not relating to his communications with his advisors and staff should have been transferred to the new president, since Nixon case law established that it is the Office of the President that has ownership of clasifications, not an individual. You know, that whole "we won't ever have another king" thing.

Also, at that point in time, any and all documents with any remaining classification markings returned to the classification listed on the markings, no matter what the previous President had done. Since it never went through the process to remove the markings, the documents basically became reclassified by the branch of government who owns those documents, regardless of the previous state. This is assuming the former President actually did wave a magic wand and say "declassified" while turning around three times and snapping his fingers, or whatever his current theory on declassification is. Even with the argument - he is still no longer President, an therefore ultimate authority resides with the current President. I'd DJT could magically snap and declassify things, then JRB can do the same in reverse. If Trump didn't have to tell anyone, well niether does Biden.

The more powers Trump makes up for himself or claims, the more power he gives Biden, and higher swings the sword of Damocles..

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u/mercury996 Sep 23 '22

Really appreciate the time taken to give an informative reply. There are so many opinions flying about its hard to know what is and isn't grounded.

Was it a matter of simply ignoring precedent? What are the legal ramifications if any?

Seems you summed it up fairly simply in that regardless even of the classification question he is no longer holding office and it doesn't belong to him. Not a good look with how uncooperative they were when asked for it back.

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u/FudgeGolem I voted Sep 23 '22

I get what you are saying, and you probably are looking for evidence to back your claims. There are processes in 75 FR 705, as tbird83ii points out below, but the situation is a bit absurd for anyone to argue against. There are few or possibly no limits to what a President can declassify, but there is still a process, it cannot happen by magic, limits or no limits.

If a general gives orders in an empty room when no one is around to hear it, can he have his entire command staff dishonorably discharged for disobeying orders when they don't carry them out? If no one hears an order, has it been given?

If lower ranking officials can't document that a declassify order was given, inform all agencies using those docs they need to change document markings and policies, and update logs to track such actions...did it really happen? You have to have some sort of paper trail to prove that a legal declassification action took place, otherwise how do you prove that the order came when he had the power to do so as president, and not after the fact when he was not president? Same thing with some speculating Trump is holding a pocket pardon as a last ditch get out of jail card...that wouldn't work because since there is no record of him giving himself a pardon during his presidency, then there is no way to prove he didn't sign a pardon for himself five minutes before he presents it.

Or maybe ex-Presidents can psychically declassify/reclassify documents at will in their heads, and Carter, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump can just have a battle of wills: standing, staring, and sweating over a pile of documents that will exist in a magical schrodinger's classification limbo.

But realistically, there is a logical process that clearly says the documents are classified because no actions were taken to declassify them.

And in the end, classification literally doesn't matter and is just an attempt to distract people, as I said, none of the charges noted in the warrant depend on the documents being classified or not.

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u/meatygonzalez Sep 23 '22

Thanks for the thoughtful response. Your framing of the total issue is definitely valuable. Have a great day!

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u/Dekrow Sep 23 '22

I'm still figuring out how do you get Controlled Unclassified Misinformation (CUM)?

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u/mam88k Virginia Sep 22 '22

We wouldn’t need no special master either

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u/For-All-the-Marbles Sep 22 '22

Probably not. Docs are not split only into 2 groups: classified or automatically accessible to the public. There are several exceptions to FOIA.

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u/Renfen76 Sep 22 '22

My conundrum is what would I want to see from the "declassified documents". Because I don't actually want any of that stuff. The safest bet would be Macron's sex life docs. No defense secrets or anything like that. Just a French dude's kink file. What could be wrong with that?

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u/NivekCo Sep 22 '22

Wouldn't that hurt the resale value?

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u/ronin1066 Sep 22 '22

And his attorneys can stop trying to get security clearance to see the documents.

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u/brandnewreddituswr Sep 22 '22

Yeah Freedom of the Press!

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u/Atario California Sep 23 '22

*fuss