Speed Reads


Trump increased his current legal jeopardy by signing a 2018 law on handling classified documents

"If Donald Trump gets arrested by the guy Donald Trump appointed for violating a law Donald Trump enacted, I'll start going to church," Media Matters research director Craig Harrington, evidently not a regular churchgoer, tweeted Wednesday

Harrington was referring to Monday's FBI search of the former president's Mar-a-Lago club, cleared by Trump's hand-picked FBI director Christopher Wray, and a 2018 law Trump signed that elevated the unauthorized removal and retention of classified government documents to a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

We don't know exactly what the plainclothes FBI agents were searching for at Mar-a-Lago, but the search warrant referred to the Presidential Records Act and possible violation of laws on handling classified information, according to Trump lawyer Christina Bobb. In other words, The Washington Post's Philip Bump summarized, "Citizen Trump may have broken a law that President Trump made a felony."

Adding insult to irony, the law Trump signed in early 2018 — a reauthorization of the surveillance-oriented FISA Amendments Act — was introduced by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), one of Trump's staunchest congressional defensive tackles and, like Trump and many of his other allies, a strident critic of Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified emails and the FBI's decision not to indict her.

In 2016, when Trump was running against Clinton, he regularly led chants to "lock her up!" Once in office, "Trump repeatedly called on the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate his foes and let off his friends," pardoning tight-lipped loyalists who were convicted anyway, Peter Baker writes at The New York Times. Now, "Trump is accusing the nation's justice system of being exactly what he tried to turn it into: a political weapon for a president, just not for him."

"Of all of the things that Donald Trump has been investigated for — possible conspiracy between his campaign and Russia, two impeachments, and ongoing investigations related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol that left several people dead — it would be ironic if this is what ends up sticking to Donald Trump," Times reporter Maggie Haberman said on Wednesday's The Daily podcast. "For years, when Donald Trump was a private businessman, he used to say to the people who worked with him, 'It's the little things that get you.' Compared to everything else we just described, this is a little thing."