This Timeline of Trumpworld Excuses Proves Mar-a-Lago Raid Week Was Even Stupider Than You Remember

Image Credits: Jared Tilton - Getty Images
The week, which began on Monday, August 8th, provided such a neat summary of the Trump Scandal Defense Cycle that we should not let it pass uncommented. Each day brought a new development, divinely crafted to expose the knee-jerk nihilistic toadyism of Trump's defenders as they repeatedly threw themselves in front of the reality bus only to be shocked - SHOCKED! – to be to find yourself under the wheels until the following noon .
The only difference from the good old days of reality show presidency was that the protagonist's efforts to cast new outrage lures to draw the watching world away from the previous outrage were unsuccessful. He was stuck on a problem, constantly coming up with new excuses, but couldn't turn the game board on its head. Let's check.
Late in the day, we learned that the FBI had executed a federal judge-approved search warrant to search Trump's club and home in Mar-a-Lago. The immediate question for many creatures who have been sentient over the past half decade has been: What investigation was the raid referring to? We soon learned it had to do with classified documents Trump had brought to Florida from the White House. Trump's immediate response was to suggest, without evidence, that President Joe Biden was behind the raid. The reaction of many of his fans, who all seemed to get a memo copied across a multitude of MAGA bootlicker accounts, was a version of:
If they can do that to a former president, imagine what they can do to you.
Well, if I were investigated for federal crimes, I could expect a visit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That even a former president could face investigation on suspicion of breaking the law is not a profound disruption in the force, but an indication that according to our lofty credo, no one is above the law. That night, however, the same people who rail against the defunding of the police demanded the defunding and/or abolition of the FBI. The most important finding in MAGAland was that there was nothing there and no legitimate reason to search.
January 6th pep rally MC-Slash Olympic sprinter Josh Hawley called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to resign or face indictment. He insisted that FBI Director Christopher Wray—appointed by a certain D. Trump—must be impeached. Because the service of a search warrant by the FBI was "an unprecedented attack on democratic norms and the rule of law". And Hawley would know.
His Senate colleague, Ted Cruz, helped start the calls for the "LIABILITY ORDER RELEASE," although he conceded that the search would only amount to political prosecution if the Feds could not produce evidence that Trump had documents containing serious implications for national security. (For what it's worth, I also said they made the goods better then, and they still do.) Also, for what it's worth, Trump could have immediately issued his copy of the warrant -- and the inventory of the stolen items, of which he also had a copy - at any point after the search.
There was also the debut of "The President can declassify anything," which isn't entirely true, nor does it speak about whether Trump actually declassified those documents. We were also faced with the line that the FBI had mostly seized boxes of knick knacks like cocktail napkins and golf balls.
We uneasily reached the new talking point: The evidence was being placed. Trump began saying that he and his attorneys were not allowed to observe the search "to see what they were doing, taking or hopefully not 'planting'." The Trump family watched the raid from afar. At this point, you'll find that the documents weren't important, were magically declassified when they were important, and were also planted by the FBI. Rand Paul also floated this latter idea on TV, while another Trump attorney, Alina Habba, also said on Fox News, "I worry that they may have planted something." Again, zero evidence. Totally normal legal stuff.
Elsewhere, Trump started yelling that after his presidency, Barack HUSSEIN Obama brought 30 million documents - it was 33 million at the time - to Chicago, and surely some were as bad as Trump's? "How many of these were related to nuclear energy?" he asked. "Word is loose!" The National Archives and Records Administration quickly issued a statement that (distortion!) this was fabulously false and these documents are owned by NARA.
Fox News luminary Brian Kilmeade, standing in for Tucker Carlson, posted a manipulated photograph purporting to show Judge Bruce Reinhardt, who was signing the warrant, with Epstein's accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell. Kilmeade later said this was "joking" - you know, a joke where you accuse a federal judge of being a pedophile when he's already faced a barrage of anti-Semitic threats that have forced his synagogue to cancel weekend services.
The news was not good for Trump. New revelations suggested the documents in question were fairly serious documents. The New York Times reported that they contained "Special Access Programs," sort of super top secret, while the Washington Post reported that some were related to nuclear weapons. Trump responded with a new line, asking why the FBI didn't just ask for the documents. The flying monkeys came down to whine about why Mar-a-Lago was invaded - INVADED! – although the federales could have just made a nice request to get the documents back.
"My attorneys and representatives have fully cooperated and very good relationships have been formed," Trump said on Truth Social. "The government could have had what they wanted if we had had it."
But later that day, the Times reported that a subpoena had been served on Trump months ago when the Fed tried to get the documents back without a raid. (As early as January 2022, the National Archives went separately and picked up 15 boxes of materials.) Justice Department officials also met with Trump's attorneys in Mar-a-Lago in June and reviewed some of the materials and the security setup. One look at the latter prompted her to ask Trump's people to padlock the storage room. One of Trump's lawyers then signed a written statement that all classified material had been returned to the Fed.
But then Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the situation and agreed to release the warrant, and the accompanying inventory of the items seized was soon released as well. It contained 11 sets of secret documents. Sounds like they might not have "fully cooperated"? We also learned that the search was related to an investigation into three specific crimes: violating the Espionage Act, obstruction, and theft or destruction of government records. Interestingly, none of these possible charges are reportedly conditional on the documents in question being classified.
At that point, we heard there was nothing important in the boxes (until there was); the rule of law was under threat because a former president was under investigation (possibly for breaking the law); and the documents were placed by the FBI. Obama too. But wait, what about this whole notion that they were magically declassified by the President? It was on the back burner all week, but Trump turned to him in distress as the weekend approached and all other excuses had failed. The previously "smuggled in" documents were suddenly genuine and he had released them. In fact, Trump announced - incredibly - that he had a standing order to declassify any documents he brought into the White House residence.
The mere fact that these documents were present at Mar-a-Lago means that they could not be classified. As we can all imagine, everyone has to bring their work home from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump often brought documents, including classified documents, to the residence to prepare for the next day's work. He had standing orders that documents removed from the Oval Office and brought into the residence were deemed declassified the moment he removed them.
Yes, the president, who visited a golf club 285 times during his tenure, was hard at work. Mr Trump also has a bridge for sale to you. By the way, if this is all true, why didn't he just clear it all up by returning the documents when the Feds asked for them? Why does he (in this formulation "formerly") need classified information in his basement?
At this point, another excuse surfaced: Trump didn't pack the boxes himself! (Admittedly, virtually nobody thinks he was in there with duct tape.) He didn't know what was in there! So again why did he refuse to return them when asked repeatedly?
But that was the prelude to the ultimate apology, a shameless special: Trump was so caught up in the "chaotic time" of January 2021 that he didn't have time for this stuff. Fox News started on Friday:
Somehow Fox coalesced into the narrative that maybe Trump just didn't have time to properly wrap up his top secret documents because he was busy dealing with the aftermath of his coup
— Li's Power (@LisPower1) August 12, 2022
NBC News came in the next day with a report that seemed to expand on this reasoning:
When Donald Trump finally dawned in the twilight of his presidency that he wouldn't be living in the White House for four more years, he had a problem: he was barely packed and had to move out quickly... Ahead of Congress' confirmation of Biden's victory on Jan. 6 In 2021, Trump acted like he had won the election -- he hadn't -- and was doing little to ensure a smooth transition, according to the source familiar with Trump's move, who spoke on terms of anonymity because of the filing investigation. The source said he only began making serious preparations to vacate the White House after Jan. 6 -- two weeks before Biden was sworn in. And the process was a mess.
If you're following at home, the idea is that Trump was so busy with his autogolpe that he didn't have time to take care of all these secret things. He didn't think of leaving until his coup failed! You can't blame him for then heading to Florida with some top secret information and stashing it in his basement!
But wait, there was still time for another toady to jump all the way out on another limb:
Turner: There are a number of classified things that fall under the heading of nuclear weapons, but they aren't necessarily things that are actually classified. You can find many of them on your own phone
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 12, 2022
Alright man. Jump in front of the bus. I'm sure Captain Trump will avoid you.
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donald trump
45th President of the United States
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President of the United States from 2009 to 2017

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