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Shortly before midnight on Thursday evening, former President Donald Trump announced that we would not oppose the Department of Justice motion to unseal the Mar-a-Lago search warrant and redacted property receipt listing the items seized.
Trump has had the search warrant since Monday, but has refused to reveal it himself. He also has possession of the redacted property receipt, but posted neither in his Truth Social post.
Trump wrote, "Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents, even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years…"
Trump had an initial deadline of 3 p.m. Eastern on Friday to indicate if he was going to oppose the release, which is was already free to reveal himself.
Trump's post followed a day of reports that the FBI was searching for nuclear weapons documents, that signals intelligence was recovered at Mar-a-Lago and that his new attorney called for his impeachment on day 24 of his administration.
While the world was shocked after The Washington Post dropped the bombshell report that the FBI was searching Mar-a-Lago for nuclear weapons documents, some national security experts were also shocked that "signals intelligence" was recovered from Donald Trump's Florida home.
"Former senior intelligence officials said in interviews that during the Trump administration, highly classified intelligence about sensitive topics, including about intelligence-gathering on Iran, was routinely mishandled," the newspaper reported. "One former official said the most highly classified information often ended up in the hands of personnel who didn’t appear to have a need to possess it or weren’t authorized to read it. That former official also said signals intelligence — intercepted electronic communications like emails and phone calls of foreign leaders — was among the type of information that often ended up with unauthorized personnel. Such intercepts are among the most closely guarded secrets because of what they can reveal about how the United States has penetrated foreign governments."
That pattern may not have ended when Trump left the White House after losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.
"A person familiar with the inventory of 15 boxes taken from Mar-a-Lago in January indicated that signals intelligence material was included in them," the newspaper reported. "The precise nature of the information was unclear."
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal tweeted, "Signals intelligence (like electronic intercepts) are some of the most sensitive and secretive material in the US."
"There are a host of special markings and protections on every such document," Katyal noted.
The fact signals intelligence was reportedly recovered at Mar-a-Lago shocked national security professionals.
Retired USAF Gen. Michael Hayden, who served as director of the NSA and CIA, simply tweeted, "Jesus Christ."
Bill Kristol, who served as Vice President Dan Quayle's chief of staff, offered his analysis.
"It’s been a while since I was in government, but signals intelligence—man, you are really not supposed to mess around with that," he wrote.
He wondered if it might be connected to Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
"People ask why Trump would keep docs," he added. "Plenty of possible reasons. E.g.—and this example is pure speculation: Signals intel on MBS and [Jamal] Khashoggi, or on Saudi nukes, are the kind of docs you’d want in case you had to remind the Saudis to keep the $ coming."
Historian Claire Potter wrote, "If it was you or I who, and not Trump, who were in possession of top secret documents about nuclear weapons, or signals intel--well, you or I would be in handcuffs in a very bright room with glam rock playing in our ears. Yet he plays the victim."
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote, "I never thought there was anything left that Trump could do that could shock me. But THIS? He took nuclear weapons and signals intel documents to his goddamn golf resort? Ok, I will finally say it. Lock him up."
Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes was asked about the reporting during an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell.
Rhodes said, "I keep coming back to the fact that — how unusual, how remarkably unusual it would be for anybody to be keeping this information, frankly even like while you are in the White House. It's not like you need to keep records of the stuff if you are the president of the United States."
Ben Rhodes www.youtube.com
On Thursday, Axios reported that a new focus group of Donald Trump supporters in Florida who had switched to Joe Biden in 2020 revealed the vast majority of them were turned off by the former president — and trusted the FBI in its search of Mar-a-Lago.
The FBI was looking for classified information that had been stolen when the former president and his associates left the White House — and new reporting this evening indicates some of the information the FBI was looking for were U.S. nuclear secrets.
"Eleven of 12 participants said it was appropriate for the FBI to execute a signed search warrant at the home of the former president — and that it would be a serious crime to take documents from the White House in an unauthorized fashion even if that person previously held the office," reported Alexi McCammond. "None said they would support Trump if he ran again."
"Engagious/Schlesinger conducted two online focus groups on Monday night with 12 Floridians who voted for Trump in 2016, then Joe Biden in 2020," said the report. "One is now registered as a Republican, four as independents and seven as Democrats. While a focus group is not a statistically significant sample like a poll, the responses show how some voters are thinking and talking about current events."
In contrast to the attitude of these voters, Trump's associates have spent several days attacking the FBI and accusing them of a political hit on the former president — and some of Trump's current supporters are calling for a civil war on social media. This anger culminated in a Trump supporter who was previously at the January 6 insurrection being killed by police after he tried to shoot his way into the FBI building in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Regardless of the outrage from Trump supporters, a recent poll showed that Americans as a whole support the FBI investigation.