Former President Donald Trump's allies have spent the past several days attempting to justify his possession of a cache of government documents, including hundreds of classified documents, by referencing Hillary Clinton's email controversy. The Wall Street Journal is just one of those trying to dismiss Trump's crimes by saying that because others did it, it was fine for Trump.
As former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained, Trump is in a league of his own when it comes to his scandal.
The Journal, MAGA allies and some hosts at Fox and Newsmax have tried to dismiss Trump's actions by saying that when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had classified information, she wasn't searched by the FBI. Many of these commentators are the same people who chanted "lock her up" while she was running for president against Trump in 2016.
Rangappa explained that there are massive differences between Clinton and Trump, namely that Clinton was still the Secretary of State at the time that she was found to have classified emails on her personal server. Clinton never had hard-copy documents.
Ultimately, Rangappa explained that Trump had hundreds of physical documents he would have had to remove from a "classified" and "top secret" location in the White House and take them to his room and ultimately to boxes that movers took to Florida.
At the same time, Trump doesn't have any kind of security clearance. As a president, he was granted the ability to view top secret information. Trump lost that ability to have top secret or classified information after he left office.
By contrast, Clinton was still in office and still had a TS/SCI clearance level that allowed her to view such documents when it was discovered she had classified information on her personal server.
Perhaps the most important difference between Trump and Clinton, however, came when it was discovered that they had government information and classified specifics. In Trump's case, he spent eight months refusing to hand the government documents over to the National Archives.
The affidavit for the search warrant revealed that NARA began its attempts to collect the documents in May 2021. It wasn't until Jan. 2022 that the Archives finally was allowed to send staff to Mar-a-Lago with a moving truck and retrieve the 15 boxes of documents. It was then discovered that there were many more documents that Trump held back after personally going through him, the New York Times reported.
Once the NARA discovered that there were classified documents included in the boxes, they turned it over to the FBI. The FBI did their own outreach, which went ignored. Ultimately, by the spring of 2022 the FBI resorted to a subpoena, which also went ignored by Trump. Over and over Trump was asked to cooperate but refused. The Washington Post reported that the NARA thinks that there are still documents at Mar-a-Lago.
When Clinton was found to have the five classified emails she cooperated with investigators, and worked to ensure that they were cleared from all of her systems.
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