The DC Establishment Is Deeply Concerned That Trump May Have Copies Of His Declassified Binder

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Dec 30, 2023 - 10:30 PM

Authored by Jeff Carlson via The Epoch Times,

A recent CNN article titled “The mystery of the missing binder: How a collection of raw Russian intelligence disappeared under Trump” discusses, albeit in roundabout fashion, former President Donald Trump’s declassified binder.

According to CNN:

“A binder containing highly classified information related to Russian election interference went missing at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, raising alarms among intelligence officials that some of the most closely guarded national security secrets from the US and its allies could be exposed, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

“Its disappearance, which has not been previously reported, was so concerning that intelligence officials briefed Senate Intelligence Committee leaders last year about the missing materials and the government’s efforts to retrieve them, the sources said.

“In the two-plus years since Trump left office, the missing intelligence does not appear to have been found.”

All very breathless and conspiratorial sounding. Which, of course, is the entire point.

But the problem for CNN is that there never was any Russian collusion. It was all a giant hoax. Nor was there any real Russian election interference. No more so than any other year. And no more than what the United States does in Russia.

It was all part of a giant fraud that CNN helped to perpetrate in order to hamstring the Trump presidency. So when CNN claims, “The binder contained raw intelligence the US and its NATO allies collected on Russians and Russian agents, including sources and methods that informed the US government’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election,” what they are really referring to is the proof that Trump amassed of the FBI’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

The “sources and methods that informed the US government” is precisely what they don’t want anyone to see.

It was never Russian collusion.

It was collusion on the part of DC’s entrenched bureaucracy.

That’s where the real scandal lies.

And the DC establishment is very worried that President Trump has proof of that collusion in his possession.

The National Archives building in Washington on March 28, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

And that’s what this is all really about—information that President Trump has in his possession that proves the involvement of the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ), and other establishment agencies in their effort to tarnish him with their construction of the Russian collusion lie.

Which is why CNN all but gave away the entire premise behind the DOJ’s directed FBI raid on President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in their article.

As they note, “The binder was not among the classified items found in last year’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, according to a US official familiar with the matter, who said the FBI was not looking specifically for intelligence related to Russia when it obtained a search warrant for the former president’s residence last year.”

Their need to insert that disclaimer gives the game away. We didn’t find the binder when we launched a politically motivated shock raid on the house of a former president, but we also weren’t looking for it. Right.

It’s worth remembering that the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago started off with claims that President Trump had illegally stored top-secret documents related to our nation’s nuclear weapons in his bathroom.

Of course, that claim wasn’t true, which is why CNN has shifted to hyping the classified nature of the binder by claiming, “The intelligence was so sensitive that lawmakers and congressional aides with top secret security clearances were able to review the material only at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where their work scrutinizing it was itself kept in a locked safe.”

These ridiculously overwrought claims that the binder was of the highest sensitivity are all nonsense, of course. Many of these documents have slowly made their way into the public domain through congressional release. And the FBI has even been forced to reluctantly release several hundred pages of heavily redacted internal records from its Russia investigation.

The binder is not a threat to national security. But it does contain documents that implicate many—both outside and inside the deep state—in their efforts to overturn the Trump presidency with claims of Russian collusion.

It’s important to note that there’s a very real effort on the part of the DOJ to run cover for hiding the binder in the first place. And, as we’ll see, an effort to confuse exactly what the binder really was.

The Department of Justice building in Washington on Feb. 9, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

A few months back, we told you about a new filing from John Solomon that told the backstory to President Trump’s last-minute declassification order of his “Binder of Declassified Documents.”—and how the DOJ sucked those documents back in and blackholed them.

At President Trump’s request, the DOJ provided the White House with a binder of materials related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation on Dec. 30, 2020. According to the motion, “Trump reviewed them and decided that the binder should be declassified to the maximum extent possible.”

As you might expect, the FBI had been objecting to the release of these documents because “the binder contained embarrassing information about the Bureau’s officials and the government’s conduct in the case,” and there was a lot of fighting over redactions.

This was finally settled, with President Trump accepting the “proposed redactions” and declassifying the binder in a final Jan. 19, 2021, order. As this was ongoing, Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, informed Mr. Solomon of the pending declassification and invited him to the White House to “review several hundred pages of declassified documents and to discuss a plan for publicly disseminating the entire binder to the American public.”

As Mr. Solomon and his staff were reviewing the documents, they received a call from the White House asking that the documents be returned because the White House inexplicably wished to make some additional redactions to unclassified information under the Privacy Act.

Which is odd, because as Mr. Solomon’s filing notes, “the binder was not subject to the Privacy Act.” But for some unknown reason and “without the President’s knowledge or consent, one of the President’s subordinates [possibly Mr. Meadows himself] decided that redactions consistent with the standards of the Privacy Act should be applied to the binder before it was publicly released.”

According to the filing, Mr. Meadows “promised Solomon that he would receive the revised binder.” But as Mr. Solomon notes, this never occurred and the documents reside within the DOJ to this day.

A legal back-and-forth continued between the two camps until June 17, 2022—when an agreement was reached and President Trump designated “Kash Patel and Solomon as his representatives.”

President Trump’s lawyer reached out to Gary Stern, general counsel of the National Archives, telling him that they would like to begin reviewing the documents at the Archives on June 21, 2022.” But here’s where the intentional confusion by the DOJ and the National Archives comes into play.

Mr. Stern agreed to the review. But then, on June 23, Mr. Stern suddenly told Mr. Solomon the binder was not at the National Archives—it had been transferred back to the DOJ 18 months earlier “per Meadows’s original memorandum to the Attorney General.”

Mr. Stern said they did have a box of 2,700 “undifferentiated pages of documents with varying types of classification and declassification markings.” But he also told Mr. Solomon that because the National Archives could not ascertain the classification status of any information in the box, it would treat its contents as “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information.”

There were now effectively two binders—both of them considered classified, despite Trump’s declassification order. This was confirmed by Mr. Solomon, who told Mr. Stern that “he believed the records held by the Archives were the very same documents that Trump had declassified and that they were copied from the binder in preparation for release to the news media on the morning of January 20, 2021.”

Award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon in Washington on July 10, 2020. (Tal Atzmon/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Solomon notes that “the Archives could have ascertained the classification status of these records at any time simply by comparing the binder with the boxed papers. However, it has never chosen to do so.”

Mr. Solomon asked that Mr. Patel, who held a TS/SCI clearance and was familiar with the documents in the binder, be allowed to verify the box of documents. But on July 12, Mr. Stern responded, telling Mr. Solomon the documents were now unavailable as they were subject to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Furthermore, Mr. Stern told Mr. Solomon without explanation that “the Trump Presidential records” were unavailable for the Mandatory Declassification Review procedures under the Presidential Records Act.

As you can see from this lengthy and convoluted sequence of events, the DOJ—coordinating through the National Archives—was absolutely desperate to prevent the binder from going public.

But they still had a problem—potentially a big one. The DOJ was virtually certain that President Trump had taken a copy of the presidentially declassified binder with him. And so it was that exactly one month after Mr. Solomon’s request that Mr. Patel review the documents, on Aug. 8, 2022, President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was raided by the FBI.

On Aug. 14, 2022, following the FBI raid, Mr. Solomon told Mr. Stern that the declassified Crossfire Hurricane records were presidential records and asked what efforts had been made to retrieve them from the DOJ.

Three days later, Mr. Stern replied, telling Mr. Solomon that the “bulk of the binder” was—for some unstated reason—intended to remain with the DOJ. As Mr. Solomon’s filing notes, “the Trump White House always considered the Crossfire Hurricane binder a Presidential record and never intended to give up control over it.”

Mr. Solomon closed his statement of facts by noting that by “making everchanging excuses, [President Joe] Biden’s DOJ stonewalled Solomon, denying him access in violation of the Presidential Records Act.”

Mr. Solomon said President Trump “ordered the creation of the Crossfire Hurricane binder to conduct his official duties and that the White House intended to retain control over the binder and its records at all relevant times.”

Kash Patel, former Principal Deputy to the Acting Director of National Intelligence and former senior counsel to the House Intelligence Committee, in Washington on March 15, 2021. (York Du/The Epoch Times)

President Trump’s official “Binder of Declassified Documents.” remains hidden within the DOJ to this day.

But—and this is a big but—note President Trump’s stated legal position that he “always considered the Crossfire Hurricane binder a Presidential record and never intended to give up control over it.”

In other words, the binder was composed of presidential records that President Trump is legally allowed to have under the Presidential Records Act.

Presidential records that were not found during the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago.

Presidential records that President Trump almost certainly still has copies of—and likely intends to use—as evidenced by an unexpected court filing.

Two days before CNN ran its article, on Dec. 13, President Trump’s lawyers made a surprising announcement hidden in the footnote of a court document, one that apparently took prosecutor Jack Smith by surprise, notifying the court of their intention to “disclose classified information at trial in support of this defense.” What classified information do you suppose that President Trump would have at his disposal?

It turns out that we get more than a hint of that from a lawsuit that Trump filed on March 24, 2022—roughly four months before the DOJ’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Although the lawsuit was dismissed by a Bill Clinton-appointed judge, it targeted a lot of familiar names involved in the Russia collusion hoax.

It also cited only public information, despite having a surprising level of detail. I didn’t think the suit was particularly well designed.

But it did contain a surprising amount of information. Almost like President Trump had kept a file on matters. Almost.

There’s one other item that we’ll note before we end.

In its article, CNN wrote that “The day before leaving office, Trump issued an order declassifying most of the binder’s contents.”

The rest of the article focused on the supposed risks to national security—and blaming President Trump for it all.

Not once, at any point in the article, did these so-called journalists stop to ask why the binder hadn’t been released to the American public in compliance with Trump’s presidential order.