The DOJ’s Doctored Crime Scene Photo of Mar-a-Lago Raid

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by Julie Kelly

It is the picture that launched a thousand pearl-clutching articles.

A few weeks after the armed FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago in August 2022, the Department of Justice released a stunning photograph depicting alleged contraband seized from Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate that day; the image showed colored sheets representing scary classification levels attached to files purportedly discovered in Trump’s private office.

Included as a government exhibit to oppose Trump’s lawsuit requesting a special master to vet the 13,000 items taken from his residence, the crime scene pic immediately went viral—just as Attorney General Merrick Garland, who authorized the unprecedented raid, intended.

At the time, even regime-friendly mouthpieces questioned the need and optics of the raid; the photo helped juice the DOJ’s justification for the storming of Trump’s castle.

“[The] question of whether Trump had classified material with him at his Mar-a-Lago resort has captured the public’s attention. The photo published by the government appears to answer that question quite affirmatively,” Washington Post resident fact checker Philip Bump wrote on August 31, 2022.

Some of Bump’s colleagues were more hyperbolic. An ex-CIA officer told ABC News the cover sheets indicated the highest level of secrecy, which in the wrong hands could have resulted in murder. “People’s lives are truly at stake. Without being melodramatic, anything that helps an adversary identify a human source means life and death,” intelligence expert Douglas London melodramatically warned in reaction to the photo.

The New York Times insisted the photo was consistent with how the FBI handles criminal investigations. “[It] is standard practice for the F.B.I. to take evidentiary pictures of materials recovered in a search to ensure that items are properly cataloged and accounted for. Files or documents are not tossed around randomly, even though they might appear that way; they are usually splayed out so they can be separately identified by their markings,” reporters Glenn Thrush and Adam Goldman wrote on August 31, 2022.

Except…that is not what happened.

A Stunt with Potentially Case-Killing Consequences for DOJ

New court filings in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s espionage and obstruction case against Trump and two co-defendants conclusively demonstrate that the government used the cover sheets to deceive the public as well as the court. The photo was a stunt, and one that adds more fuel to this dumpster-fire case.

Jay Bratt, who was the lead DOJ prosecutor on the investigation at the time and now is assigned to Smith’s team, described the photo this way in his August 30, 2022 response to Trump’s special master lawsuit:

“[Thirteen] boxes or containers contained documents with classification markings, and in all, over one hundred unique documents with classification markings…were seized. Certain of the documents had colored cover sheets indicating their classification status. (Emphasis added.) See, e.g., Attachment F (redacted FBI photograph of certain documents and classified cover sheets recovered from a container in the ‘45 office’).”

The DOJ’s clever wordsmithing, however, did not accurately describe the origin of the cover sheets. In what must be considered not only an act of doctoring evidence but willfully misleading the American people into believing the former president is a criminal and threat to national security, agents involved in the raid attached the cover sheets to at least seven files to stage the photo.

Classified cover sheets were not “recovered” in the container, contrary to Bratt’s declaration to the court. In fact, after being busted recently by defense attorneys for mishandling evidence in the case, Bratt had to fess up about how the cover sheets actually ended up on the documents.

Here is Bratt’s new version of the story, where he finally admits a critical detail that he failed to disclose in his August 2022 filing:

“[If] the investigative team found a document with classification markings, it removed the document, segregated it, and replaced it with a placeholder sheet. The investigative team used classified cover sheets for that purpose.”

But before the official cover sheets were used as placeholder, agents apparently used them as props. FBI agents took it upon themselves to paperclip the sheets to documents—something evident given the uniform nature of how each cover sheet is clipped to each file in the photo—laid them on the floor, and snapped a picture for political posterity.

That raises many troubling questions, to say the least, about the FBI’s handling of the alleged incriminating documents.

For example, who made the on-site determination as to the classification level appropriate for each document? Did agents have security clearance and expertise related to classification? Did the agents know whether the document had been declassified by Trump while still in office?

The hasty assessment also appears to contradict Bratt’s statements in court about the classification status of the seized documents. Bratt told Judge Aileen Cannon during a hearing last year that the records were undergoing a classification review, presumably conducted by the intelligence community, to determine the correct level of secrecy.

Did the final analysis confirm or dispute the assessments by the field FBI agents who conducted the raid?

Missing Paper Trial and Messy Boxes

But Jack Smith might have bigger problems. During the raid, agents took a box in its entirety if it contained papers with classified markings; the box usually contained other items, which is how the FBI ended up with so many of Trump’s personal belongings.

So, in order to flag the location of the alleged classified record in the box, agents, as Bratt noted, used the cover sheets as placeholders. (The classified records were then placed in a separate secure file.)

But now defense attorneys claim, and the special counsel concedes, that some placeholders do not match the relevant document. “Following defense counsel’s review of the physical boxes…and the documents produced in classified discovery, defense counsel has learned that the cross-reference provided by the Special Counsel’s Office does not contain accurate information,” attorneys representing Trump’s co-defendant Waltine Nauta wrote in a May 1 motion.

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If Trump had classified documents, as president he had the authority to have declassified them. Biden, on the other hand, as a senator, or even as vice president, did NOT have the authority to declassify the documents he took. He gets a pass like Hillary and her bleachbit and hammers and Comey. Seems we know which team the FBI is playing for.

NARA has never been so aggressive as to treat another former president like this. Clinton, Bush 43, Obama.

So why Trump?

Yes that’s rhetorical.

We have such a corrupt justice system.

And to think, of all of the college brats now protesting/rioting, how many of them will become the future Jack Smiths?

BREAKING: Judge Cannon Indefinitely Postpones Jack Smith’s Classified Documents Trial After Special Counsel Admits to Evidence Tampering

She’s letting Jack hang himself further! Keeps getting worse for the corrupt one! This will taint his DC trial too!

Last edited 1 month ago by TrumpWon

There are no limits to what the FBI did with the “evidence” they stole from Mar a Lago.

Judge Cannon is afraid to pull the trigger, but the case just needs to be dropped. Dropped into a sewage treatment plant. Yet another failed Democrat coup.

I have a different take. She is stretching it out to expose the complete criminal conspiracy of the DOJ. Were she to dismiss, there would be no sunlight into the conspiratorial activities and while doing so will inflict severe damage to the j6 case for smith. Get some popcorn, it is going to be an entertaining show.

UPDATE: Porn Star Loses It in Court – Stormy Daniels Starts Yelling During Questioning

This case is now on life support. It is nothing more than a shame trial. There is no underlying crime. The only thing the prosecution has is non credible witnesses Ed who testimony doe not comport with any crime.

Dismissing the case with prejudice before a jury had been sworn in likely would lead to an appeal and perhaps Judge Cannon’s removal (remember her special master was removed in the first dust-up in the appellate court). Her course of postponing setting of a trial date for the case until the initial motions are resolved is the prudent course of action.

The truth, if you have the balls to listen and the intelligence to understand.

No one is going to listen to Ms. I have Trumps taxes. lunatic opinion talking head.

Yeah
greg was hoping to have a back and forth. But, normal people do not give a shit about the pig lesbian.

A back-and-forth is what’s known as discussion or debate. It involves consideration of facts and actual thought about them.

Only idiots takes old carp-breath seriously.

You’ve been conditioned not to listen—to hear only one side of the argument.

I recall when half of the right’s time and energy was devoted to convincing people that “mainstream media” couldn’t be trusted. They’ve since moved on to targeting traditional journalism, academic institutions, science, public education, the legal system—basically, anyone or anything espousing differing opinions.

Are you afraid to listen?

terrified greggie just quivering in my chair, I just think she is a paid shill that never was or will be a journalist.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on her program that a court ruled is understood even by her own viewers to offer exaggeration and opinion, not facts. 

Guess you didnt get the memo

Last edited 1 month ago by kitt

greg can not hide his desperation.

Can you rebut any of the facts she presented, or the observations she made about them?

Nope. Too afraid even to listen.

Stormy says there was an affair. Then she says there wasn’t. Then she says there was. Then she says there wasn’t. This is EXACTLY the kind of liar you ALWAYS put 100% of your faith in. Madcow is no different, just a whore of a different variety.

 They’ve since moved on to targeting traditional journalism (Walter Lipmann, Walter Duranty and Walter Cronkite, all radical left wingers), academic institutions (Edward Said, Robert Jensen, Herbert Marcuse, and pro terrorist campsites) , science (Kung flu shots), public education (run by a union with a fat lesbian for its president), the legal system (Marc Elias, Jack Smith, Merrick Garland, Eric Holder and all the other left wing trash with law degrees).

Where might we find “traditional journalism”?

No one listens to this stupid lying guy. How about you prove “Russian collusion”?

Fani Willis Refuses to Answer Public Records Lawsuit Related to Her Communications with Jack Smith – Judicial Watch Files Motion For ‘Default Judgment’!

Another of Greg’s heroes that are lying pieces of filthy shit.

Right. “Bombshell revelations.” She talks and talks but says NOTHING.

It’s all about delaying tactics to keep trials from coming before an election that Trump won’t accept the result of unless he wins.

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg

Comrade Scumbag Liar, get back to us when the DOJ files against Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence and Joe Biden for illegally having confidential documents.

How long have you been getting your rocks off on Rachael Madcow?

Longer than he would admit.

Lying pig links to lying pig.

Madcow “highlights”? Those are outnumbered by living unicorns.

Maybe if the DoJ had wanted the case to go to trial, they should not have tampered with and manufactured evidence. How do you like it now that the trial is delayed indefinitely and perhaps will never happen at all? Maybe we can replace it with Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden’s trial for stealing, retaining, improperly storing and sharing highly classified documents.

If this judge rules that ALL those entities are “part of the prosecution team,” and that thus DISCOVERY from them all involves EVERYTHING related to this case from the beginning, it is the joe side that will want to DROP the case.
Last thing joe’s conspirators want is for all their phone calls, emails and meetings about how they can use records to “get Trump,” made open to Trump’s law team and the public.

If Trump isn’t tried there will be violence.

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg

If Trump isn’t tried there will be violence.

No surprise there, Comrade Lying Scum. The left (Democrats) have been creating violence for many, many decades.

I assume conservatives are gearing up for the Democrat Storm Troopers, the BLM/Antifa crowd, since gun/ammunition sales are skyrocketing.

The ones who cant spell Palestine?
comment image

I guess they don’t have spelling classes in college.

Hyperbole the case was blown dead Smith failed.

What else is new? The left resorts to violence every time they don’t get their way. But this time, don’t restrict it to those blue cities where the cops are ordered to let the spoiled brats destroy everything in sight, bring some of it down here to Texas. Let’s see how that works out, scooter.

You are really sounding more and more desperate. Better go to your safe space an suck your thumb.

A brilliant move by Judge Cannon.

Sure—assuming her goal is is to derail the legal process.

You mean like Jack Smith, and the Democrat judges that were “assigned” the Trump cases?

If you think Fani Willis is upholding juris prudence you must be banging her.

Derail the lawfare process. Democrats have made the entire US justice system the laughing stock of the world. It’s not surprising when Russia, China, N. Korea or Iran does it, but it is shocking when the US does it.

The tentacles of the biden WH and DOJ run rampant in the j6 case, the Big Fanny case as well as the documents case. It will expose a criminal conspiracy.

Like the documents case, another case failed by the “evidence”, in this case, an edited phone call illegally recorded.