Sunday, September 11, 2022

Was the Theft of Classified Files an Act of Espionage or Something Else?


According to an article at, "The Justice Department’s top counterintelligence official, Jay Bratt, repeatedly emphasized that the investigation into the former president’s handling of classified White House records 'is in its early stages.'"

Publicly traded MEME
Many people are wondering what there is left to investigate.  We know, according to reporting appearing in the September 6th edition of The Washington Post, "...more than 300 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago this year: 184 in a set of 15 boxes sent to the National Archives and Records Administration in January, 38 more handed over by a Trump lawyer to investigators in June, and more than 100 additional documents unearthed in a court-approved search on Aug. 8."

We also know, according to multiple reports at time, that in May of 2017, then-President Trump divulged highly classified secrets, which had been entrusted to the United States of America by a middle eastern ally, to Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States during a meeting in the Oval Office. 

Admittedly, it's more than a little tempting to make a cognitive connection between the two events and say, "Ah-ha!  He stole the files for the Russians!  Lock him up!"  Now, I'm not going suggest he doesn't belong in prison.  Of course, he belongs in prison for multiple crimes Trump committed while he was in office.  But what if the purloined papers in question are the product of something other than espionage or criminal intent? 

Until now, I've believed that Donald Trump knows he lost the 2020 election and has been claiming otherwise in order to keep his base fired up.  After all, it's all about the base. 

What if I've been wrong though?  What if Donald Trump is, in fact, delusional enough believe he actually won 2020's election for president?  If that's the case, then keeping the papers becomes less of an act of espionage and more of a sign of mental illness.  Taking the papers may have been a way for him to hold on to his delusion of victory. 
  • Only the president can see these files.
  • I have these files.
  • Therefore, I must be the president. 
If that's the case, then it's still a crime maybe an understandable one.  Keep in mind though, understanding what motivates a criminal act isn't the same as excusing the criminal act in question, nor does it excuse any other criminal act he may have committed.  I'm merely suggesting a possible context for, rather than a justification of, his action.  In fact, if Trump is prone to such delusions, it becomes even more imperative he be kept out of the Oval Office in 2024, assuming, of course, he's not in prison by then. 

No comments:

Post a Comment