Great article and clarity on the differences between the handling of classified document between VP's Pence and Biden, in comparison to ex-POTUS Trump.

- Inadvertent vs. Intentional placement of documents.

- Performed by others without NARA guidance and assistance vs. personally overseen in opposition to and rejection of available NARA assistance and guidance.

- Full cooperation in ascertaining inadvertent placement vs. false claims of ownership, misrepresentation to obstruct the return of classified documents, refusal of cooperation for over a year which ultimately required a search warrant to seize the unlawful possession of the documents.

- Incidental amount of a relatively few classified documents vs. a personally overseen effort to carefully select documents; and a planned removal and theft of a massive amount of documents.

- No history of accepting foreign bribes or ethical violations vs. a long history of doing business with foreign dictators, ethical violations, and accepting bribes as the POTUS and previously!





Note: this sale occurred at the peak of the Great Recession, when U.S property values had been reduced as much as 50%. Seller and buyer by statements and behavior treated the property as land value only, which would make a sale even more difficult, in terms of financing and limited buyer appeal, not to mention the price tag. In financial markets, B of A stock had fallen from the mid-thirties to less than $4 per share. Impacted by the real estate depression and a recent bankruptcy of his casino ownership, Trump needed either a loan, a sale, or a gift. A sale was clearly not a possibility at anything near the price that was paid by the Russian oligarch, who had no intention of living in or developing the property. A loan from an institutional lender wasn't available either because the property wouldn't have appraised even for what Trump paid in 2004. At one point Trump claimed he spent 25 million on renovation but that was a lie. He had the fixtures painted gold with gold paint color. It was time to ask Putin for a favor that wouldn't need to be disclosed as s loan from a foreign entity, especially if a Presidential bid was on the horizon.


Even with all of the inflation between 2008 and 2019 (the date of the sale of the third and final lot) the buyer didn't even break even, after the demolition of the existing home which was infected with mold, and featured deferred maintenance and functional obsolesce. The expense of subdividing the lot, covering expenses until the sale of the third lot, and paying real estate commissions yielded buyer a net profit from the deal of zero after investing over $100,000,000 for 11 years. The lack of return on the investment confirms the sale was very different from miraculous. The only remaining question was whether the sale was gift, a personal loan disguised as a sale, or an I owe you to be paid at some future date?




My guess it was an IOU:





https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/news/russia-building-two-new-military-bases-syrian-coast-676169215 (Facing NATO's southern flank)


Putin would have never tried to take all of Ukraine, but not for Trump's unexplained foreign policy of Russian appeasement, or as Trump would always repeat from day one: "...getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing." What he didn't say is it was only a good thing for Trump and Putin.

History of legal battle between Trump and the Justice Department:



Expand full comment

I wonder how many top secret documents the extreme right insurrectionist are squirreling away right now.

Expand full comment

The question I have had for some time is this - what responsibility does the person/persons have who releases sensitive documents to insure they are received back again. When I sign out a library book, the library knows who has it and reminds me if I fail to return it within a specified period of time. My library book is not a sensitive document, but it seems it is better tracked.

Expand full comment

I'm a great believer that with critically important processes there must be a backup to ensure the critical process is completed.

In addition to changing NARA's role, I think an effective yet simple solution would be for the FBI, after POTUS and VPOTUS leave office, to thoroughly search all properties of the two departing execs. If anything is found, no fault is assigned. Any documents found after this search are a problem for the individual. How much of a problem? Depends on the type, number, etc. An assumption would be that the exec purposely retained that document.

Expand full comment

My question is whether or not garland will now appoint ANOTHER Special Counsel to investigate christofascist pence.

Expand full comment

It is beyond reason why not one cable pundit has invited you to speak to this.

Hell, not even a Sister's In Law podcast.

Thank you fornallmof your hard work and diligence.

I appreciate you!

Expand full comment

We believe the subordinates of both VP Biden & Pence, are / were basically honest hard workers with an important short term deadline to vacate the space their guy had worked at. At terms end, a US VP will have a Good Staff. By contrast, we believe Mr Trump plotted, researched & planned (in secret) what papers & records would assist him in private life if only he stole them. We believe he would sell, trade, threaten to reveal facts, etc as long as he'd benefit. We believe Mr Trump always has sought unfair advantage in any human situation because he correctly ascertains he is at a disadvantage in comparison to most others intellectually. After considerable study, our brain trust has concluded that Mr Trump approximates the intellectual capacity equal to that of a large cat or dog. This awful truism is something the bastard can never disguise or escape from, or change.

Expand full comment

From your mouth to the ears and eyes of those that need to change things!

Expand full comment

Out on the cutting edge, as usual, Seth. You nailed it!

Expand full comment

Great article

Expand full comment

Your comment about NARA providing outgoing labor is correct. Better yet, there should be NARA and DoJ "auditors" monitoring the packing process. There should be cross party sign offs for each box, on paper AND on the boxes' outside. Our lack of institutional controls is a joke and we CAUSED/ALLOWED THE ISSUE OCCUR. Feds have no one to blame but themselves for lack of this standard operating, simple process of controls. I know many executives who got fired over the years for this exact issue

Expand full comment

Have you shared any of your knowledge with any of the major media news stations?

Expand full comment