More classified documents reportedly found on Trump property – as it happened

Gun Rights

Attorneys for Donald Trump discovered two classified items among materials retrieved from a Florida storage unit rented for the former president, the Washington Post reports.

Trump hired an outside firm to search his properties for any classified items, in order to comply with a federal grand jury subpoena issued in May. The former president is under investigation for unlawfully retaining secret material after leaving the White House last year, which led to the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago property in August.

Besides the storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida housing materials that had been moved from a northern Virginia office after his presidency, the outside firm also searched Trump-owned golf course in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York.

Here’s more from the Post’s report:

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The ultimate significance of the classified material in the storage unit is not immediately clear, but its presence there indicates Mar-a-Lago was not the only place where Trump kept classified material. It also provides further evidence that Trump and his team did not fully comply with a May grand jury subpoena that sought all documents marked classified still in possession of the post-presidential office.

In addition to the storage unit, the team hired an outside firm to carry out the search of his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and, more recently, Trump Tower in New York, according to people familiar with the matter. The outside team also searched at least one other property.

The team also offered the FBI the opportunity to observe the search, but the offer was declined, the people said. It would be unusual for federal agents to monitor a search of someone’s property conducted by anyone other than another law enforcement agency.

Trump’s lawyers have told the Justice Department that the outside team did not turn up any new classified information during their search of Bedminster and Trump Tower, according to people familiar with the process, and have said they utilized a firm that had expertise in searching for documents.

Classified material keeps turning up at Donald Trump’s properties, as the former president faces heat from a federal investigation into whether he unlawfully held on to government secrets after leaving the White House. Meanwhile, Democrats were relishing Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia’s Senate race, capping a historic midterm election in which they stemmed their losses in the House and managed to get all of their senators re-elected.

Here’s a look back at what happened today:

  • The Congressional Black Caucus wants lawmakers to pass a long-stalled voting rights measure before the end of the year as Democrats try to make the most of their finals weeks controlling the House and Senate.

  • Sean Spicer, a former press secretary in Trump’s White House, is being roasted for mistaking today for the anniversary of D-day – when it is, in fact, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • The supreme court sounds skeptical of making a ruling in favor of Republican-backed state legislatures that could have a major impact on voting rights.

  • Second gentleman Doug Emhoff spoke out forcefully against antisemitism, warning of “an epidemic of hate facing our country”.

  • Republicans were playing the blame game after their poor midterm showing.

But what does Raphael Warnock think of the Trump question?

CNN caught up with the newly re-elected Democratic senator to ask him whether he thought the former president made a difference in his race. Here’s what he had to say:

Asked how much he benefited from Trump’s involvement in selecting his foe, Raphael Warnock told me: “I think the people of Georgia deserve a great deal of credit for seeing the differences between me and my opponent. I look forward to working on their behalf the next six years.”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 7, 2022

In a speech today, second gentleman Doug Emhoff spoke out against antisemitism, warning that there’s “an epidemic of hate facing our country”:

.@SecondGentleman: “There’s no both-sides-ism on this one. There’s only one side…ALL OF US must be against antisemitism.” pic.twitter.com/V9SKEOiS53

— Herbie Ziskend (@HerbieZiskend46) December 7, 2022

Emhoff is the husband of Kamala Harris and the first Jewish spouse of a vice president. His speech came after Donald Trump sparked outrage by meeting with Nick Fuentes, a noted antisemite.

Well this is awkward.

The below video is of Indiana’s Republican senator Mike Braun decrying the quality of the party’s candidates in the midterms. Behind him stands Rick Scott, another senator who is chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee – which was tasked with retaking control of the chamber. He did not succeed:

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) blasts Republican strategy after Herschel Walker’s loss, with NRSC Chairman Rick Scott (R-FL) standing right behind him:

“Candidate quality does count … We are basically for nothing … and then say, ‘Well, maybe we’ll tell you after we’re elected.’” pic.twitter.com/pZ04zE3e4W

— The Recount (@therecount) December 7, 2022

The Congressional Black Caucus’ last-minute push to get voting rights legislation passed may already be making waves.

The lawmakers want the long-delayed bill attached to a year-end Pentagon funding proposal, and the House was this afternoon expected to vote on the rules for debate of the legislation. That vote has now been postponed:

The House is in recess subject to the call of the Chair.

— House Press Gallery (@HouseDailyPress) December 7, 2022

“Members are advised that further information will be provided later today,” the office of Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer said.

In other Mar-a-Lago shenanigans, ABC News reports that Liz Crokin, a well-known promoter of the QAnon and “pizzagate” conspiracy theories, turned up at an event at Donald Trump’s south Florida property.

Crokin was there to attend a documentary on sex trafficking, which ABC says is a major subject of concern for QAnon adherents. She managed to snag a photo with the former president, who is under fire for his recent dinner with rapper Ye and far-right activist Nick Fuentes, both of whom have made antisemitic remarks.

Here’s more from ABC’s report:

Videos and photos posted to social media appear to show Liz Crokin, a prominent promoter of QAnon and pro-Trump conspiracies theories, speaking at an event at Mar-a-Lago and later posing for photos with Trump. In one photo, the duo make a “thumbs up” sign together.

According to social media posts, the event was billed as a fundraiser in support of a “documentary” on sex trafficking — one of the pillars of the QAnon conspiracy theory. The website for the film, which includes multiple falsehoods and claims of mass sex-trafficking in Hollywood, boasts that it is “Banned by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and PayPal.”

Mar-a-Lago often hosts events for outside groups.

“You are incredible people, you are doing unbelievable work, and we just appreciate you being here and we hope you’re going to be back,” Trump said in remarks to the crowd, according to a video of his speech.

A representative for the Trump campaign did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

With Congress in the midst of a flurry of bill-passing before the year ends and newly elected lawmakers take their seats, Punchbowl News reports that the Congressional Black Caucus is making a last-ditch attempt to get a major voting rights bill passed.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act has been stalled since its August 2021 passaged in the House, after it failed to get enough support to make it through the Senate. Punchbowl reports that the caucus representing African-American lawmakers in both chambers wants the legislation attached to the annual defense spending bill, which is considered a priority for both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

A key test of whether their strategy will go anywhere may come this afternoon, when the House is set to vote on the rules for debate of the spending bill, according to Punchbowl.

CNN has been going around the Capitol, polling Republicans senators on whether they think Donald Trump is to blame for their candidates’ weak showing during the midterms.

While not an out-and-out break with the most recent White House occupant from their party, several acknowledged that Trump wasn’t much help in last month’s election. Here’s John Thune, the number-two Senate Republican:

Thune added: “The Dems were in many cases able to turn it into a choice election because of Trump’s presence out there – so was he a factor? I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 7, 2022

Pat Toomey is the retiring senator from Pennsylvania, who is being replaced by Democrat John Fetterman in a major loss for the GOP:

Pat Toomey: “It’s just one more data point in an overwhelming body of data that the Trump obsession is very bad for Republicans but normal Republicans are doing extremely well”
Graham to me: “I think we’re losing close elections, not because of Donald Trump,” citing D fundraising

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 7, 2022

Lindsey Graham is one of Trump’s biggest allies in Congress’s upper chamber. Here’s what he had to say:

Lindsey Graham to me on Trump:
“I think what he’s gonna have to do is establish to Republicans he can win in 2024. He’s still very popular in the party. People appreciate his presidency. They appreciate his fighting spirit. But there’s beginning to be a sense, ‘Can he win?’”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 7, 2022

Attorneys for Donald Trump discovered two classified items among materials retrieved from a Florida storage unit rented for the former president, the Washington Post reports.

Trump hired an outside firm to search his properties for any classified items, in order to comply with a federal grand jury subpoena issued in May. The former president is under investigation for unlawfully retaining secret material after leaving the White House last year, which led to the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago property in August.

Besides the storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida housing materials that had been moved from a northern Virginia office after his presidency, the outside firm also searched Trump-owned golf course in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York.

Here’s more from the Post’s report:

The ultimate significance of the classified material in the storage unit is not immediately clear, but its presence there indicates Mar-a-Lago was not the only place where Trump kept classified material. It also provides further evidence that Trump and his team did not fully comply with a May grand jury subpoena that sought all documents marked classified still in possession of the post-presidential office.

In addition to the storage unit, the team hired an outside firm to carry out the search of his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and, more recently, Trump Tower in New York, according to people familiar with the matter. The outside team also searched at least one other property.

The team also offered the FBI the opportunity to observe the search, but the offer was declined, the people said. It would be unusual for federal agents to monitor a search of someone’s property conducted by anyone other than another law enforcement agency.

Trump’s lawyers have told the Justice Department that the outside team did not turn up any new classified information during their search of Bedminster and Trump Tower, according to people familiar with the process, and have said they utilized a firm that had expertise in searching for documents.

Democrats are relishing Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia’s Senate race, which caps a historic midterm election where they stemmed their losses in the House and managed to get all of their senators re-elected. The GOP’s underwhelming showing has several Republicans pointing their fingers at Donald Trump, saying candidates he’d handpicked for the election underperformed.

Here’s a look back at what has happened so far today:

  • Trump has hired an outside firm to look for classified documents at two of his properties to comply with a grand jury subpoena, the Washington Post reports.

  • Sean Spicer, a former press secretary in Trump’s White House, is being roasted for mistaking today for the anniversary of D-day – when it is in fact the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • The supreme court sounds skeptical of making a ruling in favor of Republican-backed state legislatures that could have a major impact on voting rights.

The White House has announced that Joe Biden will speak this evening, at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, host to the 10th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.

A White House update says the vigil is “a service of mourning and loving remembrance for all who have fallen victim to the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in America”.

The 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, in which 20 young children and six adults were killed, falls a week from today.

Biden, as vice-president, saw attempts for meaningful gun reform fail, even after that massacre in Connecticut. But Chris Murphy, the Democratic senator from the north-eastern state, has campaigned for reform ever since.

He is now optimistic that more will soon be done. Last week, he told the Guardian: “Ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable for a gun safety bill to pass the Senate with NRA opposition. Now, a whole bunch of Republican senators know that the NRA does not even represent gun owners any longer. And thus, they’re not paying as much attention.”

More:

Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s first White House press secretary and a Harvard politics fellow, has come under fire for a tweet in which he said today, 7 December, was D-Day.

Sean Spicer.

Spicer wrote: “Today is Dday [sic]. It only lives in infamy if we remember and share the story of sacrifice with the next generation. #DDay.”

7 December is indeed an important second world war anniversary – that of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the US into the war. It has been called many things, including, most famously and lastingly and by the then president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “a date which will live in infamy”.

But not D-Day. That was 6 June 1944, when allied navies sent forces ashore in France, at the start of the end of the war against Nazi Germany.

Pearl Harbor was primarily an attack on the US navy. According to US government figures, 2,008 members of the navy were killed, along with 218 members of the army, 109 marines and 68 civilians. Three US ships were destroyed and 16 damaged.

According to his own website, Spicer “holds a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the US Naval War College [and] has served over 20 years in the US Navy Reserve and is currently a commander”. He specialises in public affairs.

Amid a minor PR nightmare and Twitter storm, Spicer deleted his D-Day tweet and said: “Sorry. Apologies.”

Undeleted, a tweet from 2021 in which Spicer showed he knew when D-Day was and was happy to use that knowledge to attack Joe Biden, writing: “Yesterday was the anniversary of #DDay – no mention of it from the president. The White House press secretary says he might get around to it.”

Biden was widely attacked from the right for not formally marking D-Day last year.

But as the fact-checking website Snopes put it: “While neither Biden himself nor the White House, as such, publicly commemorated the 77th anniversary of D-Day in 2021, Vice-President Kamala Harris and first lady Jill Biden both did.”

Furthermore, “in his speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, 31 May, Biden briefly alluded to the D-Day landings, saying: ‘Here in Arlington lie heroes who gave what President Lincoln called ‘the last full measure of devotion’. They did not only die at Gettysburg or in Flanders Field or on the beaches of Normandy, but in the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Iraq in the last 20 years.’”

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