Apparently there's real turmoil right now in Trumpworld, and as usual it's because the key player and his omnipresent team of sycophants are debating whether to use Donald Trump's latest apparent federal crimes for a new grift, or for a slightly bigger new grift. Here's a new CNN story on the debate: Trump and team are trying to decide not "if," but "when" to release the Mar-a-Lago security footage that shows FBI agents taking boxes out of his spy-riddled golf club after Trump tried to blow off government requests for the documents under his usual theory of "I get to do whatever I want, and not even the whole of the U.S. government gets to stop me."
The FBI reportedly recovered numerous secret and top secret documents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago stash, just as they expected to. Donald has for the most part clammed up about this. Anyone who’s followed current events of late knows that Donald Trump shutting his piehole about anything is something between a rare and unprecedented act, with Trump instead whining that they took passports or whatever else he had haphazardly mixed in with stolen government materials, raging over the very premise of the government daring to take its own property back.
Trump and his merry band of seditionists are said to be considering releasing the security footage of the Not Raid because they think it'll further rile his traitorous base of possibly violent crapsacks. Maybe that will result in a good fundraising haul for Donald. Or maybe it will result in more violence against the FBI by sedition-minded Trump supporters still angry that the coup failed. These are supporters who have now convinced themselves that if Donald Trump doesn't get to do every crime he wants to, then it means America is doomed.
There's no reason to debate which of the two reasons it is. It's transparently both. Trump has already been fundraising off his own crime to great effect, raking in over $1 million per day in the week after the Not Raid, and he has already launched a campaign of thinly veiled violence-stoking in an effort that's very, very similar to his Jan. 6 plots. He engages in order to target his government opponents with violence.
We've already seen the Trump camp’s efforts to target individual members of the government team tasked with recovering the classified documents. And again, it's been standard operating procedure for Trump when a new scandal breaks in which he's accused of a serious crime. Trump's team released the warrant documents delivered to Mar-a-Lago in response to the Department of Justice decision to ask a judge for permission to release the same documents.
There was a notable difference between the two sets, however: The court-released warrant papers were redacted so that the names of the government agents involved in the search of Trump's property were obscured, a safety measure to try to protect those agents from possible death threats by Trump's most violent supporters.
The version Trump's team released to Trump-friendly outlets, however, was distributed with those names unredacted. It was an utterly pointless move, redundant with the court's own release of the papers, unless the point was to disseminate a target list for Republican Party allies and a violent base. That challenge was immediately met, with personal information about the agents involved quickly distributed online. The judge has also been targeted by name and religious faith. It's a very, very old authoritarian technique and one that Trump's Republican allies repeated time and time again against whistleblowers and government agents tasked with investigating potential crimes. It's their thing.
It's unclear whether releasing footage of unjacketed FBI agents or other government workers carrying out boxes that we now know contained classified material being stored by Trump in his Spyland Pleasure Palace would goose Trump's fundraising or merely emphasize to the public, in grainy security footage, that Donald really, really screwed up badly on this one. But there's absolutely no chance that Donald and his legal team would blur the faces of the government workers involved in securing the documents. None.
And that means the footage would become another avenue for Trump's already active band of anti-FBI violence-seekers to identify and search for the specific government agents who sought to "hurt" Trump by requiring him to follow the law. That is the only certain result of releasing the footage, so it's almost a given that Trump will do it.
This is literally his thing, after all. The government offends him by requiring him to follow laws, whether those laws be ones that say you can't extort foreign governments for personal campaign failures or ones that say you have to scoop yourself out of the White House if the American public votes you out. And Trump responds by rallying his supporters with a new campaign of demonization against anyone who had the "disloyalty" to tell him that. Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, Alexander Vindman, the FBI agents who signed the warrant documents, take your pick.
Trump targets them, and they get death threats. Like clockwork. And, at the exact moment somebody dies because of it, you can count on Donald Trump to be watching television, reveling in what he's managed to do.
Yeah, he'll do it. No question about it. It really is only a question of timing. CNN reports an internal debate over whether to save it for Trump's expected post-coup reelection announcement, but the more likely scenario is that he releases it as fodder for stoking violence against the government the moment he learns the government really does intend to indict him over the stolen papers. That's when he'll most need to stoke violence—a last-ditch effort to threaten the Justice Department with something close to civil war if they dare hold him responsible for even a fragment of his unending crookedness.
Trump attempted to weaponize Mar-a-Lago documents to use against FBI and DOJ
Trump and his media allies are stoking a civil war
Trump offers to call off his violent thugs, but he has conditions
Trump scrapes the bottom of the well for defense attorneys, and can’t even find them there