When I first saw the photo of Exhibit 2A, I blanched. Trump tried to distract by ranting about the papers dumped on his carpet. That was just a feeble attempt at misdirection. What struck me was the document placed front and center, and the ruler.
Those documents aren’t dumped randomly on the carpet. They are being displayed in a very deliberate way. They are physical evidence that somebody committed a very serious crime. The kind of crime that lands people in a Supermax prison.
Look at the Secret//SCI document bounded by the ruler. Why did they put a ruler there? That’s a good question. Everyone knows the size of a standard sheet of paper. You don’t need a ruler to measure it. If you look up towards the left, you will see there are at least two other cover sheets with a similar border. Notice anything different?
In case you missed it, look at the border around the document that is front and center. If that was an original document, there should be no white border. You see the cover sheets for these sort of documents are printed by the US government printing office. They are specifically designed to signal the status of the document they cover. Now it would be nice to know if someone took a document and copied it. Turns out that is part of the design of the cover sheet.
The image to the left is from military.com. This is not a government agency.
Military.com is a news and resource website for military members, veterans and their families. We provide daily defense news, benefits information, veteran employment resources, spouse and family resources and tools to support our audience throughout the life cycle of their military service and post-service life.
The point is, lots of folks who use the military.com website likely know what GSA Form SF703, the cover sheet on Top Secret documents, look like. The difference? The border on an official classified document cover sheet “bleeds to the edge” in printing parlance. Anyone who has ever used a copy machine knows the copy machine does not copy all the way to the border of the page. There is always that pesky white border. You may have run in to that problem copying a full page photo. You may have run in to that problem copying a numbered page only to find the pagination was clipped off. The only way to solve that issue is to reduce the printing size, usually to 95% of the original. You still get the border, but at least you have the full image. A lot of copy machines have that size reduction option as a standard feature for just this reason.
Now go back and look at the five, yellow, “Top Secret//SCI” cover sheets. Four of them appear to have that signature “tell” white border. But the one located in the upper right-hand corner does not. Again, the yellow bleeds to the edge.
The yellow cover on Top Secret cover sheets surprised me. Here’s a slide from a USDA presentation on the handling of classified information. In this presentation, yellow is for sensitive, not top secret information.
[ERRATUM] After checking around a bit, I have learned that yellow is the appropriate color for a TS//SCI cover sheet. However, it’s a different shade of yellow.
Regardless of the colors used, here’s the bottom line. You are looking at a mixture of original classified documents and copies of classified documents. This includes copies of classified documents that have been designated as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI).
SCI is a classification label indicating that designated information is sensitive and part of a specific program or department. The program office determines what is SCI and identifies it with proper classification markings.
SCI is a classification based on intelligence information that requires appropriate protection with a specific control system. The control systems include: (1) HCS (HUMINT Control System). (2) Special Intelligence (SI)). (3) TALENT KEYHOLE (TK). HUMINT is human intelligence. This is a document that is based on information somebody risked their neck to deliver. Compromising their identity could be catastrophic for them and everyone they know. Compromising “Special Intelligence” puts sources and methods at risk. “TALENT KEYHOLE” is satellite data.
Not everyone with a security clearance will have access to SCI material. Access to SCI is determined based on eligibility provided adjudication of a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). Colloquially, “need to know” is a way of thinking about this.
SCI documents are the kind of stuff you store in a safe in your office when you are not working on it. It’s the sort of document that cannot be out if a person without clearance is present in the room. The agents who originally found the documents did not have the proper clearance to view them. They had to get special clearance to take that photograph.
What this image shows are copies of documents that should never have been copied, and never should have been outside of a secured facility. This is the kind of information people torture and kill for.
The agents who took that picture knew that, and they were furious. They let it be known. Look at the box with framed magazine covers. Again, there is nothing random about their display. The agents prominently placed the cover of Time Magazine from March 4,2019 so it shows up in the shot.
The title of that cover?
The evidence raises a lot of serious questions. Who made the copies? Who saw the copies? How many copies were made? What did people pay for access?
As former president Obama has said on more than one occasion,Trump is “a corrupt motherf*cker.” If Donnie’s crew think they can pass this evidence off as him stroking his own ego, I have at least 2,000,000,000 reasons to say they are mything the point. I’m talking about you, “Slenderman.”
Addendum (because now they put UPDATES on top)
UPDATE: 8ackgr0und N015e ·
h/t to riogrande for noticing the the Secret//SCI cover sheet shown is NOT a legitimate GSA standard form. Based on this new insight, I think it is more than likely they made copies (probably multiple copies) of these documents AFTER leaving the White House. This is even worse than I imagined, and I was imagining something bad enough to land you in a Supermax prison. The more I think about it, the more scenarios I can conjure up, each worse than the last. This reminds me of Penn Jilette’s warning from the 2016 election.