A woman holds a giant Trump flag outside at night.

Oh, Of COURSE Trump (Allegedly) Stole Nuclear Secrets

No one is surprised by this.

When the FBI searched Donald Trump’s golf resort residence on Monday of this week, the obvious question was: Why? What were they after and what could be so important to necessitate getting a warrant to search the home of a former president?

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Well, an obvious question has an obvious answer. We’d learned that the search was related to extremely sensitive classified documents and because this is Trump we’re talking about, it seems safe to assume that whatever the worst possibility could be, that’s what he’d taken.

According to a new report from the Washington Post, based on multiple sources close to the investigation, the documents in question pertain to what is probably the single most sensitive subject possible: nuclear weapons.

The Post writes: “Material about nuclear weapons is especially sensitive and usually restricted to a small number of government officials, experts said. Publicizing details about U.S. weapons could provide an intelligence road map to adversaries seeking to build ways of countering those systems. And other countries might view exposing their nuclear secrets as a threat, experts said.”

The newspaper spoke to a former Justice Department official, who said that if these documents do pertain to nuclear secrets, “it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at Mar-a-Lago may have been classified at the highest classification level,” adding, “If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible.”

I’m sure these goalposts are already moving as we speak but in the lead-up to this revelation, even Fox News hosts preemptively supported the search under these circumstances.

“I think short of the nuclear codes being written on these documents locked behind closed doors, I just really don’t understand how a document can warrant this kind of warrant,” Dana Perino quipped on The Five earlier this week.

That sentiment was also echoed on CNN:

All week, Trump has been yelling online about how the Department of Justice is orchestrating a political “witch hunt” and demanding that they publicly release their search warrant (as if he doesn’t also have a copy). On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he has asked a judge to unseal the warrant due to the “substantial public interest in this matter.” Trump is allowed to object to unsealing the search warrant, which would also possibly include unsealing an itemized list of what the FBI was specifically searching for. Instead, he’s been ranting on his horrible social media platform Truth Social about how he also wants the warrant to be unsealed.

I have no idea how Trump thinks this is going to work out in his favor. It’s like he’s playing a game of chicken with facts. Not that anyone is really surprised by how this is playing out.

Update 8/12: The Wall Street Journal has reported that the FBI recovered eleven sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago. The list of documents as described in the search warrant does not include many details, which is to be expected, as the FBI isn’t going to issue descriptions of, say, nuclear secrets. But the report does indicate that the FBI got what it was looking for in the search.

Trump’s argument is and has been that he used his presidential authority to declassify those documents before he left office. Except that’s not how this works, and he would have had had to go through a detailed process to effectively do that.

(image: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)


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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.