DOJ Maybe Actually For Real Investigating Trump's Stolen Top Secret Mar-a-Lago Boxes!
It is a "perhaps" that just this once, we should say we are sorry to Merrick Garland's Justice Department for assuming it's sitting around eating bon-bons and fretting that it would be viewed as "political" if it does anything to hold Donald Trump and his minions accountable for literally trying to overthrow the country. But just a "perhaps."
Last week, we wrote a story that asserted confidently that the DOJ was maybe sorta kinda allegedly not sure could be investigating all those 15 boxes of top secret classified material Trump had stolen from the White House and smuggled down to Mar-a-Lago inside a Russian nesting doll he stuck up his butt. Based on the Washington Post's reporting, it seemed like that could be a thing that potentially was going to happen at some point perhaps!
And key to that story was that Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, was writing to the DOJ demanding to know why it was seemingly stonewalling her committee's investigation into the same issue. As the Post described Maloney's letter:
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Maloney alleges that the Justice Department is “interfering” with the investigation by preventing the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from handing over a detailed inventory of the contents of the recovered boxes. [...]
“The Committee does not wish to interfere in any manner with any potential or ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice,” Maloney wrote. “However, the Committee has not received any explanation as to why the Department is preventing NARA from providing information to the Committee that relates to compliance with the [Presidential Records Act], including unclassified information describing the contents of the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago.”
In other words, stop fucking with my investigation ORRRRR tell me you can't stop because you're doing your own investigation. Or at least cough twice to signal me that you're doing your own investigation, since you obviously can't say it out loud.
The Post is now reporting that DOJ has coughed twice:
The Justice Department this week rebuffed a request from the House Oversight Committee for more details about the 15 boxes of White House records that former president Donald Trump improperly removed to Mar-a-Lago, hinting in a letter that an ongoing investigation prevents the department from doing so.
In the letter addressed to Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), and reviewed by The Washington Post, acting assistant attorney general Peter Hyun writes that after the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) referred “concerns about whether such materials had been properly handled” to the Justice Department earlier this year, officials asked the archives not to share information related to the records taken to Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
The Post continues by saying the letter says the DOJ has "great respect" for the work of Maloney's committee — really, they just love what she's doing with the place! — but fuck off. Or, in the language of how these letters go, "the Department previously asked NARA not to share or otherwise disclose to others information relating to this matter in order to protect the integrity of our ongoing work.”
Which would mean by definition that there is "ongoing work" being done by DOJ.
Allegedly perhaps sorta kinda maybe if we're lucky but who knows maybe they're all doing a pocket pool tournament and Merrick Garland is winning.
Hyun concludes the letter by citing the Justice Department’s long-standing policy of complying with congressional requests “to the fullest extent consistent with the constitutional and statutory obligations of the Executive Branch,” adding that “the Department’s goal in all cases is to satisfy legitimate legislative interests while protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests. Examples of confidential information include … information the disclosure of which might compromise open criminal investigations or prosecutions or civil cases.”
Short version: You know how this shit works. You asked. We answered.
We'd love to tell you this gives us more confidence that justice will one day be done, but we've learned the last few years not to expect a whole hell of a lot of too much.
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