Trump and Those Boxes

Photograph Source: United States Department of Justice – Public Domain

It appears now that former President Donald Trump has offered yet another reason for refusing to surrender classified information he had no business taking from the White House. We will explain in his own words: “I send boxes over I have to take all of my things out. These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things – golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes – there were many things.”

Well, perhaps now those bothersome old indictments can be removed; Trump only took with him the classified documents because he hadn’t had time, before leaving the White House, to remove the many personal items that were interspersed with them.

Can’t we all relate to this? Certainly we can! This writer, for one, has a few drawers in his study that contain his important paperwork (all if it is scanned, but he keeps the hard copies anyway). Sometimes, perhaps after doing his laundry, he notices that his sock draw is full. What to do with the clean socks that have just come out of the dryer? Well, there’s a bit of room in one of the ‘important paperwork’ drawers in his study, so he just stuffs them in there, somewhere between his birth certificate and the deed to his house.

Unlike Mr. Trump, this writer has no golf shirts, because golf is not his pastime. But he does enjoy kayaking, which, unlike golf (apparently) requires no special clothing. But once in a while, after returning home from a day on the lake, and taking the kayaks off the roof of the car and putting them in the garage, he finds that, with the garage door now closed, he has neglected to store one of the paddles. Such a hassle to reopen the garage and put it where it belongs. But where could it go? Yes, the clever reader has guessed it! Fortunately, the paddle is collapsible, so it fits (fairly) well in one of his ‘important paperwork’ drawers, not by the socks (the paddle may still be wet), but perhaps closer to his auto registration documents.

There are times, of course, when he needs more access to the drawers, so he simply removes them from his desk and takes them into his living room. Guests who happen to arrive when they are there are somewhat puzzled to see some desk drawers, with papers and socks in them, and a kayak paddle sticking awkwardly out of one. So, having learned that this can be an issue, when someone knocks on his door, he simply moves the drawers to the bathroom. Who on earth would think that unusual?

Of course, once in a while a guest must use the bathroom, and while sitting there, the drawers may come to that person’s attention. Not much to see with a kayak paddle or a few pairs of socks, but a bored individual may take a look at some of the papers. The person would find such information as the amount of his insurance coverage on his car, the exact dimensions of the lot on which his house sits, and one extremely confidential piece of information: the year he was born.

But other than a little puzzlement (“Is he really THAT old?”) there is nothing of much interest to be gained.

However, it must be remembered, if one has somehow forgotten this little fact, that this writer is not now, and never has been (and never will be) the president of the United States. If his guests want to look through his (imaginary) desk drawers, it’s really no big deal. His date of birth, the square footage of his lot and the amount of insurance on his car are of little importance or interest to anyone but himself. Intermingled with socks and a kayak paddle, his guest will not find nuclear codes, plans to invade Iran or any other information that could, potentially, destroy all life on earth, rendering it vast, vacant, useless globe, somewhat like Trump’s head. So this writer leaving his important documents strewn about his house in haphazard fashion isn’t quite the same as a former president leaving top secret governmental documents strewn around his (the government’s classification system is a topic for a different essay).

It has been reported today that a former FBI intelligence analyst, one Kendra Kingsbury, has received a sentence of almost four years in prison without parole for – you guessed it – keeping hundreds of classified documents at her residence. These documents were apparently stored electronically, making them a tad more difficult for her guests to peruse as they used her bathroom. Does this not seem to set a precedent? How, one wonders, can it be fair for Ms. Kingsbury to languish in a jail cell for years, when the Great Orange One, who is accused of doing basically the same thing, goes free?

Oh, wait; one forgets for a moment that there are several levels of justice operational in the United States. On the lowest tier, is that that applies to young Blacks accused of such egregious crimes as breathing while Black. The consequence? Death. Next are poor and middle-class whites; their petty crimes result in long prison sentences. Then we have the wealthy; their crimes result in fines, which they are happy to pay, since those fines are a tiny fraction of their personal fortune. Ms. Kingsbury, unfortunately for her, seems to fall into the ‘poor and middle-class whites’ category, so her sentence is in keeping with what the so-called justice system in the U.S. feels she deserves. But Trump? Wealthy and influential, if he is convicted – and that is a big if – he will receive a gentle slap on the wrist, and an admonishment not to do it again, should he ever be re-elected president (heaven help us all!).

So there we have it. A fine excuse for an outgoing president to take top secret documents from the White House and store them helter-skelter in his home. Now we will wait to see what a jury of his peers has to say about it.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Propaganda, Lies and False Flags: How the U.S. Justifies its Wars.