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MAGA Lawmaker Comes Up With Silliest Defense Yet of Trump’s Classified Docs

MAGA Lawmaker Comes Up With Silliest Defense Yet of Trump’s Classified Docs

CNN

A day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) defended former President Donald Trump’s hoarding of classified documents by invoking bathroom door locks, MAGA-boosting Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) took that excuse several hilarious steps further on Thursday morning.

Just hours before Trump is scheduled to be arraigned at a federal courthouse in downtown Miami, Donalds appeared on CNN This Morning to peddle the GOP’s latest talking points in defense of the twice-impeached ex-president.

Donalds, whose name has been bandied about as Trump’s potential 2024 running mate, began the interview by attacking Special Counsel Jack Smith for charging Trump under the Espionage Act. Smith’s 37-count indictment of Trump accuses the former president of breaking seven federal laws, including willful retention of national defense information, engaging in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a government record, concealing an official document, hiding a record from a federal investigation, making false statements and a scheme to conceal.

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After Donalds claimed that Smith’s indictment is “plain ridiculous” because Trump should have been allowed to review his records “for up to five years,” CNN host Phil Mattingly pressed the congressman on what the indictment actually revealed. Namely, that Trump wouldn’t have been charged with any crimes if he had simply voluntarily handed the classified documents back to the National Archives and didn’t attempt to hide them.

At this point, Donalds decided to bring up the indictment including photos of documents being stored in a Mar-a-Lago bathroom and shower, insisting that there was nothing insecure about the storage location. Why? Because the ex-president’s private club has lots of bathrooms.

“You guys are throwing up the pictures about they were in a bathroom or on a stage,” the pro-Trump congressman declared. “As somebody who has been to Mar-a-Lago, you can’t walk through Mar-a-Lago of your own accord because Secret Service is all over the place. So if the documents are in a place, they are in a room, depending on the time of year, you can’t even get into said room.”

It just got better from there.

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“There are 33 bathrooms at Mar-a-Lago!” Donalds exclaimed. “So don’t act like it’s in some random bathroom that the guests can go into. That’s not true!”

Donalds’ remarks come after McCarthy was widely mocked for attempting to shrug off Trump hiding classified documents in various locations in Mar-a-Lago by noting that bathroom doors can be locked. The speaker appeared to be trying to draw parallels between Trump’s and President Joe Biden’s classified docs probes.

“Is it a good picture to have boxes in a garage that opens up all the time? A bathroom door locks,” McCarthy told reporters on Monday. It didn’t take long for critics to point out that bathroom doors only lock from the inside.

The most ardent MAGA defenders in D.C. have struggled to come up with a coherent defense of the ex-president since the indictment was unsealed on Friday, especially since the indictment destroys their previous defenses of him.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), for instance, twisted himself into knots on Sunday backing Trump’s contradictory claims that he had previously declassified all the documents, despite evidence showing Trump was acutely aware they remained classified. “What you’re saying just doesn’t make sense on its face, CNN anchor Dana Bash told Jordan at one point.

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Published: 2023-06-13 15:27:41

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