Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Other Donald Trump in Florida

If you believe that Donald Trump is the worst, most grandiose liar in American politics today (or ever), you're correct. But someone is gaining on him.

If Representative Donalds of Florida believes- as he does not- that "you just can't walk through Mar-a-Lago on your own accord," he needs to take American Government 101.

Much of the time, Donald Trump is not at Mar-a-Lago. And even if he were there whenever the club is open, Donalds' statement would be false. Secret Service agents are not security guards.  They are not there to protect a resort, a private residence, or any building. They protect an individual, in this case an ex-President. Moreover, not any Tom, Dick, or Harry- or Susan, Jane, or Sarah- waltzes in to Mar-a-Lago.  One must be sponsored by a member, subject himself or herself to an interview, be investigated and if approved, pay an initiation fee (plus annual dues), which as of 2017 was $200,000.  Members are likely treated with great respect and afforded some freedom of movement.

Even in the unlikely event that Donalds didn't understand that once inside the building, individuals are not closely monitored, he should have remembered a well-publicized incident last August, in which The Guardian reported

According to an article from the Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a Ukrainian woman posing as a member of the Rothschild banking dynasty is under bureau investigation after infiltrating the private members club under a false pretense.

Inna Yashchyshyn, 33, allegedly lied to members that she was a Rothschild heiress and mingled with Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others at Mar-a-Lago functions.

OCCRP, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Gazette, reported that Yashchyshyn had demonstrated “the ease with which someone with a fake identity and shadowy background” could bypass security at Trump’s club.

Nonetheless, you ain't seen nothing yet. No GOP liar who hopes to ascend to leadership in the Republican Party and beyond can be satisfied with one isolated lie. Preceding the above tweet, he hit the jackpot:

Hillary Clinton did not herself delete the emails in question. The request went from the ex-Senator to her attorneys in 2014 but were not deleted for several months, by Paul Combetta of Platte River Network, who had initially forgotten to excise them. Not all were deleted permanently; more than 17,000 were retrieved by the FBI.  

The claim that Mrs. Clinton had staff destroy- or rather, "destory"- phones almost is accurate. On "two instances" the individual who "helped set up the private email account" Clinton used as Secretary of State, set up her new devices and synchronized them to the server, "destroyed Clinton's old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer." So Clinton did ask that two phones, one or no phone, be destroyed with a hammer or broken in half. Here, Donalds is in near proximity to the truth, yet they were phones to be replaced, presumably with a newer model.

Donalds claims Clinton "lied to federal investigators." He was not specific, so it is difficult to determine whether at any time Clinton did so. However, FBI director James Comey told the House Oversight Committee in July, 2016 "we have no basis to conclude she lied to the F.B.I."

Nor is it accurate that the ex-Senator "sent classified emails to Anthony Weiner," then the husband of HRC aide Huma Abedin.  In May of 2017, the FBI sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee reading

Although we do not know the exact numbers, based on its investigation, the FBI believes it is reasonable to conclude that most of the emails found on Mr. Weiner’s laptop computer related to the Clinton investigation occurred as a result of a backup of personal electronic devices, with a small number a result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Weiner.

Some of the emails were backed up on Weiner's computer. Others were forwarded to Weiner by wife Huma Abedin. Clinton sent no emails to Anthony Weiner.  Representative Donalds' point- and actual wording- was that Hillary the Devil sent emails to the disgraced ex-congressman. She did no such thing.

Although Representative Donalds argued Clinton "had server W/CLAS DOCs in her BATHROOM" (emphasis his), she did not. The server was in the lady's basement, not in her bathroom. That's a critical distinction because FBI photographs have shown many boxes of apparently pilfered documents in one of the bathrooms at Mar-a-Lago. Moreover, "BATHROOM" appeals to the prurient interests of Donalds and fellow Republicans.

According to Politico, having the server and computers in the basement "helped segregate the family's personal and political work from the" Clinton Foundation. Nefarious! By all indications, Hillary Clinton was a technologically illiterate Luddite.  Fourteen or so years ago, that was not uncommon among us of an- ahem- mature age.

To be fair to him, Byron Donalds can be said to have been nearly accurate upon charging Clinton with having had someone smash a phone or two, obviously of little consequence when the phone was to have been replaced. Donalds received a few votes from the GOP's reckless wing during the vote in January for Speaker of the House, eventually won by Kevin McCarthy. In retrospect, he was an obvious candidate. Bellicose and dishonest, this guy has a real future in the Republican Party.  

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