Former President Puts FBI and CIA Agents At Risk
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating former President Donald Trump for possible violations of the Espionage Act and other crimes after the Federal Bureau of Investigation recovered 11 sets of classified documents from his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, earlier this week.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Friday unsealed the warrant authorizing the search, which identifies three federal crimes that the Justice Department is looking at as part of its investigation of Trump: violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records.
The most worrisome documents retrieved from Trump in January included some marked “HCS,” for Human Intelligence Control System. Such documents have material that could possibly identify CIA informants, meaning a general, sweeping declassification of them would have been, at best, misguided.
“HCS information is tightly controlled because disclosure could jeopardize the life of the human source,” said John B. Bellinger III, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. “It would be reckless to declassify an HCS document without checking with the agency that collected the information to ensure that there would be no damage if the information were disclosed.”
What Veterans Think of Trump’s Stolen Classified Documents
Below are views from two veterans who expressed grave concerns about Trump’s actions. First reported here.
Lene Mees de Tricht, a US Navy and US Coast Guard veteran
As a naval intelligence analyst, I was trusted by my country to be a steward of highly classified information. I diligently honored my nation’s trust for ten years. I was extremely scrupulous in my security practices because that is what was expected. In my time as an intelligence analyst, I was given access to information that would be extremely detrimental to national security if made public. The risk is not in the public knowing it, but in that our adversaries would also know it, and can use that to undermine our national security. Similarly, much of how we defend our nation is so tightly controlled so that our adversaries do not know how we do our jobs. That is why the former president’s breach of trust is inexcusable. If I had done what he is alleged to have done, I would be in prison until I draw my last breath because it would have been a betrayal of my country to our enemies.
Our president is our commander-in-chief. It is important that the president be someone we can trust with information about how we conduct military operations. How can we ever trust a man who put our military members — my brothers, sisters, siblings, and friends — in unnecessary danger?
Carrie Frail, an Air Force veteran and linguist who served from 1999–2004
When I joined the Air Force and applied for my security clearance I was only 18. Even though I had no credit history or criminal record and a short work history, my investigation still took over a year to complete. These investigations are incredibly thorough, even including in-person interviews with neighbors, friends, coworkers, and teachers by federal agents. My first assignment was at the National Security Agency. Before I could even enter the building I had to pass a counterintelligence polygraph test. These are the steps that I, an airman in her late teens, had to undergo to be able to access the types of classified information that Donald Trump packed into boxes and took to an unsecure location at his golf resort.
I once had an accidental security violation when I forgot to lock the cabinet above my desk containing classified papers at the end of the day. Even within a SCIF [stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility and is a secure place where sensitive information can be viewed] inside of the National Security Agency, which itself was alarmed and protected by both cypher lock and badge access, classified materials had to be locked up if unattended. The following morning, I was told I was lucky not to have received a separate violation for each of the thousands of pieces of paper marked classified that had been unsecured. Even a few accidental violations could cause one to lose their clearance, job, and possibly freedom depending on the severity of the breach. Intentionally mishandling or taking home any materials would have likely gotten me a life sentence in a federal prison at the least. There cannot be double standards when it comes to issues of national security. No one is above the law.
Lost in all this is the story about the March 30 arrest of Chinese national Yujing Zhang at President Donald Trump’s vacation home certainly reads like a juicy spy drama. At the time she was arrested, after changing her story about why she was there, she had on her, in addition to two Chinese passports and four cellphones, a laptop and USB drive later found to contain some kind of malware. More devices and $8,000 in cash were later found in her room at a nearby hotel.
Once A Soldier believes that no one is above the law and that traitors should suffer capital punishment.
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