Trump sounds off on DoJ’s suspect photo of classified docs: ‘It’s so dishonest!’

Former President Donald Trump is annoyed by how the Department of Justice made him look “like a slob.”

As previously reported, on Tuesday the DOJ submitted a court filing containing a photo of the allegedly classified documents that were seized during the FBI’s raid earlier this month of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home.

The documents were, as seen below, splayed out in a haphazard fashion, making it look like the FBI had found them that way:

Speaking via phone on Real America’s Voice this Thursday, the former president expressed anger and dissatisfaction over the optics of the photo.

“A lot of people think that when you walk into my office, I have confidential documents or whatever it may be — all declassified — but I have confidential documents spread out all over my floor. Like a slob. Like I’m sitting there reading these documents all day long or somebody else would be,” he said.

“It’s so dishonest when you look at it. And so people were concerned because they said, gee, you know, that’s a strange scene. You look at the floor and you see documents, right? They have cover sheets of documents. No, they put them there, John, and they put them there in a messy fashion. And then they took a picture, and they released it to the public. And this is what we’re dealing with with these people.”

Notice what he said about it being “so dishonest.” He was essentially suggesting that the DOJ purposefully scattered the documents before taking the picture to make Trump look bad.

He’s not the only one who’s suggested the photo was effectively “staged“:

Trump-era acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell has outright called for whichever agent took the photo to be fired immediately.

“Whoever staged this photo and whoever approved it to be released is so unprofessional and so reckless that they should actually be fired. Congress should get involved in this and say, ‘We do not want FBI agents who stage photos and then release them to the public like a spin document.’ This is dangerous,” he said on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast this Wednesday.

Meanwhile, conservative radio show host Mark R. Levin has accused the FBI of violating the Espionage Act based on the fact that the allegedly classified documents were splayed out for “no reasonable or legal purpose.”

“It seems to me an argument should be made that spreading highly classified documents on the floor, with the covers of the documents noting that the documents are indeed classified and taking a photograph even of the covers purely for gratuitous public use (i.e., for no reasonable or legal purpose), is a grossly negligent use of classified documents and the FBI should be held accountable under the Espionage Act,” he tweeted Wednesday.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley has echoed the point about “no reasonable or legal purpose.”

“It seems clearly intended for public consumption,” he wrote in a blog post on Wednesday about the controversial photo.

The proof, he noted, was the simple fact that the photo was completely unnecessary.

“It is curious that the DOJ would release this particular picture which suggests classified material laying around on the floor. The point is to state a fact that hardly needs an optical confirmation: the possession of documents with classified cover sheets,” he explained.

“Indeed, the top of roughly half of the documents are redacted in the photos. The government could simply affirmatively state the fact of the covered pages and would not likely be challenged on that point without the inclusion of this one photo.”

So why did the DOJ release the photo? The answer seems pretty clear …

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Vivek Saxena

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