Aug 19, 2022
Truth is an alien concept to former President Donald Trump. As the old saying goes, "He lies when the truth will serve."
Trump constantly attacks the integrity of our government institutions, our constitutional system, and the rule of law in order to support his autocratic and demagogic ways.
During Trump's presidency, he made 30,573 false or misleading claims--a stunning average of 21 per day--according to The Washington Post.
Trump is a bald-faced liar. His nonstop lying that the 2020 election was stolen from him is a classic version of the Big Lie made infamous by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Trump also practices the art of "lie shifting," strategically bouncing from one lie to the next to minimize the ability of the truth to catch up with him.
Trump's latest example of "lie shifting" began when the FBI exercised a court-approved search warrant at Mar-a-Lago last week to recover classified government documents.
Trump immediately called the effort a "weaponization of the Justice System," but it turned out Trump had, indeed, taken and stored classified and highly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago that belonged to the government.
Trump then claimed the FBI "didn't need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted ..."
The record makes clear that the government had been trying for months to collect these documents that are required to be preserved by the Presidential Records Act, must be in a highly secure location, and belong in the National Archives.
Following a May subpoena, a Trump lawyer signed a statement that materials marked classified had been returned to the government.
Only after the Trump failure to properly respond to the subpoena did the Justice Department execute the search warrant that led to recovering 11 sets of classified documents, including documents marked top secret.
Trump then claimed that no one was allowed to watch the search.
"Why wouldn't the FBI allow the inspection of areas at Mar-a-Lago with our lawyers, or others, present," he posted on his Truth Social platform, while suggesting the FBI may have planted evidence.
According to a Trump attorney on the scene, Trump and his family were in New York and able to watch the search via closed circuit TV. And there is no evidence that anything was planted by the FBI or anyone else.
Then Trump claimed that he had a "standing order" to declassify the documents he took from the White House.
"Total nonsense," is how one former Trump official put it. John Kelly, who served as Trump's Chief of Staff for 17 months between 2017 and 2019, said: "Nothing approaching an order that foolish was ever given. And I can't imagine anyone that worked at the White House after me that would have simply shrugged their shoulders and allowed that order to go forward without dying in the ditch trying to stop it." In all, 18 former Trump White House officials told CNN they believe the claim to be, CNN reports, "patently false."
Trump also resorted to his regular tactic of shifting the focus by making false or unsubstantiated claims about others.
Thus, Trump claimed that former President Obama had done far worse. "President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified," he posted.
The National Archives quickly issued a statement knocking it down saying the Obama documents were secured in a National Archives facility in Chicago and were controlled and maintained "exclusively" by the Archives.
Trump also played the "victim card," as he has throughout his public career. He attacked the FBI as having "a long and unrelenting history of being corrupt" and of abusing him, knowing that this would rile up and activate his base.
Trump's actions over the past 12 days are a case study into how he lies, attacks, and plays the aggrieved victim when challenged, or when his actions are questioned.
Trump's refusal to turn over classified documents that belong to the government clearly has national security implications. But his pathological lying has a larger, devious purpose with dangerous ramifications.
Trump constantly attacks the integrity of our government institutions, our constitutional system, and the rule of law in order to support his autocratic and demagogic ways. When Trump says, according to reports, that documents that belong to the government are his documents, it reflects his view that as President he could do whatever he wanted.
On Wednesday, following her primary loss, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chair of the House Jan 6th Committee, said: "I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic." Defeating Trump, she said, is "the most important challenge that our nation has faced in recent history, and maybe since the Civil War. And it's one that we must win."
Donald Trump is on a path to destroy our democracy. Patriotic citizens are not going to let that happen.
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