In 2016, Donald Trump rode into the White House by viciously calling his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton “corrupt” and “crooked” as part of an investigation into classified materials kept on a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. criticized.
“Lock her up,” chanted his excited crowd.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. Trump’s attacks on Clinton hit him again as he himself faces charges over his handling of classified documents. His words even appear in the indictment’s feature, “But Her Emails!” Style section.
On a page titled “TRUMP’s Public Statements on Classified Information,” the new accusation highlights excerpts from Trump’s 2016 campaign speeches on the importance of protecting classified information and enforcing the law. These statements serve as evidence that the former president apparently knew that misusing classified information was a serious crime.
“In my administration, I will enforce all laws protecting confidential information,” Trump said on August 18, 2016, according to the indictment. “No one will be above the law.”
“We must also fight this battle by gathering intel and then protecting our secret secrets. … We can’t have anyone in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “confidential” or “secret,” Trump said on September 6, 2016.
“[O]”One of the first things we must do is enforce all classification rules and all laws related to handling classified information,” Trump is quoted as saying on September 7, 2016.
“We also need the best protection of confidential information,” Trump said on September 19, 2016.
“Soldiers here in North Carolina have risked their lives to obtain classified intelligence to protect our country,” Trump said on November 3, 2016.
Before these statements, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that the Justice Department would not indict Clinton because “in our opinion, no sane prosecutor would initiate such a case,” but added that she and her staff had been “extremely careless in handling very sensitive, top-secret information.”
A subsequent investigation by the DOJ Inspector General revealed that investigators decided not to open a case because “none of the emails contained clear classification markings as required by regulations on handling classified information”.
Among the charges Trump faces are 31 counts of storing and failing to turn over clearly marked confidential documents containing national defense information.
Trump is set to be indicted Tuesday for allegedly violating the same laws he claimed Clinton should have been jailed for seven years ago. If only someone had been there to explain to him how important it is to comply with the rules for handling confidential information.