Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 31, 2022 | Sundance
The DOJ has filed a response to the motion by President Trump for the court to appoint a special master to review the seized material from the DOJ/FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago. [Court pdf Here] Additionally, the outside government Lawfare group has filed an amicus brief supporting the DOJ-NSD position [Amici court pdf Here]
Essentially the position of the DOJ boils down to… They have already reviewed the material. Yes, there was attorney-client privilege material seized; but they swear the internal team segregated the legally confidential material and the DOJ investigators & prosecutors didn’t see it – double pinkie swear, yer honor.
Additionally, in a nice lawfare maneuver, the DOJ claims President Trump never formally evoked ‘executive privilege‘ on any material at Mar-a-Lago; therefore, despite his position as a former President, he was/is legally considered an ordinary citizen for the purpose of raiding his home to seize material the government considers vital to national security.
To compliment the created DOJ narrative for media consumption; and to assist the media effort for direct distribution of the DOJ position; Main Justice released a picture as an example of the documents seized. The DOJ literally staged and created this photo for media to use, then released it in the court filing. Slick lawfare:
The cover sheets are essentially non sequitur as they do not necessarily describe or affirm the nature of the documented material underneath. “HCS-P/SI/TK” looks all officially looming; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean any of the information is classified as HCS (HUMINT Control System, or human intelligence), SI (special intelligence), or TK (talent keyhole), or SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information), aka the silos.
One word or paragraph could be considered ‘special intelligence’. Example “FISA” or “FISC”. You might remember our prior discussions that every document that contains the designation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, FISA or FISC, literally those words or abbreviations, is considered classified special intelligence.
Example (as above): Someone might write “the Carter Page FISA application” on a government document. That document is now considered ‘special intelligence‘. That’s how each silo inside the agencies of government keep a cloud over information.
It was not that long ago when the classification rules stated you could not ever publicly use the words “FISA Court,” without running afoul of the rules governing classified special intelligence. Yes, that’s correct, until about three years ago it was a violation of law to even discuss what took place in the FISA court process.
As a result, take the cover letter designations with a grain of salt. The covers are essentially useless for the purpose of understanding what material might be underneath. However, for the purpose of creating an optic, which helps drive a narrative, the oh-so super special cover values are priceless.
Moving beyond the filings, the DOJ narrative engineering is particularly noteworthy. By framing the material seized in such a manner as most people will never understand what the designations mean, Main Justice lays the foundation for the media to obfuscate, portray and define the potential of the evidence.
This is lawfare narrative engineering at its best. It is also very easy to see what comes next because this is a rodeo very familiar to those who watched the media push the DOJ and FBI manufactured stories around the Trump-Russia and Trump/Russia-obstruction cases before.
Just like the examples from 2016 (FBI leaks), 2017 (FBI/DOJ leaks), 2018 (Weissmann/Mueller leaks) and throughout the impeachment constructs (Nadler/Schiff committee leaks), this coordinated Main Justice effort is all done via public consumption of misleading articles produced by allied media working to promote the political interests of the DOJ.
As a result, screaming headlines of “Trump Held National Security Documents“,… and “Intelligence Community now Conducting Risk Assessments“…. and “ODNI Now Launching an Investigation of Classified Documents Found in Mar-a-Lago“…. etc are sure to follow.
Today the focus of media will be pushing the “Top Secret Classified Documents Detailed in DOJ Filing” aspect, hence the photograph becomes a key part of the narrative engineering value. However, within a few media cycles, the narrative will switch to The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, briefing congress on the documents.
DNI Avril Haines will be the next phase, triggered to assist the emphasis of Main Justice and Lawfare. All of this is coordinated and planned in advance. None of the timing or sequencing is accidental. The best reference was the prior deployment of the same process throughout 2018 (DOJ Weissmann/Mueller) leading up to the midterm election.
Last point. As to the actual nature of the material in the photograph staged by the DOJ for media use, many of the documents you see in the picture are transcripts from the 2018 House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) investigation and witness testimony. Again, the cover sheets are a moot point. You might remember Representative Doug Collins releasing the witness transcripts (Bruce Ohr, etc) to the public.
Even though those House Intel and House Judiciary transcripts were released to the public, the cover sheets designate how the agencies view the testimony therein. Something can be a public record and still labeled “special intelligence,” that’s just the nature of this ridiculous classification system – or what I call the silo value.
It is likely that Mary McCord is working closely with Norm Eisen (red tie), and perhaps even Barry Berk (blue tie) on these collective efforts. It’s just how they roll.