Mar-a-Lago raid: Was Trump selling nuclear secrets to the Saudis? – National & International News – MON 15Aug2022
Mar-a-Lago raid: Was Trump selling nuclear secrets to the Saudis? Why did Crown Prince give Kushner $2 billion? Taliban marks one year in power in Afghanistan.
Mar-a-Lago raid: Was Trump selling nuclear secrets to the Saudis?
Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland released the warrant authorizing last week’s raid on former President Trump’s Florida resort home at Mar-a-Lago. Garland also revealed that he approved the search personally.
The warrant was requested by Trump-appointed FBI head Christopher Wray. Despite this, Republicans and Trump supporters continue to assert that the raid was part of a political witch hunt.
The details of the warrant reveal that the FBI was investigating the possibility that Trump committed three separate crimes. These include obstruction of justice, tampering with or destroying federal government records, and violations of the Espionage Act. The Espionage Act makes it a crime to keep or transmit potentially dangerous national security information.
A property receipt also revealed the materials agents seized from Mar-a-Lago. These include top secret documents and some material pertaining to the President of France. Some of the top secret documents bore the classification TS/SCI (top secret- sensitive compartmented information). This is a classification for documents whose mishandling could cause “exceptionally grave” damage to US national security.
News organizations are also pushing for the release of the affidavits signed by investigators in order to obtain the warrant. The affidavits would reveal more information as to how the DOJ established probable cause to search Trump’s home. This would include details as to their sources and the information they received.
Speculation over Trump family’s cozy and corrupt relationship with the Saudis
Since the warrant’s publication, theories and speculation have swirled about what Trump had and why he had it. An anonymous source familiar with the FBI investigation told the Washington Post that some of the documents the DOJ believed Trump had were related to nuclear secrets. The source wouldn’t specify whether these were US nuclear secrets or another country’s. The property receipt also doesn’t specify whether the documents agents seized at Mar-a-Lago contained these nuclear secrets.
However, the revelation has revived interest in a 2019 Congressional inquiry probing whether Trump and his proxies had tried “to rush the transfer of highly sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia”. The report from the House Oversight Committee stated that “strong private commercial interests have been pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia”. These commercial interests, the report said, “stand to reap billions of dollars through contracts associated with constructing and operating nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia”.
Unsurprisingly, the “commercial interest” in question, IP3 International, had close ties to Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and General Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. The Oversight Committee’s GOP contingent rejected claims Trump’s dealings with the Saudi government were improper, and the probe ultimately went no further.
This was far from the only time Trump showed favoritism to the Saudis. During his presidency, he downplayed US intelligence reports that concluded that Saudi Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the brutal assassination of journalist Jamal Khasshoggi in 2018. Trump also quashed efforts to declassify documents (later declassified by Biden) showing that Saudi officials had aided the 9/11 hijackers.
Kushner’s $2 billion investment deal with the Saudis
Earlier this year, Kushner struck an investment deal with the Saudi government, the details of which are not known. We do know that MBS overruled his government ministers to authorize the deal, enriching Kushner by $2 billion. MBS also reportedly bragged that he had Kushner in his pocket.
Understandably, the Trump family’s continued dealings with the Saudis have raised questions about the nuclear documents that were reportedly in his possession. Some commentators have suggested that Trump may have stolen the documents in order to continue personally enriching himself by peddling nuclear secrets to the Saudis.
This remains speculation, but more may come to light as the FBI’s investigation progresses. Additionally, the Senate Intelligence Committee has requested that the DOJ hand over the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago so that the committee can evaluate the national security implications of Trump’s mishandling of the documents. The request came from committee members Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Taliban marks one year in power in Afghanistan
Today marks one year since the Taliban took power in Kabul, ending a 20-year US military occupation. Celebrations were fairly muted in the capital. Some hardcore Taliban loyalists were in attendance, donning the uniform of a black turban, long black shirt and pants.
There were no counter demonstrations, as the Taliban has largely suppressed them. On Saturday, about two dozen women marched to demand an end to the Taliban’s oppression of women. Women’s freedoms have been severely curbed since the Taliban takeover. Girls’ education is effectively outlawed in many parts of the country and working women have been forced to give up employment outside the home. In a demonstration of the regime’s attitude to women, Taliban militants dispersed Saturday’s small gathering by firing live bullets over the heads of demonstrators.
The US and other western powers have refused to recognize the Taliban government. The west has imposed sanctions in an effort to pressure the Taliban to allow women more freedom. But so far, the sanctions have only succeeded in impoverishing the Afghan government and its people. More than 90% of Afghans don’t have enough to eat. But this may soon change as the Taliban cozies up to Russia and China, seeking economic relief.
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