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A petulant child

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Because of course it had to end like this

Commenter Damon Poeter:

People are asking, if Trump wanted to sell secrets, why keep the originals instead of just copying the relevant information and returning the documents?

One answer is, the documents contain information damaging to HIM that he doesn’t want to get out. But this makes one wonder, aren’t there other copies of these docs somewhere? What good would hoarding them do?

I personally think he kept the files out of chronic petulance and a pathological need to be defiant mixed with some low cunning that playing the victim to the feds/the ‘Deep State’ etc is how he accrues political capital.

A second strong possibility is he wanted the files as blackmail and/or leverage against getting indicted/charged/whatever … and if he gives them back, he loses that card (again weird, because why can’t he still have copies?)

A third possibility is, he didn’t know he had this stuff (or what was being done by the feds to get it back and what peril he was in) but a member or members of his team did and they wanted to fuck over the boss.

I dunno … I think the first option rings closest to his MO – a petulant, grimy weirdo who is extremely Boomerish in his belief in the importance of print on paper.

I would very much agree that at a minimum the first option is at least a major factor in Trump’s behavior in this matter, although with him it’s always critical not to underestimate the most purely venal motives, i.e., this stuff could be turned into money in various ways.

If I might rephrase what I think Damon is saying, what would a particularly obnoxious eight-year-old boy think would be the very best thing about being president of the United States? The answer might well be: You get to have all these super secret documents that say TOP SECRET right on the cover, and other people can’t have them, only you can, and if you want to leave them all over the floor of your room with the dirty socks and the Pokemon cards you can and nobody can tell you not to, especially Mom, because you are the president of the United States, which is kind of like being the king of the world.

That’s basically Trump’s whole appeal right there to his base, along with the open racism, which is really just a variation on the same impulse, which is to do whatever the hell you want with no consequences, ever.

A side point here is that I’m sure ten million people are going to analogize Trump getting indicted for this, if it happens, to Al Capone getting sent to Alcatraz for tax evasion. I’d just like to point out that fraudulently avoiding paying an immense fortune in taxes because the income that generated that tax obligation has to be hidden because it was the product of criminal activity is itself an extremely serious crime.

In that sense, the analogy is valid. What Trump did here is by itself an extremely serious crime, and it’s a product of all the other illegal activities and impulses that generated it.

Lock him up.

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