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(2,161 posts)
Sat May 27, 2023, 01:32 PM May 2023

A disturbing new detail about the photo of the classified documents found in Trump's possession...

It's been more than 15 years since I had to handle cover sheets for classified documents, but the information in this article is 100% correct.

Folks, it's as bad as we had feared. I had suspected that this had been done, but thought there was no way to tell. Fortunately, I was wrong. From Daily Kos:

When I first saw the photo of Exhibit 2A, I blanched. Trump tried to distract by ranting about the papers dumped on his carpet. That was just a feeble attempt at misdirection. What struck me was the document placed front and center, and the ruler.

Those documents aren’t dumped randomly on the carpet. They are being displayed in a very deliberate way. They are physical evidence that somebody committed a very serious crime. The kind of crime that lands people in a Supermax prison.

Look at the Secret//SCI document bounded by the ruler. Why did they put a ruler there? That’s a good question. Everyone knows the size of a standard sheet of paper. You don’t need a ruler to measure it. If you look up towards the left, you will see there are at least two other cover sheets with a similar border. Notice anything different?

In case you missed it, look at the border around the document that is front and center. If that was an original document, there should be no white border. You see the cover sheets for these sort of documents are printed by the US government printing office. They are specifically designed to signal the status of the document they cover. Now it would be nice to know if someone took a document and copied it. Turns out that is part of the design of the cover sheet.

85 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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A disturbing new detail about the photo of the classified documents found in Trump's possession... (Original Post) Shipwack May 2023 OP
K&R for visibility Blue Owl May 2023 #1
Can you simplify what you are saying.? triron May 2023 #2
simply put, the picture that was taken of the secret document cover sheets at Mar A Lago drray23 May 2023 #4
That or traded for current and or future favors such as a safe harbour to do a Snowden. cstanleytech May 2023 #67
I think it's implying that the lower center doc is a photocopy... Drum May 2023 #5
But most of the yellow copies have a white border except for one. OMGWTF May 2023 #23
If you click through to the source article soldierant May 2023 #27
I would have titled this post differently. RipVanWinkle May 2023 #10
Good point. My title -is- a bit "clickbaity"... Shipwack May 2023 #21
Unfortunately we live in markodochartaigh May 2023 #34
The cover sheets indicate that copies were made wnylib May 2023 #13
pics (some of the Trump docs' cover sheets do not bleed to the edge, so they are perhaps copies) Celerity May 2023 #24
The cover sheets themselves are unclassified. COL Mustard May 2023 #31
I highly doubt moniss May 2023 #37
Some of Donnie's customers may have demanded the original KS Toronado May 2023 #47
That was my thought moniss May 2023 #49
For the first time, this post made me focus on image details. Igel May 2023 #54
The bright white canetoad May 2023 #65
K&R usonian May 2023 #3
In so many ways already onetexan May 2023 #25
28 months and counting republianmushroom May 2023 #6
++++. Tetrachloride May 2023 #7
23 Bernardo de La Paz May 2023 #51
Question ? republianmushroom May 2023 #8
Investigators would want to know who handled them. Kid Berwyn May 2023 #75
And still they walk free. Autumn May 2023 #9
Once they are scanned (for copying or otherwise) they are in the wild. erronis May 2023 #11
Agreed gratuitous May 2023 #41
It is my understanding . . . Richard D May 2023 #12
It appears that some do, and some do not ... jgo May 2023 #14
thx for cogent, expert, and brilliant analysis! bringthePaine May 2023 #15
It's ALWAYS worse than you can imagine n/t hibbing May 2023 #16
Just imagine the moniss May 2023 #50
This is a disturbing detail. yourmovemonkey May 2023 #17
He sold them. We know he sold them... Joinfortmill May 2023 #18
In those documents there were some marked TK ... Botany May 2023 #19
Looking at originals and copies. Ilsa May 2023 #20
Why would the agents need special clearance to take the photo? JustABozoOnThisBus May 2023 #29
The agents encountered documents they didn't have clearance for. forgotmylogin May 2023 #36
Agents have limited clearance, I guess. Ilsa May 2023 #40
Somebody replied that the cover sheets might be fakes bought on ETSY. pnwmom May 2023 #22
That *is* pretty weird, isn't it? malthaussen May 2023 #35
I think? If you were just making a copy for content, you wouldn't waste color ink. forgotmylogin May 2023 #38
I'm going out on a limb moniss May 2023 #45
You can't take most electronic computing devices into a closed area... reACTIONary May 2023 #52
The keys moniss May 2023 #58
It never came up in our training... reACTIONary May 2023 #61
This is one of the fob designs moniss May 2023 #66
I see... reACTIONary May 2023 #69
Yes and they disguise moniss May 2023 #83
That would work. malthaussen May 2023 #53
Given the number moniss May 2023 #59
Looks like color copies. Qutzupalotl May 2023 #26
When he took the election in 2016, I thought the worst liberal N proud May 2023 #28
This country has been through worse events than Trump. 1. CIVIL WAR 2. WORLD WAR 1 . WORLD WAR 2, Stuart G May 2023 #33
It's more than his stealing documents liberal N proud May 2023 #39
Unfortunately I think even when he's dead we'll still be learning of the scope of his crimes. Axelrods_Typewriter May 2023 #68
I agree. nt. reACTIONary May 2023 #55
That's an interesting twist. Paints everything as more deliberate. Vinca May 2023 #30
Wow! Martin68 May 2023 #32
Maybe somebody here moniss May 2023 #42
Yup - I remember the smell of the mimeograph solution and the smear of the carbon copies. erronis May 2023 #44
I see so maybe moniss May 2023 #48
It's possible that he made copies of docs before turning over original docs to FBI in June wishstar May 2023 #43
I'll correct that for you: "It's probable that he made copies of docs....." erronis May 2023 #46
what pisses me off most about this newdayneeded May 2023 #56
The detectives are more clever than the (soon to be?) accused. usonian May 2023 #57
If it was truly OK for Trump to have classified docs, there would be no need for him to lie about it keithbvadu2 May 2023 #60
DT Snackshack May 2023 #62
As for cover pages... reACTIONary May 2023 #63
As for copiers and printers... reACTIONary May 2023 #64
been waiting for this stopdiggin May 2023 #71
Totally agree, and... reACTIONary May 2023 #73
yeah. I'm not getting that as tremendously 'significant' either stopdiggin May 2023 #77
The article said that there are indications that the copies were made outside the White House. yardwork May 2023 #72
And we must wonder why he was/is so insistent on saying he "de-classified" them?? kentuck May 2023 #74
How could anyone tell... reACTIONary May 2023 #76
The article at the link has a lot of details. yardwork May 2023 #80
I read the article, carefully... reACTIONary May 2023 #82
Captured, killed or compromised: CIA admits to losing dozens of informants Danascot May 2023 #70
Here are two obvious questions, and an observation. Goodheart May 2023 #78
Looks like he got them on Etsy RexLipton May 2023 #79
Granted, theoretically possible... But why? Shipwack May 2023 #84
Naw that's not them FreeState May 2023 #85
NYT Oct 2021: "Captured, Killed or Compromised: C.I.A. Admits to Losing Dozens of Informants" Hortensis May 2023 #81


(7,627 posts)
4. simply put, the picture that was taken of the secret document cover sheets at Mar A Lago
Sat May 27, 2023, 01:50 PM
May 2023

Show that they were not originals but copies. Meaning, who knows how many copies Trump made and sold to people.


(9,135 posts)
5. I think it's implying that the lower center doc is a photocopy...
Sat May 27, 2023, 01:52 PM
May 2023

The red border is a lighter color, too, and the pigment doesn’t extend to the edge of the paper.

Edit to add: I believe that the evidence that locked up Reality Winner was a tiny electronic signature of a printer or photocopier?


(6,842 posts)
27. If you click through to the source article
Sat May 27, 2023, 03:42 PM
May 2023

at Daily Kos, it exolains that the yelloe ones which have a white border are also copies. [That shade of] yellow means Top Secret.


(1,138 posts)
34. Unfortunately we live in
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:27 PM
May 2023

a society which relishes click bait rather than facts. I think that you were correct in choosing the title which will get the most eyes on the article. If this extraordinarily serious article was being discussed on every news show and in every streetcorner cafe in the country we wouldn't need click bait, we probably wouldn't be in the situation we are in now.


(21,420 posts)
13. The cover sheets indicate that copies were made
Sat May 27, 2023, 02:17 PM
May 2023

of these exceptionally high top secret documents. They are the kind of classified docs that should be under lock and key if another person is present, unless that other person has the very rare top secret clearance for this type of classified doc.

In other words, this type of classified doc would be very valuable to certain persons outside of the US government who would pay a LOT to get a copy of them. The white border around the red border on the cover sheets is evidence that they were copied.

Therefore, a reasonable conclusion from the evidence is that Trump had copies made (an illegal act in violation of top secret security) in order to sell the info to someone outside of the US.

COL Mustard

(5,895 posts)
31. The cover sheets themselves are unclassified.
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:15 PM
May 2023

It's only when they're used with classified information that they are classified. I've made copies of cover sheets, and frequently have their images on my desktop so when I need one I don't have to go and find it. But yes, the documents themselves are of course classified.


(4,202 posts)
37. I highly doubt
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:44 PM
May 2023

that these clowns would have separated the cover sheet from the other documents prior to putting them into the auto-feeder on the copier. I believe that they also would not have bothered to keep track of originals versus copies. That scenario may very well have been "purchaser/courier" standing next to whoever was running the copier and just grabbing the originals when the copier completed the feed. I believe the conversation may have gone something like this: "I need to make a copy before I give you this", "Ok I will come with you".

Which of course leads to larger questions. If they made copies and kept the copy for themselves do we have all of the copies accounted for? If they made copies and kept the originals how many copies of each document did they make? There would certainly be multiple "purchasers" who would be interested in any particular document. Maybe if you order the "gourmet" dinner special at Mar-ugh-Ghastly you get a choice of having your "purchased mementos" printed on various types of high quality, gilt edged and monogrammed paper. At least the sheets that don't have catsup spatter all over them.

KS Toronado

(17,187 posts)
47. Some of Donnie's customers may have demanded the original
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:18 PM
May 2023

especially after forking over his asking price.


(4,202 posts)
49. That was my thought
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:21 PM
May 2023

because a further "resale" would get a higher level of credibility/price if the 2nd seller was able to show the original.


(35,293 posts)
54. For the first time, this post made me focus on image details.
Sat May 27, 2023, 06:55 PM
May 2023

I see two sets of documents.

I see cover sheets--some possibly original, some photocopies.

I see blank pages. The heading has text--blurred--but the actual pages are blank. That I can see blurred text on some documents rather leads to me to conclude that the lack of blurred text on others entails the pages devoid of blurred text are blank. Hard to classify nullity.

Perhaps to preserve security, since publicizing pirated secret documents would be its own security breach, they insisted on blank last pages--perhaps not. Or maybe they edited the photo--meaning it's unreliable because it's edited.

Yes, burden of proof is on the accuser. Always. When it comes to matters juridical. Otherwise would be to hate liberty, the only very reason for democracy.


(17,148 posts)
65. The bright white
Sat May 27, 2023, 11:22 PM
May 2023

Geometric shapes are, I believe, digital redactions of the text on the sheets. So yes, the photograph released to the public was digitally altered.

Kid Berwyn

(14,862 posts)
75. Investigators would want to know who handled them.
Sun May 28, 2023, 10:26 AM
May 2023

Probably even grabbed DNA off them and any scent of chemistry.

Who knows what else FBI can do to learn with whom Dimdonnie shared them — and where.


(15,219 posts)
11. Once they are scanned (for copying or otherwise) they are in the wild.
Sat May 27, 2023, 02:11 PM
May 2023

They're on the internet, dark web, foreign intelligence services, criminals from around the world.

They are on multiple external drives and zipped back and forth.

The value of these documents may plummet for the seller (Trump et.al.) as they become freely available. I'm sure mbs, putin and some others paid top dollar to see the first copies.


(82,849 posts)
41. Agreed
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:02 PM
May 2023

The only prudent course, as soon as it was known that Light-Finger Louie had these documents in his short little fingers, would be to assume that every hostile on the planet knew everything that was in them.

Richard D

(8,752 posts)
12. It is my understanding . . .
Sat May 27, 2023, 02:11 PM
May 2023

. . . that copy machines leave a microscopic identification signature in the printing that identifies the exact machine that made the copies. This could get very interesting.


(266 posts)
17. This is a disturbing detail.
Sat May 27, 2023, 02:28 PM
May 2023

Glad that someone who's familiar with these kind of documents is sharing their knowledge.


(70,483 posts)
19. In those documents there were some marked TK ...
Sat May 27, 2023, 02:36 PM
May 2023

... and that has to do with remote sensing AKA our satellites and I have a family member who worked with that stuff and he/she could be put in prison if he/she talked about that stuff today even though he/she is now retired. I am sure Trump let Putin/Russia know about
what we have over the Ukraine/Russia/Belarus area.


(61,692 posts)
20. Looking at originals and copies.
Sat May 27, 2023, 02:38 PM
May 2023
Regardless of the colors used, here’s the bottom line. You are looking at a mixture of original classified documents and copies of classified documents. This includes copies of classified documents that have been designated as Sensitive


The author adds that the agents who originally found the documents had to get special clearance to take that photograph.


(23,336 posts)
29. Why would the agents need special clearance to take the photo?
Sat May 27, 2023, 03:46 PM
May 2023

There are no documents showing in the photo. There may be some documents covered by blank paper, others covered by classification covers. The covers that say "Top Secret" are not themselves classified unless there is extra classified info written on them. They're just generic covers. The photo reveals nothing in the documents.

What am I missing?


(7,524 posts)
36. The agents encountered documents they didn't have clearance for.
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:43 PM
May 2023

They had to move the cover sheets and lay the blank paper over the contents (I think just showing the title or code at the top) to redact them.

I like the part in the article that's like - the way this tableaux was laid out shows the person who took the picture was furious and knew a crime had been committed and carefully arranged it to show this - it's on Trump's carpet, showing Trump's possessions next to things that were *not* his possessions and were copied which is I'm sure a big no-no as they likely have records of all authorized copies.


(61,692 posts)
40. Agents have limited clearance, I guess.
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:54 PM
May 2023

They wanted to be certain they had permission to take slightly fuzzy photos of documents to document what they found. Their jobs could have been on the line, plus attorneys might hsve claimed the agents broke thr law if they weren't cleared. I'm only speculating, though.


(108,973 posts)
22. Somebody replied that the cover sheets might be fakes bought on ETSY.
Sat May 27, 2023, 03:03 PM
May 2023

Note that there is no form number on the white-bordered Trump cover sheets. Photocopying does not explain the absence of those markings. What that tells me that the cover sheet was not an official government form. Instead, Trump probably ordered them on Etsy. www.etsy.com/… (not the precise item, but I’m sure there are other listings and non-Etsy sources).

I also don’t see staples in any of the Trump cover sheets with white borders. While that could be a photo quality issue, it could also mean that the Etsy cover sheets weren’t attached to actual secret (or non-secret) documents.


Does that mean that Trump was printing multiple copies of secret documents, but didn’t want to splurge on a color copier to copy the cover sheets? Was he using Etsy cover sheets to pass off non-secret documents as secret? Or was he just using the Etsy sheets as party favors? I don’t know, but I am rather confident that your diary does not prove what it set out to prove.

Final point: How do you know that the pages in the photo were the “standard sheets of paper” for which everyone knows the size? (Do you think Trump couldn’t print half-sheets or poster-size sheets of paper?) You know that these were standard-size sheets of paper because the FBI put a ruler next to them. That is standard procedure. Otherwise, an agent would have to testify that the pages were 8.5 by 11, and would be asked “Did you measure them? Are you certain that they weren’t 9 x 11.5? And if you are lying to the jury about that, what else are you lying about? If you were that sloppy, what else about this investigation was sloppy?”


(17,183 posts)
35. That *is* pretty weird, isn't it?
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:40 PM
May 2023

So the photo is of fake sensitive materials cover sheets, some of which have apparently been copied (one presumes they don't come with that telltale border). We of course have no idea of what is in the obscured materials, but since the fake cover sheets are not classified (and would not be classified even if they were real), why did the FBI need a special clearance to take the photos?

So one wonders what Mr Trump, in his dark fantasies, was playing at, but one also wonders why this photograph was published in the first place, since it doesn't really show anything. I'll be very interested to learn what, if anything, comes of the documents investigation.

-- Mal


(7,524 posts)
38. I think? If you were just making a copy for content, you wouldn't waste color ink.
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:47 PM
May 2023

It's expensive and prints slower if you're just working with a document.

And under normal circumstances with non-classified info, you probably don't need the cover sheet.

You'd only copy and include the "not-classified" cover sheet in color if you wanted the copy to infer the prestige of an actual top secret document. Especially if you were presenting to someone interested in that document.


(4,202 posts)
45. I'm going out on a limb
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:13 PM
May 2023

because I don't have the energy today to read the whole story but the special clearance may be about having any imaging device with you when you enter an area with classified documents. I've seen it before where before entering an area you have to give up your phone, keys etc. to security and they put them in an envelope and a locker.


(5,770 posts)
52. You can't take most electronic computing devices into a closed area...
Sat May 27, 2023, 06:52 PM
May 2023

You have to leave them outside. Sometimes there is a shelf or a locker, but a lot of times you just leave them on the floor. I've never encountered a prohibition on keys.


(4,202 posts)
83. Yes and they disguise
Sun May 28, 2023, 11:42 AM
May 2023

some of these very well so that you don't see the contacts so when it's on a key-ring it passes if it just gets a quick look from a distance.


(17,183 posts)
53. That would work.
Sat May 27, 2023, 06:52 PM
May 2023

Or they might have needed the special clearance because they saw what was on the obscured documents, which might be sensitive. I wonder if the agents knew (at the time) that the cover sheets weren't legit?

-- Mal


(4,202 posts)
59. Given the number
Sat May 27, 2023, 08:19 PM
May 2023

of agents and the ability to plan ahead they likely had some agents with document expertise in the group. Somebody apparently knew enough about how to display them for taking pics. I've read previously that what the clowns claimed as "tossed around on the floor" is actually a typical arrangement that has been used by investigators and prosecutors in previous cases. I also still believe that we may have gotten info from friendly foreign intelligence sources that the "shopping mall" was open for business.


(14,300 posts)
26. Looks like color copies.
Sat May 27, 2023, 03:30 PM
May 2023

They would have had to remove the staples if they wanted to use a document feeder. Otherwise, they's have to copy one page at a time — very time-consuming if you've got a few pallets to copy.

As to the Etsy theory — it's possible, but why wouldn't the Etsy fakes bleed? Who would pay for an obvious fake? And when has Trump paid for anything, especially when he can get someone to make copies on the cheap?

I think the author is right, and the documents themselves are evidence of a further crime.

liberal N proud

(60,334 posts)
28. When he took the election in 2016, I thought the worst
Sat May 27, 2023, 03:44 PM
May 2023

It was so much worse see than that. Far more than we could have imagined.

The fact that we are still the country we are is a astonishing

Stuart G

(38,414 posts)
33. This country has been through worse events than Trump. 1. CIVIL WAR 2. WORLD WAR 1 . WORLD WAR 2,
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:25 PM
May 2023
GREAT DEPRESSION IN THE 1930s, WATERGATE and NIXON, ....and so on and on and on. ................

Donald Trump former President ....stealing documents as President of the United States is. NOT THE WORST.


.READ UP ON THE ....CIVIL WAR...1860S...WHEN LINCOLN WAS PRESIDENT ...IN THE 1860s.....................

etc, etc, etc.................................................................................................................................... .

...........................That is probably the .......WORST...........AND WE SOMEHOW SURVIVED......

liberal N proud

(60,334 posts)
39. It's more than his stealing documents
Sat May 27, 2023, 04:49 PM
May 2023

It's the whole of his crimes and I believe we are not done learning of even more heinous crimes.

He intended to remain in office indefinitely


(4,202 posts)
42. Maybe somebody here
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:03 PM
May 2023

might know about the memory function built into most copiers. Does the memory capture the image or does it just capture the data like time/date/paper size/number of copies etc.? If the memory captures the images and some enterprising "guest" etc. had a thumb drive could they just do a quick insert at the copier and get what is in the memory? I'm behind the curve on imaging and I still tell people to Xerox a document.

Yes, for the younger folks here, there really was a time (seems recent in my mind) when school kids were very familiar with getting work sheets that were mimeographed and hoping you got one from the early part of the run so you could read it. I also remember very well putting a sheet of carbon paper between my two sheets of typing paper before rolling them into the Underwood. Clack, clack, clack..ding!!


(15,219 posts)
44. Yup - I remember the smell of the mimeograph solution and the smear of the carbon copies.
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:13 PM
May 2023

Each printer/scanner/copier has its own set of capabilities depending on their use. Personal/home copiers won't keep an in memory image usually and will just have a rudimentary copy count.

Small business/departmental ones may have different settings depending on the user.

Storing complete copies of every scanned document is probably not normal unless the company requires it. There is a fair amount of storage for each page.

The problem is probably that these documents were likely scanned directly onto external media (USB). These can be easily exfiltrated past any security and are then available to distribute via the inner-tubes to everyone on the earth.


(4,202 posts)
48. I see so maybe
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:18 PM
May 2023

someone just used a phone app for example or one of those cheapy "pocket" scanners.


(5,268 posts)
43. It's possible that he made copies of docs before turning over original docs to FBI in June
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:04 PM
May 2023

FBI came in June to collect docs and he allowed them to take some classified docs alleging that was all he had in his possession. Of course FBI later recovered many others during the later August search including these that look like copies.

Wonder if some of these classified docs that appear to be photocopies are copies he made of the original ones that he allowed the FBI to take in June so he could keep copies.


(15,219 posts)
46. I'll correct that for you: "It's probable that he made copies of docs....."
Sat May 27, 2023, 05:14 PM
May 2023

On orders from his handlers (mbs, putin, ???)


(1,955 posts)
56. what pisses me off most about this
Sat May 27, 2023, 07:01 PM
May 2023

is this was known in August or before of last year. 9+ months. this is iron clad evidence! This would have you or I, we would on our 3rd month of prison time. What the fuck is the AG or the DOJ waiting for?


(9,744 posts)
57. The detectives are more clever than the (soon to be?) accused.
Sat May 27, 2023, 07:11 PM
May 2023

Every printer and copier leaves a trace on the copy.
I doubt that the thugs were smart enough to defeat the coding, since a counter to it was only worked out in 2018.

In 2018, scientists from TU Dresden developed and published a tool to extract and analyze the steganographic codes of a given color printer and subsequently to anonymize prints from that printer. The anonymization works by printing additional yellow dots on top of the Machine Identification Code. The scientists made the software available to support whistleblowers in their efforts to publicize grievances.

IMO, too little time for the thugs to grasp, and to apply.


(2,541 posts)
62. DT
Sat May 27, 2023, 11:03 PM
May 2023

was going to use these documents to get as much $$$ as he could... maybe he's already begun (how much did kushner reportedly get from MBS?). There is really no other conclusion that can be made that reasonably/logically fits what DT did. We know he was not emotionally attached to them and he knows good and GD well he can't just think top secret document into being non-classified...ffs.

DT's time as president was the deadliest period of time America's ever gone thru. COVID is Americas greatest loss of life single event. Well over a million Americans died while DT called it a hoax everyday from the WH. How many more Americans will this mans incompetence or nefariousness cost us before we deal with him once and for always.


(5,770 posts)
63. As for cover pages...
Sat May 27, 2023, 11:06 PM
May 2023

... where I work we use folders that have stripped boarders, not solid boarders. These are commercially available office supplies, they don't come from the government printing office, which would be a big boondoggle.


(5,770 posts)
64. As for copiers and printers...
Sat May 27, 2023, 11:20 PM
May 2023

.... many of the closed areas where I work have copiers and copier / printers for classified copying and printing. Outside of the closed areas, copiers and printers are labeled "not for classified". As long as you are in a closed area using a copier that is authorized for classified material, there is no prohibition on copying or printing.

During training, we are given instructions on how to clear a paper jam while copying classified documents. You have to do the whole paper train, not just the jam. Then you have to run some blank pages through before resuming the classified material.

And... Don't forget to retrieve your original from the platen !!!

The bottom line is that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with copying classified documents. It's what you do, or don't do, with the copies that count.


(11,292 posts)
71. been waiting for this
Sun May 28, 2023, 09:52 AM
May 2023

part of the problem is that we already know that the 'classified' and 'clearance' system in the WH (apparently from early days onward) was completely shambolic. So - talking proper procedure is fairly useless, when it's clear that 'procedure' and protocol was routinely blown off. And what was found/discovered in Mar-a-lago - stands every likelihood of being a product of that heedless and capricious environment.


(5,770 posts)
73. Totally agree, and...
Sun May 28, 2023, 10:19 AM
May 2023

... the observation that these documents were photocopied, which is being treated as a big revel, isn't very significant at all.


(11,292 posts)
77. yeah. I'm not getting that as tremendously 'significant' either
Sun May 28, 2023, 10:42 AM
May 2023

Photocopying is relatively routine. Again, with proper protocol, but ... Trump WH. But we have a lot of people that are absolutely determined that this is about 'sale' of secrets. Evidence to that effect or no.


(61,588 posts)
72. The article said that there are indications that the copies were made outside the White House.
Sun May 28, 2023, 09:57 AM
May 2023

I didn't follow all the details about the margins, but apparently there is concern that these copies were not made in a closed area, as indicated by evidence in the photo.

Details aside, I have no doubt that Trump took classified documents and showed them to people who didn't have security clearance. He's pretty much admitted that much in interviews. He's said that he thinks he had the right.

So copying them, and sharing copies of them, is not an unlikely next step.


(111,076 posts)
74. And we must wonder why he was/is so insistent on saying he "de-classified" them??
Sun May 28, 2023, 10:25 AM
May 2023

Could it be that if he showed them to others, even foreign leaders, he could say they were "de-classified", so it was all OK?

On the other hand, if he exposed secret documents to others, then he could be charged with espionage.


(5,770 posts)
76. How could anyone tell...
Sun May 28, 2023, 10:38 AM
May 2023

... from a photograph no less, where the copies were made? And even if the cover sheets were photocopies, that doesn't mean the documents were. And even if they were photocopies, that doesn't have any significance in and of itself anyway.

These sorts of cover sheets aren't used on classified documents except to carry the document from one place to another. They are just office supplies, and if they are photo copies it is no big deal.

The REAL cover sheet, that is, the title page, has markings that include the unclassified title of the document, the highest classification of the material in the document, the classification authority, the date that the document will be declassified, and other such information. It isn't any particular color or size, it's just the first page or slide in the document or slide deck.

See page 3 of this document: https://www.archives.gov/files/isoo/training/marking-booklet-revision.pdf

Once again we have a post with unsubstantiated sensationalistic speculation.


(61,588 posts)
80. The article at the link has a lot of details.
Sun May 28, 2023, 11:15 AM
May 2023

I'm not an expert so I won't try to explain, but there are interesting details in the article. I can't speak to their veracity.


(5,770 posts)
82. I read the article, carefully...
Sun May 28, 2023, 11:27 AM
May 2023

... it correctly identifies some features of the photographed cover sheet that suggest that at least the cover sheet was photocopied. That doesn't mean the document itself was photocopied. It certainly does not in any way identify when, by whom, or under what circumstance the copy was made.

And copying a classified document, in and of itself, is not prohibited and isn't of much significance.

Whoever wrote this article is more of a Dr. Watson than a Sherlock Homes.


(4,690 posts)
70. Captured, killed or compromised: CIA admits to losing dozens of informants
Sun May 28, 2023, 08:42 AM
May 2023

This is from October 2021. I wonder if it has anything to do with where Trumps classified documents ended up.

Top American counterintelligence officials warned every CIA station and base around the world last week about troubling numbers of informants recruited from other countries to spy for the United States being captured or killed, people familiar with the matter said.

The message, in an unusual top-secret cable, said that the CIA’s counterintelligence mission center had looked at dozens of cases in the last several years involving foreign informants who had been killed, arrested or most likely compromised. Although brief, the cable laid out the specific number of agents executed by rival intelligence agencies — a closely held detail that counterintelligence officials typically do not share in such cables.

The cable highlighted the struggle the spy agency is having as it works to recruit spies around the world in difficult operating environments. In recent years, adversarial intelligence services in countries such as Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan have been hunting down the CIA’s sources and in some cases turning them into double agents.



(5,318 posts)
78. Here are two obvious questions, and an observation.
Sun May 28, 2023, 10:42 AM
May 2023

If those are photocopies, and I'm sure they are, where are the originals? And WHERE were they photocopied? In Washington or at Mar-a-Lago?

Aside from that, why the need to photocopy them in the first place if you believed that the originals were rightfully yours?


(2,161 posts)
84. Granted, theoretically possible... But why?
Sun May 28, 2023, 03:30 PM
May 2023

What use would Trump have for fake cover letters?

Not to mention the chances of TFG actually paying for something...


(58,785 posts)
81. NYT Oct 2021: "Captured, Killed or Compromised: C.I.A. Admits to Losing Dozens of Informants"
Sun May 28, 2023, 11:21 AM
May 2023
Counterintelligence officials said in a top secret cable to all stations and bases around the world that too many of the people it recruits from other countries to spy for the U.S. are being lost.


This OP of course reminds me of the bigger issue, the security leaks. The personal tragedies ofthe intelligence gatherers who've been tortured and died or disappeared into prisons aren't themselves the important part of that, of course, or the years of lost intelligence losing them means, but they are reminders of what's at stake for many of the other 8 billion people on the planet.

Regarding the white borders on the documents: They're very regular. I don't doubt for a split second that information from some of these documents became available to foreign powers, through active sharing and/or their espionage, and also that some would have been copied. But, could standard FBI practice place documents on larger sheets of paper whose edges can be handled?
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