Former President Donald Trump accused the FBI of trying to frame him by leaking a misleading photograph taken during the agency’s unprecedented raid of his Mar-A-Lago home in August.
In a social media post, Trump accused the agency of taking a “deceiving” image by leaving documents “haphazardly” on the floor and then sharing it with the world to smear him.
Trump sounds off on leaked photo
The widely publicized picture of “top secret” files was unveiled in the DOJ’s legal dispute with Trump over having a third party “special master” appointed to review files seized during the raid.
Where the left saw a smoking gun, many on the right saw the photo as yet another in a long series of underhanded efforts by the Deep State to tarnish Trump.
Many, including Trump, also questioned the sincerity of the DOJ’s insistence on the secrecy of its investigation into Trump’s alleged unlawful possession of classified records.
“Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post.
Trump’s legal team similarly called the photo leak “gratuitous” and alleged it was intended for “dramatic effect” in a court filing accusing the DOJ of wanting to “impugn, leak, and publicize selective aspects of their investigation with no recourse.”
More dirty politics?
Of course, this isn’t the first time that leaks involving Trump have raised suspicions of dirty politics. Days after the raid, an anonymous report suggested Trump was keeping nuclear secrets, but it’s not clear what came of that story as the DOJ continues to stonewall.
In a blow for the DOJ, however, the judge overseeing the special master dispute agreed Thursday to release a more detailed inventory list of the items seized during the raid.
The DOJ has conceded that a “limited” set of materials was seized that is covered by attorney-client privilege, but the department insists a third-party review of records would be unnecessary.
Yet Trump’s lawyers claim the DOJ is seeking to avoid any “judicial oversight” of the “unprecedented, unnecessary, and legally unsupported” raid.
That sounds like a legitimate concern, given the DOJ’s track record concerning Trump, not to mention its clearly favorable treatment of Joe Biden.