Republican officials are now casting about for some excuse that might exonerate Trump before they even know the extent of what he may have done. Perhaps, they now argue, the documents seized in a lawful search of Mar-a-Lago aren’t that big of a deal and shouldn’t have been marked classified at all. “These are materials that are 2 years old,” Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio) said Sunday on CNN, adding: “I’d be very surprised if he has actual documents that rise to the level of an immediate national security threat.”
If he and his Republican colleagues genuinely believe the classified documents Trump squirreled away are no biggie, they could prove it by pledging to read their contents into the congressional record. If these lawmakers don’t think this is a wise idea, and worry that making such documents public might jeopardize national security, then perhaps they should object to those documents being stored at Trump’s not-exactly-locked-down beach house, too.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s best not to call their bluff. Republicans might well be willing to publicize U.S. nuclear secrets if they believed doing so would get their leader out of a jam.