How many documents have been recovered?


Specifics to date are now in: Every once in a while, it makes sense to get clear on a few basic facts.

With new information released yesterday, it's now possible to say exactly how many classified documents have been recovered from Mar-a-Lago. That includes the specific number of classified documents which were marked "Top Secret."

For the record, such documents were recovered on three separate occasions during this calendar year:

January: In January, Trump's associates returned a large amount of material to the National Archives. Twenty-five documents marked Top Secret were included in those materials.

June: On June 3, Trump's associates returned an additional set of documents to officials from the Justice Department. Seventeen of those documents were marked Top Secret

August: On August 8, FBI agents recovered 103 additional classified documents during a court-authorized search.  

Yesterday, specific numbers became available concerning the fruits of that August 8 search. On that day, the FBI recovered 103 classified documents—18 marked Top Secret, 54 marked Secret and 31 marked Confidential.

This lets us report the number of classified documents which have been recovered to date:

Recovered from Mar-a-Lago to date:
Classified documents marked Top Secret: 60
Classified documents marked Secret: 162
Classified documents marked Confidential: 103

In a word, sixty (60) documents marked Top Secret have been recovered to date. According to the available data, 325 classified documents have been recovered in all.

We now restate an important point:

That's just the number of classified documents which have been recovered. There's no way to know if other such documents were taken by Trump and may still be retained, at Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere.

Also this:

There's no way to know if other such documents have been transferred to other parties. There's no way to know if copies of some or all of these documents have been made at some point.

(In fairness: There's no way to know if these documents were taken for some nefarious purpose, or if their presence at Mar-a-Lago was simply a marker of Donald J. Trump's massive, endemic disorder. Weirdly, the presence of so much lower-level classified material could be seen to cut in Trump's favor.)

Most of the data to which we've referred are included in this DOJ document. (On Wednesday, we linked you to the wrong document. That link has been corrected.) Specifics about the August 8 search became available yesterday, as reported in today's New York Times.

At any rate, those are the basic numbers to date, though only for the classified documents which have been recovered. Once in a while, it doesn't hurt to create a record of such basic facts.

For the record: For the record, 325 is the largest of those numbers. Based upon common understanding, 60 is the number which should cause the most concern.

(Again: Concerning the total number of classified documents taken, that number remains unknown!)


  1. Oh dear.

    Undeniably, dear Bob, the top-most US secret, printed on paper and marked "burn before reading", is Brandon's cognitive test results.

    ...and this, of course, explains the number of empty files: Brandon's cognitive test results were burned before reading (and thank God for that), as directed by the F.B.I.

    All's well that ends well. N'est-ce pas, dear Bob?

    1. Yet another pointless, witless insult-comment.

    2. Mao, perhaps someday you'll grow out of this.

    3. That implies this malignant A hole somehow deserves to grow out of it. But the idiocy of the comment is a good sign. They must and should be getting nervous.

    4. Thank you so much, dear dembots, for taking time to read and to type the usual word-salads in response. We do appreciate it.

    5. Mao, here's you in a nutshell: "Dear dembots" blah blah blah "word salad" blah blah blah. You're not dumb, but you're obsessed. Sure the dems to a great extent have gone off the rails, but you're blind that the other side has too, big time - we can disagree as to who has gone off worse.

  2. Is there some reason why Somerby does not mention the empty classified folders found in the search of Mar a Lago?

    Is there some reason why Somerby does not mention the unreported gifts found during the search of Mar a Lago, gifts from foreign countries to the president, that were not reported to the State Department, as required by law?

    Is there some reason why Somerby is not mentioning the possible threat to national security and is instead pretending that this is just a matter of record-keeping, paperwork (as Kushner suggested), of getting the numbers straight -- not of protecting national secrets from unauthorized exposure?

    Is there some reason why Somerby does not talk about what this search means, instead of suggesting it is just about being accurate in counting?

    Somerby's offhand reference to Trump's "disorder" is inappropriate given that (1) no disorder has been announced by any White House physician, beyond covid, (2) there has been no diagnosis because Trump has not been available for evaluation by any qualified mental health professional, (3) there is no general agreement by the press of any other qualified person that Trump has any specific disorder, (4) Trump himself and his followers have not admitted to any disorder.

    Stealing things and keeping them is not a disorder. It is a crime, even if it is a disorder such as kleptomania (which Trump is not considered to have). Referring to a disorder tends to excuse Trump's behavior, which is more readily seen as a form of greed, motivated behavior, or even treason, than any kind of medical condition. Somerby is fully willing to call Trump "disordered" but will not consider that he may be engaged in treason, working for a foreign government against US interests, or seeking to enhance his own power by blackmailing our nation or other world leaders using illegal documents stolen when he left office.

    As an opinion piece, today's essay sucks. But it does reveal exactly where Somerby stands with regard to Trump's actions. There is no excuse for what Trump has done, but Somerby pities him and thinks he is doing nothing untoward. Somerby's imagination extends no further than to a failure to count accurately, and that is NOT what has been going on in this situation, whatever else we learn about Trump's actions.

    Somerby pretends to be musing about the press corps. It is not the job of the press corps to whitewash a former president's illegal acts. It is not their job to count empty folders without acknowledging the threat they pose. Biden spoke the truth about MAGA Republicans and Trump on Thursday. It is time for Somerby to recognize and speak the truth too. Today's essay is an insult to the intelligence of even the conservative trolls who haunt this blog.

    1. Somerby talked about X. Why didn't he talk about Y? His failure to do so suggests a nefarious motive.

    2. Somrby talked about X. He didn't talk about Y? His behavior suggests a nerfarious motive.

    3. anon 10:33, is there some reason you started calling yourself "Ivan Pisov" - then stopped?

    4. I made my point to Cecelia, so I returned to my preferred nym. Why should it matter to anyone?

  3. Somerby asks: "How many documents have been recovered?"

    How many angels are dancing on top of Somerby's pinhead?

    1. Is this your idea of a clever and intelligent comment?

    2. It is a reference back to a mention of angels dancing on pins, by Somerby, a few days ago. It is also a play on words, and yes, that makes it a bit clever. It implies that the number of documents is as trivial and meaningless as the debate about angels on pin heads, and that makes it a germane criticism of Somerby's essay today.

      If you have any actual thoughts in your head besides criticising others, try writing a comment of your own. Otherwise, try to keep up. It is often better to keep quiet when you don't understand what people are saying, rather than write a stoopid comment and expose your ignorance.

    3. My God! It is your idea of a clever and intelligent comment!

    4. My God! Did you just waste two minutes typing this stupid response?

  4. "For the record: For the record, 325 is the largest of those numbers. Based upon common understanding, 60 is the number which should cause the most concern.

    (Again: Concerning the total number of classified documents taken, that number remains unknown!)"

    Somerby can have no idea which or how many documents "should" cause the most concern, because that depends on the contents or those documents and what happened to them -- what they were used for, who they were shown to, why they were taken. Somerby have no idea about any of this, no basis for asserting that the documents of most concern are necessarily those with the highest security markings.

    The documents of most concern may not have been recovered, for all Somerby knows. There is a review of national security exposure being conducted and THAT will determine the threat, not Somerby's musings based on some number of documents counted.

    The theft of these documents reflect on Trump himself, the person who took them. Their presence at Mar a Lago makes Trump himself a huge liability to our nation, because they characterize him as the kind of person who would take classified materials and hide them in an unsecured office. The idea that such a man can ever be elected to office again, is ludicrous. Trump has compromised himself, irreparably. If Trump is lucky he will evade jail time, but his is forever a security threat, someone who cannot protect national secrets, someone who is unfit for any job involving trust. There should be no discussion of a 2024 presidency campaign. There should be no discussion of allowing such a man near anyone who is trusted, including other politicians. Trump is a potential spy, a potential perpetrator of treason. He should be shunned.

    But Somerby is still counting documents and putting them into categories, such as 60 most serious. Somerby himself acknowledges that we cannot know how many more documents were not found. Given that the number could be anything, what is the point of counting the ones that were retrieved? That number, beyond being non-zero, tells us nothing at all about the seriousness of threat or any other aspect of national security exposure.

    If I stood at the edge of a pond and counted 30 water birds, but said "and there could be any number more birds hiding in the reeds," would I know the total number of birds at that pond? Would I know anything about the number of birds there, other than 30 were obvious and could be counted? Of course not. And neither could Somerby say with confidence, 30 birds were at the pond, when there could be so many more. And that is why, by Somerby's own admission, this counting of his is a wasted exercise intended only to minimize the seriousness of Trump's crime by pretending it is limited to what was retrieved, which is only a matter of paperwork.

    1. Somerby counts what he can and says there are more he can't count. In your view, this proves he minimizes the importance of the ones he can't count.

      And this is how you reason.

    2. There is no point counting any of them since (1) it is irrelevant to the law he broke, (2) it is not a measure of the seriousness of Trump's crime, (3) it is not a measure of he damage done to US national security, (4) the count Somerby tallies can never be known to be accurate because there may exist documents not counted.

      This isn't only about reason. It is also about facts, including the law governing what Trump did, how national security is affected by exposure of secrets, and how international espionage works.

      Somerby is ony interested in counting documents, not discussing the seriousness of Trump's crimes nor the exposure to our country's national security. That is a criticism of Somerby and it is fully appropriate to discuss criticisms of blog posts in comments here. You may disagree, but that is a matter of opinion, not reasoning.

    3. Again: "Somerby talks about X. What he says about X is true. Nevertheless, he should be faulted for not talking about Y."

      I'm really tired of seeing this "argument" in these comments.

    4. What Somerby says about X is not true. That has been the point of many comments here. Second, it is possible to lie by omission and to create a false impression by saying X and leaving out Y. In such a case, discussion of Y is part of the criticism of what Somerby said about X. Third, this is a more complex situation than Somerby makes it seem by limiting his discussion only to X. Failure to consider Y in order to limit discussion to only that which tends to exonerate or make Trump's crimes seem less serious is propagandistic and that is a reason to object to Somerby's failure to discuss Y.

      An example. If someone were to mention only that X number of documents were retrieved at Trumps home, without mentioning the history of DOJ efforts to retrieve documents, going back 18 months, and without mentioning that Trump's attorneys signed a document saying everything was returned, when it obviously wasn't, that would be a misleading and incorrect statement about documents. When Somerby omits any mention of empty folders (implying that there are still documents missing) and Somerby ignores that while presenting a supposed total number of documents recovered, that tends to minimize the situation and begs the question what happened to the documents that were in those missing folders -- a question Somerby is still ignoring.

      So, yes, Somerby should be faulted for not discussing Y, because Y is an important part of this situation and topic under discussion and leaving it out creates a misleading impression of what Trump did.

      Are you really so stupid that you cannot see this? Somerby is demonstrably not stupid. That's why asking why he has left out obviously important information must be asked in comments. Somerby would be aware of this new info and his failure to mention it can be assumed to be deliberate, which is why it is important to ask what Somerby's motives are for leaving it out. And yes, I believe they are nefarious because Somerby keeps saying he is a liberal while engaging in attempts to minimize, excuse, and exonerate Trump. No liberal does that.

      Unless you have the guts to actively participate in some discussion of this topic, stop spraying your snipes everywhere. It is trollish behavior.

    5. Pithy, you're not.

    6. Anon 5:10, (a/k/a Corby, a/k/a Ivan P.) - "That has been the point of so many comments here" - you leave out that these so many comments happen to be all from you. But as to the top-secret documents, what perhaps matters is what's in these "top secret" documents that Trump took with him to his palatial Maralago homestead. Is there anything in them , if exposed to our "enemies" would endanger our well-being? I don't know,(I'm skeptical), but I'm pretty sure you don't either.

    7. There have been times when I’ve been gone for weeks at a time, so I have a pretty good sense of who is here besides me. But what matters is the content of comments, not who says them under what alias. Some of you, including Somerby, refuse to deal with substance. Trump is sill a perhaps treasonous criminal, no matter what you trolls say about me, or what total Somerby eventually arrives at.

  5. "Once in a while, it doesn't hurt to create a record of such basic facts."

    Why? It is a waste of time and wasting time does hurt, if only in opportunity costs because you could be doing something more productive with your time, like counting how many leaves are on your pear tree before they all fall off.

    1. Then why don't you go count the leaves on your pear tree?

    2. Somerby is the guy with the pear tree. Try to keep up.

  6. Hispanics are focused on the economy and treatment of the lower and middle class.

    1. Fortunately, the economy is improving.

    2. Is that what Driftglass said?

    3. "US GDP grew 5.7% in 2021 after decreasing 3.4% in 2020. The economy added 6.7 million jobs in 2021, rebounding from 9.3 million lost jobs in 2020. 2021's average annual unemployment rate was 5.4%, about 2.7 percentage points lower than in 2020 but 1.7 points higher than 2019."

      354K jobs were added last month. Unemployment is around 3.7% The stock market is not doing well but that is because the Fed is promising another rate hike, and it is likely to rebound after that occurs. Paul Krugman is optimistic.

  7. Here is some actual media criticism and critical thinking:

    This idea that a third party is going to come along and save us from partisanship is a fantasy, but people are sending money to Yang and No Labels, even when they do not have a realistic chance of doing anything but disrupting the 2024 election. This article explains why.

  8. Today, Marjorie Taylor Greene is claiming that Biden incited violence against her with his speech. She traveled to PA to make this claim. She is a supporter of the insurrectionists and an advocate for those imprisioned as a result of their violent activities on 1/6, and also implicated in the 1/6 Committee investigation.

    Meanwhile, actual threats against Biden have been made following his speech (From Democratic Underground):

    "President Biden’s fiery speech in Philadelphia denouncing former President Donald Trump and what he described as “extreme MAGA ideology” has sparked online calls for violence, including death threats against the president, according to documents obtained by Yahoo News.

    Biden’s remarks also prompted immediate concerns from senior counterterrorism officials who said they fear that calling Trump supporters extremists would be viewed as a call to arms and would only inflame an already volatile threat environment.

    “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” Biden said Thursday night at Independence Hall, flanked by two U.S. Marines. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

    Read more:

    Crickets from Somerby, except to criticize Biden yesterday for supposedly not differentiating between Trump and his supporters (except he DID differentiate and explicitly said that he is not the president of blue America or red America but all of America).

    1. Correction to link: Read more:

    2. Somerby talked about X. He must have had a nefarious motive for not talking about Y.

    3. Yes, he had every opportunity to talk about Y and yet he didn't. Others ARE talking about Y. Why not Somerby? And this is a criticism Somerby uses against the press all the time. They didn't talk about what he wanted them to, or they did, but not in exactly the way he preferred. So, what is your point?

    4. My point is your lack of reasoning skills.

    5. All behavior is motivated. Somerby had a motive for writing what he did. He had a motive for not writing what he chose not to write about.

      What is wrong with that reasoning? Both conclusions follow from the initial premise. Unless you believe that Somerby is randomly spewing words, in which case it makes no sense to stay here and read anything he writes.

      Simply calling someone else's reasoning illogical without pointing out a fallacy is just name-calling. When you say that a person, who you do not know from Adam, lacks reasoning skills implies an ongoing reasoning problem, yet you have pointed out no other instances of poor reasoning skills. You are just here name-calling and that makes you a troll. I am now done responding to anything more that you say, because you are as great a waste of time as Mao and Cecelia.

      I do want to suggest that there is something majorly wrong with the self-esteem of someone who deliberately chooses to call himself Dogface, when he/she could have picked any name on Earth.

    6. I'm sorry, I was out counting the leaves on my pear tree.

  9. What is the point of this post? It merely states things already reported in the media.

    Aside from this nonsense: “the presence of so much lower-level classified material could be seen to cut in Trump's favor.”

    Sure. He had quite a few documents marked with the most highly classified indication. But he also had a lot of other stuff…Not Guilty!

    Total BS.

    1. mh, yeah, TDH is flogging this number of documents thing beyond what seems reasonable. That's what he so often does. Maybe he's "disordered." I wonder why you spend time reading the blog. I think you'd like Lawyers Guns and Money better. I do wonder why so many liberals are so enamored by the FBI and so concerned about "national security" - that used to be the right wing's thing. I wonder why there isn't more skepticism and critical thinking. The commenters (though there may be only two - you and Ivan Pisov), seem to get all bent out of shape when TDH (not often enough these days) pokes holes, in his mild way, in the current orthodoxies.

    2. You may be right that there are but a few commenters; the quality of the comments compels anyone with discernment to flee. This is sad. Somerby has wisdom to impart, and it would be nice if that wisdom sparked an intelligent discourse.

    3. You speak for no one but yourself.

    4. Republican readers of sites like and used to be the ones who were pro war, pro empire defenders the state at every turn.

      It took 20 years. Now it's Democrat readers of sites like Lawyers and Guns and Money who are the war thirsty imperialists questioning anyone's patriotism if they're not fully supportive of the imperial administration and the constellation of corporate savagery that supports it.

    5. Riiight. I clearly remember the praise that Joe Biden got for finally ending the war in Afghanistan.

      Oh, wait. He was widely denounced for that, including by Bob Somerby. Try again. I

    6. That doesn't change a thing. Readers of Lawyers Guns and Money are exactly the same now as Bush Republicans were in the early 2000s. Pro CIA, FBI, pro war pro military industrial complex, ant free speech. Sucking Liz Cheney's cock , all the neocons that got us into the Iraq war are outspoken Democrats now. And what does Lawyers Guns and Money say about it? Not a God damn thing.

    7. This is ridiculously untrue about LGM, which is presented by a group of writers, but even less true of the readers of the blog, who @10:01 can know nothing about.

      Misogyny aimed at Liz Cheney noted. Denigrating anti-Trump Republicans by calling them Democrats is sort of a two-fer, since both groups are maligned.

      It would be natural to think that these trolls are just getting up early to comment, but actually they reside in other time zones.

    8. What's his name is good. Loomis. The rest of the writers are complete shills for the DNC and not even smart or interesting. Everything they post is in 100% lockstep with the DNC.

    9. This is nonsense. Much of what they write is not even politics in the traditional sense.

    10. Here is what LGM has up today (Sunday):

      1. An article by Paul Campos about sports as entertainment, also discussing a new book on that subject which he is releasing tomorrow.
      2. An article by Erik Loomis about the bio of Willie Wood, a football player, as part of his series Erik Visits an American Grave. Nothing about politics.
      3. An article by Scott Lemieux about the "both sides do it" complaint that Hillary wasn't charged when she stole classified material -- saying that Hillary didn't steal classified material, so both sides don't do it. This is not a neo-con argument, it is the simple truth.
      4. A movie review (Music Notes) by Erik Loomis about the film Jazz on a Summer Day, about the Newport Jazz festival 1958.
      5. A review of recent wins for labor, by Erik Loomis, suggesting that there may be some real improvement and reasons for optimism on the labor front. Not exactly DNC lockstep because more of a progressive concern.
      6. A review of new polling data on support for abortion rights, by Scott Lemieux. DNC usually backburners abortion rights and other women's issues, but this may be key to the midterms, so everyone is now talking about it.
      7. An article on the history of Labor Day by Erik Loomis.
      8. An article on Manchin's ego by Erik Loomis. Anti-Manchin. Hardly DNC party line.
      9. A short article in which Scott Lemieux mocks Mike Duncan and the "Intellectual Pat Boone Web" for praising Eric Weinstein (substack) when he says "nobody cares about race in live blues music." DNC doesn't go around mocking substack authors, to my knowledge.
      10. Erik Loomis describes the grave of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, as well as others who died with them when the Cayuse struck against the missionary colonialists in 1847. More history, not much DNC lockstep.

      Mischaracterizing this blog is part of the right wing effort to persuade progressive voters that the Democrats are not supporting their issues. This is part of disinformation, of the sort that alienated blacks and Bernie bros from Hillary in 2016. Hillary ran to the left of Obama in 2008 but was targeted as a neo-con by propagandists like @10:44, who is here regularly to tell us that Democrats don't care about labor or working people and that Hispanics are all leaving (like lemmings?).

    11. That site is the intellectual bottom of the barrel. As I said, the bloggers there are not remotely smar.t or interesting and only exist to extend the fascism of the DNC and Democratic party. Although Loomis I would not include in that. I'm sorry you choose to partake and such a biased and banal trash dump

    12. The Democrats don't support progressive values. You and that propagandistic trash dump of a blog try to make people think they do. That's the disinformation. Your accusation is a confession.

    13. But if you are in the psycho loser Corby Anonymous, of course you would love that site. Your beliefs are never challenged. Democrats are never criticized. All of your focus can be on blaming the other for all of our problems. It's safe and secure and feels SO good. So it makes sense that you would defend and love that toilet of a site.

    14. 1:06 said “ Democrats are never criticized (at LGM”
      This is definitive proof that you have never actually read LGM. Or any of the other blogs mentioned here. “No more mister nice blog”, “curmudgucation”…there is frequent criticism of Democrats. You have drunk the Somerby Kool-Aid.

    15. They didn't criticize them today. Was it you that sadly and pathetically posted that list of slugs? Why don't you go back through the last month and show us all when the criticized Democrats.

    16. 12:21 Democrats don't support progressive values.

    17. not mh not Corby not Ivan not your motherSeptember 4, 2022 at 1:44 PM

      Biden has moved toward progressivism because the economy after pandemic has demanded such action. He has passed legislation that would have been impossible in normal times. To claim NOW that the Democrats are neo-cons is ridiculous and shows that you are spreading disinformation about Dems, not "criticizing" the party.

      The so-called centrists (whom others call obstructionists) are critical of the party for being too inclusive of The Squad, too radical, too far left, not too neo-con. People at LGM and various other blogs are solidly opposed to the centrists, the same people you say you dislike. That tells me that you are not serious, but are a troll trying to convince unwary readers that Democrats have sold out voter interests, when Biden has championed most of the highly popular leftist programs advocated by the Bernie/Warren/Squad wing of the party.

      You asked me to find LGM articles supporting neo-cons, not to find ones criticizing Dems. The ones you say don't exist appear regularly. I am not going to waste my time "educating" someone who I do not consider to be a good faith commenter. You can look yourself.

    18. Democrats have sold out voter interests. What are you talking about? They have helped wipe out the middle class. They vote over and over to ship billions of dollars to the military industrial complex for wars that have nothing to do with voter's interests.

      You don't want to go through and find blog posts critical of Dems from that partisan intellectual outhouse because there are not any.

    19. "As I said, the bloggers there are not remotely smar.t or interesting and only exist to extend the fascism of the DNC and Democratic party."

      All of the bloggers mentioned above are university professors. You truly have drunk the Somerby Kool-aid.

      How do you recognize a right wing troll? They refer to Democrats as fascists.

    20. Your comment does not address the substance of the issue. The Democratic party does not fight for progressive values, they have replaced pro-war neocons, they have sold out voter's interests and are pro war, pro corporate, pro censorship fascists.

      Shithole blogs written by uninteresting partisan hacks like LGM do nothing to stop them. They don't even mention any of it.

      But I support your right to read them and be fooled by them.

    21. Show us all the last post they criticized the DNC.

      (Hint - there never has been one.)

    22. The proportion of Americans who are Middle Class has declined from 61% in 1970 to 50% today. But when you look at the charts, they show that the Middle Class has lost ground to the Upper Class. That shift began in 1980 with Reagan and increased as Republicans enacted measures to enrich the wealthy, transferring wealth from the middle to the upper class.

      But, you can also see that the percentage of people in the Lower economic class has not increased, largely due to Democratic anti-poverty measures. Poverty has increased from the all-time low after enactment of LBJ's War on Poverty before 1970, but has remained steady from 1970 (10%) to today (9%). So, the wealthy have increased their % as well as their total wealth, at the expense of the middle class. Another way to say that is to point out that more people are wealthier today and fewer people languish in the Middle Class, since people have not been moving from the Lower class to the middle class. This latter finding is confirmed by studies showing the difficulty of changing SES status.

      Our commenter here today is not advocating that Dems do more to help the pool. He is complaining that the middle class has been shrinking. That is akin to complaining because people are getting wealthier, doing better financially. Is that reallty what a progressive argues? Shouldn't the focus be on moving that intransigent 9% higher on the economic scale, eliminating more poverty, not helping people cling to middle class status and resist moving into the upper middle class? But arguing that college has no value (as Somerby does) and calling professors stupid, will tend to prevent middle class people from using the paths that will move them higher on the economic scale, giving them the skills and training to earn high incomes that will permit them to amass higher net worth, give their kids a leg up and move their family into higher SES.

      No, this commenter is trying to scare people who consider themselves middle class into voting against Democrats and for Republicans, when their financial interests are dependent on Democratic reforms, since the Republicans only enact things that benefit those already wealthy.

      Progressives, in contrast, do focus on the poor and the working poor. They also recognize and resist measures that enrich the wealthy at the expense of the poor. The middle class may fear sliding into poverty, but the actual % doing so holds steady, suggesting that this may be an unrealistic fear, given the benefits of education and social capital available to middle class people. Progressives recognize the intersection between poverty and race and work to address both -- trolls (and Republicans) claim that racism is over and that only class issues are important, attacking so-called identity politics.

      This commenter today is arguing against the interests of the Middle Class because he doesn't understand how he has been played by Russia-funded disinformation aimed at the Bernie Bros. Or he is confused about what it means to be leftist in this country. The Russians managed to convince a lot of Bros to parrot right-wing talking points against Hillary in 2016, simply by labeling her a neo-con, when she was not a war-monger and has done more to address social issues than any presidential nominee in modern history. More lies.


    24. I'm not trying to scare people who consider themselves middle class into voting against Democrats and for Republicans. I support that they do vote for Democrats. But I'm not going to pretend the Democratic party has anyone's interests in mind except their mega donors and I'm not going to pretend like Lawyers, Guns and Money isn't completely uninteresting partisan garbage.

    25. How do you think candidates will pay for their campaigns without mega-donors? Don't say Bernie's small donations -- too many of those came from untraceable Russian oligarchs and similar dark money, just as Bernie's NRA donations contained laundered Russian money. I would like to see campaign finance reform, but that isn't the situation now, so banning mega-donors just puts Democrats into the fight with one arm tied behind the back, while the Republicans have no comparable scruples.

      Purer than thou is not a viable stance for winning elections.

    26. 2:38:
      You seem to be confused about what sort of blog you’re commenting on.

      Somerby has never criticized the DNC. In fact, he has praised and defended Al Gore and Bill Clinton, both centrists.

      Aside from constantly shrieking about the “Indian” flap, the only comment he had about Elizabeth Warren was to criticize her progressive healthcare plan, quoting from an article that claimed it would cost too much and alienate centrists and “regular” people, a sentiment echoed by Somerby’s blogger friend Kevin Drum.

      Somerby has criticized liberals for criticizing Joe Manchin for stopping progressive legislation. So think about that before you comment next time.

    27. What are you talking about? Think about the sort of blog I'm commenting on criticized liberals for criticizing Joe Manchin for stopping progressive legislation before I comment next time?

      Is that supposed make the establishment Democrats and their idiotic courtiers like Lawyers Guns and Money less guilty of exploiting voters in the name of the military and corporate dominance?

    28. 6:02 I’m telling you that Somerby is not a progressive. He urged Democrats and liberals to tack right to appeal to conservatives. He is no different than the LGM you have in your head. So feel free to attack Somerby with the same vengeance you attack LGM (who are progressive, by the way). There is by the way, a difference between destructive criticism and constructive criticism. Even Somerby has recently stated that only Democrats can fix the nations problems. So, at this point,it is unwise to tear them down, because that advantages the fascist Republicans, who will undo all progressive legislation if they feel bold enough. So you and Somerby do your part to hasten that possibility. Meanwhile, I will vote for the party that continues to support important social programs.

    29. The difference is Somerby will accurately criticize the Democrats whereas the limp wristed completely uninteresting and predictable DNC cocksuckers of LGM would never be caught dead doing so.

      There have been no meaningful progressive legislative wins in two generations. So there's nothing to be afraid of being undone.

    30. You don't need an LGM. All of those blogs toe the same line and say the same thing. It's boring. But I'm glad that you find a safe space there where you don't have to ever hear the DNC criticized and you are always in the brilliant and smart group and the others are all immoral idiots.

  10. You know the point: It was to extract from the various sources the most accurate count possible. And the presence of many lower-level docs might tend to suggest many things about Trump's state of mind, ranging from carelessness to insanity.

    1. The accuracy of the count has no implications for Trump's state of mind or his sanity or his carelessness or degree of care. There are very careful insane people just as there are very careful spies. And what exactly would it mean if there were some deviance from the totals? Would it make Trump less or more of a lawbreaker? If you cannot tell that from the accuracy of the count, then that count is irrelevant. All Trump needs is to have taken 1 highly classified document, to be tried, convicted and put in jail, as Reality Winner was. How many documents did Julius and Ethel Rosenburg steal? Do you even know? They were executed -- was it because of how many documents they took? Of course not.
      Trump is not going to reveal his state of mind by taking an extra few documents. Get real.

    2. I've always thought that Somerby must be hiring these commenters to illustrate his overarching point that we are not a rational species.

    3. Anon 4:40:
      “the presence of many lower-level docs might tend to suggest many things about Trump's state of mind, ranging from carelessness to insanity.”

      This is called motivated reasoning. It isn’t clear what this may suggest. It may suggest greediness or possessiveness or heightened criminality. It only suggests carelessness or insanity if you are already inclined to believe that Trump is insane, which Somerby has been going on about for years now.

      From a legal perspective, it isn’t clear how the presence of “low level” classified docs mitigates the presence of some of the most sensitive documents that exist, including national defense and human intelligence docs.

      And Trump was given a year and a half to turn these docs over. His lawyers swore they had all been turned over, and that was a lie.

    4. Yes, it might suggest those states of mind as well. And state of mind may be important from “a legal perspective.”

    5. And I think you’re mistaken that considering Trump’s various possible motivations for keeping low-level docs constitutes “motivated reasoning.”

    6. 9:11;
      So, by your own admission, the presence of the “low level” docs is in and of itself meaningless. Why imply that they mean anything, for example that Trump is careless or insane? Trump was not allowed to have those docs. They belong to the government. It is a felony to possess top secret docs that you are not entitled to. One’s “motivation” for possessing such docs is not at all relevant.

      They contain secrets that are not to be disseminated. Doesn’t matter what “reason” you want to give for having them.

      “Insanity” only goes so far. Neither Trump nor his handlers turned them over, when given the chance. At that point, Trump’s behavior becomes obstruction.


    7. @mh: "They belong to the government."

      Are you sure those pieces of paper really do belong to the government, dear mh?

      We would imagine (based on our experience in the private sector) that all that archived shit is digitized and kept on disks and tapes. And those papers are mere printouts, that don't literally "belong to the government".

      But hey, who knows, you may be right, dear mh, and the government still operates the way it did when J. Edgar Hoover owned it.

    8. Mao, the DOJ and those with the proper classification level reviewed ALL of the documents and determined which belong in the archives. They returned the ones belonging to Trump to him along with his passports. Others that were clearly personal were not retrieved during the search. And no, everything is not solely digitized but hardcopy is retained too. All digitized materials covered under the Government Paperwork Act are retained in both forms, and yes, they literally belong to the government, not Trump.

      Work done under government contract also belongs to the American people and are property of the government. That means it is not copyrighted to the authors and cannot be sold.

      Stupid remarks about Hoover owning the government are propaganda befitting a Russian troll like you.

    9. That's very Hillary Clinton and DNC of you. Blame everything on Russia.

    10. Credit where credit is due.

    11. I'm sure it's no more than an overdue library book.

  11. For Bob this is a fairly acceptable post, but he
    can't QUITE help himself: "Weirdly, the presence of
    so much lower level classified material could be seen to
    cut in Trump's favor."
    How and by whom? It's probably best Bob doesn't
    try to explain.
    We all know that the different levels of importance
    are attached to these classifications. But Trump's
    sticky fingers clearly gathered a lot of "Top Secret."
    That's very bad. At best, it suggests the idiot attached
    no importance to these classifications. But a LOT
    of Top Secret documents were taken.
    Overall impression of the post is that, even among
    those who despise all things MSNBC, the justification/
    rationalization of Trump is becoming impossible.
    We will be moving to the next step; how can
    we arrest Trump when it will hurt those who chanted
    "lock her up" so badly?

  12. From Political Wire:

    "Joe Conason: “As more and more evidence of the former president’s reckless and potentially criminal misconduct comes to light, he and his defenders keep pointing to ‘her emails.’ They insist that because the Justice Department declined prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after a long and thorough probe of how she handled allegedly classified information, there should be no investigation, let alone indictment or conviction of Trump.”

    “But while we don’t yet know the extent or nature of Trump’s abuse of classified documents, we can determine how many were found by investigators, after exhaustive searches, among Clinton’s thousands of State Department emails.”

    “The accurate and definitive answer is zero – although few if any news outlets have informed the public of that startling fact. Moreover, it is a fact that the Trump administration itself confirmed three years ago.”

  13. Somerby asks how many documents have been retrieved.

    "The FBI recovered more than 11,000 government documents and photographs during its Aug. 8 search at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate, as well as 48 empty folders labeled as "classified," according to court records that were unsealed on Friday."

    Yes, the highly classified documents are important, but 11,000 is a very large number of non-classified documents and photos to have been taken by the former president. For what purpose?

    And Somerby, for all his counting, has never mentioned the number 11,000!

  14. Of the 11,187 documents Trump took, only 33 were books.

  15. Steve Benen at Maddowblog says that Trump has spent nearly a week missing the point of the reports of highly classified documents found at Mar a Lago:

    "And finally, it doesn’t matter how they ended up on the floor. Trump has spent much of the week wildly missing the point of the entire scandal.

    The question has nothing to do with who made a mess. The Espionage Act doesn’t include any provisions related to who may or may not look “like a slob.”

    Imagine the police execute a search warrant at a suspected jewel thief’s place and officers find missing loot. Then imagine the thief responds, “Everyone can rest assured that I didn’t leave the jewels on the floor.”

    That’s nice, I suppose, but it’s not altogether relevant to the subject at hand."

    Similarly, Somerby has spent the past week or so missing the point, as he catalogs the numbers of documents in different categories of classification level, as if the total number of documents is what matters, and not the FACT that the president is not allowed to take these home with him after he leaves office, not permitted to mishandle them in ways that make them insecure and potentially accessible to enemies of our nation, not permitted to obstruct efforts to retrieve them by lying about what has been returned and deliberately hiding documents to prevent their recovery.

    The point Somerby misses is similar to the point Trump misses -- this is evidence of a crime and the details upon which Trump and Somerby have focused are largely irrelevant to that crime.

  16. Somerby claims to be keeping the press honest, but he is actually contributing to a Republican movement that undermines our democracy:

    "But the refusal to talk to journalists and barring them from covering political events that would inform voters of their policy positions, has gotten worse over the years, and it’s showing up in local elections.

    “If you can undermine the credibility of the press, then you can also absolve yourself the responsibility to speak to the press, and we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the United States in that kind of behavior,” Valentino said.

    He said it’s a trend that worries experts who study democratic stability not only in the United States, but across the world.

    “One of the key indicators of democratic backsliding is our restriction of information to the free press and an unwillingness to speak to the press,” Valentino said.

    Debates are off the table too
    It’s not just the media that Republican candidates are opting out of speaking to, it’s their own constituents. In Iowa, Republicans such as Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Reps. Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks skipped an Iowa State Fair tradition – the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox where candidates talk to the public about where they stand on the issues. The only Republicans who spoke were those challenging Democratic incumbents. Republican incumbents are refusing to debate Democratic challengers."

    Somerby aids this movement away from democracy with his attacks on the press, delegitimizing them and conveying the idea that Republicans do not need to inform their voters or the public about their policies. If we are sliding into the sea, it is because of Somerby, not because liberals say mean things about The Others. Somerby's concerted effort here to undermine the press makes it clear that this is part of a plan, not an accidental result of curmudgeonly behavior. This is yet another way in which Somerby is on the wrong side of history -- and there are very few liberals who do not believe in transparency and accountability of elected officials to the voters.

  17. "Donald Trump, without any evidence, accused Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman (D) of using drugs.

    Said Trump: “Fetterman supports taxpayer-funded drug dens and the complete decriminalization of illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, and ultra lethal fentanyl.”

    He added: “By the way, he takes them himself.”

    From Political Wire

    And this is what a big lie looks like. Trump tells such lies as casually as he speaks, assuming that no one will ever challenge his assertions, and if they do, so what? This is why there need to be consequences to Trump's misbehavior. He cannot take highly classified documents and expose them to spies. And he cannot lie about winning an election he lost, inciting his supporters to insurrection. And he cannot get up before a crowd and tell outrageous lies about Democratic candidates without pushback.

    Will Somerby say anything? Not in this lifetime. He is too busy counting the number of documents in various categories, to call out Trump's lies on any subject. And no, it isn't sufficient to say Trump is probably crazy, and just shrug one's shoulders and move on to attacking the press.

    Fetterman has progressive positions on crime and legalization of marijuana, but Trump exaggerates them beyond his actual proposals. Fetterman has not called for legalizing heroin and similar drugs: