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EXPLAINED: Why the Donald Trump indictment is BEYOND 'STUPID'

Donald Trump just became the first U.S. president to be indicted by the Department of Justice on federal charges. He’s facing seven counts related to his storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home. But something about this smells like it’s ALL about politics. In this clip, Pat and Stu — filling in for Glenn — break it all down…

TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors

PAT: You know, there are cynical people who are going to say, this is all about politics?

STU: No. You think?

PAT: Yeah, they will. I think they will.

STU: Where would they get that idea from?

PAT: These right-wing kooks. Things they come up with. Spur of the moment. They're just so nutty. But some will say, Donald Trump was indicted simply because of political reasons.

And, wow. It's true. He was. First US president former or otherwise to be indicted on federal criminal charges. So fascinating. And it's all over the document thing. It's all over the Mar-a-Lago documents thing.

He had, you know -- what is he -- he's indicted on espionage? Espionage charges?

STU: Well, I think we've all seen spy movies, right?

PAT: Yeah.

STU: And most of the spy movies are based on a person with legal access to documents, that then stores them in their closet.

PAT: They're almost all like that.

STU: Most of them are like. The drama is here. And you find out, oh, he kept him in his closet. Then they bring him into court.

PAT: You know, like a James Bond scenario. That's exactly what comes to mind, right?

STU: Right. Not that they sold them to spies, or foreign entities.

PAT: Which he didn't do, of course.

STU: Or he tried to profit billions of dollars on the nuclear secret. That's -- there's an occasional movie that sounds like that. But most of them are, hey, wait a minute. That area where the closet was, was too highly trafficked. That's usually the plot for most Bond films.

PAT: That area was too highly trafficked. But the garage, where Joe Robinette Biden stores his Corvette, nobody has ever been in there. And it is impenetrable.

STU: Right. You saw mission impossible. The one where Tom Cruise was hanging down from the cables.

PAT: In the garage. Where he was hanging from the garage.

STU: That's where it was shot there.

PAT: Joe Biden's garage.

STU: That's how it happened.

PAT: You would think.

STU: There's so many ways to go here.

PAT: It's crazy.

STU: And I think the most obvious one is the fact that Trump is in the middle of a bunch of investigations by his political opponent. And what are the ramifications of that?

But can I take one little step back from that, first, Pat?

PAT: You may.

STU: Am I the only one who doesn't really care, if Donald Trump or Joe Biden had a few documents from their time in office, that were in their garage or closet?

PAT: Yeah. Yeah. You don't care.

STU: I just don't like really care.

PAT: You don't care.

STU: I just don't care.

PAT: Oh, my gosh. So.

STU: These are documents. Again, like espionage. The guy that was recently leaking stuff to his discord group. Remember this? He had the documents about the Ukraine war. And he was leaking it to his friends in this group. You can see how something like that is a real problem. He put them out into a public forum. A bunch of people who should have had no access to that information whatsoever, got access to that information.

PAT: Right.

STU: Real problem. We don't know what happened to it.

Maybe you can leak two foreign entities. Maybe you can threaten American security.

Maybe you can threaten Ukrainian security. Which seems what they're interested in.

PAT: Oh, that's way more sacrosanct than American security. You are kidding me?

STU: I can see why that would be a real thing to be concerned about. Now, this guy's evidence.

His motivation in this case, seems to be like, I want to be cool among my friend group. I don't think it indicates he should be in prison the rest of his life.

I can understand why this would be a big story. The story we're talking about now. Even if you take, at least what we know of this indictment. And we don't have it yet.

We won't have it until Tuesday, yet. But basically, what's going on here. Donald Trump was president of the United States. He could see any of these documents.

He had all of this information, already.

He left office. You might remember. Pretty chaotic time, when he left office. The period between January 6th and January 20th. Was a little rocky. I don't know if you remember that. He leaves office with a bunch of documents. They say, hey, we would like those documents back. He gives back a bunch of documents, but not all the documents. And no one is accusing them of selling them to the Saudis. No one is accusing him of selling them to the Russians. No one is accusing him of using these to launch a secret war in another country.

What they're accusing him of, is not giving them back in a timely fashion when they wanted them.

PAT: Right. That's crazy.

STU: Look, can they find a legal loophole in this law to get him in trouble on that. It's possible. But step back on that. Does this change the way you think of him? Does this change of the way you think he would govern as president of the United States? Do you actually care?

PAT: No. No, I don't.

STU: I just don't care. And to be honest, I don't care if Joe Biden did it either. I don't really care.

PAT: However, I will say, if it's this big a deal, with Trump, you have to reciprocate with Biden. You have to. You have to.

STU: That's my point. Neither of these stories should be the first time a president is indicted on federal charges. It's too stupid of a story.

Like, at least, some of the other accusations, that have been thrown at Donald Trump. Again, most of them have nothing behind them. But at least some of them were serious accusations. This is record-keeping.

What did he, put it in the wrong filing cabinet?

This is what we'll bring a president down on?

It's stupid. It's just freaking stupid.

PAT: Right. But I love the fact that the narrative from the left right now is that it is so important to mention that special counsel Jack Smith would never have brought these charges, if he didn't have mountains and mountains of evidence of wrongdoing.

STU: This one again? We're getting this one again, Pat.

PAT: Yes. We are. Wasn't that the same thing with what's-his-face?

With the Russian hoax garbage?

STU: Right. If you were to plot all these story lines on a chart. And they all started at day one. Right?

And they all had this one run of -- when you found out about them, till their expiration date. Russia. Ukraine.

I don't know. I can't even name all the scandals that they name at this guy. At this point, on the chart, they always say, they have all the information.

They always leak to the press, that they have impenetrable evidence that will bring this guy down.

They always say the same thing at this point.

PAT: It's wishful thinking. They want it so bad. That they claim they have it. And they don't.

STU: They want you to believe it. They want you to believe it, before you see the evidence.

PAT: They're trying desperately to stop him from running for president. At this point, I think they're pretty afraid, that he'll be --

STU: I think that's certainly possible.

They certainly don't want him to be president again.

PAT: Oh, well, that's --

STU: Yeah, I think. You know, I don't -- I go back and forth, on what they're trying to do here a little bit.

PAT: I know. I do too.

STU: From the perspective of, I don't think they could be so naive. That they would not understand, that this would help him in the primary. They have to understand --

PAT: It will be a big boost.

STU: To help him in the primary. It will hurt Ron DeSantis. Tim Scott. And Nikki Haley. All the other opponents. It will galvanize other people in his support.

So it likely will help him get through the primary. It's not a guarantee, he will win the primary by any means. But it's possible, it will help him.

I think it's likely, it will help him. If you consider that the option, then I guess you are saying, either they believe they're either going to beat him in the general. They will hurt him in the general, which I think is a plausible argument.

You know, yes. Us the right, that have followed every aspect of the Russia investigation, are going to say, I can't believe they're trying this again. I can't believe there's another one of these. Some moderate who doesn't know anything about the Russia investigation. Other than what they say on their Twitter feed. Or Facebook feed.

And have no information on this. And just keep seeing. Indictment. Indictment. Indictment.

Could be another story in the general. You it's a real concern, when you think about this stuff.

PAT: Did you see what Jamie Raskin, who was a Democrat from Maryland had to say yesterday about this situation?

STU: Really hard for me to not turn him off. I applaud you, Pat, for sticking with it. And reading what he said. Because I was not willing to go that far.

PAT: Now, I didn't listen to what he said. But I did read it. Because it's only one line.

But he said, Trump put US national security in grave danger.

STU: Oh, stop it.

PAT: By pursuing, quote, yet another lawless personal agenda.

STU: What's the agenda?

PAT: Really? What did he do? He had these in boxes, did he go down there and look at them from time to time?

Probably not. He probably didn't do that. But if he did, so what?

He knew about it, in the first place.

STU: He already knew what they were. That's why he took them.

PAT: If you were alleging that there's evidence that he sold them to Russian spies in the FSB, or KJB, or whoever is in power, in Russia now.

If he sold them to some Russian spy, okay. You have evidence of that. Maybe you have photographic evidence.

Okay. I can go with you on the grave danger thing.

STU: I want to throw him in prison.

PAT: Absolutely. Absolutely.

STU: As I think every member of the audience would. However, that will not be alleged.

PAT: No, it's not. They're not even accusing him of that. Which I guess pretty much means, it's not even alleged.

STU: That's my understanding.

You could be mistaken. Forgiven for that. When you see the word espionage on that. As if this guy was hiding on a trench coat, in a parking garage somewhere. Leaking to Chinese spies.

Look, if Donald Trump had a three-some with Eric Swalwell and a Chinese spy and gave them the documents, I would be really worried about that.

PAT: Well, did he wee-wee on him?

STU: I don't know.

Let's ask Christopher Steele, and then maybe we can find that out.

But, Pat, I don't know what happened here yet. Right? It will be months and months and months after, you know, today, that we will probably find out.

PAT: And maybe after the election.

And they'll just continue this garbage.

They'll just continue to throw stuff at the wall, to see what sticks. So they can hopefully derail him by hopefully November 2024.

STU: And at that point, when we do find out, what went on after the election, they will just bury it. Like they'll say, oops.

PAT: What have they said about Russia?

Nothing. They just don't bring it up.

There's no apology. There's no nothing.

STU: All this goes on.

What's the most likely scenario. Donald Trump leaves office. He's a guy who thinks he's been wronged in the election. He's angry. He pulls a bunch of boxes of documents. That he believes is his.

I was in the middle of this.

This is a letter from Kim Jong-un to me. To me. Donald Trump. That's me. My name is at the top of it. It says to me. I bring it home to my house.

Then these people who just screwed me out of -- again, this is Donald Trump.

These people who just screwed me out of an election, now want this stuff back. Screw them. No.

PAT: Oh, absolutely.

STU: Highly plausible.

PAT: Yeah, it is.

STU: Now, is that consistent with the president records act? Probably not.

You know, probably not.

If that's the scenario that played out, they may very well be able to come up with some legal justification, that if he did it, and they knew his intent, they have evidence of his intent. They may very well be able to get him on something.

PAT: We're hearing that every president since Reagan, has done this.

STU: In some form.

PAT: In some form.

STU: Intent is the difference.

What they're saying. Is he intended to do it. Is it possible, he was so angry.

It's possible. It is.

PAT: But so what.

STU: Is that a huge deal?

PAT: No, it's not.

STU: They weren't leaked to foreign entities. Anything in a Mar-a-Lago closet, is certainly more secure than something stored online. Right?

How -- go -- if you live near Mar-a-Lago. Go in there. And try and steal a Diet Coke. See how that goes for you. Go just try to play golf on the course without actually --

PAT: Are you encouraging criminal activity, Stu?

STU: No, I'm not.

I should probably clarify that before the DOJ shows up.

I am not -- I am saying this as a hypothetical thought exercise. It would be darn difficult to play the eighth hole at Mar-a-Lago, getting away with it.

You think stealing stuff out of Donald Trump's closet is going to be easy?

It's not -- it's ridiculous.

The whole thing is completely absurd. And, yes. You might be able to go in there, and find some legal thing you can catch him on.

Fundamentally, what are we asking as people -- as citizens of the United States now. Voters in the United States.

Is this a reason to vote for him, or not vote for him. And the answer is, of course, it's not.

Neither. It should make no impact whatsoever, on his ability to govern.

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