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Audio Killed the Reality Star

Will we ever will run out of song titles we can use for items on Donald Trump's legal woes? To quote Maverick: "Maybe so, but not today."

The big news yesterday was that Special Counsel Jack Smith is hitting the ground running. If there are to be delays in this trial, they aren't going to be on the prosecution's end. And so, Trump's legal team received the first bunch of evidence that the government will use to make its case. No classified stuff yet, of course, but a bunch of grand jury testimony, and a list of witnesses, and—you guessed it—recordings of Trump that were previously not publicly known.

Production 1, the inventory given to the Court, only describes the recordings in a general sense. It makes reference to the already-known audio of Trump talking about Iran-related intelligence, and says that there are additional recordings and that they were made with Trump's consent.

From this, it is not possible to know how many additional recordings there are, or what they contain. However, it is not terribly likely that the recordings would be included if they were just the former president talking about his shaving routine. And the fact that he consented to the recordings means that it's not going to be plausible to exclude them from the trial. His lawyers might have argued that Florida is a two-party consent state, and that recordings of The Donald are not admissible, even if federal law requires only one party to consent. But if the former president agreed to the recording, then that's out the window.

There was one other bit of news yesterday that's not related to the Trump case at all, and yet is quite relevant nonetheless: Kendra Kingsbury was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison. Who is Kendra Kingsbury, you might ask? Is she the one who used to be Trump's right-hand woman, until fleeing for the hills? No, that's the also alliteratively named Hope Hicks. Kingsbury, by all indications, has never met Trump, or even been in the same ZIP Code as the former president.

Actually, Kingsbury is a former FBI agent who developed a bad habit of taking her work home with her. Over the course of a bit more than a decade, she took 300 classified documents from her office and hid them at her residence, including—wait for it—in the bathroom. Though her toilet was not gold-plated, and did not have its own chandelier.

So, for those interested in whether or not Trump is being treated unfairly, well, someone whose crimes are awfully similar is now headed to the hoosegow. And note that while Kingsbury's pilfering of documents was spread out over a longer time, she did not take home any SCI or other documents at the highest levels of security (everything she took was labeled SECRET), and she also accepted a plea bargain. Presumably, a person who took documents who were more sensitive than SECRET, and who did not cop a plea, would be looking at rather more than 4 years as a guest of Uncle Sam. (Z)

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