Friday morning, the paperwork for new federal indictment of Donald Trump was made public. We now know that the disgraced former president faces 37 charges related to his unlawful possession of classified documents and more importantly, his refusal to return the documents to the government. And naturally, MSNBC’s primetime lineup later in the day was very much focused on the damning details.
On “The Reid Out,” it was host Joy Reid, along with a panel of other MSNBC hosts including “The Last Word” host Lawrence O’Donnell who, while naturally appalled by what Trump is accused of, was also amused by the whole thing. “Everything about it is incredible,” he quipped at one point.
Now, the indictment is more than 40 pages and it’s not easy to summarize, but it contains astounding details, for instance the story of how Trump subordinates hid documents in a bathroom, and photos of that same bathroom which contains a chandelier.
“I know all of you probably feel like I do, that reading this was like reading a crime novel and also a comedy at the same time,” Reid said to the panel. “But there are sort of three buckets here. There is the sloppy handling, having the documents in the loo, having it in the bathroom, and that tacky ballroom, I feel like he should be indicted for the tackiness of the ’80s ballroom.”
“Don’t forget about about the chandelier in the bathroom,” panelist and fellow MSNBC primetime host Alex Wagner interjected.
“Listen, I mean, that is indictable all on its own, just from a taste point of view. So there’s that. Then there is the chase for the documents, in which he knows that Corcoran, who is his attorney, has to go and look for them, so he tells… his valet, ‘hide ‘em, hide ‘em, hide ‘em.’ He does that over days,” Reid continued.
“And then there is a line. [The valet] lies to the FBI, etc. So let’s start with the sloppy handling. And I am just gonna go to you first,” Reid said, gesturing at O’Donnell. “It seems to me that when you just go through the actual documents that are at issue in the indictment, it feels like Donald Trump, who didn’t pay attention to his PDB, his Presidential Daily Brief, might have paid a little more attention than we thought and taken stuff home with him. Because these are obviously documents, most of them, from his time as president.”
“What he was doing with that sloppy storage was in and of itself an offense,” O’Donnell began. “Never would have charged for [it]. Would have completely gotten away with it, and in fact, the authorities really wouldn’t know that it was all over the floor in that room. If he had just, when requested, sent it back.”
“In fact, if he’d just sent it back the third time he was requested to send it back, OK? This is one of those things where, it’s one of those rare situations where they’re basically saying to the bank robber, ‘you know what? If you give the money back, if you would just, you know?” O’Donnell continued. “And he just couldn’t bring himself to do that, which is so deeply pathological.”
“I really want to stress to everyone out there, something that [Special Consel] Jack Smith said today, which was ‘please read these pages.’ You know, we’re saying 49 pages, but look, that’s typed pages, it’s not even like 49 pages of a book, it’s double spaced, and look at all that dialogue white space there,” O’Donnell said while holding a copy up for the camera.
“It’s really easy to read,” O’Donnell said while smirking.
“And, on the issue of where to begin, you really can randomly just drop it, flip it, ‘oh, turns out it’s on page 37,’ there’s something great, I guarantee you. Page 16, something great,” O’Donnell said.
“Speaking of page 16, there are these lines that jump out, this moment there where Donald Trump says, ‘isn’t that incredible.’ And he’s saying that upon committing a crime. He’s showing a classified document to a visitor who has no right to that, and he says to them, ‘this is secret. Look at this.’ And his next line is, ‘by the way, isn’t that incredible,'” O’Donnell explained.
“Yeah, everything about it is incredible. What you just did is incredible. And that’s why we’re here tonight,” O’Donnell said, chuckling.
Watch the whole clip at the top of the page now.