Donald Trump Deploys ‘Clinton Socks’ Defense to Fight Federal Charges

Donald Trump Deploys 'Clinton Socks' Defense to Fight Federal Charges

( – In his defense against allegations of improper handling of sensitive materials on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump used a novel tactic known as the “Clinton Socks” defense.

Trump spoke to fans at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and alluded to the “Clinton socks” precedent.

Additionally, the “Clinton socks” justification was curiously excluded from CNN’s “fact check” of his speech, which was something Scott Adams initially brought to our attention.

This is because it is a powerful argument and emphasizes that the Clintons—Bill and Hillary—took official materials home without facing any legal repercussions.

In the infamous “Clinton Socks” incident, Bill Clinton hid 79 audio tape recordings in his sock drawer after leaving office. This incident had nothing to do with the president’s cat, “Socks,” who just happened to have that name.

Even though it was believed the tapes contained sensitive material and chats with foreign leaders, Clinton later insisted the recordings were personal documents exempt from the President Documents Act of 1978 (PRA).

“A President can decide which documents to keep or give back to the National Archives,” according to Michael Bekesha of Judicial Watch, who expressed this opinion in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

Bekesha said he thoroughly understood this because, as he put it, “I know because I’m the lawyer who lost the ‘Clinton sock drawer’ case.”

He cited a 2012 definition of presidential records by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and a federal judge, who said they included everything kept at the White House after a president leaves office.

Therefore, Trump may be able to claim that the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago were personal in nature, even if they contain critical information, by referencing the “Clinton Socks” precedent.

Certainly, DOJ is aware of the “Clinton Socks” defense. Additionally, there are similarities between the two instances in that both former presidents Clinton and Trump are accused of disclosing secret information during private conversations.

Trump’s indictment by Special Prosecutor Jack Smith also uses audio recordings of his conversation with a journalist and publisher. The “Clinton Socks” case involved tapes that purportedly captured President Clinton’s phone calls and conversations while performing his official duties.

The interviews were done with historian Taylor Branch when Clinton was in office. According to the court’s ruling in the “Clinton Socks” case, the president is the only person with authority to classify information under the PRA; neither the National Archives nor any other agency can seize presidential records.

“One of the defenses Trump used was the “Clinton Socks” defense. He also pointed out that the 1917 Espionage Act, which Trump is accused of breaching, was not meant to apply to presidents,” as conservative radio presenter Mark Levin noted.

If it had been, every president who carried papers before the PRA’s adoption in 1978 could have faced charges of “espionage.”

Trump asserted that the Mar-a-Lago raid violated his Fourth Amendment rights to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures” – including his personal passport — and pointed out that the indictment did not address the PRA itself.

It will be interesting to see if these defenses are compelling enough to overturn the accusation. However, the “Clinton Socks” rebuttal is among the strongest, as evidenced by CNN’s largely silent response.

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