News Updates

Breaking Points: 8/15/22 FULL UNCUT SHOW The documents of the Trump FBI raid, legal debates, political fallout, FBI attacks, more

Krystal and Saagar break down the documents of the Trump FBI raid, legal debates, political fallout, FBI attacks, Salman Rushdie stabbing, Alec Baldwin case, IRS agents, Trump documentary, & more!

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Timestamps: Trump: 0:0032:31 Fallout: 32:3246:30 FBI: 46:3153:29 Rushdie: 53:301:04:51 Alec Baldwin: 1:04:521:10:21 Krystal: 1:10:221:21:34 Saagar: 1:21:351:32:32 Alex Holden: 1:32:331:51:34

8/15 NEWSLETTER: Trump Search Warrant, Raid Fallout. Rushdie Attack, IRS Agents & More!
Welcome to the August 15th, 2022 edition of the Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar premium newsletter. The live show is only a month away, so make sure to get your tickets here: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E005CD6DBFF6D47. If you would like to buy a bundle of tickets please email james@breakingpoints.com.
A few issues with distributing the show came up last week because of the problem with YouTube processing. What happens is that the program processes, and then checks run afterwards to run the high quality broadcast. Sometimes the checks take a while to run so when we send out the show it is lower quality. We are considering putting the full show in Vimeo to ensure you guys receive the highest quality broadcast an hour early. Please vote with the form below on whether you’d prefer the show on YouTube or if you would rather have the higher quality on Vimeo.
Now to the 8/15 show: https://youtu.be/dhjGwQiQ5k0
TRUMP
More information has come out about the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a- Lago residence. The search warrant used by the DOJ was released by the Florida court after public pressure from Republicans. It revealed that the FBI removed 11 sets of classified documents including some marked as top secret. Agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. Different levels of classification reflect the importance of such documents to US national security. The list did not provide any further details on the substance of the documents. But leaks from the DOJ have generated speculation that nuclear secrets could be in the files taken from Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s lawyers believe the former president used his executive authority to classify the documents without specifics on whether his administration went through the regulatory process required for declassification. Following the regulatory process is required for the declassification of documents by the president to come into effect. Further details are present in the affidavit, which was not released by the Florida judge. The documents obtained by the DOJ could be evidence that the Trump administration violated laws governing the handling of classified information and government records. Violation of these criminal statues under the Espionage act is central to the DOJ’s criminal investigation of Trump.
Donald Trump’s lawyer told the Justice Department previously that the classified material they needed had been returned. His lawyer signed a document where he claimed all classified information from Mar-a-Lago was removed. It happened during a meeting on June 3rd between DOJ officials and Trump’s legal team. A subpoena had been issued pertaining to the documents in the spring. Investigators believed more classified documents were at Mar-a-Lago after speaking with individuals in the Trump orbit. The former president and his legal team say they were cooperating with documents requested by the DOJ and the National Archives. They also believe that Trump’s declaration of declassification as president automatically declassifies the documents in question. Trump was active on his TRUTH Social over the weekend and requested the DOJ return the documents taken from his compound by the FBI.
FALLOUT
The Republican response to the FBI’s raid of Donald Trump’s compound is becoming more divided. Some members have used heated rhetoric towards law enforcement and the national security apparatus. Others have been much more muted in their opposition to the raid. The release of the search warrant and concerns over the Espionage act have boosted the DOJ’s credibility. Trump allies have told Republicans to tone down their criticism because more damaging information could become public in the future. Republicans have called the attack politically motivated and pointed to the double standards with Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden. Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails resulted in an FBI investigation around one of the states the DOJ is looking at in their criminal probe of Trump. Other conservative lawmakers were much less antagonistic towards the FBI than firebrands such as Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dodged questions about the FBI raid in a recent press conference, and the House Freedom caucus canceled a press conference on the subject. The outcry from the right over the Trump raid has provided increased motivation to the Republican base to turn out in the midterms. In one poll, 83% of Republicans said the raid made them more likely to vote in the Fall. Another poll showed that Trump’s GOP primary support for a 2024 run went up after the raid. The entire GOP and the party base rallied around the former president after the raid and that could boost his political prospects if Trump survives the DOJ investigation.
FBI
The fallout after the Trump raid has inflicted the FBI as well. An armed Ohio man who tried to breach the bureau’s Cincinnati headquarters was shot dead by police in a shootout after a car chase brought them Northeast of town. The suspect unsuccessfully tried to enter the FBI’s visitor screening facility and then fled the area in a vehicle before a state trooper began to chase him down. The lengthy standoff concluded six hours after the indictment began Thursday morning. The man was identified as having extreme right wing views and frequently posted on Trump’s TRUTH Social platform. He was previously seen at the January 6th Capitol riot and might have been tied to far-right extremist groups. The FBI has been subject to a barrage of online threats after they raided Trump’s Florida compound. In a statement, FBI Director Christopher Wray condemned violence and threats towards law enforcement. A warning has been put out by the FBI and DHS warning of possible domestic extremist violence happening in reaction to the FBI’s raid on Trump. Late Saturday night, a man set his vehicle on fire and drove into a barricade near the US Capitol before firing a weapon indiscriminately and ultimately killing himself.
RUSHDIE
Iconic author Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage Friday while delivering a lecture for a non-profit. A man stormed the stage and stabbed Rushdie repeatedly, leaving him in critical condition. The 24 year old man who attacked Rushdie is connected to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an extremist militia overseen by the Iranian Ayatollah. A fatwa had been issued against Rushdie by the theocratic ruler of Iran in 1988 after his book The Satanic Verses was considered to be blasphemous. A multi million dollar bounty for Rushdie’s death has been in place since then, and it caused the author to hide away for a period in the 1990s. A NATO official believes the attack could have been guided by intelligence services who talked the attacker into action. A Middle Eastern intelligence official believes the attacker had been in contact with individuals linked to the IRGC, though no evidence has emerged of ties to Iranian officials at this point. Rushdie has been a long time champion of free speech and has spoken out against censorship attempts from the woke zealous and religious fundamentalists. The context is important because the Biden administration is attempting to revive talks with Iran about a nuclear deal like the one signed by former President Obama. Additionally, the DOJ charged an Iranian in a plot to assassinate former national security official John Bolton, further inflaming tensions between the US and Iran.
ALEC BALDWIN
According to an FBI forensic report, star actor Alec Baldwin shot a cinematographer on the “Rust” movie set last year after he mistakenly fired what he believed to be a gun without ammunition. The gun used in the fatal shooting could not have been fired without pulling the trigger. Back in December, Baldwin insisted that he did not pull the trigger in an interview with ABC News. The actor’s legal team believes the report is being misconstrued and cited evidence from a medical examiner’s report that concluded the shooting was a tragic accident. The FBI’s forensic report is part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting that could result in charges. The local district attorney has yet to make any charges in the case and authorities await the Baldwin phone records to proceed with the investigation.
KRYSTAL
Krystal’s monologue focuses on the two competing theories about why Trump kept top secret classified information in the Mar-a-Lago basement after leaving office. His defense has pivoted to claiming that the documents were declassified because he said so as president. What is less certain is why he held onto the documents even after the DOJ began to inquire about them. The former president’s actions are usually motivated by either reckless impulsivity or shameless cash grabs. The notion of Trump being a grand schemer who plays 5D chess falls apart under scrutiny as was seen during Russiagate. One theory is that Trump is a narcissistic packrat and the other is that he believed billions in profits could be made from selling government secrets. According to NBC News, Trump’s cavalier approach to handling sensitive documents and a frenzied exit from the White House led to the FBI investigation today. Trump is a packrat who leaves the actual packing to underlings. His staff clears his desk of paperwork and all the content is placed on the floor. It collided with the ‘stop the steal’ theories about Trump winning the election when he would not allow anyone to pack up the White House because Trump did not believe he had lost. This made their exit chaotic and led to boxes full of unknown classified documents to be shipped to Mar-a-Lago. When the feds came knocking, this theory posits that Trump did not give up all the documents either due to egotistical attachment or laziness to know what was in the boxes. His lawyers claimed Trump gave up all of the classified information due to disorganization and incompetence; accidentally concealing nuclear secrets and top secret documents.
The other theory is centered around Trump’s thirst for money and his deep relationship with Saudi Arabia. His well documented business dealings and mutually beneficial relationship with Saudi Arabia led to his first overseas trip being there. The Saudis spent big at the Trump hotel generating large revenue bumps when MBS came to town. In return, Trump gave the Saudis everything they wanted from backing their war in Yemen to covering up details of the Khashoggi murder. After the Trump administration, his family has become even more tied to the Saudis financially. His son in law Jared Kushner landed a $2 billion dollar investment from the Saudis into his hedge fund. Trump is set to make perhaps $100 million to host tournaments for the Saudi backed LIV Golf. The Saudi Arabians are also very interested in obtaining nuclear secrets and have spent millions on lobbyists to obtain them. Whistleblowers in the Trump administration raised concerns that officials were attempting to transfer nuclear secrets to the Saudis. Based on circumstantial evidence, this has become a theory of what Trump’s motives could have been.
With Trump, it is best to bet on a theory of incompetence, but the Saudi theory is not entirely implausible. A third possibility is that both theories are true, and after bringing the documents back their value was realized. Either way, Trump could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act unless he manages to wriggle his way through.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar ponder the two theories proposed and lean towards the pack rat idea. Incompetence and thinking rules do not apply is the best way to think about Trump’s conduct. He and Jared have taken plenty of money directly from the Saudis and the problems with having deep ties to foreign governments.
SAAGAR
Saagar’s monologue breaks down the panic surrounding the beefed up IRS in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act. The bill partially paid for its spending by spending billions of dollars on IRS enforcement and hiring 87,000 new agents to carry it out. Republicans have strongly opposed hiring new agents and dramatically increasing the number of IRS audits citing figures about the agency going after the working poor. Democrats believe the IRS will only use their new power to chase down wealthy tax cheats. The GOP’s concern is not wrong because the IRS does audit Americans making under $25,000 much more than any other group. Congress seeks to rip money from small businesses and tradesmen by penalizing venmo transactions and other payment apps. The question is why are the working poor the most audited by the IRS to begin with. Democrats and the IRS say it is because the agency has been underfunded and the pandemic exacerbated its dysfunction. It is nearly unresponsive to requests and relies on so-called easy audits and automatic audits to raise revenue. Bringing an audit against millionaires and billionaires with legions of lawyers and accountants can be a difficult, costly feat. Democrats justification of funding the IRS is based on the funding needed to audit these wealthy individuals. The IRS is made up of 100,000 individuals, half of which are eligible to retire in the next five years. The 87,000 agents figure being floated will be spread over ten years as a method for backfilling retirements. GOP messaging has emphasized that the influx of new agents and funding will generate intrusive audits of the working poor. Democrats have responded by pointing out how audit rates have decreased for the very wealthy and for Americans generally. It is based entirely on the words of the IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and not written into law. He wrote a letter to Congress to quell GOP concerns about ordinary Americans receiving audits, but his specification about $400,000 in ‘actual income’ gives the agency plenty of leeway. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that IRS audits of lower and middle income families would result in $20 billion of additional government revenue. Doomsday scenarios of the IRS entirely targeting regular Americans have been exaggerated, but the promises of only targeting the rich are not true either. Democrats shot down an amendment by Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo to take the IRS’ promises and turn it into law. They cited the $20 billion in revenue needed by the bill, meaning the IRS will be able to target whoever they want, possibly further eroding trust in our institutions.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar talk about the IRS targeting the poor and the amount of new money that will be used against them. A pinkie promise from a government agency is not good enough to prevent this. Many wealthy Americans do not pay what they owe in taxes and the auditing should be targeted towards them. For $20 billion, Democrats have brought political ramifications on them for not mandating the IRS solely carry out audits of the wealthy. Besides this part of the bill, the GOP has struggled to bring it down and decided to seize on this portion of it. The Democrats could have neutralized the political attack on this and now it could become a political problem for them.
ALEX HOLDER
Krystal and Saagar are joined by documentary filmmaker Alex Holder whose new film unprecedented takes a unique look at the events leading up to the January 6th Capitol riot. It features behind the scenes footage and the last interview Trump gave as president. Alex has been subpoenaed in multiple investigations surrounding the 2020 election for his exclusive footage and access to the Trump family. They agreed to participate because the Trump family was convinced that he would win the election and were skeptical of polls showing otherwise. At the time, they wanted a guy to film them to win an election. Trump is somebody who believes everything belongs to him and that everything he does is brilliant. He does not understand why people do not like him unless he dislikes somebody first. All he cares about are the unimportant material things and does not fully understand the gravity of what he has been doing with the 2020 election. The rhetoric from the campaign about the election being stolen culminated in the January 6th riot, and the attendees at the event had desires to storm the Capitol even before Trump’s speech. At the time, American citizens being incited by the president to storm the Capitol and target politicians was an extraordinary and unprecedented moment. Now we know that Trump knew about what was happening from the investigations. The people around Trump were a combination of yes men and others who thought it was typical Trump. Investigators will be very interested to learn more about what was happening behind the scenes with Trump and his inner circle.
Thank you for reading the latest Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar newsletter. Please respond to the form above and purchase your tickets. Send feedback to james@breakingpoints.com or comment on YouTube. The next full show will be tomorrow!

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