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Trump's Mar

Nov 21, 2023

We should all pitch in and help the federal government retrieve classified information from former President Donald Trump in Florida.

I say this in light of the recent news that Trump has kept classified materials not only at Mar-a-Lago, but also in a storage unit nearby in West Palm Beach.

These were among pallets of boxes that were shipped to Florida in September of last year, the Washington Post reported. And the documents in the storage unit were mixed with other Trump keepsakes, including "suits and swords and wrestling belts and all sorts of things."

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I’ll be the first one to say that we shouldn't try to separate Trump from any wrestling belts he has collected from his time in the White House. Get all the classified material back. And yes, go beyond that.

While you’re at it, retrieve purloined silverware, duvets from the Lincoln bedroom, and any missing portraits from the White House walls.

But leave the man his fake wrestling treasures.

Trump is in legal jeopardy for failing to turn over classified documents he kept from his tenure in the White House. For more than a year, the National Archives has been asking him to turn over everything. And Trump has yet to fully comply.

His lawyers, fearing charges of perjury against themselves, won't even attest to the courts that Trump has turned over all the government secrets he took with him.

I sympathize with Trump on this to some extent — particularly when I heard he had a storage unit.

The surest way to forget what you have is to put it in a storage unit. Storage units are air-conditioned garbage cans. They are reassuring purgatories for hoarders, expensive reminders of a personal failure, an inability to throw away stuff that has outlived its usefulness.

I know. I have a storage unit. It's inside one of those giant mausoleums for useless crap that dot the South Florida landscape. Every once in a while I visit my storage space.

It's like a prison visit. You pass through a series of coded security portals, and find the cage where your stuff is being held in open-ended detention like a political prisoner in Russia.

Hello, bad golf clubs, the couch nobody wants, and walls of boxes containing who-knows-what. Push over, ugly old coffee table, here come some more VHS tapes and a hundred pounds of old McDonald's Happy Meal toys in a plastic bin.

It's plausible that Trump may have forgotten what's in his storage unit. It wouldn't surprise me. Under the penalty of perjury, I would "take the fifth" rather than swear what's in mine.

Could be almost anything. Although, probably not any wrestling belts or government secrets.

All I know is that I used to have a smaller unit and now I have a bigger one.

That's because I don't live in Mar-a-Lago. I live in a four-bedroom house with a one-car garage that is, in itself, a storage space for lots of things — so many that there's no room for a car in it.

But for Trump to need a storage unit to absorb the overflow from Mar-a-Lago, well, that's a lot of hoarding. You’d think he’d be able to store all his excess stuff right there at his Florida home.

He lives in a hoarder's paradise. Mar-a-Lago has 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms and three bomb shelters.

I’m a big advocate of keeping all the bathroom options in play, but c’mon, Mar-a-Lago ought to provide enough stash spots for anybody, even somebody who thinks everything within his grasp is his.

Or, to put it another way: If you’ve got Mar-a-Lago and still need a storage locker in West Palm Beach, you’ve got a problem.

That's why I think Trump needs to redirect his energies. Forget focusing on Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, and start focusing on Marie Kondo.

Kondo is the author of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and an authority on throwing stuff away. She has a five-step method of decluttering your life.

The key is to keep only those things that "spark joy", Kondo says.

So, for Trump, this would mean, hypothetically, he’d keep the autographed bone saw from the Saudis, but throw out all but one of his fake Time magazine covers with imaginary glowing stories about him.

A good sign for an improvement in Trump's mental health would be the appearance of a big rollaway dumpster in the driveway of Mar-a-Lago.

In the meantime, if you have a storage unit in West Palm Beach, the next time you visit your stuff, look around and see if there are any top-secret government documents sitting in a corner somewhere.

Look underneath the wrestling belts.

Frank Cerabino is a columnist at The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at [email protected]. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

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