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Trump is not facing federal indictment because he took classified documents. He is facing federal indictment because he did not comply with lawful orders to return them, actively tried to hide them, appears to have destroyed or have been complicit in destroying some of them and may have illegally shared their content with unauthorized individuals. 

These are not trifling charges. This is indeed a big deal. If proved, these allegations represent the most heinous abuse of office in U.S. presidential history.

We will likely learn many of the details Tuesday when the indictment is unsealed at Trump’s arraignment. I can wait, although DOJ has the right to release the information sooner if it so chooses.

Here’s what we know now. Trump is on tape admitting he removed and retained top-secret classified documents. He is on tape admitting that the documents had not been legally declassified as he publicly claimed. We also know that under the Espionage Act the question of whether the documents were classified or unclassified is irrelevant anyway.

We know Thursday’s federal indictment resulted from an exhaustive and legally conducted investigation that produced compelling evidence and established probable cause that Trump committed federal crimes. The conspiracy count suggests that others may have as well.

This is about the rule of law and the cornerstone principle that no one is above the law.

Sure, these charges have value to Trump’s political opponents. But there is nothing to suggest that the investigation and resulting indictment were politically motivated. Nothing. This was conducted “by the book.”

Should we simply have turned a blind eye to this mounting evidence?

This is not a “witch hunt,” or a “hoax” or “fake news.”

This is a sobering moment in American history whose resolution may determine the future course of our nation’s system and institutions.

Our loyalty should be to evidence and facts as they are determined and disclosed.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.