‘No excuse for espionage’: New Lincoln Project ad blasts Ron DeSantis, GOP defense of Donald Trump
Image via The Lincoln Project.

Espionage Ron DeSantis Lincoln Project
‘Patriots know people who commit this crime belong in prison, not the White House.’

A new Lincoln Project ad about Donald Trump’s most recent indictment is highlighting the severity — and rarity — of the former President’s alleged crimes and putting several of his 2024 election opponents on blast for defending him.

The one-minute spot, titled “Espionage,” describes Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents as “one of the worst crimes imaginable” for which “a select list of Americans” have been charged.

Robert Hanssen, Aldrich Ames, Ana Montes, John Walker and Ronald William Pelton, all indicted for violating the Espionage Act, with the prison terms that traitors and spies against America deserve,” a voiceover in the ad says.

The video then flashes a side-by-side shot of Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

“And what will Trump get? The men and women running against him for President will defend him, praise him, make excuses. They’ll lie about the prosecution and make up stories about the ‘deep state’ to rile up the MAGA base.

“There’s no excuse for espionage, no defense for stealing America’s secrets or sharing them with anyone, ever. Trump did this to himself. He took the documents, he shared them and conspired to cover it up.

“Patriots know people who commit this crime belong in prison, not the White House.”

The ad will run Tuesday and Wednesday on Fox News in the Palm Beach area surrounding and including Mar-a-Lago. It’ll also air on the channel those days in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.

As detailed in another video the Lincoln Project posted on YouTube Saturday, Trump faces nearly 40 federal counts, including the unlawful retention of defense information, an Espionage Act charge.

Other charges include obstruction and conspiracy.

“And now his Primary ‘opponents’ are lining up to pardon him,” the ad said before showing clips of DeSantis, Pence, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy either alluding to or confirming plans to pardon Trump if they win the presidency next year.

In early April, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to pay hush money to a porn star and another woman in a separate indictment.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Michael K

    June 11, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Wow. they nailed it.

    And if you read the indictment, it’s difficult to comprehend how any reasonable person, let alone any so-called American Patriot, can defend the former president.

    • George J Kamburoff

      June 11, 2023 at 12:50 pm

      As former Deputy Foreperson for a federal criminal grand jury for 70 sessions in 24 months, I agree.

  • Michael K

    June 11, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Wow. they nailed it.

    And if you read the indictment, it’s difficult to comprehend how any reasonable person, let alone any so-called American Patriot, can defend the former president.

  • PeterH

    June 11, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Once again….The terrific LINCOLN PROJECT has produced an on-target short video telling the electorate what is at stake in the 2024 election.

    Real Conservatives and Independent voters will take note.

  • Thomas Kaspar

    June 11, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    And indicted Trumps Diet Coke valet Walt Nauta .

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 11, 2023 at 7:44 pm

      Walt was a Navy guy. Like Ron DeSantis. I predict Walt will turn state’s evidence within a week. That’s the point of indicting him.

      • Thomas Kaspar

        June 11, 2023 at 7:49 pm

        DNC is perfectly fine with charging Trumps innocent assistant with Federal crimes . Disgusting.

        • Tom

          June 12, 2023 at 7:43 am

          Disgusting would be when folks are so ignorant that they think political parties can charge people with crimes. Did you not pay attention during civics when you were at school?

        • Dont Say FLA

          June 12, 2023 at 9:29 am

          Everyone’s presumed innocent unless proven guilty, so who else but the innocent can be charged, Thomas? The guilty aren’t charged. The guilty are people who have been convicted of charges brought against them during their presumption of innocence. Conversion from presumption of innocence to a finding of guilt, that is called a “trial” with a “verdict” and the verdict was “guilty.” Sometimes trials end with a verdict of “not guilty,” too. When that happens, guilt was not proven and the presumption of innocence persists. Our entire judicial system is founded in charging people who are presumed innocent, Thomas. So, yeah, the DNC is okay with “innocent” people being indicted. Everyone’s okay with that. That’s how it works. Everyone’s okay with it, well, except today’s GOP, it seems, according to themselves. The members of the self-proclaimed party of law and order does not like it when law and order is applied to them. Ron DeSantis has himself exempted from laws he doesn’t want to follow. But, Trump? Trump is too stupid to have CYA’ed himself.

          • Thomas Kaspar

            June 12, 2023 at 9:43 am

            “who else but the innocent can be charged” curb the bong there is nothing here illegal . The WH protocol was nonexistent and documents have been moved around in unsecure trucks . That is an unfortunate unchartered NARA , Pentagon SS flaw seized upon by DNC and had valid blow back on Biden and Clintons . Total BS .

          • Dont Say FLA

            June 12, 2023 at 11:09 am

            Thomas says there is nothing illegal here. The Miami Grand Jury that saw the prosecution’s evidence disagrees with Thomas 37 times, and they’re all felony charges.

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 11, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Buy why? WHY? It’s not ego. Donald looks for gains for Donald. What was his gain in fighting over returning boxes of documents, secret and otherwise, rather than returning them without penalty like the other guys did?

    If Trump loses this fight he chose, he faces dying in prison from old age. That’s a harsh penalty. Why would Trump make that choice? What alternative did he face regarding the boxes of papers? Trump evidently thinks he faces worse consequences elsewhere than he’ll get from the US Government.

    Seems the only worse choice than dying in prison from old age would be something akin to being beheaded like Khashoggi by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the very same guy behind LIV golf that is bringing PGA tours back to Trump golf courses, as Trump “predicted” over a year ago.

    Does Trump owe some of those secret papers to MBS as a golf business quid pro quo? If Trump does owe MBS some secrets, that would certainly explain trying so hard, and at such great personal risk, to keep those boxes of state secrets.

    Trump can’t hold up his end of a bargain with MBS, if there is a bargain like that, be it with MBS or whoever perhaps else.

    Trump will probably die from old age in prison, but Tiffany, Don Jr, Eric, Ivanka and Barron had better be very careful. Payback from MBS or someone like that, whoever it might be, if it’s anybody, that payback would be hell for generations.

    • Done Deal

      June 11, 2023 at 3:05 pm

      Could be the secret paperwork portion of the LIV/PGA deal is already done and the remaining boxes of secret documents are possibly all a diversion from documents already provided to the Saudis by Trump. “It’s outrageous what he did with THESE documents.” But THOSE documents, they’re already gone, hence the show over THESE documents. “Look over HERE. Look at THESE documents I have and refuse to give back.”

  • Thomas Kaspar

    June 11, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    He doesn’t want his political enemies like Schiff , NY DA etc going through his personal mixed boxes . That stuff was on the WH driveway and a truck on the Interstate . If it was a threat it would not have been handled that way .Trump doesn’t pack his own shit .indicting his Diet Coke butler is laughable .

    • PeterH

      June 11, 2023 at 4:05 pm

      Republicans testified that Trump did indeed ‘pack his own files’ into these boxes. He also periodically retrieved documents from the Mar a Lago boxes. You need to keep up and read the indictment charging document.

      • Thomas Kaspar

        June 11, 2023 at 6:51 pm

        If you think he hurriedly ‘packed’ and moved and transported all those boxes in the indictment full of a Presidents four years of total memorabilia , newspapers , magazines , photos , ties , working correspondence and files you are pretty naive . Plus his Diet Coke Butler Walt Nauta was criminally indicted . Don’t be a sucker . Espionage is not happening .Rachel Maddow reported that if he doesn’t run the charges could be dropped . This President had two Democrat manufactured impeachments .

        • Dont Say FLA

          June 12, 2023 at 9:33 am

          Thomas does not believe Republican testimony, but Thomas does believe Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC host.

          This, while internet-comments-arguing in support of Donald Trump.

          How silly.

          • Thomas Kaspar

            June 12, 2023 at 9:50 am

            Go read the document . Its manufactured from hours long depositions going nowhere . Pissing off NARA is not espionage , felonious or criminal post election was a disorderly mess with mixed up boxes . They should have had the Pentagon come down to Palm Beach and get them . Its not like Trump doesnt know what was on his working files .

        • George J Kamburoff

          June 12, 2023 at 10:14 am

          I got that same note from Putin.
          He LOVES Trump.

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 11, 2023 at 7:14 pm

      The 45 pages of indictments don’t mention how the boxes were transported to Maga Lardo. Not once. It’s all about The Donald’s attempts at making the boxes disappear after the National Archives asked to get them back.

      • Thomas Kaspar

        June 12, 2023 at 9:53 am

        Rented trucks , hired movers , private planes , hand carts , Ryder Trucks , NARA drive ways . No one criminalized these documents until Trump announced running 2024 .

        • Dont Say FLA

          June 12, 2023 at 11:07 am

          May 2021
          NARA requests Trump’s boxes

          Feb. 9, 2022
          NARA asks the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Trump’s handling of government records, after Trump returned boxes of government documents stored at Mar-a-Lago that included classified materials.

          Nov 15, 2022
          Trump announced for 2024.

          You’re off by at least 9 months (aka one baby), but up to a year and a half wrong, Thomas.

  • Don’t Look Up

    June 11, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Share this LINCOLN PROJECT video with everyone on your email list.

  • George J Kamburoff

    June 12, 2023 at 10:12 am

    They were used to commit federal felonies. If Clinton had done it, you would be trying to hang her.

    • Thomas Kaspar

      June 12, 2023 at 12:54 pm

      If Trump knows the exact content of his own working Presidential documents will they charge his brain and memory with espionage . Biden is safe here he doesnt know where the hell he is much less remember a document .

  • Ron's Excuse

    June 12, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Ron’s excuse will be the same as with their white boots. “Casey made me do it.” Those white boots!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn