Photo/Illutration Former U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he departs Trump Tower on Aug. 10 in New York. (AP Photo)

“Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories” was written by S.S. Van Dine, the pseudonym U.S. art critic Willard Huntington Wright (1888-1939) used when he wrote detective novels.

One rule is that since the detective’s function is to determine the culprit using logical deductions, solving the crime using spiritualistic means--such as seances, crystal-gazing and so on--is strictly taboo.

Another rule, which is entirely reasonable, goes: The detective, himself, or one of his official investigators, should never turn out to be the culprit.”

In other words, certain individuals are simply not supposed to be guilty in detective stories.

But in real life, what if the president of the United States was engaged in something akin to espionage?

The FBI searched the Florida home of former U.S. President Donald Trump on suspicion of violating the Espionage Act, and they seized classified documents that were believed to have been removed from the White House by Trump himself.

Some of the documents, according to the FBI, had the highest security classification of Top Secret.

I thought I could never be surprised by Trump anymore, but wow.

The Washington Post reported classified documents related to nuclear weapons were among the items the FBI sought. Perhaps the Feds proceeded with the search before the documents could be leaked.

Trump’office stated last week in defense of the former president, “Everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different.”

And with Trump blasting the FBI raid as a “witch hunt,” who knows, he may have further consolidated his support base.

In the United States today, judicial tyranny has become something of a red-meat issue to inflame certain segments of society.

Going back to the “Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories,” the author states: “The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery. All clues must be plainly stated and described.”

I wonder if the U.S. authorities feel the need to disclose as much investigative information as possible to the public to highlight the legitimacy of the investigation.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 16

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.