We are starting to get more details on what occurred during the FBI’s nearly 10-hour raid of Donald Trump’s home in Florida, though, it’s not the government that’s providing them. On Tuesday evening, Trump’s lawyer revealed that authorities didn’t even want to present a warrant, and when they finally did, the warrant had the probable cause sealed.
As to what was seized, the list is illuminating, and not in a good way for the FBI’s conduct. According to a report from The Washington Post, citing information leaked to them by the government (which says a lot on its own), the boxes taken were full of what would mostly be considered personal effects and mundane presidential records.
There were rumors many months ago that this is all that the National Archives was after. Not really important things related to national security or some such, which even still wouldn’t justify the raid, but scribblings on napkins and letters from heads of state. If this report is correct, that’s what the FBI carried out an unprecedented raid on a president for. 33,000 stolen emails put on an illegal server weren’t enough to raid Hillary Clinton, but the National Archives wanting a letter from Kim Jung Un was. The abuse of power is off the charts.
But is that all the FBI was actually after? Color me skeptical given how corrupt that agency and politically weaponized the bureau is. Sure, the collection of those records may have been the convenient pretext they needed, and the only one they could legally acquire, in order to search Trump’s home. But you can bet that while they were there riffling through the entire premises for nearly half a day, they were searching for other things that could bolster the other pursuits against Trump. The FBI just needed to get into the door and they could do whatever they want.
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Which only underscores how out of bounds the entire raid was. The justification is so paper-thin that it’s only logical to assume the FBI had other motives, and given the DOJ’s obvious coordination with the January 6th committee, wouldn’t that seem likely?
This is not how the Presidential Records Act has ever been enforced. Even if the FBI felt it had probable cause to seize the materials it took, all it would have taken was a phone call and a few plain-clothed agents. Instead, the government chose to send rifle-wielding agents in full body armor to raid the premises of a former president, ostensibly for some dinner napkins.
That’s objectively insane, and anyone still defending this raid or claiming we just need an “explanation” is exposing their own hypocritical tolerance for blatant political targeting by the government.
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