Breaking news for a Monday night: President Trump announced his home in Palm Beach - Mar-A-Lago - “is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
It appears the FBI has since left his residence.
According to the New York Times, the search has to do with materials taken home by President Trump after he left the White House:
The search, according to two people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on material that Mr. Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, after he left the White House. Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents, according to a person familiar with their contents.
Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action being taken to retrieve them.
The politics of the search can’t be ignored. If the New York Times is to be believed, Trump’s purported crime - the delay of returning materials that may be classified - could have been resolved in another manner that didn’t involve raiding his home and breaking open a personal safe. No doubt the search is an escalation by a desperate Regime confronted by their own failures at home and abroad.
What about the relation of the search to January 6? I’ve gone back and forth as I’ve written this, but it’s certainly possible they were also after documents related to January 6. There are no guarantees, considering the politicization of Biden’s DOJ, which has thus far protected friends in politics, the killer of Ashley Babbitt, supporters in academia, and the President Biden’s own corrupt son.
One can be certain, however, that if the Biden Administration will carry out this raid, then it will also be aggressive to pursue charges against Trump related to January 6. As if there were any doubt. After all, last week there was reporting that a federal grand jury investigating January 6 had issued subpoenas to the Trump White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, and his top deputy, Patrick Philbin.
Perhaps the roadmap for the DOJ comes from the January 6 Committee, which has poured out the thin gruel of purported criminal charges against Trump, alleging he and others, including attorney John Eastman, could be charged with:
Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (18 USC 1512(c)(2)); and
Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (18 USC 371).
Each of these counts, and really the DOJ’s pursuit of Trump and his attorneys and advisors, amounts to the criminalization of politics.
Arguments of law that might fail in the courts are now prosecutable offenses. Attempts to delay a vote count based on novel, and not corrupt, interpretations of the law can put you in prison. Issues surrounding the counting of state results or whether the Vice President can refuse to count electoral votes is a matter to be decided through the civil or political process, not through charges brought by vindictive political opponents.
Updates and thoughts as they come:
This must have been approved by AG Garland (update: Newsweek claims “Garland was regularly briefed on the the Records Act investigation, and that he knew about the grand jury and what material federal prosecutors were seeking” but was not asked to approve the raid); not certain it got green light from POTUS or WH, contrary to Kilmeade claim below. But he does shed light on purpose of search.
To shed further light on the purpose of the search, it’s no other than DNC/Clinton Campaign attorney Marc Elias. The criminal law at issue is 18 USC 2071. Those convicted of this offense will be “disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”
For the purposes of our inquiry, does it matter if this law wouldn’t technically foreclose Trump from being elected to the presidency in 2024? Yes and no. Section 2071 was debated back in 2015 regarding Hillary Clinton and the general consensus was that the law’s disqualification clause does not apply to the presidency: “if Congress has no power to add to the standing qualifications of its own members, it cannot add to the standing qualifications for the other elected constitutional positions, i.e., the President and Vice President.”
But the disqualification clause would certainly be used as a weapon both in the courts and with the public, consistent with the Regime’s strategy to damage Trump politically.
They are terrified of running against Donald J. Trump