Federal agents on Monday, August 8, performed a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence. The Mar-a-Lago raid, instituted by the DOJ and conducted by the FBI, was sure to become political. With the Fourth Estate locked and loaded to defend the search as procedural, it seems the battle lines over narrative have been drawn.
Trump Calls It Political
Trump posted on his Truth Social network, “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.” He further decried the raid, saying the FBI incursion was neither “necessary” nor “appropriate.”
The question of necessity is one that was echoed strongly by constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley. Speaking to Fox News, the lawyer questioned why the DOJ sought a search warrant rather than a subpoena, which he said was “strange,” unless the department thought Trump was ready to destroy evidence. However, as Trump was not present at his residence, such an event could not actually occur. Turley also pointed out that, back in April, agents were granted open access to Mar-a-Lago and that Trump was clearly cooperating with any investigation.
The April search is being given prominence by the left-leaning media in what appears to be an implication that the former president is actively engaged in hiding documents. Reports say that during the previous search, 15 boxes were found to have contained some classified material. However, to date, no authorities have suggested that any crime was committed at the time.
Eric Trump defended his father along these lines, saying the former president “always kept press clippings, newspaper articles, pictures, notes from us” as well as “boxes when he moved out of the White House.” He insisted that his father maintained an “open-door policy” when it came to allowing authorities to access documents in his possession.
Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza commented that “The warrant itself would be interesting to look at, but the sworn affidavit in support of it would reveal the evidence the FBI hopes to find, and in support of what criminal charges.”
Mar-a-Lago Raid Unprecedented
Republicans and Trump associates have accused the Department of Justice of overreach and double standards. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went on Twitter to declaim the actions of the DOJ and the FBI. He wrote:
“Executing a warrant against ex-POTUS is dangerous. The apparent political weaponization of DOJ/FBI is shameful. AG must explain why 250 yrs of practice was upended w/ this raid. I served on Benghazi Com where we proved [Hillary Clinton] possessed classified info. We didn’t raid her home.”
Trump also raised the issue of Hillary Clinton in his statement, saying that she “was allowed to delete and acid wash 33,000 E-mails AFTER they were subpoenaed by Congress. Absolutely nothing has happened to hold her accountable. She even took antique furniture, and other items from the White House.”
Bracing for Backlash
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) declared that if Republicans take back the lower chamber of Congress in November, an investigation into the DOJ will be a top priority. He said, “I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General [Merrick] Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also decried what he sees as the politicization of the Justice Department and the double standard presented by Garland. He wrote on Twitter, “The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves. Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic.”
The term “Banana Republic” soon became a trending topic across multiple social media platforms. This may just be an immediate backlash, but with trust in the DOJ and FBI at an all-time low, the agencies, like Caesar’s wife, must be above all suspicion.
To Fear Or Not to Fear?
One of America’s best-known legal minds, Alan Dershowitz, warned of the political weaponization of said agencies. He explained:
“The raid is supposed to be a last resort. But this administration has used the weaponization of the justice system against its political enemies. It has arrested people, denied them bail, put them in handcuffs – used all kinds of techniques that are not usually applied to American citizens. I just hope this raid has the justification. If it doesn’t have the justification, the materials seized in it will be suppressed.”
“This is improper, and this is misconduct,” he continued. “We have to find out what the facts are. But we have to make sure the shoe fits on the other foot – that we want to make sure what is being [d]one here is something that Democrats would not oppose if it were being done to Democratic operatives, as well.”
And yet, high-profile Democrats are not heeding his warning. California Representative Eric Swalwell laid out his opinion soon after news of the Mar-a-Lago raid broke, saying, “We are witnessing the difference between an honest system and a corrupt one. In 2020 Donald Trump brought us dangerously close to a permanently corrupt America. The rule of law is taking shape. And accountability is coming.”
“Elected officials like me are not above the law. Nor is Trump,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) commented. “Why would you exempt anyone from an authorized search warrant?”
Paying the Piper?
Should Republicans take back the House during the November congressional elections, Garland will be the subject of massive speculation in much the same way as both the Mueller and Durham investigations were. But as with most things in the DC bubble, spin and narrative control will be at the forefront, with each side pushing the primacy of their own version of events. And what is left behind will likely be little more than a political Rorschach test. As Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann once declared, “Everything is politics.”