The news that the FBI executed a warrant to search djt’s Mar-a-Lago compound was welcome news to those who believe in democracy and the rule of law. Of course, there has been a lot of speculation and even disinformation about this.
Rolling Stone reported that djt asked associates if they thought his phones were bugged. Newsweek said the raid resulted from a “confidential human source,” citing government sources.
Since late April, the source says, “a federal grand jury began deliberating whether there was a violation of the Presidential Records Act or whether President Trump unlawfully possessed national security information. Through the grand jury process, the National Archives provided federal prosecutors with copies of the documents received from former President Trump in January 2022. The grand jury concluded that there had been a violation of the law, according to the Justice Department source.
“In the past week, the prosecutor in the case and local Assistant U.S. Attorney went to Florida magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in West Palm Beach to seek approval to search Donald Trump’s private residence. The affidavit to obtain the search warrant… contained abundant and persuasive detail that Trump continued to possess the relevant records in violation of federal law and that investigators had sufficient information to prove that those records were located at Mar-a-Lago—including the detail that they were contained in a specific safe in a specific room.”
The FBI informant must be someone very close to djt, according to former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who didn’t even know there was a safe at the compound. Who is the mole inside Mar-A-Lago? teased The Lincoln Project.
A bad habit
He has a habit of mishandling records destinated to the National Archives. The Washington Post “reported that the former president’s habit of shredding documents… meant to be preserved… was so ‘relentless that Trump’s team implemented protocols to try to ensure that he was abiding by the Presidential Records Act.’
“That process involved ‘aides from either the Office of the Staff Secretary or the Oval Office Operations team [coming] in behind Trump to retrieve the piles of torn paper he left in his wake,’ and then painstakingly ‘jigsawing the documents back together, using clear tape.’ One person familiar with the matter told the Post the National Archives staff was ‘stunned at how many papers they received from the Trump administration that were ripped,’ calling it ‘unprecedented'” and unpresidential. Illegal too!
The reason this is such a big deal is that djt and the Republican Congress boosted penalties for “mishandling classified docs to spite Hillary Clinton” over her damn emails. The Daily Show ripped over the GOP’s Hillary Clinton hypocrisy “in a video that highlights Trump’s allies ‘talking about Hillary’ while showing FBI agents entering Mar-a-Lago.”
Of course, many Republicans reflexively have come to djt’s defense, even Mike Pence. Kevin McCarthy, who will become speaker of the House if the GOP takes control, said he would launch an immediate investigation of the DOJ: “Attorney General Garland … clear your calendar.”
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) calls “The FBI’s raid on President Trump’s Florida home…a dark day in American history. The political weaponization of the FBI and Department of Justice is an actual threat to democracy. There must be an immediate investigation and accountability into Joe Biden, and his Administration’s weaponizing this department against their political opponents – the likely 2024 Republican candidate for President of the United States.”
But what’s concerned me is countless online threats of violence and “civil war.” It is something we should not ignore.
FBI head Christopher Wray bewailed threats to law enforcement. For instance, a Jan. 6 protestor, armed and decked out in body armor, tried to breach a security screening area at an FBI field office in Cincinnati, OH, just yesterday. After an hours-long standoff, the gunman was killed.
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph, noting the ‘big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke” the night before.
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) “posted audio of a violent death threat against him and his family. The Congressman is married, and the couple has three children. The speaker in the audio also calls for ‘all Democrats’ to be killed and ends with a call for ‘Trump 2024.'”
“Republican extremists went into overdrive with their violent online rhetoric—”This. Means. War.” “When does the shooting start?” “Summertime was made for killing fields.'”
A Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. They believe ‘God Anointed Him’:
Red State, a rightwing online magazine that I won’t link to, wrote that Whether You Like It or Not, You’re Now a Part of The Resistance. “One big difference between conservatives and leftists is that, for the most part, conservatives want the smallest amount of contact with government possible as they go about their lives.” Like not ratting out people who seek information about abortion; yeah, right.
“On the other hand, progressive leftists want the government involved in every single aspect of our lives and are willing to spend every waking moment working to achieve that goal. Instead of volunteering and being a part of community organizations, progressives spend their time protesting and agitating for the government to be in charge of everything. And when they’re not protesting and agitating, they’re scouring social media to see which of their neighbors is possibly engaging in wrongthink and trying to make their lives miserable.” The last sentence, in particular, is jaw-dropping.
“Attorney General Merrick Garland said he ‘personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant of the former president’s residence.” The Department of Justice has filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and the itemized receipt of what was taken from Mar-a-Lago. This should, but probably won’t assuage those who believe djt has been persecuted. Will djt’s lawyers even allow for the release?
I won’t even get into djt’s appearance at “the New York Attorney General’s Office” to plead the fifth Amendment. Attorney General Letitia James is investigating “his real estate pricing practices. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 that his former boss would increase what he claimed his properties are worth when attempting to arrange credit and decrease their value for tax purposes.”
Finally, a little satire: Feds Seizing Documents at Mar-a-Lago Unable to Find Trump’s Health-Care Plan. “It’s got to be around here somewhere,” one F.B.I. agent