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The FBI Just Made Its Plundering of Mar-a-Lago Look Even Worse

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Morry Gash

When federal agents raided the home of former President Donald Trump, a first in our history, the Department of Justice had to have been aware of the fallout. There can't be a single official there who doesn't know how the Justice Department looks to roughly half the country. The Russian collusion hoax, the fake kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the fabrication of evidence to secure spy warrants on Trump campaign officials, and the actual spy operation, Crossfire Hurricane, on the Trump campaign itself has degraded the DOJ's credibility with conservatives for years. 

The FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago last Monday was the final move, the crossing of the Rubicon. Federal agents will harass and raid your home if you're a political enemy of the Democratic Party. So, the first step, not that it would do any good, is probably to ensure that the execution of this search warrant doesn't have the appearance that this is a witch hunt. The FBI failed miserably in that effort. 

Let's revisit what's transpired over this past week. Federal agents plundered Trump's Mar-a-Lago home over suspicions that classified materials were on-site and that there were violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice. The latter charge is eye-roll worthy since it's a retread of past attempts to ensnare Trump in a legal tangle. The former is just risible in the extreme, especially when the DOJ began to leak like a sieve, with folks alleging that the feds thought that classified nuclear secrets were at Mar-a-Lago. 

Memos from the Trump White House declassified documents related to Crossfire Hurricane. A Trump attorney in June certified that no classified documents were at Trump's home. Still, the Justice Department swarmed the residence and took not just documents reportedly classified but those protected by executive and attorney-client privilege. FBI agents also seized Trump's passports. 

Erick Erickson had an interesting angle regarding this raid, noting that this search under the auspices of document retrieval via the National Archives was a fishing expedition for corroborating evidence about the January 6 riot. They thought a smoking gun was in the safe, which was later discovered empty. Trump attorney Alina Habba added that the raid was initiated to increase the profile of the House Select Committee on January 6, which no one has watched. The January 6 premise makes the FBI look even more incompetent as its August 2021 report concluded that the riot was not organized, nor was Trump directly involved in organizing the violence. 

Let's not forget that Mar-a-Lago shipped boxes of documents back to the National Archives last January, which included items like dinner menus, phone books, cocktail napkins, and other mementos. Federal officials didn't think this was all the items that set about the events leading to this ransacking. All this being over a cocktail napkin would be peak federal government, and it appears that's the case. 

As for classified documents, there is no way Trump will be charged for mishandling classified material. He's the president—the ultimate authority regarding classifying and declassifying records. The regulations regarding classification do not apply to the president, as affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1987—and the federal government also overclassifies everything. It was a classified conversation when Obama told then-Russian President Medvedev that he would have more "flexibility" to negotiate with Moscow after the 2012 election. Obama didn't face any legal daggers because he's the president. 

Now, the affidavit that supports evidence of the FBI's arguably unlawful raid on the former president's home will probably remain under seal. Federal prosecutors are fighting to keep it sealed to protect the investigation's integrity. That's the ballgame right there regarding not trying to make it look like a political hit job, which it was. Trump could have filed a motion to block the unsealing of the search warrant, which he didn't because he knows how these folks operate. Give them enough rope, and they'll hang themselves. They just did it again. 

At every turn, this raid reeks of the political class and the Democrats trying to find anything to disqualify Trump from running in the next election or maybe to protect the reputation of the Obama administration. Trump declassified the Crossfire records, which reveal the Obama DOJ in an unflattering light, and then the federal agents come a-knocking. 

The Russian collusion hoax was a slaughter, a total mess for the DOJ and the integrity of the FBI. Stripping a former president's home might ruin them for good, especially with their blocking of the affidavit. I'm guessing the evidence itemized in that document does not justify the show of force last week. 


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