It was a dragnet, but one executed by keystone cops. The FBI’s ransacking of Mar-a-Lago over allegations that the home of the former president housed classified information did more to help Trump than hurt him. We have known the campaign of overreach the Justice Department has engaged in for years to keep the Russian collusion hoax alive. This raid only further legitimizes the narrative that the DOJ is a political Gestapo force that acts at the behest of the Democratic Party. The search warrant is soaked in ludicrousness about the former president violating the Espionage Act and obstructing justice. One of the leaks after the embarrassing presser held by Attorney General Merrick Garland was that Trump had documents containing atomic secrets at Mar-a-Lago. It’s all facially untrue.
Remember, this nine-hour safari on the grounds of the former president was based on some dinner menus and cocktail napkins that were sent back to the National Archives in January. Officials didn’t believe that Trump had turned over everything, even though he declassified a trove of documents about Crossfire Hurricane—the FBI’s spy operation on the 2016 campaign—before exiting the presidency in 2021. Last June, a Trump attorney certified that no classified documents were at Mar-a-Lago.
FBI didn’t leave empty-handed from Trump’s home, but some of the documents might have been declassified, and the attorney-client privilege protected some. At the same time, other records were reportedly covered by executive privilege (via Fox News):
The FBI seized boxes containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege during its raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News, adding that the Justice Department opposed Trump lawyers' request for the appointment of an independent, special master to review the records.
Sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News Saturday that the former president’s team was informed that boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33, and a set of documents—all seen on the final page of the FBI’s property receipt —contained information covered by attorney-client privilege.
The FBI seized classified records from Trump's Palm Beach home during its unprecedented Monday morning raid, including some marked as top secret. But the former president is disputing the classification, saying the records have been declassified.
Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege that keeps communications between an attorney and their client confidential.
Sources told Fox News that some records could be covered by executive privilege, which gives the president of the United States and other officials within the executive branch the authority to withhold certain sensitive forms of advice and consultation between the president and senior advisors.
This raid helped Trump more than it hurt regarding his 2024 ambitions. The Justice Department, the liberal media, and the Democrats just gave this man a new campaign script that will resonate with the GOP base. Trump very well could have fallen into the trap of obsessing about the 2020 election. Now he can push the not-so-inaccurate narrative that the political class views him as an enemy of the state that will dispatch federal agents to harass him. Personally, his reputation will take another hit as he fights on multiple legal fronts—but how many ‘walls are closing in’ stories have we seen come and go? While more intense and public than most, this raid will have the same ending.