Mar-A-Lago Raid on Trump is Shameful Political Hit Job
We interrupt our regularly scheduled commentary about the FBI’s raid on Mar-A-Lago to bring you this breaking story about related FBI activities.
On Tuesday, the FBI confiscated the cell phone belonging to five-term Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, a Trump supporter who stood by him during his attempts to challenge the 2020 election. While traveling with his family, Rep. Perry was approached by three FBI agents who showed him a warrant and asked for his phone. They hadn’t contacted his lawyer.
His statement said in part, “I’m outraged — but not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ would seize the phone of a sitting member of Congress. My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.”
Rep. Perry reportedly was in communication numerous times with the Trump White House in advance of the January 6 rally, which suggests the raid on Mar-A-Lago might actually have been seeking more information about that protest, rather than materials sought by the National Archives as has been reported.
More as it develops. We now return you to our regularly scheduled commentary on the dirty FBI.
A Presidential Raid — Over Bookkeeping?
You know, there was a time I might have thought twice before using the term “dirty FBI.” Those days are gone. Many commentators on the left, such as MSNBC’s smirking Rachel Maddow, think these severe violations of protocol are just fine if directed at Trump and his supporters. The only ones worried are those who fear it will backfire and make Trump President again. (And please let that happen!)
Example: Andrew Cuomo, who tweeted this: “DOJ must immediately explain the reason for its raid & it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives or it will be viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation & legitimacy of January 6 investigations.”
Speaking of dirty and not coming clean, did you know Hillary is fundraising off the raid of Trump’s home while laughing at how she skated in 2016? I don’t think most Americans share her sense of humor about the demise of the justice system.
Oh, it’s much too late to maintain that committee’s legitimacy. And notice he’s concerned that this will be viewed as a political tactic, not that it actually is one. But Cuomo is right in saying they must explain the need for this. Amazingly, President Biden and his aides have been completely silent on the subject, when it defies common sense to think they didn’t know it was going to happen. They’ve lamely deferred all questions to the DOJ. Well, all right, DOJ; it’s on you: What in blazes do you think you are doing?
This had to be about more than the archival material. Miranda Devine reports that the FBI was there for nine hours and “went into every single room,” even searching Melania’s closet. Jesse Watters put it well last night:
Sending 30 men with guns in to get pieces of paper because the National Archives was complaining that getting stuff back from Mar-A-Lago was ‘taking too long’ is like a librarian launching an FBI raid. We’re raiding a President over bookkeeping? Trump’s team was already working with the feds, and already handed over boxes of documents, this year.
Apparently, the feds had been at Mar-A-Lago in June, enjoying Trump’s “open door policy” (Eric Trump’s description). So bringing in a safecracker (to open an empty safe, ha) and keeping Trump attorneys away during this process lends itself to the most sinister interpretation. We can’t trust anything they do in this situation, any “evidence” they put forward. We know they’ve faked evidence before.
Incidentally, it’s been reported that among the personal correspondence confiscated by the feds was the letter outgoing President Obama wrote to Trump on the day of his inauguration.
This is About January 6
Count legal analyst Andrew C. McCarthy among those who believe this raid wasn’t really about the archival material. He says it’s about January 6. Though some, including DNC election attorney Marc Elias, have said being found guilty of violating the Presidential Records Act would disqualify Trump from running for office again, McCarthy says that would be unconstitutional. The Constitution sets out the qualifications for President, he explains: being at least 35 and a natural-born citizen. Period. It also sets out the way someone can be disqualified: impeachment and conviction. Period. The legislature lacks the authority to alter the Constitution “by mere statute,” he says. Makes sense to me.
That’s why McCarthy thinks the “Justice” Department used this only as a pretext (a nicer word for fake reason) to get a warrant to search for what it’s really looking for: anything to tie Trump to a Capitol riot offense. McCarthy says it would be “foolhardy” for Garland to do it, but, of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t. If he does charge Trump, he has to prove that Trump “clearly knew that the election was not stolen.” We know Trump clearly believed — and still believes — that it was. They want to find something on a piece of paper that suggests otherwise.
Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.
That reminds me of something Jonathan Turley wrote last week, about Liz Cheney saying the January 6 committee was going to have “much more” evidence that they would release in the fall. (You know, closer to the election.)
It makes me wonder if Cheney, when she said that, knew all about the raid that would be happening in a few days. (I also wonder if Christopher Wray knew about it last Thursday when he was dodging questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.) One person who would think so is Trump attorney Alina Habba, who spoke with FOX NEWS’ Jesse Watters on Tuesday. She was with Trump when he got news of the raid and said he took it more calmly than one might expect, speculating that this might be because “there’s never a dull moment in his life.” She confirmed that Trump had been cooperating with the National Archives — working “in tandem”; there was “nothing to hide” — and that what happened was “completely unconstitutional.” They raided when Trump wasn’t even there (which tells us any concern that he might destroy evidence was bogus), and made his attorneys leave the premises while they gathered materials.
“They’re the people who are supposed to be defending the democracy,” Habba said, “and instead they are destroying it.”
Working Together To Bring Trump Down
She said there are other cases going on that we haven’t heard about (yet), and they support the view that various agencies are indeed working together to bring Trump down. In the context of this alleged coordination — should I say … “collusion”? — she specifically mentioned Letitia James, the attorney general of New York; recall that she ran for office on a promise to do that very thing. It’s “one hundred percent” politically motivated, Habba said. “If he weren’t ahead in the polls, this wouldn’t be happening.”
Watters also spoke with Eric Trump, who said, “Mark my words; keep this tape. This will all lead back to the Biden administration. They’re doing this for political purposes. They did it before with Russia … and you’re gonna find the same thing here.”
Here’s more response from Eric and also Lara Trump.
We learned more today about Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed this mysterious warrant. He’s an Obama donor and a magistrate judge, not an “Article III” judge, meaning he’s not a presidential appointment or Senate confirmation. Bonchie at RedState wonders, “Why did a low-level, unconfirmed, unappointed magistrate judge sign off on the most consequential FBI warrant in decades? If any warrant application demanded the eyes of a real judge, it would be one targeting the former President of the United States. Yet, this judge was happy to give the FBI what it wanted while the FBI was happy to accept.”
Another intriguing detail: Reinhart was a prosecutor on the Jeffrey Epstein case who quit on January 1, 2008, to go to work for Epstein’s associates on January 2, 2008, helping obtain immunity for various enablers. If he’s capable of that, he’s likely capable of signing a warrant for just about anything.
‘We’ve Crossed the Rubicon’
Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said Monday that we’ve entered “dangerous territory” and he worries for the republic if Trump has to stand trial in a DC court. He said “they have a burden to demonstrate that this investigation is not completely politically motivated after Hillary Clinton walked scot-free for the last seven years” and that the relentless attack on Trump has been an “outrageous expansion” of the FBI’s powers. “We’ve crossed the Rubicon to some extent,” he said. “This is something from banana republics, not the United States of America.”
Get The Stream’s daily news roundup, quick and served with a healthy splash of humor. Subscribe to The Brew
“Tell us the predicate for the warrant,” Lindsey Graham said Tuesday, echoing numerous legal analysts. “Reveal the affidavit. This is too important to democracy. We’re in uncharted, dangerous waters. So I’m calling on Merrick Garland tonight to address the nation as to why this happened. Lay your cards out on the table, ‘cause you’re doing a lot of damage to the country,” especially 90 days before an election.
“…If you’ve got something that is really so compelling, you had to go into the man’s home with guns drawn to get the information, tell the American people.”
A Dirty DOJ Won’t Come Clean
Don’t hold your breath, Sen. Graham. You can go on TV and insist all you want, but it won’t get you anywhere. Fortunately, in breaking news, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch has filed a motion to unseal the warrant as soon as possible. “The DOJ’s silence on it is deafening,” he said Tuesday evening.
He went on to talk about congressional Democrats using their “oversight” ability to target Trump personally again, pushing to get his confidential tax information, which the DC Court of Appeals has just ruled they can see. These are tax returns from before, during, and after his presidency. “Trump’s civil rights, practically speaking, get thrown out the window,” Fitton said. With the presidency under attack, the courts need to “step up and protect the structure of our government.” He said the courts “have been bystanders in large measure,” just rubber-stamping warrants.
Few have persevered as Tom Fitton has to get answers from the government. Some in the GOP, like Sen. Graham, seem to think that if enough Republicans pound the table and demand answers, we’ll magically get them. No, we won’t. Look at all that the intel community has tried to keep under wraps since about 2015. The dirty DOJ is not in the habit of coming clean.
‘You Don’t Have a Democracy Any More’
Speaking of dirty and not coming clean, did you know Hillary is fundraising off the raid of Trump’s home while laughing at how she skated in 2016? She thinks it’s cute to market hats that say “BUT HER EMAILS.” Leftists might love it, and she says her hats sold out, but sorry, I don’t think most Americans share her sense of humor about the demise of the justice system.
Will Cain, subbing for Tucker Carlson Tuesday night, interviewed Victor Davis Hanson, and Hanson described what’s going on in our country about as well as it can be done. When you start going after officials, taking their phones or putting them in shackles, on an ideological basis, “you don’t have a democracy any more, and I don’t think we do,” he said.
He likened the J6 committee to “sort of a French Robespierre Committee of Public Safety.” Interesting comparison.
To be on the J6 committee, Hanson said, there’s one qualification: you have to have voted to impeach Donald Trump. And Liz Cheney’s one job on that committee is to stop Trump. That’s not what it’s supposed to be, he said. Her job is supposed to be disinterested, to find out what really happened on that day. Instead, she “makes the testimony and the witnesses fit” what they want to say happened.
“I never thought I would say this,” Hanson continued. “The FBI is beyond redemption. All of its bureaus and its institutions have to be farmed out and broken up. If you have … an FBI warrant, there’s no guarantee that that has not been altered. If you subpoena and you want FBI records on phones … they will be wiped clean. If you want disinterested legal counsel, look at Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. If you’re the FBI and you want to find out why Hillary has hired a foreign national to find dirt on a political opponent, then you will hire that same foreign national.”
He went down the list of the last four FBI directors and what took place under each of their tenures, and it was not pretty. “All of this is destroying this country,” he said.
Win in November
If scrapping the FBI and starting over sounds daunting, remember that winning in November is the first step. I’ll leave you with this encouraging tweet from Stephen Kruiser: “Anyone who reads me knows I haven’t been sold on the GOP’s chances of taking back the Senate. I think this Mar-A-Lago raid was an in-kind contribution to every Republican on the ballot.”
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times best-selling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.
Originally published at MikeHuckabee.com. Reprinted with permission.