Lawyers Call BS On FBI’s Trump Raid
Some of the sharpest lawyers we know, including some that are by no means Trump supporters, have called BS on the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar a Lago estate
in Palm Beach, Florida.
The first one is our friend Andy McCarthy, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and present senior fellow at National Review Institute and NR contributing editor, and a Trump sceptic. Mr. McCarthy wrote in National Review, that in the chaos of Trump's departure from the White House…
It has long been reported that some of these boxes contained classified information. There was concern during Trump’s term about his toting classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence because he was not careful (to put it mildly) about how they were handled and stored. After his tumultuous departure, National Archives officials complained that the former president had retained documents that were required to be stored in the Archives under the Presidential Records Act.
Long negotiations followed. Eventually, Trump returned over a dozen boxes that reportedly contained classified information. We don’t know the status of these materials, but a president may only declassify information while he is president. If, prior to leaving office, Trump had failed to declassify the documents he allegedly retained, then he had no authority to do so after his term ended. Ergo, from the DOJ’s perspective, there was a probability that the classified documents Trump returned had for months been kept in an unauthorized place. Moreover, because Trump did not return to the National Archives everything that was shipped to Mar-a-Lago in January 2021, he likely still has classified documents it may be unlawful for him to possess…
As a prosecutable crime, I am betting the Biden Justice Department is not very interested in this. The DOJ is very interested, however, in the Capitol riot, and it is under intense pressure from the Democratic base to charge Trump with crimes arising out of it.
In the absence of strong evidence proving that Trump was criminally complicit in the violence (i.e., that he conspired in or willfully abetted the use of force), it would be highly controversial ––as I’ve maintained, it would be a profound mistake — to indict Trump for a non-violent crime. That’s because the potential non-violent charges — e.g., corruptly obstructing congressional proceedings (the January 6 joint session to count electoral votes) or conspiring to defraud the United States government — would amount to criminalizing a frivolous legal theory (specifically, the theory that Vice President Pence had unilateral authority to discount electoral votes, or at least remand them back to the contested states for an audit)...
For months, the Justice Department has had in its hip pocket a probable crime, the mishandling of classified documents, that could be used as a justification for searching Donald Trump’s estate. But in searching the estate, I don’t believe the FBI was looking for classified documents or other missing government records — not really. Just as in the searches of Clark and Eastman, the Bureau and Justice Department prosecutors were looking for evidence powerfully showing that the former president and his confederates knew their stolen-election claims were false. That’s what the DOJ needs, at a minimum, to indict Trump for crimes arising out of the January 6 uprising.
In a powder keg, AG Garland is trying to turn up a smoking gun. Unless he can make a convincing violent-crime case against Trump, though, an indictment based on extravagant theories of fraud or mishandling of classified documents will blow up on the Justice Department.
Attorney and radio and TV commentator Mark Levin used his platforms to knockdown this breathless article by Mitchell Epner for the Daily Beast (which also “broke” the fake Steele Dossier that launched the fraudulent Russia collusion investigation):
The warrant obtained by the FBI to search former President Donald Trump’s office and residence at Mar-A-Lago has been made public, and it is a shocker. And I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but this could be the big one—the case where Trump can’t escape legal accountability.
Mr. Levin first took to Twitter and then to segments of his FOX News appearances to make the following points, which seem to agree with Andy McCarthy’s take:
This is crap. The 1917 Espionage Act cannot apply to a President. Under Article II, first sentence of Section I, he is the executive branch.
He is free to do as he wishes with these documents, including deciding as president to remove them as he leaves office. I suspect former presidents have done so. Unless and until a subpoena is issued to search Obama’s various estates, we won’t know.
That said, this entire process is a subterfuge, as I’ve explained here, on radio and TV.
Who's lost track of them, the FBI, the CIA? They're so damn important. That's my question. And that's number one. Number two, as Bret, you others have said, between June and August of a two-month period when nothing literally nothing happened.
I don't care if the president's lawyers are raising objections or not. You're just sitting there for two months, and you do nothing. Let me tell you what I think is going on here, Martha. This is a pretext. This is a cover-up. They wanted to get in that house related to January 6. They're collecting additional information they didn't have in June or before June. They get one shot.
They wanted to get into that house – search warrants – so no lawyers are around. The president's not around. Nobody can get in their way, and they can go through everything and anything they want.
If they knew specifically what documents they wanted, then they should have asked for it, and they would have gotten them. There's no way to stop them.
Attorney and career national security player Kash Patel, who served as Chief of Staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism (CT) at the Trump National Security Council (NSC) and, most relevant to our inquiries here, as the National Security Advisor and Senior Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and as a terrorism prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DOJ) knows a thing or two about how the government’s classified document works. As he told Martha McCallum on a FOX News segment:
"If he says something is declassified, that's it, it is declassified," Patel explained. "He declassified a whole set of documents that should have come out... That's on the National Archives to sort that material out... Even if it was classified, they'll never meet the burden of intent because the president didn't pack it up and take it out himself, the G.S.A. has said they did it and they made a mistake."
Pretext to obtain January 6-related documents or a raid prompted by a G.S.A. mistake? Either way, last Monday’s raid on Mar a Lago upped the stakes in our ongoing constitutional crisis and proves, once again, that Democrats will go to any lengths to avoid having to face Donald Trump in a fair and free election.
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