The Feds Search Trump's Home
The Rule of Law in America
I have a new piece below on the truly unprecedented news that the Feds searched Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago.
We’ve been covering this story on The Beat, and it’s exactly the kind of development where it can be useful to have this newsletter as a place to expound further, and read your comments and questions, so thanks for being a part of this experiment with me. You can always subscribe below for the entire newsletter, to get the extra emails and conversations beyond what’s on this list… Either way, thanks for your interest!
Donald Trump is the first White House occupant to ever have his home raided.
Monday’s remarkable, unprecedented and court-approved search — or raid; the semantics don’t really matter and these things do involve some authorized force — adds another asterisk to Trump’s place in history. Like getting impeached twice, (another “bad first”). Or having more aides indicted than any one-term President, ever.
This is not just about him, though.
This search is not something the FBI or Justice Department wanted. It’s basically a last resort. It’s what comes — legally and practically — when the other avenues are exhausted.
We don’t know whether this raid was primarily about seizing government property that the former head of the government was hiding, or illegally hiding — or whether there is more to it.
We do know the requirements for any search warrant are clear, and the review was even more strict for this unprecedented case.
For more on that process, former prosecutor Joyce Vance has a good breakdown here:
The process suggests that after a great deal of time and defiance, the DOJ determined it faced a choice between allowing Trump to defy another lawful process and probe, or to confront him and enforce the rule of law. That matters, for the nation, wholly apart from whether anything else happens regarding in this or related cases.
For all the hyperbole in politics, and our current era, there really isn’t any “coming back” from August 8.
Trump and (much of) the Right Wing machine is in full overdrive. (If I “live-blogged” even a portion of some recent coverage I was surveying, it could fill several articles. Wild stuff.) And the President who cheered an insurrection and called for the blatant persecution and jailing of his political opponents (Clinton, Biden) and other perceived enemies (Comey, McCabe, journalists) is now accusing others of his sins. Which is standard to the point of clichéd:
Bottom line, the DOJ and FBI have set this precedent and, lawfully, escalated their investigative stance towards former Pres. Trump. That reinforces the rule of law, while its opponents are seizing on this very development to try to undermine it.
Where were you when you first heard this news?
What questions do you have about this case? I will read and reply to some of your responses in the comments…
Where was I when I first heard about "The Raid" ???? Watching "The Beat" of course. The only question I have really can't be answered, even you Ari, can't possibly answer, it is " When will this "Trump" crap ever end so life can be normal again????" BTW your show last night, the 9th, was out of the park.
Where was I when the news broke? Watching you report on it at the end of The Beat! Trump is ever the victim again, and his base has more red meat thrown at them. Would Trump’s ultimate defense be that he had no knowledge that additional boxes contained classified information and blame his aides and attorneys for not complying with DOJ? Is ignorance a defense? If he claimed he declassified the files that were taken what proof would he have to present, or is it just his verbal assertion? All of his statements now will be deflection, accusation, and feigned innocence.
Your special reports and coverage of the Jan 6th committee findings and all developments to date have been brilliant. I hope you will continue to do more of the focused one hour reports and I hope DOJ is watching because you gave them a roadmap. MSNBC is fortunate to have you as their shining star!