The FBI raided the former president's home in the latest politicization of federal institutions. The story is still developing.
Before we get into the why—it’s important to look at the optics. According to the moderate National Review, "[T]he idea that a law enforcement organization under a sitting president would raid the home of his predecessor, opponent in the previous election, and potential opponent in the next election, has no close parallel in American history." The move to raid Mar-a-Lago was drastic.
The raid occurred last night, and Donald Trump’s son Eric confirmed that there were 30 FBI agents involved. According to Eric, FBI agents broke into Trump’s safe and found nothing inside. Trump called it “political targeting at the highest level.”
Why did the raid happen? The New York Times reported that the search is related to classified materials taken home by Trump after he left the White House. According to analysts, if that is the real reason for the search, the issue could have been resolved without raiding the former president’s home and breaking open his safe.
- Hillary Clinton was treated differently: Former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo points out that although it was proven that Clinton possessed classified information after Benghazi, her home was never raided.
What’s really going on?
The January 6 committee has laid out a path to disqualifying Trump from running in 2024, and it involves charging him and others with crimes for their actions after the 2020 election.
By raiding Trump’s home and exposing possible illegal actions (such as hiding classified information), the FBI sets the path to disqualify Trump from running again. Hillary Clinton’s former campaign attorney (and current DNC lawyer) Marc Elias explained that this is the reason for the raid.
What we know about the FBI’s actions in the past six years:
- Supported the Russia-collusion hoax to damage the legitimacy of the Trump administration,
- Manufactured the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping case and blamed it on Trump,
- Helped Biden’s presidential campaign by covering up Hunter Biden’s illegal activities,
- Misclassified cases as domestic extremism to support Joe Biden’s narrative,
- Targeted conservative parents who protested pandemic policies on school boards,
- Placed at least two informants at the Capitol on January 6 who participated in the riot,
- Raided a home of a former president and an upcoming political candidate.
Reaction from the right: Republican governors like South Dakota’s Kristi Noem and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have labeled it an “unprecedented political weaponization” of the Department of Justice (DOJ). House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the same and vowed to investigate the DOJ if Republicans win the house later this year.