Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Mar-a-Lago Raid in Search of Classified material, Presidential Records, Judge Shopping by the DOJ

The news from my perspective, is still dominated by Monday's raid by the FBI on Mar-a-Lago, allegedly looking for classified documents, and documents that are required to be handed over to the national archives as a result of the Presidential Records Act. Stacy McCain, The Persecution of Donald Trump

Professor William Jacobson is almost certainly correct: “This is a provocation. They are trying to get a reaction that allows a further crackdown. Don’t take the bait.” Democrats desperately want to turn the November midterms into a referendum on Trump, and this raid is part of that political strategy.

Don't get mad, get ahead. Twitchy,  Now, THIS is an actual threat to democracy –> FBI raids Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home (Trump statement screenshot), "Guys, there is no easy way to say it … This is effed up."  Greg Byrnes at PJ Media, Deep State Burns Its Bridges to Get Trump—and Now It's Fighting for Its Life. From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.08.22  The Gellar Report,  Gestapo-Style FBI ‘Raided and Occupied’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort and Home, Broke Into Safe and Crowds Arrive at Mar-a-Lago In Support For President Trump After News Broke of FBI’s Raid On Him  at LI,  Lawyer Marc Elias Shows the Mar-a-Lago Raid is All About Disqualifying Trump in 2024, Volokh Conspiracy: No, 18 U.S.C. § 2071 Cannot Disqualify Trump From The Presidency and the Shark Tank: DeSantis Says Trump Raid An Example Of Federal Agencies Being Weaponized . Roger Simon at ET, Mar-a-Lago Raid: DOJ and Dems Risk Civil War to Save Their Jobs (heavily excerpted at Insty). Paula Bolyard at PJ Media, We've Got the Deep State on the Run. Here's What Needs to Happen Next.  "Sure, we can peacefully protest, send angry emails, or post diatribes on social media, but that’s not going to fix the problems that are eating away at our republic. The answer lies in winning elections. Decisively. First the midterms and then the White House in 2024." Matt Margolis at PJ Media, HELL TO PAY: Republicans Slam Biden Admin Over Raid of Trump Home, Vow Investigation. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair calls it Too good to check: Is the DoJ trying to disqualify Trump for 2024? John Sexton, Washington Post: Mar-a-lago search was about suspicion Trump violated Presidential Records Act. Bulwark Girlz Kimberly Wehle The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago: Five takeaways and questions

As I noted yesterday, Trump had the power, up until the minute he left office, to metaphorically wave his hands over boxes of materials and declassify them, so I was grateful to see this from Matt Margolis, Wait—Those 'Classified’ Docs FBI Sought in Trump Raid Were Already Declassified

“Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves,” Kash Patel, a former top Trump administration official, told Breitbart News in a phone interview in May. According to Patel, the classification markings just had not been updated.

“The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified,” Patel added. “I was there with President Trump when he said ‘We are declassifying this information.’”

“The story says the National Archives found the documents had classification markings on them. That doesn’t mean that they were not declassified. All previously classified documents have classification markings on them, it shows they used to be classified. It’s petty bureaucracy at its finest, government simpletons not following a president’s orders to have them marked ‘declassified.’ The president has unilateral authority to declassify documents — anything in government. He exercised it here in full,” Patel explained.

Patel accused Democrats of playing politics by making the bogus claim that Trump took classified material and pointed out that they haven’t even addressed what is in the material.

“The irony is that he didn’t try to hide any of it. He declassified all of it so there’s nothing to hide,” Patel said.

So, was the raid based on a false pretext and then approved by an anti-Trump magistrate judge?

And that judge?  Matt Margolis, We're Learning More About Judge Who Approved Mar-a-Lago Raid and There Are Some Huge Red Flags, "Judge Who Approved Raid Was Obama Donor, Epstein Lawyer." Spencer Brown at Town Hall, New Details About Judge Who Approved Mar-A-Lago Raid Raises All Sorts of Red Flags. Da Mail, Judge who signed off the FBI raid on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago mansion donated $2,000 to Barack Obama's campaign and represented Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express pilots, his scheduler and 'Yugoslavian sex slave' Ace, A Federal Judge Would Never, Ever Show Political Bias In Authorizing a Raid on a President * Except It Wasn't a Federal Judge-- It Was a Mere Magistrate * Who Was an Obama Donor * Who Was an Epstein Lawyer. None of which, of course, means the judge, I mean magistrate, who did this didn't have the authority to do so, but it does suggest that the Merrick Garland DOJ went judge shopping, and hit the bottom of the barrel before they found one who would go along with authorizing a raid on former President's residence. I would expect an appeal to a higher court might succeed in throwing out the warrant. Ace, OUT: The FISA Court Only Issues Surveillance Warrants With Compelling Evidence, IN: Federal Judges Only Issue Warrants to Raid Presidents With Compelling Evidence

Nick Arama at Red State, Trump Attorneys Spill the Beans on Issues With FBI Raid, Warrant

Trump attorney Alina Habba appeared on Fox News with Jesse Watters. She said that they had been cooperating with the National Archives over the records and that this was completely “unconstitutional.” “Our country should be terrified—I am terrified,” Habba exclaimed. She said the FBI went in when he wasn’t even there, and then told his attorneys to leave, that they couldn’t watch or be there. “That doesn’t sound good to me,” she declared.

Habba said the agents came in wearing backpacks, and she was concerned that they could have planted things since they were trying to get the attorneys out of there. Habba said she believed this was all part of the effort to try to take Trump down, and that people were “working in tandem” with other efforts.
. . .
Now, here’s Trump attorney Christina Bobb on Real America’s Voice. She was the attorney who was on site. She explains that they initially wouldn’t even let her see the warrant, but then did; they were reluctant to let them have it. It’s not clear from what she says if they ultimately were able to obtain it at some point. She also explained that the probable cause for the warrant was sealed, so that they can’t even know what it was unless they go to court to find out.

She confirmed that it was due to the Presidential Records Act, which the host indicated has never been prosecuted–one of the many reasons this “rationale” to seize documents from Trump’s home is ridiculous. She said they also were looking for classified documents. “The irony of both…is it is the president [Trump] himself who gets to decide what is a presidential record. So, why they get to redefine that is unclear and why they get to search, why that’s even in a warrant, it doesn’t really make any sense,” she said. “The same thing with any potential classified information.”
. . .
On top of what the attorneys said, as I noted in my Trump family reaction story, the FBI also wanted the Mar-a-Lago security cameras shut off while they were conducting their raid. Why? The only thing one can think is that they didn’t want the camera to catch something that they were doing.

Althouse reads Andy McCarthy at NR. He's quite convinced reasons given for the raid were a pretext, and that they're really looking for some way to tie Trump to the riot on Jan. 6. "The Justice Department is not ready to charge Trump for the [Capitol] riot. It lacks proof that he is criminally culpable for the violence." Writes Andrew McCarthy in "The FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Raid: It’s about the Capitol Riot, Not the Mishandling of Classified Information" 

Nevertheless, prosecutors investigating did want to search Trump’s premises for potential evidence of Capitol riot crimes. The former president’s apparent violations of government records and classified information laws gave the DOJ the pretext it needed.... I do not believe the DOJ contemplates prosecuting a former president for mishandling classified information, much less purloining other government records.... The Democratic base badly wants Trump to be charged with felonies. So does the House January 6 committee, heavily amplified by the media-Democrat complex.

Twitchy, Andrew Yang catches plenty of heat from lib blue-checks for his take on FBI raiding Trump’s home (hopefully he won’t back down)Andrew Yang@AndrewYang "I’m no Trump fan. I want him as far away from the White House as possible. But a fundamental part of his appeal has been that it’s him against a corrupt government establishment. This raid strengthens that case for millions of Americans who will see this as unjust persecution." And Andy Cuomo? Andrew Cuomo@andrewcuomo, "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." Also, NAILED it! Mary Katharine Ham uses Crossfire Hurricane to take David Axelrod and the FBI APART in short but NOT sweet thread. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair, Dershowitz on Mar-a-Lago raid: Whatever happened to a subpoena? They wanted the optics of a raid, and Youngkin: This raid on Trump reminds me of DoJ's attempts to criminalize parental objections; Update: Garland must explain this, says Pence. NYT (cited at Haut Hair) whines that GOP governors criticize Mar-a-Lago search as "unprecedented" and "un-American"  From the Babylon Bee, Report: FBI Raided Mar-A-Lago After Tip That Parents Were Protesting A School Board Meeting ThereBrittany Hughes@RealBrittHughes "If Donald Trump did take something, he should have hidden it under Hunter’s pile of hookers and blow. No one ever looks there."

Ace, Hillary Clinton's Lawyer: Say, If Trump Concealed, Removed, Or Destroyed Federal Records, He's Barred From Ever Holding Federal Office, "Say... didn't Hillary Clinton conceal federal records (her email communications) and then, when their existence was learned of, destroy them using BleachBit? Is Marc Elias narcing on his own client?" Juliette Ochieng, The Raid: Difference Between Trump and Clinton

So, now, conservatives and Trump supporters are enraged, while liberals and leftists on social media – specifically Twitter – are saying that we are hypocrites, since, after all, we have been shouting “lock her up” ever since it was acknowledged by this very same FBI that Hillary Clinton commissioned an unsecured server to be built in her Chappaqua, NY home and allowed classified material to be routed through it so that anyone, anywhere could have access to it.

Same crime, right? Probably not.

Consider these things. Assuming that Trump did have allegedly classified material in his possession, when did he acquire it? It had to be sometime before Inauguration Day 2021, meaning when he was still the POTUS.

And guess what! Any sitting POTUS has the intrinsic authority to declassify any classified material. That’s right.

Therefore, I’m guessing that Trump declassified any previously classified material that may have been in his possession in 2022.

Authority. And Power. That’s what separates these cases. He had [sic] it and she didn’t.

KT at Haut Hair, Trump's campaign-style video ad released hours after FBI raided Mar-a-Lago. At Town Hall Matt Vespa claims The 2024 GOP Primaries Are Over. The FBI's Raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago Ended Them. Stephen Kruiseer at PJ Media, Merrick Garland's Mar-a-Lago Raid May Have Clinched Senate for the GOP. I'm not counting that chicken yet.

WaPoo whines Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld itemsThe GOP’s inauspicious knee-jerk reaction to the Trump raidGOP reacts to Trump search with threats and comparisons to ‘Gestapo’Simmering threat of violence comes to fore with search of Trump property, "calls from right for militant action in response to FBI raid span mainstream and extremist circles," Even above the law, Trump plays the role of a victim, Garland vowed to depoliticize Justice. Then the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, "Monday’s search of Donald Trump’s property triggered a political firestorm that Garland, a former federal judge, had wanted to avoid," The FBI goes after Trump, againTrump should make the warrant public, and Md. governor hopeful Dan Cox says he would use state police against Biden, "The Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee calls the FBI search of Trump’s residence ‘nothing short of communist stasi police state tactics’"

At Mediaite, ‘That’s What Fascists Do!’ Joe Scarborough Goes OFF on People ‘Saying Ugly Things on Fox News’ After Trump FBI Raid. Ace, Ric Grenell: I Told Trump He Had to Fire the Criminal Wray Two Years Ago, "A fox overseeing the fox-house." "He's a creature of the FBI," Grenell said. "And he views everything as a PR exercise. Don't criticize the FBI. Don't talk about any failures at the FBI because he loves the brand. And it was a brand exercise." At the National File, Gosar: ‘We Must Destroy The FBI,’ "U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar was the first elected Republican to call for the move after the disturbing raid on Mar-A-Lago"

Fox, Trump ally Rep. Scott Perry says the FBI seized his cellphone one day after Mar-a-Lago raid, "The confiscation of Perry’s phone comes one day after the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate" at an airport, while he was travelling with family? At Da Caller, GOP Rep. Scott Perry Says FBI Agents Seized His Cell Phone. John Sexton at Haut Hair, FBI seized personal cell phone of Rep. Scott Perry "As I mentioned in that earlier story, the FBI has a rule about not getting involved in political matters 90 days before an election. Today is 91 days before the next election." So why not just ask for the phone with subpoena? Because they are afraid he would delete it, just like the Mueller team (including FBI agents) did.

Spencer Brown, wants you to know These Are the Republicans Who Voted to Confirm Merrick Garland. I tend to forgive them, they were attempting some kind of reconciliation, foolishly, of course.

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