In article t2nbm2$3oaef$4...@news.freedyn.de
> Bad move FBI. Really bad move.
A few weeks ago, liberals in the media and politics were loudly
complaining that the Justice Department was being way too
passive in its investigation of Donald Trump.
Why can’t Merrick Garland be more aggressive, they demanded, and
put the former president behind bars? In doing so, they echoed
the tactics they vehemently decried when Trump was president and
openly pressured two attorneys general to go after his political
Well, that has changed.
Now the liberals are thrilled that a team of FBI agents raided
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. And it is conservatives in the media
and politics who are outraged that, in a move undoubtedly
approved by Garland, the bureau took this unprecedented step
against a former president.
But keep in mind that the FBI had to get a judge to approve a
search warrant with a detailed list of what is being sought and
why it is justified by the probe. We haven’t seen that yet, but
that is how the criminal justice system works.
Still, I think this was a major misstep by Garland, but not for
the reason you might think. More on that in a moment.
When the story broke on Tuesday night, Donald Trump was the sole
source of information. Justice doesn’t disclose how it conducts
criminal probes that are supposed to be secret, although
department officials knew this would be the mother of all
bombshells and will have to address it.
When Trump defenders say such a raid has never been aimed at a
former president, look at the flip side. No former president has
played at least some role in a riot rooted in the notion – which
Trump continues to proclaim to this day – that the election was
"stolen" from him, despite a lack of evidence in all those
lawsuits and a probe by his own DOJ, led by Bill Barr, which led
to the AG’s departure.
The major papers quoted a couple of lines from Trump’s Truth
Social statement, such as "after working and cooperating with
the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my
home was not necessary or appropriate," and that "Such an
assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries."
But they chose not to mention his more inflammatory attacks,
which are worth examining.
"It is Prosecutorial Misconduct, the Weaponization of the
Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who
desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024."
First, rather than a case of prosecutorial misconduct, it was a
lawful search warrant approved by a judge, which Trump never
gets around to mentioning. Second, the now-demonized FBI happens
to be run by Trump’s own appointee, Chris Wray.
"They even broke into my safe!... What is the difference between
this and Watergate…"
Okay, Watergate was carried out against DNC headquarters in a
Washington hotel by Cuban burglars who turned out to have been
hired by Richard Nixon’s reelection committee. This was a duly
authorized raid by government agents.
There has been a strange role reversal between the parties. For
decades, the Republicans were the law-and-order party, backing
cops, prosecutors, sheriffs and G-men, while the Democrats,
fairly or unfairly, were painted as soft on crime. Now you have
top Republicans ripping federal law enforcement, with Marjorie
Taylor Greene calling to "defund the FBI."
And here comes the hypocrisy watch: Everyone would change their
positions in a heartbeat if this had been a raid on, say, Barack
Obama’s home, with Democrats denouncing an out-of-control FBI
and Republicans saying justice was finally being done. In fact,
we saw this during the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton’s private
email server, when Democrats attacked Jim Comey and the GOP went
ballistic about her actions.
But Trump, while providing no evidence that "Radical Left
Democrats" have taken over Justice, and Biden has doggedly taken
a hands-off approach – has a point in bringing up Hillary. For
we know from Trump’s account, and the media quoting DOJ
"sources," that the bureau ended up seizing multiple boxes and
That means the focus of the raid was limited to Trump taking
documents, especially classified documents, to Florida rather
than turning them over to the National Archives.
That has the makings of a criminal offense. But others in the
past have gotten off with a wrist slap. Sandy Berger, Obama’s
former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to a
misdemeanor seven years ago for smuggling out classified papers
from a government archive. Former CIA chief John Deutch had his
security clearance suspended in 1999 after his agency concluded
he had improperly handled classified documents on his home
And that’s my issue with Garland. This is small ball. It’s
getting Al Capone on tax evasion. I don’t think it was worth the
political uproar and the attacks he must have known were
inevitable. I can’t imagine Garland bringing a case based solely
on some classified documents. It’s a sideshow.
So what’s he doing? Maybe signaling he’s conducting an
aggressive probe while in the end declining to bring criminal
charges against Trump. Unless Garland has an extremely strong
case involving the former president and the Capitol riot, he
would have to conclude that it’s not worth filing charges,
plunging the country into turmoil and convincing his supporters
that he is indeed a political victim – which would play out as
Trump declares his candidacy against Garland’s boss.
Then, of course, media liberals and Democrats would be back to
denouncing Merrick Garland for wimping out against the president
they have wanted for six years to see indicted and convicted.