Law enforcement, legal experts call FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago estate intrusive, violation of protocol
The following includes editorial content which is the opinion of the writer.
PALM BEACH, FL- For anyone who paid attention to the raid (that’s exactly what it was) on the Florida home of former President Trump this week especially those with a law enforcement background, something just didn’t seem right. And that feeling is shared by a number of individuals, both in and out of law enforcement.
While some partisan hack attorneys such as slip-and-fall lawyer Marc Elias see nothing wrong with the FBI’s conduct, a number of lawyers are speaking out and condemning the once-great agency, now turned into the enforcement arm of the tyrannical Biden administration.
The Epoch Times reports several attorneys have labeled the search of Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Monday as “improperly intrusive.”
Upon learning of the raid, both Mr. Trump as well as a number of Republicans slammed the Department of Justice and the Biden administration for an unprecedented breach of protocol, not to mention spitting on the Constitution.
The raid has further fomented partisan tensions in the country, already fraught after five years of attacks from the unhinged left.
On Monday, Aug 8, an estimated 20-30 gestapo (FBI) entered Trump’s residence at about 9:00 a.m., remaining on the premises for about 10 hours and leaving with “a handful of boxes of documents,” according to Christina Bobb, a Trump attorney who was on scene and witnessed the raid. Moreover, agents refused…yes refused…to allow Trump’s attorney(s) to stay on scene, Bobb told The Epoch Times.
“I didn’t actually get to oversee the search, they wouldn’t let anybody see what they were doing,” she said.
There are also reports that the FBI refused to provide a copy of the warrant, which is legally required.
It is unknown what the legal basis for the warrant secured by the FBI was, but one area of interest is the fact it did not appear to have been signed by a federal judge.
Instead, it was signed by a magistrate judge who reports say was a supporter of Barack Obama, donated to Jeb Bush’s campaign against Trump in 2016, and has made a number of derogatory social media posts about Trump in the past. Having such a high-profile warrant signed by a low-level judge is extremely unusual, experts say. More on him below.
Bobb said that while it wasn’t specified what Biden’s jackboots were looking for, Bobb said they were looking for “what they deemed to be presidential records,” while adding, “I don’t think there was anything of substance.”
She added that the former president’s legal team will take steps to obtain the affidavit.
The raid apparently stems from a dispute whereby the former president has been negotiating with the National Archives over documents he may possess that they say should be stored at the archives under the U.S. Presidential Records Act. Using that as a predicate to raid Trump’s residence is absurd. Especially since he has been attempting to negotiate with them over the documents they want released.
Bobb highlighted the former president’s cooperation with the Archives and had previously invited the FBI to his residence to examine the records he had in storage at the time. In other words, there was no need for the FBI to make a show out of this. Yet they did.
“Nothing had been hidden, and nothing has been kept secret from them, which makes this all the more ridiculous,” she said.
Fox News reported that former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker, appearing with guest host Charles Paine on “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” told the host that guidelines governing how the FBI is supposed to conduct such raids were completely “pushed aside.”
“What you’re supposed to do when you possess these types of powers that the FBI does and Justice Department does is use the least intrusive investigative technique to get to what you need to get to, [whether] it’s information, evidence what have you,” Swecker said.
“You’re supposed to take into consideration the seriousness of the offense, and the impact on public confidence in the FBI and law enforcement in general. These are codified in the domestic investigative operation guidelines, and the attorney general guidelines.”
Swecker, appearing stunned by the FBI’s actions, said all of those guidelines were “completely…just shifted aside, just pushed aside.”
He continued, noting the overreach and apparent show the agency put on in conducting the raid.
“And this dramatic raid takes place over a fairly de minimis offense. Police lights flashing, dawn raid, kitted out ninja warriors outside, 20 agents inside.”
Just as with the Jan. 6 committee, this was all about optics. Just like when the FBI had armed agents storm the house of Trump confidante Roger Stone in a pre-dawn raid, after of course tipping off state-media CNN.
Marc Ruskin, a 27-year FBI veteran and former federal prosecutor said he was “stunned and dismayed,” The Epoch Times reported.
“The disregard for traditional norms and apparent lack of concern with the appearance of impropriety is indicative of an abandonment of even a veneer of independence and objectivity.”
And that wasn’t the worst criticism of the once-proud FBI, with former federal prosecutor Mike Davis suggesting the raid may have been illegally invasive.
“Under the case law, you can’t do a home raid if you can secure the documents through less intrusive means,” he told Bannon’s War Room earlier this week.
Davis noted that prior to carrying out such a raid, the FBI would have had to make the determination that requests for the information sought wouldn’t have been sufficient said the former adviser to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on judicial nominations, now the head of The Article III Project.
“There’s zero evidence,” he said that the former president would not cooperate.
“There was no allegation or evidence that he [Trump] was destroying any of this evidence or putting it into the wrong hands. This is banana republic-level tactics from the Biden Justice Department.”
Davis further said that even if the former president had taken classified documents, since he took possession of them when he was still president he had the authority to declassify them.
Bobb said the claim of documents being “classified” was intended to give the veneer of “shrouding this in a national security blanket.”
“They don’t want to disclose what they’re doing because what they’re doing is wrong. And so they want to hide it behind the premise of ‘Ohi it’s a matter of national security and classified documents, so we can’t disclose to you what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. But just trust us. We’re not lying to you,’” Bobb said. “Well, no the American people aren’t going to stand for that anymore.”
Bobb also said that any intent by the DOJ to criminally charge Mr. Trump wouldn’t hold up, since the statute dealing with the withholding of documents requires a “willful” velation and “malicious intent” to take specific documents. Given his previous cooperation with the FBI and inviting them to his home, that would seem to take “willful” and “malicious intent” out of the equation.
“They would have to lay the foundation that Donald Trump actually packed up his own office,” or ordered somebody what specifically to take,” she continued.
Removal of official documents is nothing new, since a number of former government officials have done the exact same thing, with no action being taken against them.
Some of the most notable actually include the former FBI Director, James Comey, who removed handwritten notes when he was fired by President Trump in 2017. So his home was raided by jack-booted FBI agents, correct? Nope…he merely handed the notes back to the agents who came to his home to interview him.
When the Obama administration left office, tens of thousands of documents went missing or were destroyed. Again, nobody’s home was raided.
Then there is Crooked Hillary. She destroyed tens of thousands of emails that were subject to a congressional subpoena and used something called “Bleach Bit” to scrub her personal server, which she had classified documents residing on. She claimed they were “personal.”
In fact, the FBI was able to retrieve some of the scrubbed emails and they were nowhere near “personal.” Most were work-related.
When word came out (by Trump himself, by the way) of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, most clear-thinking people immediately became skeptical of the (un)official story coming out of the DOJ.
And it was easy to have doubts, especially since the FBI and DOJ have had a history over the past five-plus years of using, shall we say “questionable” methods when it comes to the former president, including breaking protocol, lying and forging evidence.
Anything the FBI or DOJ claim when it comes to Trump has to be taken with a great deal of cynicism.
“After six years of unfounded, absurd investigations of President Trump, the presumption is that any investigation of President Trump is politically motivated, and the burden of proof is on FBI/DOJ to prove otherwise,” Will Chamberlain, senior counsel at the Internet Accountability Project, wrote in an Aug. 9 Twitter post.
After six years of unfounded, absurd investigations of President Trump, the presumption is that any investigation of President Trump is politically motivated, and the burden of proof is on FBI/DOJ to prove otherwise
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) August 9, 2022
For example in 2017, the FBI and DOJ received two extensions on a spying warrant on Carter Page, former Trump campaign aide. This was done despite the fact it was based on “false or unsubstantiated allegations,” The Epoch Times reported.
The FBI later admitted spying based on the extensions was illegal. However it didn’t stop them from doing it.
The FBI has also famously used associates of Trump as “show” pawns, conducting early morning raids such as the aforementioned one on Stone, taking Trump confidante Peter Navarro into custody at Washington-Reagan National Airport, perp-walking, handcuffing, arrested at gunpoint, and having homes and offices raided like they were the equivalent of a heavily armed Mexican drug cartel. This occurred even with cooperating “suspects.”
The raid at Trump’s home for some creates a very “dangerous precedent,” a feeling shared by Davis.
“They’re setting a very dangerous precedent where you can do a home raid of a former president of the United States,” he said, while highlighting the fact this has never before happened “in our 250 years as a Republic.”
The raid has also fired up Congressional Republicans, who have vowed to put the FBI and DOJ under the microscope if they gain the majority in November’s mid-terms.
“When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in a statement. “Attorney General Garland: preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”
The FBI’s action has also fired up the Republican base, now energized to get Democrats out of power in order to get control of the government back in some form. Some believe conducting the raid in this manner is a deliberate attempt to provoke another January 6 type incident…with that in mind, be aware of a possible false flag operation by the feds.
Kind of what they are alleged to have done on January 6, where it is alleged that embedded federal agents assisted in provoking the crowd. There is also the case of the “kidnapping” plot on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, where some defendants claim it was undercover FBI agents and informants who actually helped further the alleged scheme.
The Magistrate Judge who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart was involved first as a senior prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, where he reached a “non-prosecution agreement with underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Once leaving office, Reinhart “switched teams” and actually represented a number of Epstein associates and employees in civil cases filed by Epstein’s victims. In other words, he’s a scumbag.
Finally, the timing of the warrant came only days after FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was hammered by Republicans over the politicization of the agency, which came forth from a number of whistleblowers.
Wray, a slimeball in the mold of James Comey, claimed he had to cut his appearance short because he had “a plane to catch.”
The dirty little secret was Wray wasn’t flying commercial, but was instead flying on his private FBI jet to his vacation home in the New York Adirondacks. That piece of information was provided by Miranda Devine of the New York Post.
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