FBI Raids Trump's Mar-a-Lago Home
Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.
The FBI carried out a search warrant on former president Donald Trump's home because they had “reasonable suspicion” that Trump had been harboring classified documents after he had left office. The accusations against Trump involve his questioned mishandling of classified documents that were not supposed to be in his hands after he left office.
The raid took place on August 8th. Attorney General Merrick Garland, alongside FBI director Chris Wray, approved the search warrant to execute the raid. The decision was met with controversy by Trump, even stating that the unannounced raid on his home was “unnecessary” and “inappropriate.” Many Republicans have voiced their opinions on the subject, including house minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who said that, "The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponised politicization." On the other side, President Joe Biden Reportedly had no knowledge of the raid. As the partisan turmoil increases, in an effort to make sure that this raid was just, a grand jury will be investigating the raid to make sure that this wasn't just a partisan attempt to discourage Trump from running again. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said the raid was “outrageous and unjust, but predictable.” As the investigation continues, political tension is increasing on both sides .
The FBI seized 27 boxes of documents, photographs, and notes, and even broke into Trump’s safe. Some of the documents seized were even marked as “Top Secret” and “Classified.” The warrant delineates 3 potential crimes, misuse of national defense information, obstruction of justice by destroying or altering or falsifying records in connection with a federal investigation, and concealing, removing, or destroying protected federal documents, a crime that if convicted, could disqualify someone from holding the presidential office. This has led some to believe that the raid on the former president's home could be a politically driven attempt to count Trump out of the 2024 presidential race.
Another speculation surrounding this incident is that the classified documents in Trump's home could incriminate him over the events of January 6th. Trump claims that he declassified the documents that the FBI seized, which would mean that he did not commit a crime. Under Article 2 of the Constitution, the President has the legal power to declassify whenever he/she pleases and Trump even said, “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States.” Despite the controversy, the Justice Department and Trump's attorneys will be fighting over this over the next couple of months. It will most likely lead to stalemate and more political turmoil. The American people are left baffled questioning whether the FBI is politically motivated or not.
Along with the FBI, the CIA and other executive giants are in question as the trust in our government is at an all time low, especially among conservatives. According to Pew Research, 29% of Democrats say they trust the government while only 9% of Republicans do. This lack of trust in government has come from the many investigations (Clinton Emails, Trump Ukrainian phone call, etc.) over the past few years and the strong mistrust developed between the American people and Washington. The FBI raid on Trump's home may demonstrate the continuing trend of governments overreaching beyond their given powers, creating a genuine divide between the American people and the U.S. Government.