Last Monday, Donald Trump announced that he had officially filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges that Trump’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month. The filing also requests the appointment of a special master to conduct an independent review of the documents that were taken by the FBI during their raid and determine which records are protected by executive privilege.
To quote the Trump v. United States Government lawsuit, “Roughly two dozen Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), directed by attorneys of the U.S. Department of Justice, raided the home of President Donald J. Trump. According to the Government, the agents seized documents, privileged and/or potentially privileged materials, and other items — including photos, handwritten notes, and even President Trump’s passports — that were outside the lawful reach of an already overbroad warrant. President Trump, like all citizens, is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Property seized in violation of his constitutional rights must be returned forthwith. Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes. Therefore, we seek judicial assistance in the aftermath of an unprecedented and unnecessary raid on President Trump’s home…Even as the Government has dug in against transparency in the instant matter, fighting release of the Affidavit and claiming a redacted version would be ‘worthless’ due to the need to hide the actual substance of the sworn statement, there are significant red flags that implicant President Trump’s Fourth Amendment rights and cry out for judicial intervention by way of a Special Master monitoring and discovery assistance.”
A statement released by Trump on Monday reads, “We have just filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida strongly asserting my rights, including under the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution, regarding the unnecessary, unwarranted, and unAmerican Break-In by dozens of FBI agents, and others, of my home, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida…We are now demanding that the Department of ‘Justice’ be instructed to immediately STOP the review of documents illegally seized from my home. ALL documents have been previously declassified. We are demanding the appointment of a SPECIAL MASTER to oversee the handling of the materials taken in the raid. We are further demanding that the DOJ be forced to turn over a REAL, without “plants,” inventory of my property that was taken and disclose where that property is now located. We are demanding that all items wrongfully taken from my home be IMMEDIATELY returned. The wrongful, overbroad warrant was signed by a Magistrate Judge who recused himself just two months ago, from a MAJOR civil suit that I filed, because of his bias and animus toward me. This Mar-a-Lago Break-In, Search, and Seizure was illegal and unconstitutional, and we are taking all actions necessary to get the documents back, which we would have given to them without the necessity of the despicable raid of my home, so that I can give them to the National Archives until they are required for the future Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum. I will never stop fighting for the American people, our Country, and the Rule of Law. Make America Great Again!”
Additionally, Trump is reportedly considering releasing footage from the FBI’s raid on his residence. During the raid, FBI officials requested that Trump’s security cameras at Mar-a-Lago be turned off. Luckily, Trump’s staff refused their request, and Trump’s family now claims that the security cameras captured FBI officials acting inappropriately throughout their invasive search. According to Trump’s son, Eric Trump, “They told our lawyer, ‘you have to leave the property right now. Turn off all security cameras.’ They would not give her the search warrant, so they showed it to her from about 10 feet away. They would not give her a copy of the search warrant.” Eric Trump also teased the release of surveillance footage from the Mar-a-Lago raid in a recent Fox News interview. When asked by Sean Hannity, “You still have the surveillance tape, is that correct? Will you—are you allowed to share that with the country?” Eric Trump responded by saying, “Absolutely, Sean. At the right time.”
Despite Biden’s administration repeatedly claiming that they lacked any prior knowledge of the FBI’s raid against Trump until learning about it in the media, alarming revelations prove that the Biden administration is lying to the American people. Newly released memos show that Biden’s White House had been in direct contact with the DOJ, FBI, and National Archives for months, with communications about the investigation into Trump beginning in April. In a letter dated May 10th, it is apparent that then-White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su was not only aware of the FBI’s investigation into Trump, but she also authorized the National Archives to refuse Trump’s claims of executive privilege over the documents in his possession. To quote the letter from National Archivist Debra Steidel Wall, “The Counsel to the President has informed me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers to my determination, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, regarding whether or not I should uphold the former President’s purported ‘protective assertion of executive privilege. I have therefore decided not to honor the former President’s ‘protective’ claim of privilege.” The decision to not honor Trump’s executive privilege claims, which was authorized by the Biden administration, allowed for the FBI to ultimately conduct their August raid of Mar-a-Lago.
It should be noted that the term “executive privilege” refers to a legal doctrine that grants presidents the right to hold absolute control over sensitive information, even in defiance of requests from the judicial or legislative branches. The Supreme Court has previously explicitly stated that former presidents are able to invoke executive privilege over their records. The 1977 Nixon v. General Services Administration ruling reads, “We reject the argument that only an incumbent President may assert such claims, and hold that appellant, as a former president, may also be heard to assert them.”
Following the raid against Trump, public trust in the FBI has fallen to its lowest level in decades. According to a poll released by Rasmussen Reports last week, 53% of voters now believe that the FBI is serving as “Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo.” The same poll showed that 44% of respondents trust the FBI less after the raid, compared to just 29% who say they now trust the FBI more.
The FBI’s raid against former President Donald Trump was egregious and a clear violation of Trump’s Fourth Amendment rights. As Biden receives consistently negative approval ratings and faces a looming defeat in 2024, he is now targeting his primary political adversary with his very own politicized Justice Department. Although the raid can not be undone, hopefully Trump is given at least a minimal amount of relief in the form of an appointed special master and all of his stolen property being returned to him.