A heavily redacted version of the 38-page affidavit behind the search warrant used to raid former President Trump’s home was released last week. Big questions remain, suggesting the whole affidavit needs to be released. Stakes are too high, and the public has a right to know.
First, releasing the affidavit – redacted as it is – does not satisfy the question on all minds, one that demands an answer: Why did the FBI, with approval of the Attorney General and presumptive White House knowledge, go after a former president and potential candidate in 2024, 90 days before a midterm election?
In legal terms, what was the overwhelming exigency that compelled the raid, facts that demanded 230 years of democratic and legal precedent, accommodation of Article II, respect for former presidents, constitutional caselaw – be thrown away?
What was the heinous criminal act – rumored by unnamed FBI sources to be “nuclear” or “treason,” just the way Hillary pitched Trump’s involvement with Russia as horrible and the FBI trafficked in those rumors – that justified this raid?
The answer cannot be “Trump is different” or “just give us time” or “we have to study the documents.” There are not that many documents, the case cannot be that complicated, the big difference looks increasingly like: This was a political hit.
Second, having travelled the world as an Assistant Secretary under Colin Powell pushing rule of law, my plea to world leaders was always to abide rule of law, do not let politics infect your justice system, or you will lose it all.
My plea was root out political corruption, walk a wide circle around the perception of it. Understand that democracies, republics, countries with governments of all kinds fall to public corruption. Public trust plummets on the suspicion of it.
So, what have we here? We have an FBI and Justice Department that break all historic norms, do something never done in America, raid a former president’s home – home of a leading contender for the White House from the opposing party.
We have a White House that goes radio silent, says nothing, lets the charade play out as if ordinary law enforcement, as if nothing to see here, nothing worthy of comment – just insinuation, imagination, and condemnation. The president, who typically gives a predecessor comity and executive privilege, is silent.
Third, this whole scenario is damning. You have the rollout of an unannounced raid on a former president based on a warrant for search and seizure signed by a partisan who recused himself for anti-Trump bias weeks ago.
You have a raid that occurs mid-stream in a dialogue with the former president’s attorneys over document production, with no apparent or announced exigent circumstances, and a raid filled with theater – unnecessary show of force.
You have a search and seizure that are extraordinarily intrusive and broad, even by normal standards. That means the affidavit is either detailed and justified that unprecedented intrusion and breadth – in which case the American people need to see why, or it was an illegal “general warrant,” that is, a “fishing expedition,” justified in somebody’s mind, but utterly illegal, a politically corrupt act.
Fourth, the only defense to the evolution we have seen is filing substantive charges backed by hard evidence of something wildly out of character – an anti-American act of treason by a former president – or release of the whole affidavit.
Why is this so important right now? Because this act is so anti-American in nature, something we do not do, have never done, and which cannot stand. Either a charge gets brought with particularity and credible evidence, or the substance of the affidavit gets released. Absent these two, more over time will suspect politics.
If the substance of the affidavit is suppressed and no credible evidence for espionage is presented – if the whole thing simmers around “document mishandling,” administrative details of the Presidential Documents Act, or the Russia-collusion probe “obstruction,” this becomes very serious, very fast.
Some will say, “why is knowing what is in the affidavit important?” or “why can’t it wait?” or “why can’t we trust the political leadership?” or “why not let the FBI search some others?” or “isn’t it enough to just have mishandling?”
The answer is – this is different. Seeing the guts of the affidavit – given the high stakes, public perception, political history, deep suspicions, eroding trust, rising concern – is the only way this administration puts this fire out, short of charges.
For many, nondisclosure implies something is being hidden, like: There is no meat in the affidavit. Trust in political leadership at FBI and Justice is already in “freefall.” Taking time is ordinary, but not here – since public trust is at risk.
Fifth, mishandling of information occurs all over Washington, not least on the Hill. It is not a basis for invading a presidential home, throwing out 230 years of constitutional precedent, respect for the Fourth Amendment, and historic comity.
The public has a right to know. The guts of the affidavit should be released, or charges brought with evidence. Suspicion grows that there is “No there – there,” that this is all political. If true, that is a tragedy. If not, release the whole thing.
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In 2018 POTUS Donald Trump signed a bill making it a felony to misuse classified material. Will be interesting to see how this one shakes out………………
Looks like the interpretation of the word “misuse” is the determining factor?????! If “misuse” is the word used, then the application of that law becomes very dependent on whoever has the authority to interpret it. In that case, the law is terribly subjective to who does the interpretation. And we know how the DemocRats will interpret it … they are out to block Trump from running again. You are right …. it will be interesting to see how this shakes out, to say the least.
The names in affidavit must remain redacted. There are too many Republicans & radicals that are vendicitive against people on the other side of issues. Just take a look at the attack on Cincinnati FBI office after the initial raid (and ended with suicide by FBI agents). Some of the people are probably still working at Maralago & must remain anonymous.
Good article, but I want to hear from Donald Trump himself why he took classified info to Maralago in the first place. Inquiring minds want to know.
The affidavit should remain redacted as such. This is needed to protect the identities of the FBI agents & others involved in this case. Wait until all of the info comes out before you take sides. It appears to me that maybe Trump was not cooperating & I thought that elected officials took oath when they took office on the proper way to handle Top Secret/Classified documents. So , why were they not turned into the FBI the first time around???
Let us be correct in our terminology. This is NOT a tragedy. This is an atrocity! And, according to Col. Jeff Cooper, the proper response to a tragedy is sorrow, while the proper response to an atrocity is rage! And that rage must be directed at those responsible for the atrocity. Those at the top of this administration, the DOJ and the FBI, as well as the magistrate who willing participated instead of recusing himself as he had in the past on matters concerning his political bias.
If they can do that to Trump, what do they have in store for us
Trump fought the law and the law won. No one should be above the law. If you do not want this to happen to you, then do not break the law.
No one is BELOW THE LAW, either, sir.
Tell that to all your tyrants who are pulling this bs. Let’s start with the clintons
What can they have in store for US? Communism as the rule of law!!!
I want to know why Hillary is not in jail for her email server? I want to know why Hunter Biden is not in jail? I demand justice be blind and equal for all!!!!!!!!
Agree with you on this, but because others are breaking the law does not mean that others should do the same thing.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. It makes it Even.
Sad to say , but this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Our government is corrupt. How can any American with common sense trust the FBI , and our “ elected “ president , and his administration ? This is happening before our own eyes , and it has to stop . They have no respect for a former president , and his family. President Trump must have a ton of corruption on these creatures who supposedly work for “WE THE PEOPLE” . Will the truth ever come out ?
Probably not, because the republicans won’t push it
The democratic party has become a 3rd world corrupt Banana republic dictatorship. And Joe Biden is the pied piper.
Not sure what you mean, what is definition of Banana republic??? Is this like Venezuela ???
Go back to aarp and your party of tyranny
The left will never leave Donald trump alone until they truly break him. He stands between the good people and socialism from this administration
I simply do not believe anything coming out of the current administrative white house. Too many of our questions on a myriad of topics are being ignored. They cannot all be ‘classified’. These are career politicians whose continued “profitable shenanigans” are threatened by a Trump administration. Listen, Trump earned his wealth. He is not a politician. That fact was what drew my interest when he announced his candidacy. Given what the FBI has done most recently, WE SHOULD ALL HAVE VALID CONCERN THAT THE LEFT/DEMOCRAT/ANTI-AMERICAN ENEMY WILL TRY TO STEAL ALL ELECTIONS GOING FORWARD.
Those people aren’t politicians, they are tyrants
Monkey see, Monkey do! . . . If and when Trump or any Republican is elected President, then Biden, Obama AND Hillary should EXPECT their day in Court as well!
It won’t happen. The Republicans are too chicken. We need people with a killer instinct but don’t have any. Mitch McConnell is a rino and piss poor leader.
Agreed, and someone like DeSantis wouldn’t last in the senate. They’d have him eliminated. He’d be the best potential Rep Candidate for President, but Trump has too big an ego to allow someone else to run. If Trump is vertical come 2024, he’s going to push to be the nominee to the detriment of the party and the country.
Agree, Trump needs to back another Republican for POTUS in 2024. My worry is if Trump is elected again, will he refuse to leave office ???????? That is what Putin did the last election in Russia & changed to rules to another +30 years.
You are hard to stomach johnh. Get lost!
Trump is the only one with big enough kahunas to bring the ba_ stards down
I don’t think that we should stop at court
Unless it’s a jury of their peers and not like their selected January 6th committee, what good is court?
Heavily redacted, that is a red flag that explains the rot. It’s putrid That pathetic pitiful smallness of the whole affair ,grasping at the thin air anything to destroy the man and then, to stand in front of the nation and not feel the shame .
Those kind have no shame.
OK bear with me ! Trump files the RICO lawsuit. This is against people who was involved in Crossfire hurricane investigation .This would include Hillary, Biden and Obama !!! Within a week they had a search warrant . Maybe they needed to find out what information he had???? And then there is this little fact that he declassified all the documents on his last day in office!!! And then the Jan 6 hearings. It has come out that the capital police knew that BLM/Antifa was boarding busses dressed as trump supporters coming to the capital on Jan 6, as you can tell the media hasn’t jumped on this story!!! Anyway google capital police knew BLM/Antifa coming to capital on Jan 6! You can read it there!!!
Don’t have to read it. It is all in their actions
DICTATOR Beijing biden and FBI are CLUCKING cause they don’t want AMERICA to know TRUTH that FBI RAID on PRESIDENT TRUMP’S home WAS ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
DICTATOR Beijing biden AUTHORIZED RAID and IS CAUGHT RED-HANDED COMMITTING TREASON AGAIN and ATTACKING an AMERICAN PRESIDENT ILLEGALLY and UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
How long is AMERICA going to keep putting up with a ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL president in White House who commits TREASON EVERY DAY since 1-20-21?
Pretty soon it will be too late for all
Even those people calling themselves Antifa and blm. As soon as they are done using them and JohnH, they will be in the predicament that Trump has been in for the past six to seven years. Only difference is, they don’t have the money, wit or lawyers to get them out of it
RBC, overall, the FBI incursion into Pres. Trump’s life and residence, was a political move by the powers in charge, to throw as much discredit onto the Pres. Trump’s credibility. THIS INCIDENT by the DOJ and FBI should have never happened under NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES. The new norm is showing its ugly head for what is in store for the nation for the near future. The powers in charge are going to continue their persecution of Pres. Trump and the supporters to keep the American public off balance so their evil agenda to destroy this nation can continue.
Well said Max. The DOJ will NEVER release an unredacted version of the affidavit, because it would show it is based on nothing more than the wildly absurd speculations of the leftist media and anonymous confidential FBI sources that actually don’t have any knowledge of anything. The exact same garbage that was used over and over again by the FBI and the DOJ to go after Trump since 2015 on numerous witch hunts. All of which were proved to be nothing more than attempted political hit jobs to try and get Trump removed from power illegally. It’s all just to “dirty up” Trump in the minds of voters ahead of 2024.
Yes, we’ve been having a organized coup against both candidate Trump and President Trump, as well as the American people of the United States, for 7 years. It’s just NOT been from the Russians or any other foreign power directly. It’s been from the so-called Democrat Party (America’s Socialist Party) and their financial backers around the world.
At this point, we are effectively operating like a third-world banana republic, with a dictatorial executive branch openly going after anyone of significance that stands in the way of their agenda or threatens their grip on power. I can’t see one bit of difference between what this administration is doing in broad terms and the likes of what normally goes on in other socialist dictatorships around the world. They send out their secret police or military to scoop up the opposition. We send out the FBI or other federal agencies to accomplish the same thing. Unfortunately, the American people slept too long and lost their country along the way. Now slowly they are starting to realize that fact after it is likely too late to do anything about it.
Honestly, I would hope that the people will wake up in time but I will not hold my breath. You and I both know the way Europe has been going the last 40 years and whatever happens in Europe ends up in the USA, 5-10 years later. Of course, as you have stated, the boldness of the Adversary has been ever increasing since 2015 and is in a downhill slide gaining momentum everyday.
Yes, the momentum has been accelerating steadily since Biden was placed in office. Their strategy to use FBI and ANTIFA folks to instigate most of the violent clashes at the Capitol on January 6th and then blame Trump people being waved in by Capitol police has payed off beautifully. The Dems are leveraging congressional Republican leadership’s affinity to refuse to stand up whenever anything is less than ideal to great advantage. Congressional leadership is either dead silent or they feel they should”reach across the aisle” to show they can work with Democrats as they gut the country.
Frankly I don’t think we have 5 or 10 years before we mirror Europe. I think it is more like 3 or 4 years at the rate the Dems are just ramming through one horrendus socialist policy after another with little resistance. I see Pelosi already has some of her people in the House working on the next two bills she wants to push through. Meanwhile congressional Republican leadership is stumbling about doing their best impression of dazed and confused.
Agree, it is just around the corner.
The foolish are illegally in charge and demonstrating their best foolish behaviors. They must be kicked out of office / out of the country.