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GOP leaders defend criminal activity as Trump's home is searched by FBI
The fact that Trump may have stolen documents, a federal crime, doesn't phase Republicans, who immediately threatened Attorney General Garland.
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In an operation that was kept tightly held, FBI agents descended upon Mar-a-Lago yesterday while Donald Trump was in New York, preparing for a deposition in that state, which is investigating Trump, his company and his family.
And without knowing any of the facts — or even what the FBI is looking for — Republican senators, governors and House leaders, attacked the Biden administration and in particular the Justice Department. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy assuming he will be House Speaker next year — a big if — threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland with an investigation, telling him to “preserve your documents.”
It was stunning, and another example of the GOP in the grip of a criminal enterprise that Trump has led, throughout his administration and up through the insurrection he incited, the witnesses he’s intimidated and the cover-up he and those around him, including loyal Secret Service agents, ave engaged in.
Again, not a lot is known about the FBI raid, many of the details of which came from Trump himself hours later, putting out a statement in which he of course made himself the victim, whining that his home was, "under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents."
Trump idiotically compared this to Watergate — a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 — even though that was a crime by political enemies and this was a meticulous FBI operation signed off by the FBI director (a Republican) and the Justice Department with a warrant that a federal judge approved, which had to show probable cause of a crime committed:
Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World countries," Trump said. "Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.
"They even broke into my safe!"
Whatever they were looking for, agents knew where they would find it, including in Trump’s safe. And Attorney General Garland, who has been overly-cautious, wouldn’t be doing this unless he knew it was 100% warranted — including a surprise raid rather than issuing a subpoena, knowing Trump might destroy the evidence (such as flushing it down the toilet) before agents could get to it. Media reports say that the focus is likely documents Trump took from the White House which the National Archive demanded be sent back, as taking them was in violation of the Presidential Records Act — a federal crime.
It may or may not be related to January 6th, but whatever Trump has allegedly been holding onto would constitute a crime since the records are the property of the government and the American people, and not his personal property to share with friends or foreign leaders — or sell off.
That crime, by the way, is punishable with barring the person convicted from ever holding elected office again. So whether or not it’s January 6th-related, the implications are enormous. And again, Garland and FBI director Christopher Wray would not be acting, not with the ramifications of failure so high, without being confident in what they’re doing.
None of that meant a thing to Republican leaders, however, who sent out blistering tweets and statements that truly showed how corrupt the party is. Some of the nasty tirades were simply treasonous, while others showed the complete capitulation to criminal activity as a necessary means.
These are the people who went into a full-throttled frenzy over Hillary Clinton’s emails being on a private server, which never did compromise national security. Now, however, it’s apparently totally fine to steal classified documents and do whatever you want with them.. And if government does its job — the FBI, which the GOP heralded in its harassment of Clinton — it is persecuting a former president and intent on going after average citizens. Look at some of these statements:
As HuffPost notes, “The current director of the FBI, Wray, is a Republican who was appointed by Trump after Trump fired his predecessor, James Comey, for investigating his 2016 campaign.” So the claim that this is a Democrat-led attack is ludicrous (the White House found out about it when we all did, per media reports). And of course, a judge had to sign off on all this — searching a former president’s home, something no judge would allow lightly. That didn’t stop GOPers from claiming it was a “deep state” operation:
“The Democrats, for too long, have used our government agencies from the FBI to the IRS to target their political opponents,” Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.) tweeted. “This inconceivable raid is an attack on our Republic”…
…“Biden is weaponizing the DOJ against his political opponents,” Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.) said. “If they can do this to the former President of the United States, imagine what they can do to you.”…
What is clear is that the GOP is in a total meltdown. They know that Garland would not do this without highly probable cause and they know that whatever the FBI is looking for likely constitutes a crime. They also know the political winds are shifting — and that the polls, particularly among Senate candidates, are very troubling for them.
They’re all taking a page out of the Trump playbook. Just like Trump, who put out his statement last night before even much of the media knew about and reported on the raid, they’re all trying to get ahead of the story. In the process they are attacking the rule of law and descending further into validating criminal activity.
This is today’s GOP: An organized crime ring intent on seizing power any way it can. It underscores how vital it is that we beat them back this fall, riding on the wave of powerful and positive actions President Biden and the Democrats have taken in recent weeks, and standing up against the GOP’s extremist and authoritarian agenda.