The FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Florida resort is an extraordinary and historic event as it focused on a former US president and sparked a political uproar that the former president could use to fuel his likely 2024 White House bid.
(CNN EN ESPAÑOL).- In the past, political investigations that have threatened Trump have only increased his superpower appeal to his supporters. But federal agents acted Monday on a warrant approved by a judge, suggesting they had probable cause to believe a crime had been committed. They focused on Trump’s personal offices and rooms at his Mar-a-Lago winter residence while the former president was in New York.
Monday’s search was related to the possible mishandling of presidential documents, possibly some classified, that may have been taken to Trump’s home, the subject of one of two Justice Department investigations related to the former president.
What do we know about the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s house?
The news was one of the most stunning twists yet in the history of Trump, who has twice been impeached, incited a riot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss, and consistently broke the limits of his office and the democracy during his one term, and afterward, like no other US president ever before.
He threatened to inject new toxins into the political life of a nation that is hopelessly divided, with millions of Trump supporters already believing his lies that the 2020 election was stolen, and on many issues no longer having a common understanding of the truth in itself.
It also comes with the former president eager to launch a 2024 campaign rooted in his false claims of voter fraud, which his authoritarian rhetoric suggests would present a profound challenge to democracy. That impending campaign is likely to be fueled by the political rocket fuel of a perception among Trump supporters, which he himself created in his statement announcing the raid on Monday, that he is being unfairly persecuted.
Trump takes advantage of the raid to encourage his supporters
Trump was quick to put a political spin on the operation, claiming that his “beautiful home” was “besieged, raided and occupied” while complaining that he was a victim of the “weaponizing of the justice system” by Democrats who wanted to prevent him from becoming president after the 2024 election. His statement used the same explosive language and sense of grievance that drove some of his supporters to violence in Washington on January 6, 2021.
“Such an assault could only take place in broken Third World countries. Sadly, the United States has now become one of those countries, corrupt on a level never seen before. They even broke into my safe!” Trump said. He did not mention that the search was carried out on the basis of a legally authorized warrant.
Somehow, his statement reads like the opening salvo of a new presidential campaign built around a narrative of persecution by deep state forces, familiar from the approach of others from so-called ” strong men” around the world.
The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment on the raid. President Joe Biden was not aware of the Mar-a-Lago raid until after it was reported in the news, according to a senior administration official.
Not knowing whether Trump had broken any laws, many Republicans followed Trump’s example and reacted angrily, demanding an explanation from the Justice Department and claiming that the former president was the victim of a political vendetta. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose hopes of becoming House Speaker depend on Trump’s patronage, has vowed to immediately investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland if Republicans win the House election on mid-November.
The instant reactions of support for the former president, further testament to his enduring power within the GOP, were also an early sign of how this investigation will face extreme political pressure. Those answers may also show that the former president’s potential 2024 campaign could benefit from the mobilizing effect of a government investigation that he may portray as politicized and unfair and that his potential Republican rivals may have little choice but to mobilize around this situation as well.
But the magnitude of Monday’s events should not be underestimated, even if the question of whether the former president was in real danger of being charged with a crime, in what would be a surprising historic step, was not immediately clear on Monday night.
The exact parameters of the search warrant were also not available. Presidents have the ability to declassify sensitive information and it was unclear whether Trump could have taken such steps with the material involved. However, former presidents do not have such powers. CNN reported that boxes of items were removed by the FBI after Monday’s raid. And Trump’s attorney, Christina Bobb, said the office seized “papers” after what she said was “an unannounced raid.”
An extremely delicate decision
Taking such action against any major political figure would be highly sensitive. Given Trump’s status as a former commander-in-chief, it’s especially dire. And the former president’s track record of inciting anger and violence makes this the most delicate move possible.
It is clear that the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI would have approved of the decision to search the Trump compound, fully aware of the explosive political fallout that would surely follow.
“I can’t stress enough… how important this would have been within the Justice Department and the FBI,” former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said on CNN Monday night.
The Yucatan Times
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