Five Lingering Questions In the Wake of the Mar-a-Lago Raid

Former President Donald Trump has waived any objections to the release of the warrant and property receipt after the filing of a motion by the Justice Department. The motion, however, did not seek the release of the most important document in this controversy: the supporting FBI affidavit. That is the document that would reveal what the FBI told the magistrate about the prior communications with the Trump team and the specific allegations of the status of the documents in question.

There are reports that the documents involved material of the highest possible classification dealing with nuclear weapons. There is no question that the former President has no authority to retain classified material and that the government has a legitimate right to retrieve such material.

We should see the warrant and property list relatively soon in light of the DOJ motion and the Trump waiver. My greatest interest is the specificity of the information. Here are a few questions as we wait for the warrant and list:

  1. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the DOJ would have used other less intrusive means if they were possible. Yet, it would seem that such options were not just possible but obvious, including the use of a second subpoena. Moreover, even if a raid was necessary, it is not clear why the DOJ would descend upon Mar-a-Lago with such a massive show of force rather than send a few agents over with the warrant.
  2. If the FBI believed that there was nuclear-related information in the resort, it certainly did not seem to move with dispatch. The last communication, according to the Trump team, was in June. Even after securing a warrant, there was reportedly a delay in executing the warrant. Why?
  3. If the FBI suspected that high-level material was retained at the resort, did they identify the material to the Trump team and demand its return? It is hard to imagine the Trump Team telling the FBI to pound sand if such a demand was made. Yet, such a denial would readily support a showing of probable cause. Moreover, adding a lock to the door of a storage room would not be viewed as sufficient for material at the apex of classification levels.
  4. Did the warrant specifically identify the material or the classification level? If the warrant sought the recovery of any possible classified evidence, it would again raise what was stated in the affidavit and the reason why such material was not acquired in the June subpoena despite the reported cooperation of the Trump team.
  5. There remains the role of the confidential informant and what the person shared with the DOJ. Was there evidence of active concealment of the material or merely a statement of additional documents being stored at the resort?

It is highly unlikely that all of this information will be contained in just the warrant and the list. Given the growing controversy over the necessity of the raid, this is one circumstance where the release of the affidavit is warranted. Rather than allow such questions to fester and grow, early and total transparency would seem in the public interest.

 

This column also appeared on Fox.com.

549 thoughts on “Five Lingering Questions In the Wake of the Mar-a-Lago Raid”

  1. What? ANOTHER Trump lie?

    “ What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama? He refused to give them back!” Trump wrote in a Thursday post. “What is going on? This act was strongly at odds with NARA. Will they be breaking into Obama’s ‘mansion’ in Martha’s Vineyard?”

    However, the National Archives and Records Administration responded to those claims on Friday, noting it had “exclusive legal and physical custody” of the former president’s records after he left office in 2017. Obama had about 30 million pages of unclassified documents processed through the agency, and those are maintained “exclusively by NARA,” it said in a statement.”

    Trump the compulsive liar is making it way to easy today.

  2. CNN REPORTS TRUMP BUSTED: TRUMP’S FEDERAL CRIMES RANGE FROM TEN YEAR SENTENCES TO TWENTY YEARS FEDERAL PENITENTIARY SENTENCES.
    MAGANUTS: TURN ON CNN OR MSNBC TO SEE THE BIG TRUMP BUST!! TRUMP IS SOOOOOOOOOO BUSTED!

  3. Another lie,

    “ Trump has questioned the legality of the search over the last several days, claiming there were no witnesses to observe the FBI’s behavior and that the agency instructed people at the Florida resort, including his lawyers, to steer clear of the premises as agents conducted the search. ”

    But there WERE witnesses, Trump and his own children watched thru CCTV cameras remotely. They had a better view than his lawyer.

    Oops. Why is Trump lying so much?

  4. BREAKING NEWS: Trump’s Federal Crimes: 1) ESPIONAGE 2) OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE 3) UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF RECORDS

    The DOJ search warrant reveals the federal crimes Donald Trump is accused of committing by the Dept. of Justice.

    These are some of the same federal crimes a federal grand jury will indict Trump on.

  5. Trump continues to spew lie after lie. He keeps changing his story. First he claims the classified documents are a hoax. Then he admits they were “declassified” by him.

    “ Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything,” Trump wrote in a post on his social media platform Truth Social. “They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

    The problem is trump can’t declassify nuclear weapons information on his own. It requires several other people for that to happen.

    Trump is flailing around making stuff up as he keeps getting caught lying every time new information keeps contradicting his previous lie.

    1. BREAKING NEWS: Trump’s Federal Crimes: 1) ESPIONAGE 2) OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE 3) UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF RECORDS

      The DOJ search warrant reveals the federal crimes Donald Trump is accused of committing by the Dept. of Justice.

      These are some of the same federal crimes a federal grand jury will indict Trump on.

    2. Svelaz,

      While I agree with most of your posts today, I think we need to pump the breaks on definitively claiming that the legislature has the power to enact legislation (i.e., Atomic Energy Acts of 1946/1954), which limits a sitting president from exercising his executive authority as Commander in Chief in matters of national security re: classification of state secrets.

      Although that SHOULD be the case, I think this is a pretty complicated constitutional question involving the separation of powers, and my guess is SCOTUS may support Scalia’s Theory of the Unitary Executive when Trump inevitably sues.

      However, by the same logic, I don’t see why the Biden administration couldn’t re-classify any documents that Trump claims to have de-classified. The public’s ability to vote the Executive out of office is, of course, the fundamental rationale for the Unitary Executive theory.

  6. They are terrified of Trump returning to the white house where he belongs and are taking the most desperate measures (which will fail) to prevent it from happening.

  7. They raided Roger Stone he went into custody, they raided Navarro and he went into custody, why haven’t these gutless democrats put Don J Trump in custody huh?

    1. They charged Stone. They charged Navarro. They have not charged Trump. Maybe they will later; maybe they won’t.

      1. “ They charged Stone. They charged Navarro. They have not charged Trump. Maybe they will later; maybe they won’t.”

        Give it some time. They have to comb thru all the documents they got from MAL then file charges when they have enough to send to grand jury.

  8. Magistrate Reinhart on 22 June 2022 recused himself from a case of former President vs. Hillary Clinton, et al. See the following link to the actual document. Then, the FBI waits three days to execute the search. It will be interesting to see if Reinhart was in his office on the same day as the raid. Joe and family are safely out of D.C. so he can’t stray from the teleprompter.

    https://justthenews.com/sites/default/files/2022-08/show_temp%20%287%29.pdf

    1. President Trump’s ARREST is coming! No, they have NOTHING on hin beyond cutting a fart in church two years ago, but that won’t stop the CORRUPT DOJ and FBI from dummying-up something! The Democrat-Fascist base is DEMANDING President Trump’s arrest and execution! I expect the STASI/Gestapo…I mean FBI… to arrest him and then shoot him when “he attempts to escape!”

      1. BREAKING NEWS: Trump’s Federal Crimes: 1) ESPIONAGE 2) OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE 3) UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF RECORDS

        The DOJ search warrant reveals the federal crimes Donald Trump is accused of committing by the Dept. of Justice.

        These are some of the same federal crimes a federal grand jury will indict Trump on.

        1. Then Obama, the Clintons and the Pelosi’s all belong in prison. So be it. Let’s start at the beginning.

  9. THEY ARE DOING RUSSIAgate 2.0:

    RUSSIAsteria: More FBI Raids Mar-A-Lago Memes (RUSSIAgate 2.0 Launch Party!)
    – I’m psychic, RUSSIAgate 2.0 launch party, Reichsführer-SS Garland says stop being mean to the FBI, WAPO readers lap it up, FBI wants to date Trump, and more FBI raids Mar-A-Lago memes!
    https://covidsteria.substack.com/p/fbi-raids-mar-a-lago-russiagate-2-0-launch-party

    ZOMBIE ALERT: How Insane are Washington Post Readers? (Unhinged WAPO Zombies Lap Up RUSSIAgate 2.0!)
    – A sampling of the UNHINGED comments posted on “FBI searched Trump’s home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say” showing HOW INSANE the regime’s minions have become!
    https://covidsteria.substack.com/p/unhinged-wapo-readers-lap-up-russiagate-2-0

  10. There’s nothing more disgusting and treasonous than a lobotomized NPC zombie leftist Democrat.
    You filth absolutely disgust us on a primordial level.
    Every Trump derangement syndrome victim needs to be exterminated we need a literal new Holocaust!

    1. BREAKING NEWS: Trump’s Federal Crimes: 1) ESPIONAGE 2) OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE 3) UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF RECORDS

      The DOJ search warrant reveals the federal crimes Donald Trump is accused of committing by the Dept. of Justice.

      These are some of the same federal crimes a federal grand jury will indict Trump on.

  11. The problem with you child like naive liberals is that you actually think the FBI is honest brokers and they’re not political …when they’ve influenced the political process and the previous three elections.
    They’re doing it again for the fourth one in 2022.
    And you refuse to wrap your head around the fact that the president can declassify anything by simply talking about it he doesn’t have to go through regulations and sign paperwork in triplicate.
    Oh yeah and don’t forget that Obama took 33 million pages when he left the White House and the National Archives is still waiting for it did they raid his house

  12. Turley: why do you continue to use the hot-button word “raid” to describe execution of the search warrant, which is hyperbolic and factually inaccurate? Nobody broke down doors, forced people out onto the lawn in the middle of the night or even wore FBI uniforms. Trump and his lawyer, as well as the Secret Service were notified in advance. You attempt to claim that execution of the warrant was a “massive show of force”, which just isn’t true. As a matter of fact, it was Trump who went to the media to publicize this incident, not the FBI. Such hyperbole resulted yesterday in the death of a Trump fan who tried to use a nail gun to break bulletproof windows at the Cincinnati FBI office, and who was gunned down in a corn field after a standoff with police. This person was also at the Jan. 6th riot, and called for violence on social media. When you use your platform to help spread misinformation and contribute to the Trump mob rage, you bear some measure of responsibility. You supposedly stand against the “age of rage”, but you are a contributor.

    You question why the national intelligence people didn’t issue a second subpoena. Explain to us WHY it should have to do so, what legal authority you are relying on and WHY it is acceptable for Trump to fail to fully comply with the first subpoena he received. Of course, now that we know there WAS an effort to avoid a search warrant, that takes away the argument about Trump not being given a chance to resolve this peacefully, so what other criticism could you come up with, Turley? Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “every subpoena must:…..(iii) command each person to whom it is directed to do the following at a specified time and place: “….produce designated documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things in that person’s possession, custody or control;…..” . Trump was commanded to turn over ALL the documents. He didn’t comply. There is NO requirement to go back and say “pretty please”, or “won’t you please reconsider?”

    You attempt to make the lame argument that there may not have been an intent to actively conceal information. After being commanded, via a subpoena, to turn over the documents, what could possibly be the excuse for Trump failing to do so. Eric Trump is claiming that the safe at Mar A Lago was empty. Is it much of a stretch to consider that Trump emptied the safe since he knew, in advance, that the warrant would be served, he knew what they wanted, and he knew that he shouldn’t have these papers?

    I’ve seen reports that there are still missing documents despite the raid. You have to ask yourself, given Trump’s deference to murderers like Putin and MBS, why would he take classified documents in the first place, and why wouldn’t he disgorge them after receiving a subpeona to turn them over?

    Like Todd Rokita who just can’t stop going after Dr. Caitlin Bernard after it was proven she did nothing wrong, you just can’t stop criticizing the DOJ for trying to recoup our classified documents. Tell us, Turley, what benign reason is there for Trump taking them in the first place, and why didn’t he turn over all of them after receiving a subpoena?

    1. This is what real Trump derangement syndrome looks like folks just like they wanted to change the definition of recession and now recession isn’t a recession they want to change the definition of a raid for decades this has been called a raid and a matter of fact for the first three or four hours on Main Street Media every broadcaster called it a raid until the word went down from above to change it from raid to search and now all the NPC lobotomized lemmings snap their heels to attention and say….”jahowl mien further it was a search!”
      You feel disgust us

      1. BREAKING NEWS: Trump’s Federal Crimes: 1) ESPIONAGE 2) OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE 3) UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF RECORDS

        The DOJ search warrant reveals the federal crimes Donald Trump is accused of committing by the Dept. of Justice.

        These are some of the same federal crimes a federal grand jury will indict Trump on.

    2. This is what real stupidity and intellectual helplessness looks like when it manifests itself in a comment section.
      A degenerate satanic lobotomized leftist

    3. Natacha said: “I’ve seen reports that there are still missing documents despite the raid.”

      Search, darling, it was a search, not a ‘raid.’ No need for such ‘hot-button’ words, sheesh.

      1. Oh honey, you’re triggered.

        Have a cup of tea, and then when you’ve stopped hyperventilating you can read up on other FBI *raids* over the past year….

        Here are a couple to help you out:

        * https://www.reuters.com/world/us/fbi-raids-russian-oligarch-deripaskas-home-washington-nbc-news-2021-10-19/

        * https://www.npr.org/2021/10/05/1043567201/fbi-raid-new-york-police-sergeants-union-ed-mullins

        * theguardian.com/us-news/2021/may/06/rudy-giuliani-doj-raid-trump-prosecutors

        * nytimes.com/2021/10/19/us/politics/oleg-deripaska-fbi-raid.html

        If you use a “search engine”, you can type in the words “FBI Raid” and it will give you “search results”. You can click on those with your mouse for more information.

        1. Senechal,

          You might not be aware but this web blog only permits two hyperlinks per comment. I modified your comment so that it would post. If you would like the readership to review more than two comments this may be accomplished by the use of multiple comments having two or fewer links per each.

      2. A search is when you knock on the door and say we get to search for these items. A RAID is 30 men in body armor with machine guns, blocking the driveways, mounted machine guns in boats around the property, and ordering all occupants out of the residence. Was Elliot Ness conducting searches with Capone? He used the same tactics. You capable of seeing the difference?

    4. He uses the word raid because the MSM used it to show how mean and scary Donald Trump is and imply how we could all jump to the conclusion that the raid itself was indisputable evidence of a heinous crime, until they realized it was backfiring on them and changed the word. Now since the word is hurting your side, you want it retracted like them that you shill for, but its out there. You might consider thinking about what you say, and asking yourself why you instead say it and write 20 pages about how you never said it and stop saying you did, like here.

  13. The FBI threatened a Trump aide and asked him/her where Trump would hide classified material at Mar-a-lago. Their response was twisted in the affidavit into, “Aide X reported Trump may be hiding classified material in Melania’s underwear drawer.” This is the Nazi FBI approach to creating crime from whole cloth.

      1. B-but…but…what about those torn up highly classified torn up documents so artfully arranged in the bottom of a toilet just this week? Was that just an appetizer? Haven’t heard another word about it, but it was all the news a few days ago. I’m surprised the scraps were not written in Russian.

        And then there’s that leaked story from unnamed sources in WaPo the very next day. WaPo is the FBI’s go-to newspaper for leaked gossip.

        Stagecraft. Nothing but predictable stagecraft. This is about elections, and nobody will ever convince a lot of us otherwise.

        OK, the dog chases the bus for the umptiumth timp and it finally catches it. Now what?

  14. well worth a review of Matt Taibbi’s excellent list in 2021 of how the FBI and DOJ manipulated Americans regarding the Russian Hoax:

    item #17:

    Justice Department “unaware of any wrongdoing relating to the FISA process.” New York Times, January 24th, 2018. In response to the so-called “Nunes memo,” written by Republican House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes alleging malfeasance on the part of the FBI in its applications for secret surveillance authority of former Trump aide Carter Page, multiple officials denounced Nunes as a liar. Stephen Boyd, an Assistant Attorney General, rebuked Nunes in a letter whose contents were reported in the New York Times, calling him “extraordinarily reckless,” adding that the Justice Department was “unaware of any wrongdoing relating to the FISA process.”

    Press reports uniformly denounced Nunes as a peddler of fake news. “The Nunes memo is fake and the Russia scandal is very real,” wrote New York. “Devin Nunes and the invention of Fake Oversight,” wrote the Atlantic. Nancy Pelosi said Nunes should resign, and the release of the memo could trigger a “constitutional crisis” James Comey wrote this:

    James Comey
    @Comey
    That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.
    February 2nd 2018

    The Horowitz report validated nearly every one of the Nunes claims, and moreover made it clear that Justice, FBI, and CIA officials were all aware of problems with the FISA application involving Page at the time these complaints were made to the press about. The significance of this story had to do with the origin of the Trump-Russia probe. The notion that “probable cause” existed to believe that a Trump aide was an “agent of a foreign power” was one of the lynchpins of the conspiracy theory

    read the 20+ other examples of how the Feds manipulated Americans re: “Russian hoax”:

    Master List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/aaugh-a-brief-list-of-official-russia

  15. Lightning speed! Wow John Durham you’ve been bested! Hillary, love that New Tide for acid washing. Better than Lenin and his move to deprive Romanovs of any rights. The key is to get the right judge.

    1. Please include the citation to her lack of cooperation to the FBI Investigation:

      The Press Release seems to miss that detail?

      https://www.fbi.gov/news/press-releases/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

      If your concern is the “raid,” then the ultimate question is why the search was needed. Clinton cooperated, unlike Trump. NY apples and Florida oranges.

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