A CNN panel questioned the narrative behind the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home of former President Donald Trump, during a Tuesday panel. They argued that there was a larger reason for the raid then the FBI was letting on.
The FBI raided former President Trump’s home on Monday evening in connection to 15 boxes of classified White House documents moved to his private residence. Some reports, however, say that the documents had already been recovered back in January. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said a presidential records violation is “not enough to warrant” the raid on the former president’s property.
“No, it’s not enough to warrant all this, and this is a daring and dangerous move by the Department of Justice, to serve a warrant on a former president and to raid his personal residence. I have to think that the Department of Justice must have something more than an argument about what kind of records have to be saved for a presidential library or the Library of Congress at some future date. There’s more to this than meets the eye.”
CNN senior law enforcement analyst Andrew McCabe said the Department of Justice probably will decline to share any details about the raid unless they hand down an indictment to the former president. He agreed with Callan’s idea that there is likely more to the investigation than is publicly known.
“This is such a bold, such a disruptive, such an aggressive mood, the idea that they would do this simply because they weren’t getting the sort of compliance they were looking for out of securing the room with the documents and things like that seems really unimaginable to me,” McCabe said. “I hope they had more than just that.”
CNN senior White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins argued that many of Trump’s allies believe the raid could “bolster” his chances at winning the 2024 presidential election, provided he runs for a second term. President Trump’s son Eric claimed on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday that the FBI carried out the raid as revenge against his father’s victory in 2016.
Donald Trump accused the DOJ of political weaponization due to “Radical Left Democrats” who intended to prevent him from running in 2024 in a Monday evening statement.
“It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections,” the statement read.
The raid has received bipartisan condemnation, though for vastly different reasons. While many Republicans have pointed to this moment as proof of a political and biased FBI, democrats have condemned it because it strengthens those claims. Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the FBI and DOJ to release information and justification about the raid. He said that, should they refuse to, the groups would be under the perception that it was politically motivated and taint investigations into January 6.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also condemned the raid, saying that “it seems political” and arguing that Republicans would use that as a rallying cry for 2024.
“I’m no Trump fan. I want him as far away from the White House as possible. But a fundamental part of his appeal has been that it’s him against a corrupt government establishment. This raid strengthens that case for millions of Americans who will see this as unjust persecution,” Yang’s thread opened.
He continued, “It seems like this was authorized by a local judge and a particular FBI office without buy-in or notification of higher levels of government. But literally no one will believe that or make a distinction. It’s probably bureaucratic but it seems political.”
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