Jonathan Turley's 5 Questions Re The MAL Raid
The five questions are all very good questions, some of which have been raised already. However, as usual Turley presents them succinctly. The difficulty, as he points out—Five Lingering Questions In The Wake Of The Mar-a-Lago Raid—is that these lingering questions are likely to simply continue lingering. And that is likely exactly what the Deep State wants—to prevent the public from getting a clear idea of what’s really going on. All of these questions could likely be answered if the search warrant affidavit were released, but that’s exactly what DoJ doesn’t seem to want to do. Of course, they’ll frame that in terms of the usual mantras about protecting sources and methods, but the reality is almost certainly a legal tactic to place Trump at a public relations disadvantage. For now, that strategy isn’t working well, but the Zhou regime may hope that with time the tide will turn. Time and the tide, of course, are somewhat constrained by the Midterm elections, in about three months.
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At any rate, here are Turley’s five excellent questions:
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.
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?
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 a sufficient for material at the apex of classification levels.
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.
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?
With regard to point number 1, Garland’s claim of using the least intrusive means possible seems plainly disingenuous. The terms of a search warrant should be tailored to the specifics of the case—no warrant will issue for simply “evidence of a crime.” The crime and the evidence sought must be specified, along with the reasons for believing the specific evidence will be found at the location in question. That doesn’t appear to be what this warrant did. It cast a very wide net:
Outlining the “property to be seized” by the more than 30 agents who rummaged through the former president’s Mar-a-Lago mansion, the warrant demanded confiscation of any document Trump ever saw, read, or created for the entirety of his four years as commander-in-chief.
“All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation” of federal statutes governing records possession, the warrant reads, were to be seized. Records extended to “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”
Recall what the Presidential Records Act is all about. The PRA only came into being in 1978. Until that time presidential records were regarded as basically the personal property of the president. Even now, the president is allowed to retain records from his presidency that are personal in nature, and that’s the rub. Disputes as to what is or is not personal are bound to arise. Since the PRA has no criminal provisions, these disputes have always been settled by negotiation or civil proceedings. Here, the decision as to what was illegally possessed was decided during the search, with no input allowed by Trump’s attorney, who was excluded from the premises. Huh? This is a big problem, or so it seems to me. It goes to the heart of Turley’s five questions.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” Trump wrote in another post on Truth Social, Friday.