Much of the time, flipping between MSNBC, Fox and CNN would lead one to think each was from a different country, or perhaps universe, given what they deemed the big news story of the moment. Not so yesterday about dinner time, when each obsessed over a story that had never before been reported, the home of a former president of the United States had been raided pursuant to a search warrant.
Granted, Trump’s tenure was replete with “firsts,” from impeachments to insurrection to emoluments to his beautiful health care plan that’s going to be revealed right after infrastructure week. And now we can add search warrant to the list, which involves a series of decisions, from Main Justice deciding to seek it, a Magistrate Judge finding sufficient probable cause to issue it, and the FBI executing it. Anyone who clings to the belief that these decisions were made lightly or frivolously is foolish. You can bet that Mag parsed the application within an inch of its life to make sure it was bulletproof.
As of now, the rumor is that it related to the boxes of confidential documents that magically ended up at Mar-a-Lago, curiously abbreviated MAL, which bring Mal Maison to my mind. Why a search warrant is unknown. Did the government believe the return of the 15 boxes, which should never have been there or flushed down the toilet, burned in the fireplace or otherwise destroyed, was inadequate? Did it believe there would be a lack of cooperation with a request or subpoena? Did they suspect destruction?
But this was all about papers. Sure, secret papers, but so what? Without knowing what the papers were about, or to what nefarious purpose the papers would be put, they’re just papers. Nobody gets all worked up about papers. Plus, Trump being president, he was empowered to see the papers, and for better or worse, didn’t suddenly forget all he was while behind the Resolute Desk they day he got sent packing.
And they even broke into his safe, which of course they did because that’s what you do when executing a search warrant, even if it’s a mystery to Trump like pretty much everything else that happens in government, law or polite company. But some, other than Trump, haven’t take it well.
“I’ve seen enough,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, wrote in a statement that he posted online. “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.”
And the online nutjobs are doing their best.
This is, of course, irrelevant to any rational consideration of whether the raid was warranted factually or legally, but it’s the best they’ve got given the lack of facts or logical arguments.
If Trump committed a crime, then he is no less culpable than any other person. Neither he nor Mar-a-Lago is immune from search, from the constraints of the same legal system and procedures that apply to everyone else. Yes, it’s unprecedented, but then, so was Trump in how little he either knew, understood or respected the law.
On the other hand, if you’re going to kill the king (only a quote, chill out), you best not miss. If this is only about some secret papers that never found their way back to the archives, is that the sort of “crime” that will deliver a knock-out punch? Indeed, that may not even relate back to Trump, at least provably, as it’s hard to imagine him risking a papercut by touching a piece of paper, or reading it if it contained so many squiggly lines that it would give him a headache. So if there, it could be hard if not impossible to connect it directly to him anyway.
So why? Raiding MAL is akin to throwing a bomb into the other sides headquarters, like it or not. Not only does it have to be legally justified, which I’ve no doubt it is as nobody would have done something so inflammatory unless they had this sucker locked down tight as a drum, but justifiable, meaning that the end result would be accepted by enough of a nation that this first, this unprecedented raid, would not come off as pure political theater.
Flipping through the cable news last night, MSNBC was losing their heads over this being “it,” they finally got him. Fox was losing their heads over this, ironically, being the overthrow of democracy as the Dems were taking out Fearless Leader. And on CNN, even Elie Honig got the law right, proving there’s a first time for everything.
Where do we go from here?**
*Tuesday Talk rules apply.
**Save your space alien and Soros conspiracy theories for your pals at reddit s/tinfoil. TIA.