By Calvin Freiburger
The Federal Bureau of Investigation raid this week on former President Donald Trump’s Florida home is likely meant to prevent Trump from running for president in 2024, a former lawyer for the Trump administration claimed Wednesday.
On Monday, the FBI conducted a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, ostensibly over Trump’s possession of classified documents from his presidency.
Conservatives and Republicans suspect that reason is a pretext to persecute the ex-president for political reasons, citing the lighter treatment various Democrat officials (such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, and former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger) received for mishandling classified materials, despite lacking Trump’s former authority as President of the United States to declassify material.
The Epoch Times reports that former Trump Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark said it “defies rational explanation to think that this is really something that is not explainable by pure politics,” in light of the aforementioned Democrat cases “that had been totally swept under the rug.”
One particular point of dispute has been whether Trump could shed light on the case by releasing a copy of the search warrant agents presented to him. His opponents say he likely has a copy and doesn’t want to release it because it would show the search to be well-founded; his defenders assert he doesn’t have a copy, or if he does he cannot release it without exposing classified information it references.
Clark, whose own home was searched this summer by the FBI as part of the January 6 investigation, did not have firsthand knowledge of the question in Trump’s case but suggested that the affidavit used to obtain the warrant could be “something that the President’s lawyers need to do wrangling in order to get access to. But they should certainly try. I think that a warrant needs to have that support, and not just be part of a secret process.”
“I still don’t have a copy of the affidavit that was used to obtain the warrant for the search of my house,” noted Clark.
Ultimately, Clark said, he believes the raid is part of attempts to prevent Trump from attempting to return to the White House.
“Marc Elias [former Clinton attorney] is saying that the criminal statute could result in President Trump being barred from future office,” Clark says. “And I think it’s clearly part of his plan. He had been using an earlier plan of trying to use the Fourteenth Amendment provisions to bar folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn from holding federal office again. So this seems to be a general Democrat plan.”
Yes, I recognize the legal challenge that application of this law to a president would garner (since qualifications are set in Constitution). But the idea that a candidate would have to litigate this is during a campaign is in my view a "blockbuster in American politics."
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) August 9, 2022
Others suspect the opposite – that the raid is meant to either keep public attention on Trump to distract from President Joe Biden’s handling of the issues, or to provoke sympathy for Trump that goads Republicans into nominating him again, on the theory that he would be easier to defeat following his loss to Biden.
“I’m worried that the Democrats, liberals may be two steps ahead of us on this,” former U.S. Secretary of Education and conservative author William Bennett said Wednesday. “They want to focus on Donald Trump. They certainly succeeded in doing that, no matter what else is there at Mar-a-Lago or what they might have even brought to Mar-a-Lago. The focus is on Donald Trump. Since Monday, we’ve not heard a lot about inflation – a little bit – but we’ve heard mostly about Donald Trump. I think they’d like him to declare before the ’22 midterms, because then they can make him the focus.”
In the meantime, please consider signing LifeSite’s petition today to condemn the raid and send a clear message that politically-motivated law enforcement decisions cannot stand.