Source: The American Conservative
“The people who really run the United States of America have made it clear that they can’t, and won’t, if they can help it, allow Donald Trump to be president again,” wrote Michael Anton in Compact Magazine on July 28. “You don’t have to imagine. They tell you every day.”
Less than two weeks later, former President Donald Trump released a statement saying that Mar-a-Lago, the Florida club that functions as his primary residence, was “currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump’s statement continued.
“Such an assault could only take place in broke, Third-World Countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe!” Trump added.
CBS News first reported that the raid had nothing to do with January 6, as some speculated, but rather a warrant to search the premises as part of an investigation into documents allegedly mishandled by the former president that may have included confidential information. Quickly thereafter, the New York Times and Politico were able to confirm the same: that the root cause of the raid was a supposed violation of the Presidential Records Act, which requires all presidential documents and records pertaining to his duties to be handed over to the National Archives.
Previously, the National Archives claimed that Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of requested records that the former president took with him from the White House and potentially included classified information. The National Archives also claimed that Trump only cooperated under threat of more substantial action. Trump reportedly returned the 15 boxes in January, which contained mementos, gifts, letters, and documents subject to the Presidential Records Act—including documents that the National Archives claimed contained “classified national security information.”
The National Archives referred the issue to the Department of Justice in February and asked the DOJ to investigate Trump’s handling of White House records after the National Archives claimed it received documents from Trump that had been ripped up and taped back together.
After the National Archives received the 15 boxes of documents and other goods, federal prosecutors opened a grand jury investigation, anonymous sources told the New York Times. Prosecutors subsequently issued a subpoena to the National Archives to obtain and review the boxes of documents in question.
Monday wasn’t the first time federal agents made their way down to Mar-a-Lago in search of documents either. Agents reportedly visited Mar-a-Lago in the spring to obtain other documents, an unnamed source told the New York Times. At least one of the agents in the group that visited Mar-a-Lago in the spring was involved in counterintelligence.
But the investigation took an intense turn Monday when the FBI changed its strategy on how to deal with the former president and his team of lawyers. Rather than sending a small group of FBI agents to obtain the documents in question, the FBI rolled between 20 and 30 FBI agents into Mar-a-Lago to seize other boxes of documents outlined in a warrant that has yet to be made public and the details of which remain vague. No electronics were taken, however, according to CBS News.
Dr. John Eastman, the founding director of The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, told The American Conservative via email that there is no lawful justification for this unprecedented raid on a former president’s residence. “What I suspect is going on is a fishing expedition,” Eastman claimed. “They can’t just get a warrant for all his records—that would be an unconstitutional ‘general warrant’ that the Fourth Amendment was specifically written to prohibit. But using the National Archives Act as a pretext, they now can rummage through and see what they can find.”
“Hopefully the courts will soon put a stop to this egregiously unconstitutional conduct,” Eastman said.
While violations of the Presidential Records Act do not carry their own harsh penalties, other criminal statutes could come into play. U.S. law forbids individuals from “willfully injur[ing] or commit[ting] any depredation against any property of the United States.” Public office holders who, “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates or destroys … any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited,” could also be slapped with criminal charges. The former carries a fine and up to one year in prison, the latter, up to three.
The second aforementioned statute also includes a provision that says those convicted of mutilating or destroying these records are, “disqualified from holding any office under the United States.” But in the 1969 case of Powell v. McCormack, the Supreme Court found that Article I’s Qualifications of Members Clause include the only reasons why a member of the House of Representatives that has been duly-elected may be prevented from holding office. While Powell v. McCormack dealt with members of Congress and not the president, the same logic probably applies to Article II, Section I, and likely renders the statutes provision of disqualification for public office unconstitutional.
Eastman believes that the current regime will eventually try to indict Trump. “But even if he were to be indicted and then convicted on a felony charge (anything short of ‘insurrection’), that would not be disqualifying. Neither the Congress nor the Executive (or the Judiciary, for that matter) can add to the limited qualifications for the office set out by the Constitution. As for ‘insurrection,’ section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars from office those who were engaged in an insurrection (namely, the civil war). It is an open question whether that even applies to the office of President, and it was also mostly eliminated by statute in the 1870s,” Eastman said.
“And, of course, there was no ‘insurrection,'” Eastman added.
Nevertheless, the Mar-a-Lago raid confirms that the current regime is all in on preventing a possible second term for Trump with a renewed sense of urgency and seriousness. The danger can’t be understated. While the corporate media and left-wing activists started to salivate uncontrollably like Pavlov’s dogs at the thought that, finally, this could be the thing that puts the bad orange man in an orange jumpsuit, I’m not too certain they themselves believe this will end with Trump behind bars. Their current elation is meant to send a powerful message to the regime apparatchiks: we see you; stay the course.
“This is the Empire Strikes Back,” Eastman told TAC. “Trump and his supporters interfered with the Hillary coronation plans in 2016, then had the temerity to think that the American people still controlled the direction of their government. The peasants are in revolt, and have to be cowered back into submission.”
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The regime, the corporate media, and the liberal activist apparatus know that everything else: the Russia hoax, January 6, two impeachments, alleged violations of the Emoluments Clauses, and social media banishment hasn’t stuck. If they weren’t before, our enemies just openly told us they’re all on the same page. They know this is likely their last chance to take Trump down before he declares his candidacy. They simply can’t afford to come up empty once again. And if next time the feds make their way down to Mar-a-Lago it’s to take the former president out in handcuffs, or the regime finds some other way to bar Trump from taking office come Jan. 20, 2025. If they get away with it, imagine what they can get away with doing to you, with 87,000 more IRS agents, a FBI that goes after conservative parents and presidents, an intelligence apparatus that can spy on American citizens with ease, an allied corporate media that won’t hesitate to destroy your life, and Silicon Valley tech giants that can erase you from digital communication and finance platforms with the push of a button when all else fails.
I’ll leave you with a few last words from Anton:
“It’s safer, and generally more accurate, to assume that your adversaries mean what they say. If you doubt this, ask yourself: When was the last time they acted more moderately than they talk?”