Legal experts and politicians from the right and left are questioning the legality of the FBI’s raid on the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.
The FBI action was “outrageous and unjust, but predictable,” stated Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), noting that FBI Director Christopher Wray has defended his agency’s counterintelligence efforts against the Trump campaign in 2016.
“This is 3rd World country stuff. We need answers NOW. The FBI must explain what they were doing today & why,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) wrote on Twitter.
Some even compared the Biden administration’s use of the FBI to Russia or a Third World country where a political office holder harasses or jails their likely political opponent before the next election.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department has yet to comment on the raid and the White House asserts it had no prior knowledge.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, said he shared “the deep concern of millions of Americans” over the search, noting “no former president of the United States has ever been subject to a raid of their personal residence”.
Respected legal expert and Democrat Alan Dershowitz is furious with the implications of the raid for American democracy. He questions the motive of the action coming as Trump could be a candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
The Harvard law professor told ‘Rob Schmitt Tonight’ late Monday evening that ‘A raid is supposed to be a last resort, but this administration has used the weaponization of the justice system against its political enemies.
‘It’s arrested people, denied them bail, put them in handcuffs – used all kinds of techniques that are not usually applied to American citizens, and I just hope this raid has a justification.
‘If it doesn’t have a justification, the material seized in it will be suppressed.’
Other Democrats, even those who had been at odds with Trump, are calling it into question and asking for the DOJ to provide more information. They warned that if it were just to return any records to the Government, rather than in relation to a more serious matter, it will continue to solidify Trump’s popularity which is currently higher than the current president.
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo demanded that the justice department “immediately explain the reason for its raid. If the action were taken in “a search for inconsequential archives”, it would be “viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation.”
Some media personalities are likening the raid to the now debunked Russian collusion scandal in which the Democrats spent four years and tens of millions of dollars investigating the former president. The investigations were never popular with the American public and ended up being a net loss for Democrat popularity.
Former presidential primary contender Andrew Yang agreed, saying that if the raid pertained only to “a search for inconsequential archives”, it would be “viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Democratic leaders were mum, or at least reluctant to talk publicly about the raid or what they knew. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expected authorities had “justification” but said she had no further knowledge of the raid. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer refused to comment on the search.
Trump announced the raid late on Aug. 8, calling it evidence of “prosecutorial misconduct” and a “weaponization of the Justice System.”
The raid was not announced and was motivated because Democrats do not want Trump to run again for president in 2024, the former president said.
Trump’s son Eric said the raid was conducted to see whether his father possessed any documents from his time in office.
“The purpose for the raid, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession,” Eric Trump said on Fox News.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) said in February that it received boxes of documents from Trump’s resort and it had been reported that the post-presidency office of Trump had fully cooperated with the NARA to make sure all documents were preserved.
But law experts say records for the National Archive fall outside the boundary.
‘The Presidential Records Act is not commonly a subject of criminal prosecution, even in the most egregious cases,’ Johnathan Turley, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, says. ‘These incidents have generally been handled administratively.’
Dershowitz agrees and told Fox News: ‘Based on what we now know, it was totally unjustified, even one FBI agent would have been too many.
‘The whole process was wrong and Trump was away at the time, so they can’t say he was going to destroy anything.’
–Metro Voice and wire services