Republicans seize affidavit accusing DOJ of midterm political stunt against Trump
The affidavit and other legal documents show evidence of a long-term effort, long before the August 8 FBI raid, by the Justice Department to recover documents that Trump had taken from the White House and which should have been in the National Archives.
But Republicans capitalized on multiple redactions that obscured all the reasons for the warrant and subsequent FBI raid, to stoke feelings of uncertainty and accuse the bureau and Attorney General Merrick Garland of overstepping the bounds. terminals.
“My biggest criticism, and I think the concern of most of the country, is, where’s the transparency, right?” said the GOP governor. “If you’re going to take unprecedented action and raid a former president’s house, well, you better have an unprecedented transparency strategy,” added Sununu, who is running for re-election this week. fall.
“You need to be able to show your cards when you take actions like this.”
Sununu’s criticism of the department was significant and may reflect broader Republican opinion, as he has not shied away from criticizing Trump in the past. He is insulated to some degree from the ex-president’s thirst for revenge thanks to his popularity in Granite State, where he pushed back against national GOP pleas to run for the Senate. But Sununu nevertheless hinted that election season politics could have been behind the DOJ’s decision to go ahead with a search.
A high-ranking Republican senator, Roy Blunt of Missouri, said Trump should have turned over documents that should have legally been transferred to the National Archives when he left office. And he said officials should be especially careful in handling classified documents. But in his Sunday comments, Blunt also betrayed the political pressure Republicans feel to stand by their party’s dominant figure, Trump, even if the Missouri senator retires at the end of this year.
“What I wonder is why it could be almost two years and less than 100 days before the election, suddenly we are talking about this rather than the economy or inflation or even the program student loans,” Blunt said on ABC. News “This week”.
In addition to suggesting nefarious activity by the Biden administration, Blunt’s comment alluded to GOP frustration that their attacks on Biden were somewhat overtaken by Trump’s return to the spotlight. But the idea that the research was simply concocted to distract from the president’s low approval rating is belied by evidence from court documents and other documents on the case, suggesting months of efforts to retrieve classified documents from Trump amid his delays and refusal to hand him over. The White House said Biden was not given advance notice of the search, underscoring the priority he placed on the independence of the Justice Department.
Yet it remains difficult for outsiders to make a full assessment of whether the DOJ went too far or correctly considered the enormous implications of raiding the home of a former president and potential future presidential candidate. the White House – given the high level of secrecy that surrounds the case due to the classified material involved. The relative lack of information has created a void that Trump and his cronies have filled with misinformation and conspiracy theories, which are now being used by more mainstream Republicans to cast doubt on the conduct of the DOJ.
Hearing date set for Thursday
The fact that Cannon, a Trump candidate, gave an indication that she might grant his request was greeted by some of the ex-president’s allies on social media as a victory. But such a decision is not considered unreasonable by legal experts in a case like this. The curiosity here is that Trump didn’t make his claim until the government was in possession of the documents the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago for two weeks – a factor that has raised questions about the chaos within his camp, his strategy and the quality of his legal representation, which had been ordered to file a new case after the judge had noted several shortcomings in the initial request.
The furor over the documents comes as Trump’s exposure to various probes appears to be increasing. His inner circle has been drawn into a criminal investigation in Georgia centered on his alleged attempts to undo Biden’s victory in the crucial 2020 swing state. painted a damning picture of the ex-president’s conduct during one of the darkest days in modern US history and is expected to ramp up its hearings soon. And there are several civil and criminal investigations into Trump’s business empire.
It all comes with the former president looking to elevate midterm candidates who buy into his lies about a stolen 2020 election — a generally successful run that may have plagued the GOP with problematic candidates who could give Democrats a chance. chance to hang on to their majority in the Senate. This trend, along with some recent victories by congressional Democrats — including the passage of Biden’s major health care and climate bill — and the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, have given hope to Democrats as November approaches.
Yet the parties of first-term presidents typically do poorly in midterm elections, especially with approval ratings around 40%, like Biden’s. So while the 2022 election may be more competitive than expected, history suggests it will threaten the Democrats’ monopoly on political power in Washington.
Intelligence agencies assess the damage
The political and legal shockwaves surrounding the Mar-a-Lago search will unfold this week as a closed-door investigation into potential national security issues raised by Trump’s seemingly cavalier handling of classified documents gathers pace. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines sent a letter to the House Intelligence and House Oversight committee chairs saying the intelligence community was conducting a damage assessment of documents seized from Trump’s home, according to a letter obtained by CNN. Saturday.
The classification review is being conducted by the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Haines wrote in the letter first reported by Politico. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and House Oversight Chairman Carolyn Maloney said in a joint statement that they were ‘pleased’ Haines had initiated the damage assessment of the classified documents found. at Trump’s home in Florida.
The two presidents, who had previously called for the investigation, pushed for the assessment to be done “quickly”.
Given the sensitive nature of the material under discussion, it seems unlikely that the review will contribute much to the public’s understanding of the extraordinary circumstances of a search of the home of a former president.
This means that the political fallout from the operation is unlikely to take a more extreme turn until the midterm elections approach and risk further deepening the nation’s divisions over Trump, whom he manages to expand further even when not in power.