The mission to the luxurious Florida mansion vainly tried a low profile. The agents avoided wearing their flashy vests with the FBI seal on the back and arrived late Monday night when the homeowner was out of town.
The search began in a basement near the swimming pool, where umbrellas and lounge chairs are kept. He then proceeded to the offices on the second floor, where officers they opened a small safe, “like a hotel”, which apparently did not contain anything relevant.
From there they went directly to the house of Mar a Lago, the place in the world of former President Donald Trump, where they found and took 12 boxes that could contain the treasure they were looking for: secret documents that the tycoon would have taken of the White House, breaking the law.
This raid on a president is unprecedented in the history of the United States, experts agree. And Trump shouted to the heavens when he considered it worthy of “a banana country”although the agents had a warrant.
Donald Trump’s mansion in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. AP Photo
But, contrary to what Justice and the FBI were looking for, this operation gave Trump an unexpected airafter enduring a harsh legislative investigation that concluded he had incited his supporters in the violent assault on Capitol Hill on January 6.
The White House said it had not been notified of the move carried out by the attorney general, Merrick Garland, promoted by a complaint in February from the National Archives, the body in charge of keeping the documentation. But the raid without a doubt will have serious consequences in the US electoral landscape.
The country and the world once again set their eyes on this man, who is now considered a victim of a “dark conspiracy” of the Washington judicial establishment, whom he also accuses of having “stolen” the elections in 2020.
Republicans, including those seeking to break away from the former president, they came out en masse to support him and to denounce a “revenge campaign” by the FBI and the Department of Justice, something that will encourage the party’s bases to go out and vote in the November legislative elections.
The most extreme voices of the party warned of “a civil war” and there have already been anti-Semitic threats to the Florida judge who signed the search warrant.
Even his potential Republican rivals for the presidency, such as Florida Governor Ron de Santis, they came out to denounce the operation and to support the tycoon. Trump, who was delaying a possible announcement of his candidacy for president in 2024, is now tempted to do so, even before November.
Kevin Boyle, professor of American history at Northwestern University, told Clarion that “there is no precedent for an FBI search of a former president’s home. While the agency acted entirely within the rule of law, the FBI certainly runs the risk of being accused of search Trump’s address for political reasons; in fact, several Republicans have already made that charge.”
A supporter of the former president, wearing a Donald Trump mask. Photo Bloomberg
What was the FBI looking for in the Mar a Lago house, where Trump took refuge after leaving the White House? Although the FBI has not revealed the reason for his search, everything indicates that at the end of his term, Trump took him from the White House. documents owned by the government of the United States and the tycoon ignored the request of the National Archives to return them.
According to expert Boyle, “Congress passed a law in 1978 that makes presidential documents public property. Before that, those documents were the property of the president”, although they were later donated to the federal government.
Not since the Reagan administration – the first administration to which the 1978 law applied – has a president taken presidential documents with him at the end of his term, until Donald Trump did. Taking these documents is illegal.“, He says
It did not come out what exactly the FBI was looking for in Mar a Lago. Trump is known to be a man who broke all the rules in the White House and it would not be unusual for him to break them with key roles. In fact, White House correspondent Maggie Haberman revealed photographs showing notes in Trump’s handwriting. flushed down toilets in presidential offices.
What was the FBI looking for?
But what could the sensitive documents they were looking for in Mar a Lago contain?
Thomas A. Schwartz, professor of history at Vanderbilt University, told Clarion that “it is possible that Trump had with him documentation related to with his attempts to nullify the 2020 elections or his connection to the leaders of the January 6 riots. I guess Trump may have also taken some records of conversations with foreign leaders, like the leader of North Korea, that are still classified.”
At this point, the raid is more of a fact that is viewed under a political prism. John Aldrich, professor of political science at Duke University, told Clarion that “the investigation and the raid on Trump’s house will have an impact among Republicans. Elected officials and party leaders have already reacted, generally to condemn the raid. But the scariest calls to arms from extreme activists do carry the risk of real monitoring. That’s scary and troublesome”.
For this expert, “the big question is how Republican voters will react.” If the FBI doesn’t find important things in its raid, he warns, “it’s concerning because it will add to the ‘politicization’ of the FBI and federal forces in general and help undermine their legitimacy.”
However, “if they find real and serious evidence, that will undermine Republican leaders in general and it will damage Trump’s credibility as a candidate within his own party.”
But Republicans see the opportunity, band together and stand up for a leader who shows who still have enormous influence in the party and in the face of a Biden administration overwhelmed by the economic crisis.
Members of the House Oversight Committee in a letter asked the director of the National Archives to appear before Congress to clarify her involvement in what they see as a “embarrassing episode in American history”.
Trump seeks to seize the moment. The one with the documents is just one of the many judicial fronts that he has, but he will try to dilute everything behind the mist of political revenge. He is now focused on his campaign and its possible launch.
In a video that he published hours after the raid, he cried: “The best is yet to come” and made a call to raise funds, in which he declared that “it is important that they know that they not only violated my house, but the house of all the patriotic Americans I’ve been fighting for.”