We're beginning to gather more details about what transpired in the FBI's almost ten hour-long raid on Donald Trump's residence in Florida. However, it's not the government that's offering these details. On Tuesday night, Trump's lawyer stated that authorities were reluctant to provide a warrant, but when they did finally do so, the probable cause was sealed.
In terms of what was taken, the list provides a lot of negative information about the FBI's actions. An article in The Washington Post, citing leaks made from the federal government (which speaks volumes in itself), the boxes that were seized were filled with what would generally be considered personal belongings and mundane records from his presidency.
There was a rumor circulating a few months ago that this was all that the National Archives wanted. It wasn't really anything relevant to national security or other such items, which would not justify the raid, but merely scribblings on napkins and letters from the heads of state. If the report is true, this is what the FBI conducted an unprecedented search of the president's home to find. However, 33,000 stolen emails stored illegally on a server were not enough to warrant a raid on Hillary Clinton, but the desire for a letter from Kim Jung Un was. The abuse of power was extreme.
What was the FBI was really looking for? This news is hard to believe considering how corrupt and how politically armed the bureau is. It's true that the gathering of these records could be the justification they required, and the only one they were legally able to obtain, to investigate Trump's house. However, when they were rummaging through the whole house for nearly ten hours, they were probably also looking for additional evidence which could help in their other efforts against Trump. The FBI simply needed to get in the premises and they could do whatever they wanted to do.
That's only a reminder of how shady the entire operation was. The reasoning is so unjustified that it's only logical that the FBI was motivated by other reasons, and considering the DOJ's apparent cooperation with the January 6th committee, isn't it likely?
This isn't how the Presidential Records Act has ever been implemented. Even if FBI believed it had probable cause to seize the documents it took, the only thing it required was a telephone call and a handful of plain-clothed agents. Nevertheless, they sent agents with guns in full body armor to search the residence of a former president purportedly to search for dinner napkins.
This is utterly absurd and anyone who is defending the raid or saying we need only to have an “explanation” is exposing their tolerance of political targeting by the federal government.