mar-a-lago raid: the fbi operation shouldn’t have happened

On Aug. 8, the FBI raided the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald J. Trump, claiming in part that Trump was holding classified material inside the residence that should be held by the National Archives. Former President Trump broke the news of the raid himself, taking to his social media site Truth Social to announce the raid was happening, stating, “Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before.” 

He is correct — nothing like this has ever happened to a president before, and it should never have happened to him. 

According to the BBC, the FBI recovered 11 sets of what they claim to be classified materials that should have been turned over when Trump left office. Trump and his team have insisted time and time again that Trump declassified all material that was present in Mar-a-Lago before he left office. Former Trump administration official Kash Patel told the Daily Wire that Trump had “unilaterally declassified” all documents related to the “Russiagate” investigations, as well as documents involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Whether you believe the raid was justified or not, the FBI is going to have an incredibly difficult time proving its case in court. According to PolitiFact, experts generally agree the president has broad powers regarding what can be and is declassified. The article goes as far as to say that the president has the power to “classify and declassify at will.”

If the president has this power, and Trump’s team is claiming that he declassified all the documents, that puts the FBI in the position of having to prove that Trump did not declassify what was present at Mar-a-Lago. This is going to be extremely challenging, if not impossible. The burden of proof the FBI will have to meet is almost unbearable. 

This raid is nothing more than the latest chapter of a yearslong fishing expedition to find dirt on the former president. The elites could not accept the results of the 2016 presidential election, so instead they tried and failed for four years to prove that Russia had influenced the results. Now they can’t bear that Trump is leading nearly every 2024 primary poll, so they are trying to do what they can to keep him from running. 

Whether you want to see Trump run again or not, the blatantly obvious attempts to keep him from doing so by the ruling class should disgust every honest American. If Republicans take back the House in the upcoming midterms, they should use every resource available to investigate the FBI, the Department of Justice and potentially consider filing articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland who admitted to personally signing off on the raid and allowing it to go forth. The American people have lost faith in these institutions because of corrupt actions like this, and the only way to regain that trust is to root out all corruption. 

Hughes is an opinion writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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