Release The Warrant ... Err, We Mean Affidavit, Demands GOP!

"Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents, even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years," the former president blarped last night. He vomited out several sentences on his own greatness and the hellscape that America has become under Joe Biden, before finishing with a demand to "Release the documents now!"

Note that he did not RELEASE THE DOCUMENTS NOW his own damn self, as he's had every right to do since Monday when his tacky-ass golf course got raided by the FBI.

The documents at issue here are the warrant to search the joint and seize evidence of crimes, and the receipt for what was taken, both of which were given to Trump's lawyer Christina Bobb at the time of the search. The Justice Department entered them onto the docket under seal because subjects of a criminal investigation have due process and privacy rights. But that never prevented Trump from putting them out there on his own. Instead he took full advantage of the information vacuum to sling a ton of shit, accusing Biden of weaponizing the FBI, claiming without evidence that agents planted evidence, and allowing Trump's supporters to rail against the DOJ (and the FBI, including making threats on Trump's own social media platform, threats which were then carried out) for not using a subpoena when Trump was being so "cooperative."

In point of fact, there's been a subpoena for months seeking to collect the improperly retained classified documents, as disgraced reporter John Solomon was first to report yesterday. Of course, Solomon left out the part where Trump's lawyers got a personal visit from the top lawyer at the counter intelligence division and still refused to give the stuff back. It took CNN and the New York Times to tell the public about that little detail. And then the Washington Post broke the news that some of the classified documents Trump kept in his basement pertained to nuclear weapons.

Ain't that some shit!

Watch Christina Bobb admit to Laura Ingraham — Laura Ingraham! — that she's, like, pretty sure that there was no nuke stuff in there.

Does Bobb have a security clearance to be going through classified docs? Particularly of the top secret variety? LOL.

Anyway! With their wHy dIdN't tHe fBi jUsT sUbPoEnA talking point in tatters, Republicans have been forced to move those goal posts toot sweet. Especially since Uncle Merrick gave that presser yesterday and called Trump's bluff by moving to release the warrant and inventory.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who may be a craven sumbitch but is not A IDIOT, was first to grok the need for a course correction.

"What I am looking for is the predicate for the search," he tweeted indignantly. "Was the information provided to the judge sufficient and necessary to authorize a raid on the former president’s home within ninety days of the midterm election?"

First of all, the raid did not take place within 90 days of an election, and anyway Trump's not even on the ballot. But good to see the GOP has recovered its sense of outrage over law enforcement announcements coming close on the heels of an election. [Cough cough James Comey.] Second, this is a transparent attempt to ask for something he knows damn well he's not going to get in an effort to make it seem like the DOJ is up to something nefarious.

Because Lindsey Graham, who's been a JAG lawyer for decades, knows that all the "urging, actually insisting" in the world isn't going to persuade AG Garland to disclose the underlying affidavit supporting this warrant. Even if it didn't contain reference to nuclear secrets, the affidavit is evidence in an ongoing investigation, it probably makes reference to both grand jury and classified materials, and there's no way it can possibly come out. Although, if it did, you can bet your bottom dollar that Graham would pivot instantly to claiming that the Justice Department was trying to slime Trump in the press.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Turley hopped on Hannity's junk to help flog this bullshit storyline:

I think what’s surprising is that this was handled by a magistrate, a matter of this importance you would think would go to an article three judge or that the magistrate would bring in the article three judge to basically confirm that this is the correct course of action. We are going to have to see that affidavit, and we don’t know. They may have found classified information, the government has the right to retrieve that information. But it’s also important to know that this is a fairly common conflict between former presidents and the archives. Material is taken all the time that the archive says needs to be brought back.

Wow, that's a whole lot of lies in just a few sentences. Let's unpack!

First, it is a magistrate judge's IRL job to review warrants, as Turley certainly knows. And US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart works in West Palm Beach, so that's who the DOJ went to. If the Department had gone to a US District judge — or "Article Three judge," Turley is a law professor so he has to blarp like that — Turley would accuse it of judge shopping. (Magistrates are hired by "Article Three" judges to do the scut work, like warrants.) Second, again, no you can't see the affidavit, but props for pretending in advance that whatever incriminating shit is in the warrant and inventory is no big deal. And third, yeah no kidding ex-presidents take stuff pretty regularly. But generally they give it back when asked, without having to be subpoenaed, much less requiring FBI agents with a warrant to come retrieve it.

"Why couldn’t you have done that with a less intrusive means?" Turley continued, safe in the knowledge that no one who watches Fox would believe the CNN or Times reporting that the Justice Department issued a subpoena for those documents three months ago. "The attorney general today said that there was no other possible or less intrusive means. That left a lot of us scratching our heads like I can think of a lot of alternatives and this warrant hopefully will explain why you didn’t think that there was any other possibility. But it’s really the affidavit that will tell us whether they had a good faith basis."

Why, yes, that is the same Jonathan Turley who called for a special prosecutor to put Hillary Clinton in email jail for her handling of classified documents. But, you know "good faith," etc.

[US v. Sealed Search Warrant, Docket via Court Listener / Fox]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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