Why Trump Won't Show FBI Warrant For Mar-a-Lago Search

Why Trump Won't Show FBI Warrant For Mar-a-Lago Search
Rep. Eric Swalwell
Rep. Eric Swalwell

Sorry, Donald. Screaming “planted evidence” isn’t going to distract anyone outside of MAGAland from the fact that the Trump team has the answer to why the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago this week. They have a copy of that search warrant that explains precisely what the FBI was looking for. Search warrants spell out what law enforcement intends to search for and what laws officials believe may have been broken.

Claiming “fake documents” is just another way to cover up the crimes, and a remarkably transparent one—the fervor with which Republicans are jumping on that bandwagon (Sen. Rand Paul is the latest) shows just how worried they are about what the FBI found—as does the demand from Republicans that the Justice Department release all the information that led to the search.

Here’s what it takes to obtain a federal search warrant:

A "neutral and detached" federal judge or magistrate would need to sign off on the warrant before it can be executed at a property. To get that approval, law enforcement officials must show probable cause for conducting the search. That means there should be reasonable information to support the possibility that evidence of illegality will be found during the search.

That “probable cause” is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to federal warrants. “For the department to pursue a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago tells me that the quantum and quality of the evidence they were reciting—in a search warrant and affidavit that an FBI agent swore to—was likely so pulverizing in its force as to eviscerate any notion that the search warrant and this investigation is politically motivated,” David Laufman, who led the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section until 2018, toldPolitico.

Which is enough to tell us why Trump will continue to refuse to make the warrant public. He and his legal team don’t have the affidavit(s) that justify the warrant, but they’ve got the warrant. As Politico’s Kyle Cheney explains, that warrant contains “the full inventory of items that federal investigators were seeking.” Trump’s legal team also has the receipt for “what was taken from his estate during the search.”

So show us.

Of course he won’t do that. And, of course, the Republicans clamoring for Attorney General Merrick Garland’s head aren’t going to demand it. They know what it’s going to show.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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