by Mike Davis
For over a year, we’ve heard Democrats wailing about existential threats to “democracy!” Curiously, this has happened while these same Democrats in Congress have worked hand-in-glove with their fellow Democrats in the Justice Department to disregard all norms to hunt down and attempt to destroy President Joe Biden‘s chief political rival, former President Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s top aides and even his political supporters.
Last Monday, the Biden Justice Department crossed a red line by ordering an unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful FBI raid of Trump’s home and offices in Mar-a-Lago. The purported purpose of the highly controversial home raid with a brigade of 30 FBI agents—a raid Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted he personally ordered after his aides initially denied it—is related to 15 to 25 boxes of presidential records, some of which bureaucrats at the National Archives claim are classified and which Trump took to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House over 18 months ago.
All presidents take mementos and other records when they leave office. They don’t pack their own boxes. The National Archives takes the position that almost everything is a “presidential record.” And the federal government, in general, over-classifies almost everything.
Even if Trump took classified records, that isn’t a crime. The president has the inherent constitutional power to declassify any record he wants, in any manner he wants, regardless of any otherwise-pertinent statute or regulation that applies to everyone else. The president does not need to obtain Congress’ or a bureaucrat’s permission—or jump through their regulatory or statutory hoops—to declassify anything. The Supreme Court reaffirmed this in the 1988 case, Department of the Navy v. Egan : “The President, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.’ U.S. Const., Art. II, § 2. His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security…flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant.”
Thus, if Trump left the White House with classified records, then those records are necessarily declassified by his very actions. He doesn’t need to label that decision for, or report that decision to, any bureaucrat who works for him. It is pretextual legal nonsense for the Biden Justice Department to pretend Trump broke any criminal statute. Indeed, it is noteworthy that Attorney General Garland apparently did not seek an opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—the de facto general counsel for the executive branch—before ordering this home raid of his boss’s chief political enemy. Perhaps Garland knew OLC wouldn’t give him the answer he wanted.
In 2012, former President Barack Obama secretly told the Russian president he’d have “more flexibility” to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 presidential election. To convey that message is to clearly transmit highly classified information. So why not an Espionage Act violation? Well, because Obama was the president—period.
All former presidents also get a federally funded office, called the Office of the Former President. They get lawyers and other staff, security clearances, Secret Service protection, and secure facilities (SCIFs) for the maintenance of classified records. Even if Trump had classified records, then, they were protected and secure.
At best, then, this amounts to a dispute over the Presidential Records Act. If the boxes sought by DOJ contain presidential records, then the National Archives “owns” them—but they’ll almost certainly stay with Trump in his eventual presidential library.
That’s the bureaucratic dispute. That’s it. This is not any crime (the Presidential Records Act is not a criminal statute), let alone one requiring a 30-person FBI brigade and unprecedented raid of a former president’s home and office.
It is routine for any Office of the Former President to negotiate with the National Archives. The Archives could have also alerted Congress. The Biden Justice Department could have filed a civil lawsuit. Or the Biden Justice Department could have sought more subpoenas. Instead, DOJ went nuclear, with its unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful home raid—even knowing Trump had already been holding these records at Mar-a-Lago for 18 months. So why now?
To put this in perspective, former President Bill Clinton stole more than $190,000 in china, flatware, rugs, sofas, and other personal gifts from the White House. The Clintons eventually caved to public pressure and paid $86,000 for the items. There was no FBI raid.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set up an illegal home server containing some of our nation’s most classified records. She openly admitted to stealing and destroying records herself, putting our national security at risk. There was no FBI raid. In fact, the FBI never even questioned her.
To add insult to injury, the Biden Justice Department obtained this unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful home raid warrant from U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart of West Palm Beach. Reinhart had just recently recused himself on June 22, 2022, in Trump’s civil lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. What’s more, in 2017, Reinhart blasted Trump’s integrity on Facebook: “Donald Trump doesn’t have the moral stature to kiss John Lewis‘s feet.” So, what changed over the last two months to make Reinhart’s clear judicial bias (somehow) go away?
Mike can not be sincere. IT would start in the house. The UNIPARTY leader is dishonest Kev. For those not paying attention. Kev promised 16 months ago that any Reagan haters joining the conservative witch hunt would be expelled. 15 months ago 2 Ronny haters joined the witch hunt. They both are still “party members”. Kev has always been a dishonest UNIPARTY man. He will not allow any UNIPARTY folk to be impeached; naming some of many names: Joe, Chris , Merrick, ….
Tigers don’t change stripes; liberal Kev will always be liberal!
I am not saying UNIPARTY men should not be impeached! Saying liberal Kev will not let it happen.
The Democrats and their Dirty Deeds and the M.S. Media covers their tracks but now we have this unconstitutional raid upon Trump and the Media gutter dwellers can no longer hide it anymore
Oh dear fellow FA regular did you see this?
Reminds me of a tune..
Theres something happening here, what it is aint exactly clear
There a woman in a dress over there, clutching a pair of depends underwear.
They learned nothing from raiding Melanias closet, who made that dress needs to be indicted!
If election fraud can be suppressed and the Republicans take control of the House and 60 seats in the Senate, I fully expect there to be massive impeachments. This a regime of totally incompetent and corrupt individuals who are all acting against the best interests of the nation and the People. But, absolutely, Garland and Wray need to be impeached and any pension and benefits voided.