Of course, the latest headlines all over the world are talking about the FBI raid that was conducted on Former-President Donald Trump’s Florida compound. Armed with a search warrant, federal agents rummaged through the whole place in order to extract what they considered to be sensitive documents that Trump should not have been possessing. Everybody is asking how this whole political fiasco actually started. To begin, let us go back to the date of the incident, and examine why this happened.
On the eve of August 8, 2022 (Monday), we learned of a developing story where the former president reveals that his Florida home was being searched by federal agents (*1). Of course, all the major media-outlets were following this story, as well. There was high speculation as to what was going on. We learned that the FBI was extracting boxes that were considered to be classified material. This sounded very serious. This was an unprecedented event visited upon a former president of the United States of America.
The following day (Tuesday), we get more information as to what was going on. It seems that the former president was being investigated by the Justice Department for failure to turn over documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (*2). After the extraction of the documents occurred, Trump and his allies decried this action as a weaponization of government agencies.
After days of remaining silent on the matter, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he personally approved of the search warrant. Now, he was asking the court for permission to unseal it for the public. Come Thursday, Trump had declared that he would not oppose the government’s request. In fact, he encouraged them to do so (*3).
Among the things that we heard and read about, we came across theories that Trump had documents related to nuclear weapons (*4). This sounded very serious. If true, he should have been arrested, a long time ago. Could the former president be holding documents of doomsday weapons that should not have been in his hands? That is one of the questions that the whole nation was grappling with. One thing is for sure: Trump has denied this serious allegation.
Let us cut to the chase, and get to the juicy part. On August 11, 2022, US Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez filed a notice of redacted documents related to the raid on Trumps property (*5). It included a SEARCH AND SEIZURE WARRANT, as well as ATTACHMENT A, B, and RECEIPT FOR PROPERTY. We can see that the warrant indicates the location of the property, the size of said property, and the number of bedrooms. Further, the warrant states that a search could be conducted on Trump's office, his storage rooms, and any room that is available to the former president's wife or his staff. The purpose was to find any evidence of a crime, or fruits of a crime.
In the receipt for the seized items, 27 boxes, plus miscellaneous documents and photos, were listed, for a total of 45 extracted items (*6). It should be noted that some of those documents were listed as “Secret”, and “Top Secret”. However, one point of contention is that Trump has insisted that all of those documents have been declassified (*7). Further, he stated that there was no reason for the FBI to break into his office, since they could have obtained the documents by simply asking for them. He called out the reports of nuclear secrets a “hoax”.
That the government was able to convince a federal judge to approve the warrant would indicate that there was strong evidence that Trump committed some sort of criminal offense. This federal magistrate judge, Bruce Reinhart, signed off on this controversial warrant, which has rocked the political world to its side, while the whole world is watching. But, who is Judge Reinhart?
Doing some Internet search, Judge Reinhart seems to have made a name for himself with a previous high-profile case. In 2008, after working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he resigned in order to become a defense attorney for some of Jeffrey Epstein’s employees (8). As is well-known, Epstein was embroiled in a sex-trafficking scandal. Since he had switched sides, Reinhart was named in a suit for violating Justice Department policy.
On social media, Judge Reinhart has been very outspoken against Trump. In 2017, Reinhart stated that, “Donald Trump doesn’t have the moral stature to kiss John Lewis’s feet” (9). This sounds like Reinhart has a personal dislike against the former president. Of course, everyone is entitled to a personal opinion, even a federal judge. The question is, whether Judge Reinhart’s dislike for Trump affected his decision in approving the warrant. No one can tell, but the judge, himself. One question: why did he sign a warrant with such a broad search-parameter? This gives the impression that the government was going on a fishing expedition to find anything that they could pin on Trump.
At the first of hearing about the raid, I wanted to reserve all judgment until all of the facts were presented. A week has gone by, and I believe that many people have arrived at their own conclusion as to what really happened. There will be multiple camps, with some rooting for Trump’s imprisonment, while others are asking for an investigation into the reasoning of why the warrant was approved. There is, still, one missing piece of the puzzle that can bring to light some answers that everyone is asking for. Where is the affidavit?
An affidavit is a sworn statement made by a person attesting that the statements are true and correct. In this case, there seems to be an undisclosed informant that signed an affidavit with relevant information that caused the government to act how they did. It is possible that the informant may fear repercussions if their name were to be revealed. However, at the very least, the government should release a redacted affidavit, which shows the actual statements that were made, and how they were considered.
My personal judgment is that the optics of this action does not look very good. Is this a political hit from some third-world country, a.k.a. “banana republic”? Was President Joe Biden aware of the warrant? Did he review it? Did he approve of it?
Political hits are never a good idea. All it does is set in motion events that will bite people in the end. Remember: today, one party rules; tomorrow, the other.
I cannot help but consider that if Trump really wanted to hide documents from the FBI, he should have put them in the one place that they will never look for them: inside Hunter Biden’s laptop.