Lawfare 101: what's in the search warrant, goose? The MSM and RW legal groups are now engaging in a game of chicken where Turducken rules the flock. The public sphere gets a few dents, as Trump gains more political capital by not revealing what he had stolen from the National Archives even if he can reveal the information immediately. The Wall Street Journal now reports that an informant gave a tip to the Feds that prompted the raid at Mar-a-Lago.
The Lincoln Project released a new ad this week taunting former President Donald Trump over the Federal Bureau of Investigation's execution of a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday.
The sixty-second spot focuses on who within Trump World tipped off investigators that evidence of potential crimes may have been tucked away at the sprawling seaside resort.
"Who was it, Donald? Who gave you up to the feds? Who squealed? Who told them what you kept in the safe at Mar-a-Lago?" it begins.
As the federal and state investigations into Trump and his orbit swell, so have the former president’s suspicions, according to two sources familiar with the matter and another two people close to the twice-impeached former Oval Office occupant.
This summer, Trump has asked close associates if they think his communications are being monitored by the feds, or — per his phrasing — “by Biden.” As a source close to Trump describes it to Rolling Stone: “He has asked me and others, ‘Do you think our phones are tapped?’ Given the sheer volume of investigations going on into the [former] president, I do not think he’s assuming anything is outside the realm of possibility.”
One Trump adviser tells Rolling Stone that since Tuesday, MAGA loyalists have been asking to pass their suspicions to Trump, telling him not to trust certain individuals and to investigate them for possible contacts with federal authorities. “I’m getting a lot of messages saying [things like], ‘This guy must be the informant,’ and others…calling for the [former] president to start doing phone-checks of his staff,” says the adviser. “To be honest, a lot of it feels like people trying to screw over the ones they don’t like [in Trumpworld.]”
Though Trump’s paranoia is so often fueled by unhinged conspiracy theories, in this case, he has reason to worry. There are various criminal, civil, and federal investigations into Trump, his sprawling family business, and his political allies in his attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election. But some of his paranoid habits that have cropped up this summer are reminding a few Trump confidants of his term in the Oval Office. During the Mueller investigation, then-President Trump went as far as to ponder to a small number of people whether his own White House Counsel Don McGahn was — in identical wording — “wearing a wire” for the supposedly Trump-loathing federal prosecutors.
“When I worked for him,” says Stephanie Grisham, a former senior Trump aide who has since fallen out with the MAGA royalty, “it was an everyday obsession [about] who was leaking, who was cooperating with what. He’d regularly ask me and others, ‘Do you think I can trust this person?’ or ‘Do you trust this person?’ or tell me to ‘go find the leaker.’”
“Shockingly, I feel bad for the guy today, as funny as that sounds,” she adds. “Trump demands total loyalty, and yet he turns on people at a moment’s notice. And he’s now in this situation where he and his people are wondering who among them could be giving some of his most closely held information to the FBI.”
Grisham concludes, “I mean, who can he trust? It’s just a shitty, sad way to live.”
Former President Donald Trump has so far declined to release the search warrant served at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday, prompting various third-party efforts to unseal the document in federal court even as his supporters have taken to issuing an avalanche of death threats against the magistrate judge who issued the writ authorizing the unprecedented law enforcement visit.
On Wednesday, conservative legal nonprofit group Judicial Watch filed a motion to unseal the Trump search warrant with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
“Here, Judicial Watch is investigating the potential politicization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice and whether the FBI and the Justice Department are abusing their law enforcement powers to harass a likely future political opponent of President Biden,” the four-page motion says. “If the Court were to unseal the materials, Judicial Watch would obtain the materials, analyze them, and make them available to the public. Unsealing the records therefore would further Judicial Watch’s mission of educating the public.”
While details about the warrant are likely to be released as a result of the motion to unseal, legal experts doubt the effort will succeed.
In an email to Law&Crime, national security lawyer Bradley P. Moss said his opinion on whether the warrant would be unsealed had shifted from “no” to “probably not,” but only slightly.
“It is good that the judge ordered DOJ to publicly respond to the motion given the obvious public interest in the matter,” Moss wrote. “I highly expect DOJ however to rely on broad and conclusory claims about the harm to the ongoing investigation if the search warrant information is released, as well as the prejudicial impact it has on the target(s) of the warrant given there has not yet been an indictment.”