Florida swing voters: Bring on the search warrants
Florida swing voters in our latest Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups said the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago was justified — and that it would be a "serious crime" if former President Trump did take classified documents from the White House.
Why it matters: Trump's GOP allies are almost universally echoing his unsubstantiated claims of law enforcement overreach or politicization. The aggressive rhetoric may be boosting Trump's base support and fundraising, but it's not cutting through for this mix of Democrats, independents and Republicans who once backed him.
Also prior to the news:
Uhm… okay, then.
Reposting this because it gets to the heart of the matter:
David Rothkopf/Daily Beast:
The FBI’s Search of Mar-a-Lago Is a Reminder That Trump Has Always Been a National Security Threat
The former president was the most dangerous person in the world when he held power, and he never had respect for the rule of law.
Republican howls of protest in the wake of the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida residence were as loud as they were cynical, hypocritical, and irresponsible.
They knew full well that Trump had illegally removed classified documents from the White House—because not only was it acknowledged, but some of the documents were returned. They knew that to conduct such an operation, the FBI had to obtain a warrant from a judge, demonstrate that there was probable cause that a crime was committed, and almost certainly clear a higher bar than usual both within the Department of Justice and in the court because the target of the search was a former president. They were also aware that there was a clear pattern of destruction of records within the Trump administration in its final days and that credible reports suggested that Trump on a regular basis destroyed documents that he by law should have preserved, sometimes by flushing them down the toilet.
Jonah Goldberg/The Dispatch:
Yearning for a Banana Republic
Emboldened by fever dreams of persecution, Republicans want nothing more than to anoint a strong man to punish their enemies.
I’ll put it plainly: If your “belief” in our country is so fragile and pathetic that you will lose “hope for our nation” unless Donald Trump is given free reign to cleanse the land of evildoers, then you don’t actually believe in this nation. If your love of country is contingent on your preferred faction being in power, you’ve confused partisanship for patriotism. Taken seriously, all of this banana republic talk is un-American.
I don’t mean it’s a wrong or flawed argument or simply an argument I don’t like—though it is all those things. I mean it is literally an un-American argument because it fundamentally betrays the whole idea of this country. And I’d say this if the claims were made about any politician. Indeed, I did. When Barack Obama’s boosters claimed he would fix our “broken souls” (in Michelle Obama’s words), I spared no effort in denouncing them. When Joe Biden sermonized about how “unity”—under his banner—was the answer to all our problems, I trotted out all my arguments against the “cult of unity,” which constantly threatens our constitutional system of separated powers and divided government.
Presidents are not redeemers, messiahs, incarnations of mystical aspirations, or righteous settlers of seething grievances. They’re not god-kings or the fathers of our American family. They’re politicians elected to do some specific things as the head of one branch of one level of government. They get that job for a limited and defined period of time, and afterward they’re simply citizens.
It’s a source of constant consternation and amazement for me that so many people either don’t understand this or simply pretend not to.
What Comes After the Search Warrant?
Why August 8 may become a new hinge point in U.S. history
So why did I feel nauseous yesterday, watching coverage of the FBI executing a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate?
Because this country is tracking toward a scale of political violence not seen since the Civil War. It’s evident to anyone who spends significant time dwelling in the physical or virtual spaces of the American right. Go to a gun show. Visit a right-wing church. Check out a Trump rally. No matter the venue, the doomsday prophesying is ubiquitous—and scary. Whenever and wherever I’ve heard hypothetical scenarios of imminent conflict articulated, the premise rests on an egregious abuse of power, typically Democrats weaponizing agencies of the state to target their political opponents. I’ve always walked away from these experiences thinking to myself: If America is a powder keg, then one overreach by the government, real or perceived, could light the fuse.
Think I’m being hysterical? I’ve been accused of that before. But we’ve seen what happens when millions of Americans abandon their faith in the nation’s core institutions. We’ve seen what happens when millions of Americans become convinced that their leaders are illegitimate. We’ve seen what happens when millions of Americans are manipulated into believing that Trump is suffering righteously for their sake; that an attack on him is an attack on them, on their character, on their identity, on their sense of sovereignty. And I fear we’re going to see it again.
The GOP makes its choice: Trump, yes. Rule of law, no.
The GOP seems to be settling on a snappy slogan for November’s elections: Vote Republican. Because Donald Trump is above the law.
That’s the logical conclusion after a regiment of Republican politicians, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), denounced the FBI’s court-sanctioned search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday even though the fulminators had no idea what Trump may have done to lead a judge to approve it.
Trump world gripped with anger, fear and a host of conspiracies about the FBI search
There is anxiety in the ranks about how this happened, even as they seek to benefit politically from it.
A wave of concern and even paranoia is gripping parts of Trump world as federal investigators tighten their grip on the former president and his inner circle.
In the wake of news that the FBI agents executed a court-authorized search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, Trump’s allies and aides have begun buzzing about a host of potential explanations and worries. Among those being bandied about is that the search was a pretext to fish for other incriminating evidence, that the FBI doctored evidence to support its search warrant — and then planted some incriminating materials and recording devices at Mar-a-Lago for good measure — and even that the timing of the search was meant to be a historical echo of the day President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.
Pelosi has found the Democrats’ midterm strategy
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has remained unflappably upbeat about the midterms, now has good reason to tout Democrats’ prospects. Even when other issues have popped up (e.g., impeachment of Trump for inciting an attack on the U.S. Capitol), Pelosi has consistently been an advocate for running on “kitchen table” issues, as she regularly put its, such as lowering the cost of health insurance premiums and prescription drugs…
Above all else, she tells her members, Democrats should run on what they’ve done. Naturally, that will mean highlighting all the measures Republicans opposed (the $35 price cap on insulin being among the juiciest targets).
But she also says Democrats must focus on their future agenda. If Democrats can hold the House and add two more Senate seats, she said at the signing ceremony, “we can get much more done in the United States Senate for the Voting Rights Act and voting protections, and the list goes on — a woman’s right to choose and the rest.”
You can read the thread here.