"For the Department to pursue a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago, the quantity and quality of
Even now, 24 hours after it happened, the details of why the FBI raided Trump's private property are still out there. Few are left: the former president had for months questioned the handling of records that appeared to have been transferred to Mar-a-Lago as he departed the Oval Office.
With no more specific details revealed, Trump's advocates have ridiculed the FBI and Justice Department as weapons of partisan Democrats, and the need to hug the former president harder than ever. However, Raufmann's view reflects the consensus of other experts working on the legal fringe of the classified material handling community. A search warrant is unlikely to be pursued or granted by a judge without specific evidence.
"Sooner or later, the Justice Department and Trump will find out what happened." "It would have to be done," said Steven Aftergood, a longtime supporter of the Federation of American Scientists. As far as I know, the FBI doesn't tend to do that sort of thing - what members of Congress call a Banana Republic-like invasion. 14}
The potential crimes DOJ is investigating are unknown due to the lack of more detailed information about the investigation. Notably, following a bitter election campaign against Clinton, after calling for Clinton to be imprisoned for handling classified material, in 2018, the law was signed into law, disallowing classified documents. enhanced penalties for deletion and retention of From one year to five years, it turns into a felony.
It was exactly the same law that he three years earlier had Petraeus pleaded guilty to to avoid felony conviction.
DOJ and FBI have remained silent on phone calls, further explaining the background to the search for Mar-a-Lago, but they are not the only ones with relevant information. .
Mr. Trump is perhaps best placed to reveal details about what happened Monday. He or his attorney was almost certainly presented with a copy of a search warrant executed in Mar-a-Lago, but a basic affidavit. No books or other supporting materials were presented. Additionally, Trump can speak to the nature of potentially classified materials that may have served as the basis for the investigation and whether he took steps to declassify them when he resigned.
"If people want disclosure, I think it's within Trump's power," Aftergood said. "He could explain what was at stake and what the disagreements were. He didn't have to speculate."
He stressed that the potential liability of his supporters depends entirely on the potential aggravating circumstances, from the amount of classified material he possesses to the level of classification of information. , inquire about Mar-a-Lago's inventory and whether any attempt was made to conceal it or resist delivery.
A court-approved FBI search for him, such as that conducted on Monday, would be warranted, Aftergood said.
"It's not something you write letters to," he added. "It's something you need to store now and discuss later." A grand jury probe by Trump and his allies to try to block the transfer of power in the Jan. 6, 2021 election is getting more intense public attention, but it's about his handling of his presidential record. . legal threat. In fact, some of the very Trump supporters who cooperated with his Jan. 6 investigation in the House of Representatives were among those charged with controlling the president's records after Mr. Trump left office.
The day before Joe Biden's inauguration, Trump named seven of his government officials as representatives of the National Archives. Among them was his chief of staff, Mark Meadows. White House Attorney Pat Cipollone. His deputies Patrick Philbin, Scott Gust and Michael Purpra. National Security Attorney John Eisenberg. Attorney General Steven Engel's Department of Justice office.
Engel at his January 6 special committee Trump's plan to remove Justice Department leaders and replace them with docile officials who support his efforts to stay in power. testified of his resistance to Cipollone also testified about his concerns about the legality of some Trump supporters' attempts to overturn the election results.
It is unclear if all seven officials are Trump's official representatives, but the former president recently added at least two more: Reporter and former Pentagon official Kash Patel.
Patel he told Breitbart in May that Trump had declassified the materials he brought out, but the documents still bear classified markings. was As president, Trump had full authority to declassify any classified material held by the government.
Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.