Republicans who support Donald Trump have criticized the FBI’s recent investigation of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence, while some are pointing out Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, appears to have changed his mind about using words like “raid” to characterize a legal search by federal officials.
When a reporter used the word “raid” to describe the search of a former state employee who was the subject of a federal investigation in December 2020, DeSantis retaliated forcefully.
DeSantis responded after a reporter used the term, “With all due respect, it’s not a raid.” “What you stated is editorializing,” someone said.
He went on: “You won’t get away with it, I promise. They carried out their duties. For carrying out their duties, they have been demonized as the Gestapo. They carried out a search warrant. They went and obeyed the rules… They were serving legal documents in compliance with Florida’s state constitution and federal rules, thus it wasn’t a raid.”
DeSantis has appeared to change his tone in the days following the FBI’s execution of a federal search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, using the same word — “raid” — to describe a legitimate search procedure carried out in accordance with U.S. law.
The governor stated last week on Twitter that “the raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while folks like Hunter Biden get dealt with kid gloves.” Banana Republic: “Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS officers to use against its enemies.”
DeSantis, a former lawyer with degrees from Yale and Harvard Law Schools, failed to mention that the search was conducted under the direction of the FBI, which is independent of the president and directly supervised by the Department of Justice.
Despite the fact that the Department of Justice, not the White House, executed the search order, many Republicans appear to have adhered to a similar script that condemns the FBI and portrays the search as a conflict between Republicans and the Biden administration.
Others have used even more inflammatory language, referring to a “civil war,” and describing the federal officers who served the warrant as operating in a “banana republic” or—like DeSantis fought against years earlier—the “Gestapo.”
Despite having a judge-approved search order, the FBI has been accused of “breaking into” Trump’s safe by the president-elect himself.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida released the search and seizure warrant and the signed search receipt on Friday.
Eleven sets of classified papers can be seen in the inventory of the objects used in the search. Some of them were classified as top secret, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, should only be accessible in particular government buildings.
Binders containing images, an unidentified handwritten message, and the executive pardon for longtime Trump aide Roger Stone were among the several boxes of items confiscated. The three-page list of items also demonstrated the gathering of data regarding the French president.
Christina Bobb, an attorney for Donald Trump, endorsed the receipt.
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According to Politico, the FBI is looking into Trump for “removal or destruction of records, obstruction of an investigation, and breaking the Espionage Act,” which, if proven, “may result in incarceration or fines,” according to the publication.
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