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How Merrick Garland turned the tables on Trump and made Trump’s allies look foolish

Many think that the party may not have much of a fruitful endpoint after Trump’s remarks on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.



On Tuesday, Trump tweeted about the unprecedented search of his Mar-a-Lago estate by the FBI on Monday. His claim was that political considerations were at play.

After many of Trump’s supporters had amplified his claims earlier in the week, the Post report must have come as a surprise to them. For example, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted that, if Republicans take control of the House as expected, Garland should keep all search-related documents and clear his calendar for hearings after the midterms.

Senator Marco Rubio referred to the supporters of warrantless searches as “Marxists.” Seeing him try to remove the egg from his face after the Post article came out might be uncomfortable.

Garland was also pressured into holding a press conference to explain the search by Republicans, who had launched a relentless public campaign. On Thursday, Garland accomplished this feat with all the tactical finesse and aplomb of General George Patton, turning the tables on his attackers.

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Despite the attacks on him, the Justice Department, and the FBI, Garland had to respond in accordance with Justice Department norms that prohibit discussing details of an ongoing investigation.

Garland, on the other hand, was anxious to avoid the same fate as James Comey. As I wrote in Salon on Thursday, Comey has received heavy public criticism for violating Justice Department guidelines by disclosing information about an ongoing investigation of a candidate (Hillary Clinton, of course) during an election period.

On Thursday, the current attorney general handled a tricky situation with aplomb. His findings confirmed that protocol had been followed throughout the entire division. An independent federal magistrate judge had to be convinced by the FBI’s sworn affidavit that there was evidence of a crime and that the evidence would be found at Mar-a-Lago, he said.

No one needed the Post’s report on Thursday night to realize this wasn’t a routine search warrant. Breaking into the home of a former president is a serious offense. To make sure there was substantial evidence of a crime, the magistrate judge who authorized the warrant would have applied the strictest review possible.

Reports indicate that the government’s previous attempts to retrieve the classified documents it believed had been improperly stored at Mar-a-Lago—first through voluntary requests and then through a grand jury subpoena—proved fruitless. As a result, the DOJ took the next available measure to ensure the safety of the nation.


Garland made it abundantly clear during his press conference that the Justice Department would not be disclosing the search or any other details about it until Trump did so.

Trump apparently made the search public and trumpeted his grievance as a purported victim of government oppression for his own reasons, including a perceived fundraising opportunity. Like clockwork, his congressional supporters and political base came to his aid, which may have boosted his confidence in his 2024 presidential campaign.

At this point, Garland completely flipped the script on Trump and assumed the moral high ground. On Thursday, Garland announced that the Justice Department had moved in court to unseal the search warrant and allow it to be made public, citing public statements made by a Trump representative as the reason for doing so.

The attorney general was cautious about adding any new details to the investigation. If the court allows the warrant and its attachments to be made public, they will speak for themselves.

Donald Trump is now stuck between a rock and a hard place. Despite the fact that the FBI agents left a copy of the “inventory” with his lawyer at Mar-a-Lago, he is not likely to want it made public. Contrarily, if he fought against the motion to unseal the warrant and inventory, it would raise serious questions about whether or not he had improperly kept state secrets and would like to keep that a secret.


In court, he must take a position by Friday at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the twice-removed president has gone with what is known and comfortable: distraction As he put it on his Social Truth site: “Does anybody really believe that Joe Biden and the White House knew NOTHING about this great embarrassment to our Country?”

The only thing that took us by surprise was when he didn’t throw in the “But her emails!” trope.