At what criminal investigation was the former President of the United States the subject of a search?

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Photo credit: Joe Raedle – Getty Images

The FBI raided the home of the former president of the United States on Monday. Donald Trump confirmed the Feds descended on Mar-a-Lago in a report, adding, “They even broke into my safe!” He also used that message to kick off the cycle of outrage and conspiracy that has already consumed the law, even with a number of Fox News stars currently on vacation. The FBI was naturally implicated, despite the fact that it was serving a search warrant signed by a federal judge, and its director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by… Donald Trump. Calls to defund or abolish the FBI came raining immediately from the far right, an interesting pivot to “defund the police” in an election year. Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted at Attorney General Merrick Garland promising extensive oversight if Republicans retake that chamber in November. “Keep your documents,” he added, seemingly without the slightest irony. Meanwhile, none of these people actually know anything about the details of the case or the raid. They’re just standing to attention, doing the leader’s job.

The whole conspiratorial meltdown threatened to obscure the real question of why the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the former president. The most direct answer was that it related to the boxes of documents Trump took to Mar-a-Lago in possible violation of the Presidential Archives Act. Some of these documents would have been classified, and the Washington Post found that some “are so sensitive that they may not be able to be described in future inventory reports in an unclassified manner”. It’s in addition to Trump would have constant destruction of presidential files, including by throw papers in the toilet. What a beautiful coda for a presidency that was born in part out of a scandal over Hillary Clinton’s record keeping practices. (It doesn’t matter that he started with a group of Trump White House employees using private messaging for public affairs.) Anyway, several outlets, including the New York Times and the Job cited law enforcement sources to report that the raid was related to Trump’s handling of classified documents.

Much like a core development, the raid is darkly historical. But on top of that, there’s the fact that when word got around to the world of watchers that the former president of the United States had the cops on his doorstep, no one could tell exactly what criminal investigation it was all connected to. If it was related to Fulton County District Attorney’s investigation in his attempt to stuff the ballot boxes in Georgia, or investigations by the State of New York or the Manhattan District Attorney into his business practices, they wouldn’t have sent the feds. But that raid could also have been linked to the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation, which reportedly gained momentum amid the cascading revelations of the Jan. 6 Committee investigation in Congress. We’re at the point where there are a number of reasons why the latest Commander-in-Chief might find the uniforms on his doorstep, and yet millions cling to his every word about how the whole world is conspiring against him.

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