We interrupt our regularly scheduled commentary about the FBI’s raid on Mar-A-Lago to bring you this breaking story about related FBI activities.
On Tuesday, the FBI confiscated the cell phone belonging to five-term Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, a Trump supporter who stood by him during his attempts to challenge the 2020 election. While traveling with his family, Rep. Perry was approached by three FBI agents who showed him a warrant and asked for his phone. They hadn’t contacted his lawyer.
His statement said in part, “I’m outraged --- but not surprised --- that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ would seize the phone of a sitting member of Congress. My phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.”
Rep. Perry reportedly was in communication numerous times with the Trump White House in advance of the January 6 rally, which suggests the raid on Mar-A-Lago might actually have been seeking more information about that protest, rather than materials sought by the National Archives as has been reported.
More as it develops. We now return you to our regularly scheduled commentary on the dirty FBI.
You know, there was a time I might have thought twice before using the term “dirty FBI.” Those days are gone. Many commentators on the left, such as MSNBC’s smirking Rachel Maddow, think these severe violations of protocol are just fine if directed at Trump and his supporters. The only ones worried are those who fear it will backfire and make Trump President again. (And please let that happen!)
Example: Andrew Cuomo, who tweeted this: “DOJ must immediately explain the reason for its raid & it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives or it will be viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation & legitimacy of January 6 investigations.”
Incidentally, it’s been reported that among the personal correspondence confiscated by the feds was the letter outgoing President Obama wrote to Trump on the day of his inauguration.
Count legal analyst Andrew C. McCarthy among those who believe this raid wasn’t really about the archival material. He says it’s about January 6. Though some, including DNC election attorney Marc Elias, have said being found guilty of violating the Presidential Records Act would disqualify Trump from running for office again, McCarthy says that would be unconstitutional. The Constitution sets out the qualifications for President, he explains: being at least 35 and a natural-born citizen. Period. It also sets out the way someone can be disqualified: impeachment and conviction. Period. The legislature lacks the authority to alter the Constitution “by mere statute,” he says. Makes sense to me.
That reminds me of something Jonathan Turley wrote last week, about Liz Cheney saying the January 6 committee was going to have “much more” evidence that they would release in the fall. (You know, closer to the election.)
It makes me wonder if Cheney, when she said that, knew all about the raid that would be happening in a few days. (I also wonder if Christopher Wray knew about it last Thursday when he was dodging questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.) One person who would think so is Trump attorney Alina Habba, who spoke with FOX NEWS’ Jesse Watters on Tuesday. She was with Trump when he got news of the raid and said he took it more calmly than one might expect, speculating that this might be because “there’s never a dull moment in his life.” She confirmed that Trump had been cooperating with the National Archives –- working “in tandem”; there was “nothing to hide” –- and that what happened was “completely unconstitutional.” They raided when Trump wasn’t even there (which tells us any concern that he might destroy evidence was bogus), and made his attorneys LEAVE THE PREMISES while they gathered materials.
“They’re the people who are supposed to be defending the democracy,” Habba said, “and instead they are destroying it.”
She said there are other cases going on that we haven’t heard about (yet), and they support the view that various agencies are indeed working together to bring Trump down. In the context of this alleged coordination –- should I say…“collusion”? –- she specifically mentioned Letitia James, the attorney general of New York; recall that she ran for office on a promise to do that very thing. It’s “one hundred percent” politically motivated,” Habba said. “If he weren’t ahead in the polls, this wouldn’t be happening.”
Watters also spoke with Eric Trump, who said, “Mark my words; keep this tape. This will all lead back to the Biden administration. They’re doing this for political purposes. They did it before with Russia...and you’re gonna find the same thing here.”
Here’s more response from Eric and also Lara Trump.
We learned more today about Judge Bruce Reinhardt, who signed this mysterious warrant. He’s an Obama donor and a magistrate judge, not an “Article III” judge, meaning he’s not a presidential appointment or Senate confirmation. Bonchie at REDSTATE wonders, “Why did a low-level, unconfirmed, unappointed magistrate judge sign off on the most consequential FBI warrant in decades? If any warrant application demanded the eyes of a real judge, it would be one targeting the former President of the United States. Yet, this judge was happy to give the FBI what it wanted while the FBI was happy to accept.”
Another intriguing detail: Reinhardt was a prosecutor on the Jeffrey Epstein case who quit on January 1, 2008, to go to work for Epstein’s associates on January 2, 2008, helping obtain immunity for various enablers. If he’s capable of that, he’s likely capable of signing a warrant for just about anything.
Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said Monday that we’ve entered “dangerous territory” and he worries for the republic if Trump has to stand trial in a DC court. He said “they have a burden to demonstrate that this investigation is not completely politically motivated after Hillary Clinton walked scot-free for the last seven years” and that the relentless attack on Trump has been an “outrageous expansion” of the FBI’s powers. “We’ve crossed the Rubicon to some extent,” he said. “This is something from banana republics, not the United States of America.”
“Tell us the predicate for the warrant,” Lindsay Graham said Tuesday, echoing numerous legal analysts. “Reveal the affidavit. This is too important to democracy. We’re in uncharted, dangerous waters. So I’m calling on Merrick Garland tonight to address the nation as to why this happened. Lay your cards out on the table, ‘cause you’re doing a lot of damage to the country,” especially 90 days before an election.
“...If you’ve got something that is really so compelling, you had to go into the man’s home with guns drawn to get the information, tell the American people.”
Don’t hold your breath, Sen. Graham. You can go on TV and insist all you want, but it won’t get you anywhere. Fortunately, in breaking news, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch has filed a motion to unseal the warrant as soon as possible. “The DOJ’s silence on it is deafening,” he said Tuesday evening.
He went on to talk about congressional Democrats using their “oversight” ability to target Trump personally again, pushing to get his confidential tax information, which the DC Court of Appeals has just ruled they can see. These are tax returns from before, during, and after his presidency. “Trump’s civil rights, practically speaking, get thrown out the window,” Fitton said. With the Presidency under attack, the courts need to “step up and protect the structure of our government.” He said the courts “have been bystanders in large measure,” just rubber-stamping warrants.
Few have persevered as Tom Fitton has to get answers from the government. Some in the GOP, like Sen. Graham, seem to think that if enough Republicans pound the table and demand answers, we’ll magically get them. No, we won’t. Look at all that the intel community has tried to keep under wraps since about 2015. The dirty DOJ is not in the habit of coming clean.
Speaking of dirty and not coming clean, did you know Hillary is fundraising off the raid of Trump’s home while laughing at how she skated in 2016? She thinks it’s cute to market hats that say “BUT HER EMAILS.” Leftists might love it, and she says her hats sold out, but sorry, I don’t think most Americans share her sense of humor about the demise of the justice system.
Will Cain, subbing for Sean Hannity Tuesday night, interviewed Victor Davis Hanson, and Hanson described what’s going on our country about as well as it can be done. When you start going after officials, taking their phones or putting them in shackles, on an ideological basis, “you don’t have a democracy any more, and I don’t think we do,” he said.
He likened the J6 committee to “sort of a French Robespierre Committee on Public Safety.” Interesting comparison:
To be on the J6 committee, Hanson said, there’s one qualification: you have to have voted to impeach Donald Trump. And Liz Cheney’s one job on that committee is to stop Trump. That’s not what it’s supposed to be, he said. Her job is supposed to be disinterested, to find out what really happened on that day Instead, she “makes the testimony and the witnesses fit” what they want to say happened.
“I never thought I would say this,” Hanson continued. “The FBI is beyond redemption. All of its bureaus and its institutions have to be farmed out and broken up. If you have...an FBI warrant, there’s no guarantee that that has not been altered. If you subpoena and you want FBI records on phones...they will be wiped clean. If you want disinterested legal counsel, look at Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. If you’re the FBI and you want to find out why Hillary has hired a foreign national to find dirt on a political opponent, then you will hire that same foreign national.”
He went down the list of the last four FBI directors and what took place under each of their tenures, and it was not pretty. “All of this is destroying this country,” he said.
RELATED NEWS: Yesterday, we mentioned that John Solomon had said Judicial Watch is suing the ‘Justice’ Department for records connected to the “Russia” Hoax that President Trump had declassified on his last full day in office, January 19, 2021, and ordered released. We said we’d look for more details. Here’s that story from JW:
Solomon seemed to be speculating that this was one of several factors behind the timing of the raid on Mar-A-Lago. Perhaps, but we whimsically thought they might’ve chosen August 8 because it’s the day President Richard Nixon announced he would resign from office. I hear Democrats throw parties on that day. With cake.