FBI Executes a Search Warrant at 1100 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL 33480

Less than an hour ago, a local Florida reporter, Peter Schorsch reported that FBI Agents had just left Mar-a-Lago.

Scoop — The Federal Bureau of Investigation @FBI today executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, two sources confirm to @Fla_Pol. “They just left,” one source said. Not sure what the search warrant was about. TBH, Im not a strong enough reporter to hunt this down, but its real.

Scott Stedman, virtually alone of everyone hearing this, got confirmation that the FBI had conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at 1100 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL 33480.

Virtually everyone else — starting with Maggie Haberman — cited the resident’s inflammatory press release.

You’re all competent enough to find that yourselves.

Shit’s about to get real, because in a matter of minutes, virtually every reporter in the country subjugated themselves to Trump propaganda.

Update: Several outlets are reporting that this pertains to Trump’s suspected theft of classified information.

Per multiple sources speaking with CBS News, the search at Mar-a-Lago is related to the missing White House documents

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172 replies
  1. Leoghann says:

    He started by saying “these are dark days for our country.” Like his troop-leader A. Jones, he’ll run his story until he can’t talk anymore.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Typical NYT. Online front page headline quotes the Trumpist press release, then qualifies it with a lame, “if accurate” – despite Trump’s consistently abysmal record of accuracy. Simultaneously accurate and false. Must be a permanent and terminal condition.

    • BobCon says:

      That’s really shameful. It’s trivial to reframe this from a far more neutral point of view, but they are so far into the tank.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Guardian is no better than the NYT. It relegates the Trump quote to the final paragraph, but knows that after the headline and first graph, the final one is what most people read and remember.

    More importantly, it does not use even the NYT’s lame, “if accurate,” when describing what Trump says the FBI did. In the middle graph it describes the raid as probably related to, “Trump unlawfully taking White House documents with him to Mar-a-Lago after his presidency,” a characterization it credits to an anonymous source. JHFC.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/08/trump-says-fbi-raided-his-mar-a-lago-home

    • grennan says:

      It also printed his entire statement, although at this point it takes a lot of convolutions to decide whether that’s doing him a favor or whether it’s lazy or responsible journalism.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As Ken White notes, regarding the “we’re searching for unlawfully retained documents” narrative (and regardless of the specific number of boxes Maggie Habs refers to), it’s been more than 18 months since Trump left office,

    /16 As @jbarro and I were just discussing, it’s rather surprising to me that the misappropriated documents (even if classified) would get DoJ to execute a warrant. Not what I’d expect them to find adequate to do something this big. So I suspect there’s more.

    https://twitter.com/Popehat/status/1556786624268103681

    • bmaz says:

      Josh Barro is a complete douche who has zero legal training or experience. Why Ken works with him is beyond me. “While in college, he spent a summer interning for Grover Norquist”. Spare me this twatwaffle.

    • cmarlowe says:

      Barro aside – I think that was good. I find it hard to believe that some classified docs have been sitting in his safe for a year and a half. All one needs to make them disappear is 451 degrees F.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Maybe it’s something related to the AJ trial data dump, since DoJ had two weeks to decide what to search for at the resort. Now, if (I said IF) Ivana had been buried in the safe the FBI would have to get permission to exhume her from there…

      I do agree with Popehat that 18 months is a long time between cause (15 boxes) and effect (today’s raid) even for someone as cautious and thorough as Garland is (and AG Garland would have signed off on this).

      Whether it’s more documents that were missing (IIRC the Archives weren’t satisfied with the last haul) or there are other docs that show how much footsie was going on with the Russians. Let’s remember how wistful the Russian state press was about Individual-1 this week and predicting his return with coronation to follow.

      • KM Williams says:

        I hope the DOJ doesn’t stop with Mar a Lago. Trump has a lot of residences, as do his kids. Dumb as they are, they may have had the common sense to hide stolen documents and items somewhere other than that one address.

        • fm says:

          Well Kushner got $2 billion from the Saudi’s for his new “investment” firm. What did he/Trump do to get that? That’s a heck of a large bit of money.

        • BruceF says:

          Trump brokered an April 2020 deal that got Putin and the Saudi’s to end their squabbling and reduce global oil output by 10% at a moment when oil prices crashed to near zero per barrel. From that deal Putin obtained the petrol dollars to invade Ukraine;Jared got his $3B from the Saudi’s despite no experience operating hedge funds; and the US got $6 a gallon gas prices.

          And the most amazing outcome of the deal was when Mexican President Lopez-Obrador balked at the agreement “Mr. Art of the Deal” agreed that the US would take on an additional 350 million barrel reductio so Mexico would not block the deal! Trump call this his “America First” policy!

  5. Randy Baker says:

    Given Trump’s well established record of accomplishment in getting to the point, how can one blame the establishment media from relying on him to summarize what happened?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I would add a snark tag. I know it seems obvious, but that can get lost when reading on the small screen of a smartphone.

  6. Jacob says:

    Props to Ms. Wheeler for citing Peter Schorsch. More journalists should be doing the same.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Jacob” or “Jake.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

  7. Rayne says:

    MagHabs posted photos of documents in the toilet first thing this morning.

    But instead of reporting on the ensuing raid she posts Trump’s batshittery, before doing any other follow-up?

    She’s literally waiting for his every bowel movement. This isn’t journalism but scatology.

    • Peterr says:

      Science fiction author Spider Robinson, in praise of the librarians who turned him on to books as a wee kid, wrote ““Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Don’t ever piss one off. ”

      To this, I’d add that archivists make *librarians* nervous, and leave it at that.

        • Peterr says:

          Other way around, SL.

          Parlimentarians are the ones making sure that everything in the meeting is done “by the book.” Librarians are in charge of the book.

        • grennan says:

          Ever since the early days of the Patriot Act, it’s been obvious that in an authoritarian, dystopic future, if you were put down in a small town by far the likeliest person to provide help or refuge would be the librarian.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    MSNBC was worse than the NYT and Guardian. Alicia Menendez just read page after page from Trump’s press release, allowing him to frame the event and giving him a lot of free publicity.

  9. M Smith says:

    Trump said. “Hillary Clinton never got served with a warrant by the FBI and [snip] even took antique furniture” from the White House.
    So it looks like he stole White House furniture as well as State secrets.

  10. Paulka says:

    From what I have gathered in the past from reading EW’s stuff, the DoJ lips are sealed on stuff like this so, would that imply that any conjecture about the raid (i.e. the FBI going after the stolen WH boxes) be coming from the Trump camp?

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe, but there are reporters that stake out the joint 24 hours a day, so unclear where came from.

      • Paulka says:

        The files issue just seems like small potatoes to take such a drastic action given the inevitable storm that it will create. If the files are tied to something else-1/6, secrets sold to foreign powers (though I think the latter is only wild conjecture) I can see the point

        • Peterr says:

          Since the issue of the boxes first turned up long ago, the National Archives has no doubt been working to identify what should have been turned over to them but wasn’t, in an effort to identify what was likely taken to Mar-a-Lago. There are logs at the WH that identify just about everything that crosses the president’s desk, and if the docs on those logs don’t show up at the Archives, bells go off.

          Especially if those docs are extremely sensitive.

          It could be docs with huge foreign policy implications, military/intelligence ramifications, or docs that could turn the stock market inside out if revealed (or used to blackmail CEOs into doing things with their company’s stock). Any of these things would jack up the need to go after these docs ASAP.

        • Peterr says:

          Also . . .

          After much back and forth, the Archives got back the boxes back in January. Something tells me that Trump may have taken things out of the boxes and not turned it all back over to the Archives when they came to pick it up.

          Which only makes those files more interesting, if that is indeed what it being sought here. Why did Trump remove those docs before giving all the rest of it back to the Archives where it should have been in the first place?

        • P J Evans says:

          Or taken them out and put them back in different boxes from what they were in. 18 boxes is a lot of docs to catalog.
          (Once, at work, we had to sort 18 four-drawer file cabinets of paper. It took 70 people a week, much of it 10-hour days.)

        • Peterr says:

          Once the Archives knew that classified materials were involved, I would not be surprised if they worked in shifts around the clock to reconcile the logs with the things that were turned over.

        • P J Evans says:

          They would have, I’m sure. Also I suspect they weren’t dealing with single sheets of something that felt like about 8-lb paper (thin and brittle with age – some of them went back to the 1920s).

        • grennan says:

          Carelessness and disorganization, both in throwing the documents into boxes for move, and not bothering to look through than after the Archive retreated those 15 boxes months ago.

          Is it too cynical to suggest that anybody who had access to boxes and was competent and knowledgeable enough to conduct a meaningful search is probably employed by someone else?

      • Rayne says:

        If there are reporters staked out at Mar-a-Lago 7/24, the local news stations

        Channel 29 FOX affiliate WFLX.com
        Channel 12 CBS affiliate CBS12.com (WPEC)
        Channel 5 NBC affiliate WPTV.com

        had a banal cookie cutter story as if the AP copy was paraphrased and simplified, with no new unique local coverage even though they could have put up live feed for the evening news.

        ADDER — 9:22 PM ET —
        There are three local West Palm Beach papers:

        PalmBeachPost.com — has absolutely nothing about the raid.

        Sun-Sentinel.com — has a story up which was updated in the last half hour, but it’s another cookie cutter piece which doesn’t offer much new in spite of the update.

        PalmBeachDaily.com — has a story which was updated within the last half hour, but has an additional bit I didn’t find in the other papers:

        A person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the search happened earlier Monday and agents were also looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at the estate.

        That’s about as on the ball as the locals are. I suspect they’re worried about Trump’s nasty hyperlitigious nature and SLAPP suits.

        • MB says:

          The Guardian currently has a live feed up now of the traffic coming in and out of the main entrance to Mar-a-Lago, replete with protesters with Trump flags, lots of police cars and media camera-people walking by each other. No reporters or commentary, though – just a raw feed:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE5ws0dC1Js

        • Greg Hunter says:

          It is definitely raw with a Trump protester being called a Pedophile by three to four young white youth. Now the police are getting involved. 9:42 EST….

          They defused that situation….Florida wow…

    • emptywheel says:

      They would cite crimes under investigation in the warrant and the places to be searched. His lawyers would likely be able to figure it all out.

  11. Ddub says:

    Fantastic, truly wonderful! Takes away the I’m running you can’t touch me defense LOL. Watch establishment GOPers begin washing hands in earnest. Crazy wing going to double down, they always do.
    If the Feds had an insider for timing that would be the Klaus Oldenburg Cherry!

  12. Arice says:

    If Trump says it’s about classified documents then that’s as good as sign as any that it’s about J-6.

  13. JMNY says:

    My sources in the Trump administration have confirmed the FBI was searching for Hunter’s laptop, Hillary’s emails, and Obama’s birth certificate. Finally, the DEEP STATE is going down! Steve Bannon signed the warrant.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL Snark aside, you might actually be right about the Hunter’s laptop bullshit. I would not be one bit surprised to learn the driver behind immediate action FBI took today was classified intel related to Ukraine and Russia.

      Really should set up a board on the possible topics which propelled the raid: intel about China, Ukraine-Russia, Iran, Middle East petro states…what else might be both pressing and important enough to warrant a raid with safe cracking?

      • JMNY says:

        It will be a fascinating end-of-summer if we learn the answer to that! There’s so many possible crimes, it’s impossible to know which one triggered the raid. But I’m with you that it could be something related to Ukraine – that situation has become
        pretty desperate for Putin… he’d do just about anything for some high level Intel.

      • BroD says:

        I have to speculate that this action is taking place against a backdrop of extensive, high-alert monitoring of communications networks and channels identified and cracked over the past 18 months or so.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          That’s what I think. And, disappointingly, it may play out that there is intense interest in protecting national security but less focus on bringing Trump to justice.

        • Peterr says:

          Those are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they may be two sides of the same coin: “You do things to jeopardize national security, and we are coming for you.”

      • Quake says:

        I vote for burner phones. Get the SIM cards and you can get the metadata. And then you can probably get recordings from Five Eyes.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Rayne, classified, highly sensitive docs related to Russia/Ukraine was my first guess too, especially given how Trump blew up US sources and methods during the first year of his presidency, forcing exfiltration of our Kremlin asset. It remains within his perceived self-interest to hold keys to that kingdom if he wants to run again, since he’s never won without their help and feared doing so in 2020 without Ukraine doing him “a favor.”

        • Rayne says:

          It could be documents related to that; it could be documents related to all the topics Marcy mentioned in her post today.

          It could be material which has been classified all along, hasn’t been in the public eye and therefore unknown to the public and may never be known to the public until declassified long into the future. Or whatever it was may have been none of the above but is now so problematic and increasingly urgent it had to be retrieved with all due speed.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, dunno about that. Again, warrants don’t get issued on stale information, there is something new.

      • Gatorbaiter says:

        I keep thinking about the notes from Helsinki that the orange blight snatched, maybe not the only target but possibly one of them?

  14. Perris says:

    I’m guessing there was an attempted sale of said documents, thus a possible prosecution for mishandling government docs and the no knock.

  15. ollie says:

    marco rubio is connecting the 86k new IRS agents and the raid today on MdL is insanity and dangerous. I’m worried that this is a calling for violence. my adult son is Q/trump follower and he’s been really agitated (the shit he watches on youtube + tucker, ilk etc) and has been saying the time is drawing near..

    also? marcy wheeler you are so awesome tweeting out recognition for the man who broke the raid story..and your FUCK tweet which expressed my total frustration w/the press and their failure……it just is grounding. thank you so very much for your contributions to journalism.

  16. Mister Sterling says:

    Call me naive, but I think they got more than the documents and gifts Trump took from the White House. You don’t have the US AG approve an unprecedented action against a former president, and electronic devices and computers aren’t also seized.

  17. Peterr says:

    Kevin McCarthy has seen enough. From his Twitter feed 40 minutes ago:

    I’ve seen enough.

    The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.

    When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.

    Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.

    Ooooo . . .

    I’m stunned that McCarthy couldn’t cram a few more cliches in there.

  18. Paulka says:

    I went onto a Trump friendly website (won’t give them free advertising) and the posts truly scare me. Outright calls for violence, civil war, claims that Jewish-demon-baby eating illuminati cults are taking over America, insane conspiracy theories all over the page and a great deal of christo-fascist dog whistles.

    And these people do not represent a fringe of America. It truly scares me that there is this divide in America where one side is truly fact free, delusional, angry as hell and heavily armed and motivated.

    This country is a tinderbox waiting for a match.

    And all for a failed game show host con man.

    Imagine dying for Donald Trump

      • Paulka says:

        No, I mean specifically FOR Trump-think Ashli Babbitt

        A lot of people died because of Trump-the police after 1/6 for example. I am talking about true Trump believers. I simply cannot understand their mindset. I guess it is desperation paired with ignorance paired with a nihilistic right wing propaganda apparatus, paired with a whacko group on the internet leads to some bad outcomes.

        • Rugger9 says:

          MTG was busy trying to claim on the TV that Babbitt was really trying to stop the mob instead of attacking the chamber. Too bad there is videotape and lots of RWNM drivel including from MTG about how Babbitt was such a patriot that day. The two motives are mutually exclusive.

        • Rayne says:

          We should be concerned but not fall into the trap – much of this is being amplified deliberately, with big GOP mouthpieces not leading but following what looks like an inauthentic bot swarm born of an influence op.

        • MB says:

          Well, the resident MSNBC reporter on the extremist/Qanon beat, Ben Collins, has reported that the MAGA social media feeds have gone apeshit in the last few hours with this type of content.

          Whether they have sufficient organization in place to pull off another J6 somewhere or whether they’re just publicly grievancing at a higher rate than usual remains to be seen…(sorry no link – saw this on the NBC news app on Roku, not on Youtube).

        • wetzel says:

          Maybe ‘autnentic’ is a distinction without a difference at this point. One of the most disturbing things, for my part, to come out of the 2016 election was the information showing how groups like Cambridge Analytica are operating. The internet is a playing field where sophisticated influence operations are employing personality typing as well as classical, operant and cognitive models of conditioning. These MAGA subforums on Reddit are Skinner Boxes. Karma can be given as a reward token, a positive reinforcer for one set of thought behaviors, or it can be withheld. Thought behaviors are punished with downvotes. Downvotes are powerful punishers. In its molecular signaling mechanisms, the pain response from social isolation was indistinguishable from physical pain in a recent study (where two people throwing a ball exclude a third). None of this is ‘authentic’ anymore. Maybe those kinds of mechanisms always apply in social contexts which are charged politically, but there is a sense where what’s happening is programmatic and insidious which is different.

    • chum'sfriend says:

      The internet provided an unsurpassed conduit for feeding disinformation to American society. Putin has been making use of it for decades now, working to radicalize and push us apart. Russia started funneling money to evangelicals in 1995. Russian money bought the NRA (Maria Butina anyone?), which worked hard to arm the radical right with weapons of war. Our society is now primed to explode. If Putin finds himself with his back against the wall because of his Ukraine fiasco, he may well decide to light that fuse

  19. grennan says:

    Surreal. The left half of the NYT front page is illustrating its coverage of the search with a stock daylight aerial shot of Maralago surrounded by blue water. On the right is a video loop of senior citizens swimming laps, over the story “It’s never too late to take up water polo”. Nice visual — if not contextual — connection.

    Wonder how long it’ll stay up that way.

    • grennan says:

      The seniors are still swimming toward Mar-a-Logo; should have a soundtrack, maybe YMCA. Or to continue the U2, “I would swim oceans deep…”

  20. Rayne says:

    Peterr. PETERR. Check this out from the National Archives’ site:

    Concealment, Removal, or Mutilation of Records
    (18 U.S.C. § 2071)

    (a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

    (b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

    YESSSS…not to minimize the possible intelligence involved, but this is so like Capone getting nailed on tax fraud.

    • Peterr says:

      Like I said, don’t mess with archivists.

      I’ve known several, and while they can have a great personal sense of humor, they are damned serious about their work. “We are the caretakers of history” could be their motto, and “so don’t fck with us when we’re doing our job” could be their warning to those who would obstruct what they see as their sacred work.

    • Peterr says:

      From Ken White’s twitter, updating his earlier thread:

      20/ I keep coming back to this: based on the stuff they HAVEN’T gone after, either this is the greatest overplayed hand ever or there is something very dramatic we don’t know about.

      Yes. Put me down for the latter.

      • Rayne says:

        There was some serious shit in the presidential records Trump took, already pretty dramatic back in February.

        Some of the presidential records recovered from former president Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago are so sensitive they may not be able to be described in forthcoming inventory reports in an unclassified way, two people familiar with the matter said Friday.

        The revelation comes as Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) sent the National Archives and Records Administration a request for further information on 15 boxes of records recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last month. The Archives set Friday as its deadline for an inventory of the contents.

        The Archives has publicly confirmed earlier reporting by The Washington Post that classified materials were found within the boxes and that torn-up records had been transferred to the Archives but not reconstructed by the Trump White House. …

        Guessing it’s documents which may neve be fully described to the public, which are both classified and urgent.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Codes and CIA asset lists come to mind, but again the question for me is timing. As much as Individual-1 has been grifting because he needs the cash, I would not expect him to hold onto these for 20 months waiting for a buyer. I think it’s a more recent trigger, maybe off the AJ comms, maybe from the WH employee, maybe from the recent parade of minions that were suddenly willing to talk last week or maybe someone dug up those missing messages from the USSS, DHS and DoD. Maybe it’s about the Chinese agent running amok on the grounds (another USSS failure) a couple of years back.

          I’d allow about two weeks to prep the teams for searching and away they go. There does not seem to be any interest reported yet in the other properties like Trump Tower, Doral or Bedminster, but given how well AG Garland kept a lid on this search one can’t be certain this is the only search planned.

        • Rayne says:

          I dunno. This really smells like it was escalating.

        • khollenCA says:

          *looks up “DOJ Counterintelligence and Export Control”*

          o.O

          (Re: Classified Information Procedures Act – that’s how to handle when classified information may come up in trial? I was looking at the article you quoted up thread on some of the documents taken to MAL being so classified they couldn’t even be described…)

        • Cosmo Le Cat says:

          Rayne, about the June visit by investigators, I recall that extra security was requested for the area where some documents were in a basement storeroom and a padlock was added as a result. I recall that negotiations were continuing for retrieval of documents still known to be at Mar-a-Lago. I’m speculating that this info, if attested to by investigators, may have been sufficient to obtain a warrant. I’m also speculating that the National Archives may have cross-referenced the docs that had been retrieved against a list of documents known to be missing. For example, the Perfect letter was known to exist, but perhaps not in the possession of the National Archives.

        • d4v1d says:

          A padlock. Anyone who has bought a starter kit from The Lockpicking Lawyer (youtube) would take no longer than five minutes to get a padlock open.

        • FLwolverine says:

          I’m intrigued by the reference to Mar-a-Lago’s basement, because I’ve never encountered a building along the Florida coast that has a basement – the high water tables and porous limestone cause too many problems, or so I’m told. My experience is admittedly limited, but I do know that the Ringling mansion Cà d’Zan, the Selby mansion, and the Payne mansion at Selby Gardens – all about the same age as Mar-a-Lago and all on the waterfront in Sarasota – are all basement free.

          Interestingly, the assessor’s records for Palm Beach County show that Building 1, the mansion, on the Mar-a-Lago property – Parcel Control Number: 50-43-43-35-00-002-0390 – has 0 sq ft of finished basement. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any basement; there can be mistakes in the records, and I don’t know what they do with unfinished basements. But it’s interesting.

          BTW the Ringling mansion doesn’t have a safe – it has a walk in vault on the third floor. I would have expected Mrs Post to have something similar.

        • Rayne says:

          Basement may mean bomb shelter, and Mar-a-Lago’s are well known. They might be concrete rather than native limestone and as I’ve already said, it’s not like sump pumps aren’t a thing.

        • FLwolverine says:

          I didn’t know about the bombshelters, and I missed your comment about sump pumps. But it makes sense that a place like Mat-a-Lago would be so equipped. I always learn something here.

    • cmarlowe says:

      I ran across that on twitter earlier. It’s odd that not one cable news talking head that I saw tonight mentioned 2071. Maybe they’ll catch up tomorrow.

    • Quake says:

      Sorry, but “office” doesn’t include elected office. So if Trump is convicted under this statue he can’t become a postal worker but can become president.

      • Rayne says:

        I’d like a court to determine that. The statute says “any office” having referred to documents which were to have been filed “or in any public office.”

        Public office. Any.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yours is a most unlikely interpretation, given the statutory language:

        “…and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The only exception in that part of the statute is that “office” excludes retired commissioned officers in the US armed forces.

    • viget says:

      Crap…this will all turn on the meaning of the word “custody”. Does an ex- president have “custody”?
      Does the president ever truly have “custody” of a document?

      I foresee a lengthy court battle over paragraph b.

      But maybe DOJ knows what they’re doing here….still think you could nail Trump on insurrection, which is a far more serious charge.

  21. OldTulsaDude says:

    My thinking is that the die-hard Trump supporters are about 25% of the country and it is only the media megaphone that makes them appear as a larger swath. Reason will prevail.

    • gmoke says:

      “According to polls on February 27, 2006, two weeks after the accident [shooting Harry Whittington], Dick Cheney’s approval rating had dropped 5 percentage points to 18%.”

      To the end of the Watergate scandal, 24% of Americans supported Nixon.

  22. prk60091 says:

    Assuming arguendo the raid was about the stolen documents, and that has been public knowledge for a long time-and there has been time to catalog what and what wasn’t returned- Dr Wheeler suggested in a tweet that the 2 Pats testimony may shed some light on this. But Cipollone testified a month ago.
    I never practiced Criminal Law and never practiced Federal Criminal law- so this may be sop to take this long to get a search warrant

    But..

    something closer in time appears a better nexus: the Alex Jones texts. Just thinking out loud (not really that loud)

    • Rayne says:

      Or the DOJ was waiting for an occasion when certain persons would not be at Mar-a-Lago, or any compromised USSS or Trump security personnel would be at a minimum.

      The other new news which emerged in the last 24 hours was at Business Insider behind a paywall, about Paul Manafort. The Daily Beast summarized it: “…Paul Manafort on Monday publicly admitted that he gave polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence asset…”

      Related? Maybe, maybe not, would have to be a more current and pressing matter than data from 2016.

      • CJ says:

        24-hour turnaround seems like it’d very incredibly fast for DoJ given they’d want to make sure they had everything in the application absolutely perfect and have review all the way up the chain to Garland. Unless those docs really are that exceptionally urgent….

      • viget says:

        Pretty sure that’s just shade from Manafort. SoL expired on that a year ago now. But maybe there’s still a conspiracy charge that’s viable.

  23. grennan says:

    Neither the NYT (with three or four reporters live updating (!)), CNN, Wsh Post or Miami Herald seems to know what time the raid started, when the FBI left, and what got hauled out.

    The Post did note in its early coverage that the resort is currently closed for the summer.

    • Marika says:

      I saw reporting that the agents were in plain clothes and they arrived at 9am shortly after informing SS and left around 6pm

  24. JMNY says:

    NY Times, basically:

    “FBI raids Mar-a-lago, posing major challenges for Biden, Dems for next 20,000 clickable posts!”

  25. grennan says:

    The Miami Herald noted that the warrant was approved by a federal magistrate judge in West Palm Beach.

  26. Ravenclaw says:

    Got just one thing to contribute.

    The man destroys documents routinely, especially sensitive ones. So any documents he not only stole but kept (under lock and key & despite archivist/court demands) have real value to him.

    That suggests potential for blackmail or similar bargaining power. With whom? Best guess is prominent Republicans and other supporters who might be tempted to turn.

    • Fran of the North says:

      The only thing I’d add is the grift is strong with that one. Intel with value to others equals cash, and he spends like there is no tomorrow.

  27. Tom-1812 says:

    I wonder if the safe contained the copy of the Forbes magazine with Trump on the cover that Stormy Daniels claims she spanked him with. Or an envelope with Ivanka’s baby teeth inside.

    • PDXBob says:

      ….or the Helsinki transcript?

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name, which is very similar to the name you used for the last 14 comments — BobPDX. Please stick with one. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • Tom-1812 says:

        Yes, the Helsinki summit was a real high point for Putin, and look where he is now. Reminds me of the title of Rick Wilson’s book, “Everything Trump Touches Dies”.

  28. grennan says:

    At 8:35, Lindsay Graham tweeted this measured* reaction:

    As to media reports regarding a search of President Trump’s home in Florida by the FBI, several thoughts come to mind:
    We’re 100 days away from midterm elections.
    President Trump is likely going to run again in 2024.
    No one is above the law. The law must be above politics.

    *Possibly the measurement unit was jiggers

  29. Spank Flaps says:

    It could also be linked to the indictment of Alexander Ionov aka Sasha, for political interference, which happened last week, in Florida:
    https ://flashpoint .io/ blog/usa-vs-aleksandr-viktorovich-ionov/

    [FYI, URL shared here has been deactivated by blank spaces to prevent accidental clickthrough by community members. Site has not been vetted; browse at your own risk. /~Rayne]

  30. Rapier says:

    I’d be more than happy to be wrong and enjoy a nice fall but It can be read as a provocation, of Trump and MAGA world. I seriously think violence is going to break out perhaps within weeks.. Gun violence. Accelerationists are very real. Now if the DOJ doesn’t see it that way we could be in really deep doodoo.

    • cmarlowe says:

      So DOJ should do nothing about this and anything else they may be able to prove re Trump? I think the issue you raise is primarily one for DHS and FBI, not DOJ.

      Violence did break out and we were in deep doodoo on 1/6. DOJ giving in to intimidation will not make us safe.

    • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

      You and me both …..Those were some seriously good games played by the Cards last weekend. They also did some good trades, creating an opportunity for them to go deep into the post-season

      Can’t wait to set eyes on the search warrant.

  31. Douglas Erhard says:

    Another thing the reporters are missing:

    (a)Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    (b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.

    As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

  32. ccinmfd says:

    Many on the far right have been busy tonight eating their own. While some believe that a certain Sunshine State governor’s 2024 chances are enhanced by the FBI action at Mar-a-Lago, a sampling of comments from a publication too vile to mention by name might suggest otherwise:
    • Where’s DeSantis to push back on this?? Put the National Guard in front of Mar-A-Lago and tell them No Way!!
    • DeSantis has never backed Trump. DeSantis is the enemy.
    • You’re with Trump or you’re against Trump. There is no middle. DeSantis is not with Trump so he is indeed the enemy.
    • Ann Coulter screams her love for DeSantis every day and her hate for Trump at the same time.

  33. khollenCA says:

    Maybe this is too early? But I’m curious that there’s almost no real information out there, and what there is comes from Mar-a-Lago (local reporter Peter Schorsch for Florida Politics, onlookers, anonymous “sources close to Trump,” etc.). FBI and DOJ do not seem to be talking.

    I don’t know – is this pretty standard?

  34. bg says:

    TFG must have had some major assistance/assistants during and before leaving the WH to keep track of anything actually preserved that he wanted to personally keep/abscond with for whatever reasons. We know about his propensity for leaving no trace WRT written materials, including the flushing and ripping up, and yet there were efforts by some staff to document this/legally comply with the Records Acts, including preservation through photographs of said papers in actual toilets. Was fishing and drying a job–who had that job? The extent of his own capacity to act criminally–how much did he capably do with any incriminating documents on his own? We know he reads little. It seems unlikely he would be personally involved with handling materials in the files/boxes.There was the prior visit to the property with the taking of many boxes, yet some were left behind and then locked with a padlock in the basement? WTF. A padlock was all that stood between the lawlessness and grift? Blackmail would seem to be a possible motive, but again, it seems to me that he would not himself be involved with the files. So who? He has always had others to do his dirty work and hold the files–the tax people, the banks, the bookkeepers, etc. He had/has accomplices. Maybe one of them is in the wringer. So many investigations. Mind boggling.

  35. bmaz says:

    Media reports it is all about PRA material. Maybe it is. But I dunno, this is a lot of sturm und drang for that unless they are off the charts classified records. Sooner or later we will see the warrant even if not the return. Hard to believe it is only NARA based, but we shall see. And seeing the warrant itself won’t really tell us what needs to be known, that will take seeing the actual affidavit.

    • arice says:

      Two questions that comes to mind is A) does Trump STILL have a security clearance and B) is it possible this relates to classified docs not “retained” by the ex-president but subsequently obtained by him? There are enough Trump sympathizers still with access to classified information that it could be something fresh.

      • bmaz says:

        He never had a regular clearance, he did not need one, and could never qualify for one under normal process.

        • Arice says:

          Right. Good point. A president actually doesn’t need a clearance. And, also correct that DJT would never pass the process. So I reckon the answer is that he doesn’t have legal access to classified docs now. Former presidents often DO receive classified briefings as a courtesy but I’m guessing DJT isn’t extended that little gesture.

  36. Tom-1812 says:

    With regard to the timing of this search, I wonder if there was any consideration given to waiting for the CPAC conference to be over before carrying it out. I can imagine the impact of Trump and his high level supporters gathered all in one place expressing their collective outrage in front of the cameras and how the DoJ might have wanted to avoid giving them such a platform..

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