The Trump Warrant 'Scam' Is Utterly Ridiculous

AP Photo/Terry Renna

Legal Twitter has weighed in on the warrant that triggered Monday’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago manse. The warrant was leaked to the media late Friday afternoon. The documents, which appear to be the warrant and the list of items taken from Trump’s home when FBI agents knew he wouldn’t be home, seem to confirm the worst fears of attorneys who thought the raid was a fishing expedition to find something on Trump. Indeed, the warrant is so overly broad, even to lefty attorneys, that it looks desperate.


The warrant demands that agents remove binders of photographs, documents with classification markings on them, and, the coups de grâce, “any physical documents with classification markings, along with any containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are located, as well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the aforementioned documents and containers/boxes.”

The warrant covers any documents that Trump touched between his first day and last day in office. This included, “information, including communications in any form, regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material, any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton called the warrant a “scam.”

This started out as a beef between Trump World and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which has the responsibility of receiving presidential documents. Trump was in negotiations to give NARA the documents and had turned over thousands, if not millions, of pages of documents already.

But this doesn’t really look to be about NARA and Trump; it’s about the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland pinning something on Trump using the NARA beef as a blind to hide his intentions.


Attorney Robert Barnes said that the warrant is so overly broad that it violates the Constitution. He wrote, “The #TrumpWarrant violated the overbreadth doctrine of the 4th Amendment requirement of particularity.” He had less tolerance for any judge who would have signed such a warrant, saying, “the judge clearly rubber stamped the warrant request, DOJ clearly failed their ethical obligations, and the FBI patently violated Trump’s Constitutional rights. Illegal seizure.”

Indeed, the “crime” Garland seems to be alleging is that Trump’s possession of any classified material constitutes “espionage” under federal law. But, as we learned from Hillary Clinton trafficking classified materials on her personal server, this should be no big deal, right? While Hillary Clinton was not the president and could not determine classifications, Trump had that authority. The president determines what’s classified and unclassified, and he has the authority to do it.


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University of California, Berkeley professor Orin Kerr says it’s not espionage in the James Bond sense. And he cautioned reporters to cool their jets in making those accusations.

But Mike Davis, a constitutional attorney with the Article III Project, said that “in 1987, the Supreme Court (again) made clear the President has constitutional power, as commander-in-chief, to classify and declassify. Regardless of any statute passed by Congress.” Then he asked, “did AG Merrick Garland obtain an OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion before ordering his illegal Trump raid? Why not?”

Davis said this is a separation-of-powers fight. Even more interestingly, Davis noted that “all Presidents take records when they leave.” And they don’t pack their own boxes.

Who packed those boxes? The whistleblower?


Famed attorney Ron Coleman said, “This is how desperate, how scared, how cornered they are. This is how much they’re losing.”

So, the “overly broad” warrant signed by a never-Trumper, giving dozens of FBI agents carte blanche to take all of his papers and other communications, packed by someone else, and which the president can himself classify, from his federally approved office came about because of a beef with NARA in hopes the media pick up the Trump-is-a-spy narrative again?

Sure looks like it.


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