Mar-a-Lago raid: Republicans line up behind Trump

Trump in Dallas, Texas, last Saturday (Brandon Bell/Getty)

Former US President Donald Trump is strengthening his judicial and political front amid investigations related to him, whether the storming of Congress on January 6, 2021, or about his family’s business practices, or in the recent storming of the Federal Bureau of Investigation . (FBI) his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, last Monday night. In the lead-up to the confrontation, Trump asked his supporters to make donations to his “Save America” ​​political action committee.

In New York, Trump testified Wednesday in an investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James into whether the Trump Organization overstated property values. Trump and two of his grown children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, agreed to testify. Trump has denied wrongdoing and described the investigation in New York as politically motivated.

Before testifying, he focused his attack on prosecutor James, who is a Democrat. “Tomorrow I see the racist attorney general of New York as the largest manhunt in the history of the United States continues,” Trump, the Republican, said in a post on his platform, “Truth Social,” on Tuesday night. great company and I am attacked from all sides. Banana Republic.” .

James said her investigation revealed significant evidence that the Trump Organization, which operates hotels, golf courses and other properties, overvalued assets to obtain soft loans and understated values ​​to obtain tax credits.

Trump is asking for donations

Regarding the raid on his Florida home, Trump viewed the raid as a politically motivated move by the administration of President Joe Biden, who is asking for more donations to him and the party, ahead of the midterm elections scheduled for November 8 .

“They’re trying to stop the Republican Party and me again,” Trump said in a fundraising email Tuesday night. “These practices of lawlessness, political persecution and smear campaigns must be exposed and stopped.”

Trump launched the “Save America” ​​​​political action committee days after losing the November 3, 2020 presidential election to Biden. The committee has more than $100 million in bank balances.

Nancy Pelosi: No one is above the law, not even a former president of the United States

In parallel with his campaign, Trump’s Republican allies in Congress have vowed to launch an investigation into his own House search if they regain control of the House or Senate in November.

Senior Republican Party officials voiced their support for the former president on Tuesday night. Several of his former advisers have urged Trump to immediately confirm that he will be a presidential candidate in 2024.

The most prominent support for Trump came from Mike Pence, his former vice presidential term (2017-2021) and potential challenger in 2024. Pence expressed “deep concern” about the search of Trump’s home, saying it showed “partisan bias” on the part of the Department of Justice.

Republican Representative Elise Stefanek called the home invasion a “dark day in American history.” And she tweeted: “If the FBI can attack an American President, imagine what they can do to you,” to which Democratic Representative Ted Liu responded by saying, “Why can’t the FBI attack an American president is not investigating? We are not Russia, where they do not The law applies to the head of state and his companions.

In turn, accused Kevin McCarthy, representative of California and aspiring to the presidency of the House of Representatives in the event of the Republicans a majority in the House in the mid-term elections next November, the Department of Justice of the exercise of “armed politicization recycle” .”

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Rona McDaniel, described the raid as “disgraceful”. As for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump, he said that “launching an investigation against a former president so close to the election is beyond problematic.”

Former Trump social media director Dan Scavino urged the former president to expedite the announcement of his candidacy. Scavino wrote on Twitter: “No 45, #Trump 2024,” referring to Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

The Democrats, in turn, tried to focus on the priority of the law, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives told NBC: “No one is above the law, not even a former president of the United States.” As for Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, he said, “Whenever we decide that the rich and powerful are above the law, America is no longer America.”

For his part, former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, said he believed the bureau might be looking for “something specific” related to its investigation into alleged mishandling of classified information. In an interview with CNN, McCabe said, “There should have been doubts and concerns, and in fact specific information that led the FBI to believe there was additional material that was not turned over.”

The White House reiterated that it was not aware of the raid. His spokeswoman, Karen Jean-Pierre, said President Joe Biden had no prior knowledge of the raid and respects the independence of the Justice Department.

Asked about the possibility of unrest in response to Trump’s legal problems, Jean-Pierre replied: “There is no place for political violence in this country.” A US administration official said the White House was “not aware of this action” and referred other questions to the Justice Department.

Silence from the FBI

The FBI, led by Trump appointee Christopher Wray, declined to explain the reasons for the unprecedented move against a former president. However, several US media reported that federal agents are conducting a warrant search, related to possible mishandling of classified documents transferred to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House in January 2021.

A day after the raid, US Representative Scott Perry, a Trump ally, announced that FBI agents had confiscated his cellphone, without explaining why they did so.

“During a trip with my family, three FBI agents visited and seized my cell phone,” Perry told Fox News, condemning what he called “this kind of banana republic tactic.”

Mike Pence expresses ‘deep concern’ about searches of Trump’s home

In February, the US National Archives revealed it had recovered 15 boxes of documents from Trump’s Florida residence, and asked the Justice Department to investigate Trump’s handling of classified information.

At the time, the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee announced that it would expand the investigation into Trump’s actions and asked the Archives to turn over additional information. Trump earlier confirmed that he had agreed to return some of the records to the Archives, describing it as a “normal and routine process.”

The recovery of the boxes raised questions about Trump’s compliance with presidential records laws created after the Watergate scandal in the 1970s that require presidents to keep records of their work.

And former Trump communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin told CNN that the raid could stoke the enthusiasm of his supporters, a number of whom gathered outside Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night. “If (the raid) is considered a major offense and not a very serious matter, then it’s a very good day for Donald Trump,” she added.

While Attorney General Merrick Garland declined to comment on speculation that Trump could face criminal charges, he emphasized that “no one is above the law” and said he was determined to “hold everyone criminally responsible for the attempt to overturn a legitimate election. be held accountable.”

Concealing or destroying government records is a criminal offense in America. Anyone found guilty of violating a law called the Government Records Act is barred from any federal office and faces up to three years in prison.

Trump, who has taken his Palm Beach club home since leaving the White House, is spending the summer at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
(AFP, Associated Press, Reuters)

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