I write a day after the FBI, without warning, raided Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s home in Palm Beach. According to Trump, agents even broke into his safe and made off with who-knows-what documents. They also rifled through Melania Trump’s wardrobe. Maybe they were looking for classified lingerie. Who knows?
As many commentators pointed out immediately, this assault on a former president of the United States by what amounts to the Democratic Party’s secret police was unprecedented. Never before in our history has a former president been subject to the mafia-busting, terrorist-crushing might of state police power directed by the opposing party.
That’s just in our history, though. Elsewhere the story is not so cheery. In many countries, using the power of the state to persecute and harass one’s political opponents is business as usual. Trump got it right when he noted that such “weaponization of the Justice System” and “prosecutorial misconduct” had hitherto been the province of “broken, Third-World countries,” not America.
That was then. Doubtless, between now and the time you read this, the event will be buried in a mountain of commentary. Some opine that the Democrats in effect committed suicide; others insist that Trump got what was coming to him. There has even been handwringing about the prospect of civil war.
The ostensible reason for the raid was to see whether the former president had any classified documents stashed away in his house; love letters from Vladimir Putin, perhaps, or the password to the home-brew server Hillary Clinton maintained to conduct State Department business. (Who knows, maybe he even has a prototype of the red “reset” button Hillary bestowed upon Vlad in earlier, happier days.)
Let us all, being adults, acknowledge that that ostensible reason to assemble thirty-plus G-men to raid the house of a former president is risible. No, Andrew C. McCarthy, writing for the New York Post, was correct when he said that the raid was not about documents.
I do not believe, however, that he was right that the raid was conducted because of “January 6.” I discount that reasoning for a couple of reasons. One, the event itself has been subject to strenuous mythologization by the media and the posse headed by future CNN hostess Liz Cheney.
Remember, the only shot fired during that so-called “insurrection” — “worse than 9/11,” “as bad as Pearl Harbor,” akin to the Civil War — was fired by Capitol police officer Michael Byrd at the unarmed Air Force vet Ashli Babbitt, without warning. The only other person killed that day was Rosanne Boyland, who was gassed and beaten by the police while unconscious in the mêlée. Initially, we didn’t hear that above the din. What we heard was the grinding of the media garbage disposal; the New York Times, for example, told us that pro-Trump Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by a crazed pro-Trump mob.
That story was eagerly seized upon and shouted from the rooftops as if it had been about a poor kid from Covington High School. Crucify him, crucify him. Only, Officer Sicknick wasn’t killed by a pro-Trump mob or anyone else. He died the day after the event from natural causes. Did the Times run a front-page story announcing their egregious misreporting? Of course not. They inserted a discrete update above the story quietly noting that “new information” had emerged that “questions” the fake-news story they had assiduously circulated.
I discount January 6 as the real motivation for the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago for other reasons, too. Nothing the Democrat machine has done surrounding that day has been conducted to get to the bottom of what happened and who caused it. On the contrary, their activities have been motivated by two overarching goals. One goal is to frame a narrative according to which Donald Trump is to blame for the rowdy crowd. The other goal is to destroy Trump as a politically viable figure.
Roger L. Simon, writing for the Epoch Times, got it exactly right. “The Democrats,” he wrote, “the Deep State, the Justice Department, the FBI and all the intelligence agencies, globalists, propagandists of mainstream media, all the adherents of that one-party rule and enemies of republican government, will do anything… anything… to stop Trump from winning the 2024 election.”
That was the real point of deploying the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. It wasn’t to collect classified documents the former president had ferried out of the Oval Office. Nor was it to gather evidence about a protest in Washington a year and a half ago. It was part of a sprawling effort to taint Trump, to render him radioactive to the public. In this sense, it is another chapter in the Russian Collusion Delusion, that long-running, expensive but preposterous effort by Deep State actors — in the GOP as much as among Democrats — to undo the terrible mistake made by “deplorable” voters in electing the wrong man in 2016.
A year or two back, I would have said the regime had crossed a line by raiding Mar-a-Lago. By the time you read this, perhaps we’ll know. I hope there will be hell to pay. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if it’s just swept under the rug by a media and a government bureaucracy too infatuated with its own power and perquisites to be bothered by anything so quaint as the rule of law.
This article was originally published in The Spectator’s September 2022 World edition.