Donald Trump’s Worst Week: The Fallout
Skies over former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home were clear, but a week of legal thunderclouds extended from southern Florida to Washington and New York, propelling America into a heavy legal and political climate.
For eight hours on Monday, few knew the FBI, armed with a search warrant, was inside Trump’s residence to retrieve more than 20 boxes of documents – some containing classified information – from his bedroom. , his office and his storage room. According to the Washington Post, some of these files dealt with nuclear weapons.
On Saturday, it was revealed that in June, a lawyer for Trump signed a statement saying all papers marked “classified” stored at the former president’s Florida home had been returned to the government. But federal agents found even more documents labeled classified at Mar-a-Lago during their search last Monday.
A search warrant unsealed Friday afternoon revealed Trump may be under investigation for Espionage Act violations; obstruction; and theft of government documents.
Trump announced that his house was “besieged”. Instantly, supporters rushed to the narrow causeway from West Palm Beach to Mar-a-Lago.
“I really think it was unfair and suspicious,” Trump supporter Janine Kotocavage told CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Maj. Garrett.
A man, standing with a portrait of Trump, told Garrett, “I think he’ll win in a landslide in 2024.”
Garrett asked, “Partly because of that?”
Congressional Republicans have also defended Trump, some more aggressively than others.
On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the FBI operation and noted, “I personally endorsed the decision to seek a search warrant in this case.”
He added: “The department does not take such a decision lightly.”
On social media, some Trump loyalists have denounced the FBI (led by Trump-appointed director Christopher Wray).
In Cincinnati, a Trump supporter attempted to infiltrate an FBI field office. He came armed with a nail gun and an assault rifle. After a stalemate, he died in a shootout – the victim of an apparent political rage that over the week seemed to worsen.
Trump said he was under attack from all sides, i.e. the FBI but also the New York Attorney General, who is investigating whether the Trump Organization overstated property values to obtain bank loans while minimizing those same valuations to evade taxes.
During his deposition on the matter, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination hundreds of times – something he denounced during the campaign trail in 2016: “See, the mob is taking over. fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”
In yet another blow for Trump: A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee could obtain his tax returns, which he had tried for years to keep private. [In 2017, he said, “I don’t release tax returns because, as you know, they are being audited.”]
Through it all, Trump reminded himself of his own words — and actions. In 2018, he signed a law increasing prison terms for mishandling classified information.
And even as Trump accused America of turning into a banana republic, federal and state officials said they were following the facts and the law in the service of the republic.
As Garland noted in his public statement Thursday, “Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the fundamental tenet of the Department of Justice and our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear. nor favor.”
As Trump contemplates an attempt to win back the White House, the nation has pondered not just that possibility, but that of a former president running again while under criminal investigation, or maybe an indictment.
Story produced by Arden Farhi and Anthony Laudato. Publisher: Joseph Frandino.
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