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Discovery Of More Biden Docs Proves Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 23, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/23/discovery-of-more-biden-docs-proves-mar-a-lago-raid-was-just-another-russia-collusion-hoax/

Joe Biden gets off Marine One
The discovery of more Biden documents highlights the ridiculous plot to destroy Trump that culminated in the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

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The FBI recovered an additional cache of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, following a 12-hour search conducted by federal agents on Friday. While this development adds to the scandal surrounding the current president, it does much more: It highlights the ridiculous plot launched to destroy Donald Trump that culminated in the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

“Six items” were recovered on Friday from Biden’s Delaware home, which consisted of “documents with classification markings and surrounding materials,” the president’s lawyer said in a statement released after the search. While the “crafty legalese” deployed by the attorney left unclear how many classified documents were contained within the “six items” recovered, Biden’s lawyer confirmed that the documents dated back to the Delaware Democrat’s time as both vice president and senator, so spanning from 2017 to as far back as 1973

The president’s lawyers had previously searched the Bidens’ Wilmington home (and garage), and while they discovered a handful of other documents marked classified, they apparently overlooked the “six items” the FBI found last week. 

The search of Biden’s home followed the discovery in November 2022 of at least 10 classified documents, including ones reportedly marked “top secret.” Those documents also dated back to his days as vice president under Barack Obama and were stored in a closet at a private office building in D.C. But the so-called “think tank” where they were stored, the Penn Biden Center, did not open until February 2018, meaning Biden had kept the classified documents found there at another location for the year following his time as vice president. 

That the classified documents Biden removed from the White House and earlier the Senate were not missed at the time and are only now being discovered — at least a decade later for some — and then only after multiple searches of different locations, contrasts sharply with what happened following Trump’s time in office. 

According to then-archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, he watched “the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter” at the end of Trump’s term. Ferriero recalled someone was “carrying a white banker box,” prompting Ferriero to ask himself, “What the hell’s in that box?” 

Ferriero claimed, “[T]hat began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives,” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “going through materials transferred from the White House in the chaotic final days of Trump’s presidency.” According to The Washington Post, “officials had noticed that certain high-profile documents were missing,” such as “Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he had termed ‘love letters.’” 

The NARA also could not locate the “National Weather Service map of Hurricane Dorian, which Trump had famously marked up with a black Sharpie pen to extend to Alabama,” or the letter Obama had left for Trump upon the change in administrations.

NARA sought the return of these documents, and in January 2022, Trump representatives worked with NARA employees to arrange for 15 boxes of presidential papers to be returned to the archive. Within those boxes were some documents marked “classified,” which led NARA to refer the matter to the Department of Justice. 

The DOJ then launched an investigation into Trump, even though when alerted to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, NARA made no such referral. A grand jury later issued a subpoena for any presidential documents, and following a search of Mar-a-Lago by Trump’s representatives, those documents were turned over. However, after a source told the DOJ that some documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed a surprise raid on the former president’s home.

This entire sequence began because NARA went looking for missing documents and then, rather than work with Trump to establish his presidential library and to arrange for the documents to be stored under the auspices of NARA’s custody at a mutually agreeable location — something NARA had done for Obama — NARA created a federal criminal case out of the matter.

Had NARA dug through former Senator and then-Vice President Biden’s documents looking for the smoking gun that was not there, they would have discovered the classified documents Biden absconded with too — and likely many more documents that over the last decade-plus years disappeared forever. Ditto for Obama.

The most recent discovery of “six items” containing an untold number of classified documents at Biden’s Delaware home illustrates this point. It also brings into focus the get-Trump scheme launched by a “backbench bureaucrat” that culminated in the raid on the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home.

With this reality now in focus, Americans would be wise to revisit the timeline leading up to the Mar-a-Lago raid because the Trump classified-document scandal bears all the hallmarks of a hoax peddled by the deep-state cabal and their corrupt media partners. 


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

Biden Turned Classified Documents into A Scandal to Get Trump, But Who’s Laughing Now?


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 12, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/12/biden-turned-classified-documents-into-a-scandal-to-get-trump-but-whos-laughing-now/

Donald Trump laughing at a rally
This entire scandal is a joke. And now, thanks to the get-Trump franchise, irresponsible Biden will be forever cast as a laughingstock.

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News broke late yesterday that a search of the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, uncovered additional classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president, stored unsecured in the family garage and separately in another room of the house. And I still haven’t stopped laughing.

Since August of 2022, when the FBI launched an unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, the entirety of the anti-Trump universe insisted — insisted — that the recently departed commander-in-chief’s possession of documents marked classified was a big f-ing deal. 

Never mind that Trump had declassification authority as the president of the United States, or that the documents were stored at his home under the watchful eye of his Secret Service protection. Ignore too the fact that the National Archives could have worked with Trump to coordinate the storage of the documents under the technical possession of the government, but at a location of the former president’s choosing, just as was done with former President Barack Obama. 

But because the loony left couldn’t resist one more sequel in their get-Trump franchise, as Trump exited the Oval Office, a backbench bureaucrat at the National Archives launched another hoax meant to finally, finally destroy Trump. Several leaks and a year-plus later, the plot culminated in the raid of Trump’s home followed by the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump.

And because the National Archives and the Biden administration went nuclear against Trump for possessing documents at Mar-a-Lago marked classified, they have no option but to pretend to treat Joe Biden’s possession of classified documents in an equally serious way. So, the National Archives referred the matter to the Department of Justice, just as it had with Trump, even though when it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mishandling classified documents, no criminal referral followed. 

Likewise, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed a U.S. attorney to investigate Biden’s mishandling of the classified documents, to create the impression of equal justice under the law. Of course, given Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump, a plain ol’ ordinary U.S. attorney doesn’t level up, and for that, the attorney general is already receiving heat.

But the heat comes from the hypocrisy, not the gravity of the situation. 

The Biden classified documents scandal is not a serious scandal. The botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is a serious scandal. Biden’s refusal to faithfully execute his duties as president of the United States by securing the southern border is a serious scandal. The Biden family pay-to-play escapades are a serious scandal. And the weaponization of the FBI and the intelligence community to interfere in the 2020 election and hand Biden the presidency is a serious scandal. This is not.

Laughable. Delicious. Outrageous. It is all those things and becomes more so by the day, with news that more classified documents are reposed in a residential garage, in addition to the closet at a D.C. think tank. And the story just becomes funnier the more the corrupt press tries to distinguish Biden’s possession of classified documents from Trump’s because Biden himself on video declared the possession of classified documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to be “just totally irresponsible.” 

But a garage, Joe? Seriously? And is not knowing there were classified documents there, as Biden claims, any better?

The bottom line here is simple. This entire scandal is a joke. And now, thanks to the get-Trump franchise, irresponsible Biden will be forever cast as a laughingstock — and so will the propagandists in the press. 


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

On Classified Documents, Joe Biden Is Out of Excuses


BY: DAVID HARSANYI | JANUARY 12, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/12/we-need-a-special-counsel-to-investigate-joe-bidens-classified-documents-case-pronto/

Joe Biden in the background
The president’s entire narrative fell apart in only a week.

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Every president probably stashes away classified documents. The chances of any president being successfully prosecuted for pilfering them are infinitesimal. Nevertheless, now that we’ve learned Joe Biden has engaged in the same behavior as Donald Trump — perhaps worse, considering vice presidents are afforded less leeway on classified documents — precedent and transparency, our very democracy, demand Attorney General Merrick Garland name a special counsel to investigate (I get results!)

Right now, none of the rationalizations offered by the media for Biden’s actions over the past few days are operational. When the story first broke, outlets stressed that one of the vital “distinctions” between the two incidents was that Biden was in possession of fewer documents than Trump. Biden aides, we learned, had been utterly shocked to discover only a “small number” of classified documents “locked” in the personal offices of the president’s “think tank” — as if the location or the number of documents, or the alleged lock, rather than the contents, were the most newsworthy aspect of the story.

Today, we learned that a second “batch” of classified documents was uncovered at an “undisclosed” location. Suddenly, everything got incredibly vague. Biden aides, we are told, began diligently rummaging through boxes to ensure they were in complete compliance with the law. A completely independent source told collusion-hoaxer Ken Dilanian that the “search was described as exhaustive, with the goal of getting a full accounting of all classified documents that may have inadvertently been packed in boxes when Biden cleared out of the vice president’s office space in January 2017.” It’s heartening to know that the Bidens are such diligent, law-abiding folk.

Yesterday, we were told that classified documents that are found in a serious office setting, rather than just “lying around” in a home, was an important difference between the two cases. Today, Biden’s lawyer says that “small number” of classified documents was also found “locked” in Biden’s garage and an “adjacent” room of his Wilmington home. (Don’t worry, the president assures us it was safely stored next to his beloved Corvette.) You know, if we find another “small number” of documents, we might just have ourselves a full cache.

No doubt, journalists are super curious to know how those classified documents got into Joe’s garage. I mean, the guy had a think tank office at his disposal in D.C. Moreover, the initial documents were alleged to have been discovered before midterms, and yet we’re only hearing about new ones months later — and in convenient dribs and drabs.

Soon after CBS’s initial story, a four-byline puff piece from CNN reported that the documents found in the think tank were related to Ukraine, Iran, and the U.K., so not just keepsakes and letters and such. This week we also learned, in another soft-peddled report by The New York Times, that Biden, despite his insistence that he knew nothing about his son Hunter’s foreign entanglements, had met with a liaison from the Ukrainian energy interest Burisma, among many other revelations. Recall, Obama officials had also raised concerns about the Biden family business. Is there any chance those Ukrainian documents would have been embarrassing to the president? Seems a reasonable question.

What’s important now, we’re going to be instructed, is that Biden “immediately” contacted the authorities and is fully “cooperating.” Is it possible, and I’m just theorizing here, that Biden and his aides are lying? For one thing, cooperating is fine, but it’s not everything. Trump has every right to hire a lawyer and fight the Archives over documents. Maybe he’s got a case, maybe he doesn’t. But perhaps Biden also simply picked an opportune time to cooperate with his own administration in an effort to avoid any transparency. Far from “immediately” handing over this material, the president’s been in possession of classified documents for nearly seven years. How does the DOJ know there aren’t more documents stashed away? How does it know Biden, like Trump, didn’t put them in his garage on purpose? Because he says so?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining watching the comically obvious attempts to mitigate the damage. But if Biden hasn’t done anything wrong, he has absolutely nothing to fear.


David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist, a nationally syndicated columnist, a Happy Warrior columnist at National Review, and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and radio talk shows across the country. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.

Has The Trump Raid Made Bill Barr Forget All About Deep-State Deceit?


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | SEPTEMBER 07, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/07/has-the-trump-raid-made-bill-barr-forget-all-about-deep-state-deceit/

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Bill Barr is wrong about the Mar-a-Lago raid for the same reason Barr’s critics were wrong about his decision to investigate the Russia-collusion hoax.

Barr’s opinion now and those of his adversaries when he served as Trump’s attorney general both rest on the assumed veracity of leaks, spin, and misleading narratives. The facts have since vindicated Barr’s decision to investigate the investigators who targeted Trump, and until the details surrounding the latest attack on Trump are proven, nothing said by the Biden administration or its partners in the press should be accepted as true.

On Friday and again on Tuesday, Barr appeared on Fox News to discuss the Mar-a-Lago raid and the Department of Justice’s investigation into former President Donald Trump. During both appearances, Barr repeated the storylines pushed by the D.C. media cartel since news first broke that the FBI had raided Trump’s Florida home.

In his appearance on “America Reports” on Friday, Barr told hosts Sandra Smith and John Roberts he personally thought that for the DOJ “to take things to the current point they probably have pretty good evidence.” Barr continued:

Now let me just say I think the driver on this from the beginning was loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago. People say this was also unprecedented but it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put it in a country club, OK. How long is the government going to try to get that? They jawbone for a year. They were deceived on the voluntary actions taken. They then went and got a subpoena. They were deceived on that, they feel. And the facts are starting to show they were being jerk around. And so how long do they wait?

While he caveated his comments as “speculation,” and noted that until we see the evidence, “it’s hard to say,” Barr’s conclusions flow from the assumption that the details made public by the DOJ and the leaks to the media represent the truth — and the whole truth.

But those very same leaks should make Barr leery. Special Counsel John Durham’s team is leak free. Similarly, the other men Barr trusted to handle the sensitive investigations into the Clinton Foundation, the inappropriate prosecution of Michael Flynn, and the evidence of the Biden family corruption coming from Ukraine, ensured their teams kept the investigations confidential. Conversely, the previous get-Trump plots all relied on media leaks to push falsehoods about the investigations, whether it was Crossfire Hurricane, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, or the impeachment efforts.

The evidence also indicates that the “driver” of the investigation was not the “loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago,” but Trump: He was the man; the government just needed a crime. 

As I detailed soon after the raid, the trail to Mar-a-Lago began at the White House long before the discovery of classified material in boxes returned to the National Archives. The now-retired head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), David Ferriero, recalled “watching the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter that day, and someone carrying a white banker box, and saying to myself, ‘What the hell’s in that box?’” According to Ferriero, “that began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives.”

NARA then made a criminal referral to the DOJ based not merely on the presence of classified materials but also suggesting Trump violated 18 U.S.C. § 2071 because the former president returned a document that he had previously torn up. NARA’s interactions with Trump contrast sharply with its handling of former President Barack Obama’s presidential documents and how it handled Hillary Clinton’s violations of federal law, as I’ve detailed extensively here, exposing the referral as a political hit.

Not only has Barr accepted the false narrative that the “driver” of the investigation was “loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago,” but during both yesterday and Friday’s interviews, the former attorney general repeated several of the storylines seeded by the leakers. While Barr made clear that the outcome of any charging decision depended on what the evidence showed and how clear it was, he has clearly internalized the leakers’ version of events.

“If they clearly have the president moving stuff around and hiding stuff in his desk and telling people to dissemble,” Barr noted at one point, the DOJ is more likely to charge the former president. “They were deceived on the voluntary actions taken. They then went and got a subpoena. They were deceived on that, they feel,” Barr remarked. Then yesterday, Barr told Fox News’s Martha MacCallum that there is “evidence to suggest they were deceived.” 

The evidence, though, consists of select documents released by the DOJ, including heavily redacted documents, and media leaks. In other words, it’s precisely what convinced half the country that Trump colluded with Russia. 

While it is possible that Trump deceived the DOJ or that he defied the grand jury subpoena, the entire Mar-a-Lago episode tracks the Russia-collusion-hoax playbook too closely to give credence to any of the accusations levied against the former president. And Barr is wrong to trust them.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

    5 Times The Anti-Trump FBI’s ‘Trust Us’ Promise Fell Apart


    BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | SEPTEMBER 02, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/02/5-times-the-anti-trump-fbis-trust-us-promise-fell-apart/

    former FBI Director James Comey

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    The Biden administration and the corporate media continue to assure Americans that the FBI’s raid on former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was both legally justified and of the utmost necessity. But the deep-state cabal and the leftist media cartel provided similar assurances about Crossfire Hurricane and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s targeting of Trump, with the assurances later proving worthless. 

    Here are five times SpyGate taught Americans to distrust and disprove accusations leveled at Donald Trump.

    1. Devin Nunes’ Memo Exposing FISA Abuse

    On February 2, 2018, the House Intelligence Committee, then-chaired by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, released a four-page memo detailing abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the FBI. 

    Before the memo’s release, the FBI publicly opposed the move, claiming in a public statement that the bureau had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” Justice Department officials likewise opposed releasing the memo, warning that “doing so would be ‘extraordinarily reckless.’”

    The then-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, also sought to scuttle the release of the memo — or at least preempt the detailed revelations of FISA abuse — by calling the memo a “conspiracy theory” in an op-ed for The Washington Post. In it, Schiff condemned the release, saying the memo was “designed to suggest that ‘a cabal of senior officials within the FBI and the Justice Department were so tainted by bias against President Trump that they irredeemably poisoned the investigation.’”

    Nancy Pelosi, who is now speaker of the House, likewise attacked Nunes, demanding in a letter to then-House Speaker Paul Ryan that Nunes be removed as Intelligence Committee chairman. Nunes “disgraced” the committee with his “dishonest” handling of the committee’s review of the Russia collusion problem, Pelosi wrote. Nunes’ committee, Pelosi claimed, had become a “charade” and a “coverup campaign … to hide the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal.” 

    In response to the Nunes memo, former FBI Director James Comey told the country the memo was “dishonest and misleading.” Comey further claimed it “wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen.”

    Former CIA Director John Brennan also attacked Nunes, calling his exposure of the FISA abuse “appalling” and an abuse of his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.

    Of course, years later, Nunes was proven correct, as the inspector general’s report confirmed, establishing that the Republican House Intelligence chair had, if anything, understated the FISA abuse. 

    For all the assurances the DOJ, FBI, their former leaders, and top politicians provided the American public, they were either lying or wrong — or both because there was “a cabal of senior officials within the FBI and the Justice Department … so tainted by bias against President Trump that they irredeemably poisoned the investigation.”

    2. Surveillance Warrants Are Hard to Get

    In addition to wrongly condemning Nunes’ memo, government officials attempted to calm concerns over the FISA surveillance by assuring the public that the process of obtaining a surveillance warrant was “rigorous” and that to obtain surveillance of American citizens, a court must find “probable cause” that warrants the wiretap.

    Adm. Michael Rogers, then a commander of United States Cyber Command, testified about the FISA process during a March 2017 congressional hearing. In response to a question posed to eliminate “confusion in the public” about the collection of personal data, Rogers confirmed that the National Security Agency “would need a court order based on probable cause to conduct electronic surveillance on a U.S. person inside the United States.” 

    During the same hearing, the then-recently fired former FBI Director Comey expanded on the surveillance process. “There is a statutory framework in the United States under which courts grant permission for electronic surveillance either in a criminal case or the national security case based on the showing of probable cause,” Comey testified before Congress. “It is a rigorous, rigorous process, involving all three branches of government,” the former FBI director stressed, noting it must go through an application process and then to a judge who must approve the order.

    The IG report on FISA abuse proved the promised rigor didn’t exist. And the later conviction of Kevin Clinesmith for “falsifying a document that was the basis for a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign official Carter Page,” punctuated that reality. The facts revealed in the IG report further established that Americans’ faith in the FISA Court to serve as a check on the government was misplaced, with the judges serving as but a rubberstamp of the DOJ’s surveillance applications. So much for those assurances.

    3. Don’t Worry, ’Merica, No Spying on Trump Took Place

    A third assurance Americans received from the powers-that-be was that no spying on the Trump campaign occurred. The inspector general’s report on FISA abuse disproved those reassurances as well, revealing that the “Obama Administration Spied on the Trump Campaign Big Time.”

    This reality pushed Russia-collusion hoaxers into esoteric discussions on the true meaning of “spying.” Even the United States Senate played the “it depends what the meaning of spying is” game, with New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen quizzing FBI Director Christopher Wray on whether he would agree with then-Attorney General William Barr’s use of the word “spying.”

    “I was very concerned by his use of the word spying, which I think is a loaded word,” Shaheen bemoaned. “When FBI agents conduct investigations against alleged mobsters, suspected terrorists, other criminals, do you believe they’re engaging in spying when they’re following FBI investigative policies and procedures?” the senator asked Wray.

    “That’s not the term I would use,” Wray replied, before noting that different people use different colloquialisms. 

    The discussion did not end there, however, with Shaheen pushing Wray on whether he had seen “any evidence that any illegal surveillance into the campaigns or the individuals associated with the campaigns by the FBI occurred.”

    “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort,” Wray replied.

    But even sidestepping the silly debate over what “spying” means, the guarantee Shaheen provided the American public — that no illegal surveillance into the Trump campaign or individuals associated with the Trump campaign had occurred — proved worthless. 

    The Department of Justice has since admitted that it illegally surveilled former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and that such surveillance reached Trump campaign documents. So, yes, our federal government illegally surveilled the campaign of a presidential candidate.

    4. Redactions Are Necessary to Protect Sources and Methods

    A fourth key commitment conveyed to Americans throughout the multi-year unraveling of the Russia collusion hoax concerned the need to redact details in the publicly released documents. Such redactions were necessary to protect sources and methods, our overlords assured us.

    For instance, in a December 9, 2019 press release Wray issued in conjunction with the DOJ’s inspector general’s report on FISA abuse, Wray “emphasized that the FBI’s participation in this process was undertaken with my express direction to be as transparent as possible, while honoring our duty to protect sources and methods that, if disclosed, might make Americans less safe.” Wray further promised that the FISA abuse report presented all material facts, “with redactions carefully limited and narrowly tailored to specific national security and operational concerns.” 

    Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley challenged that portrayal of the redactions, suggesting in a letter to then-Attorney General William Barr that several footnotes “were classified in the IG report only because they contradict certain claims made in the public version of the inspector general’s report on FISA warrants documenting misconduct in the FBI’s spying operation of the Trump campaign.”

    “We are concerned that certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes,” Grassley and Johnson wrote. “This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report, but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation.”

    The Republican senators then asked for the four footnotes to be declassified, stressing that “the American people have a right to know what is contained within these four footnotes and, without that knowledge, they will not have a full picture as to what happened during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

    In April of 2020, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the footnotes. And, as Grassley and Johnson had represented, the redactions weren’t necessary to protect “sources and methods.” Rather, the blacked-out lines were essential to distorting portions of the FISA report and to keeping the public in the dark about the full scope of the Spygate scandal.

    Another document declassified by Grenell exposed that Mueller’s team falsely represented to a federal judge (and the American public) the substance of Michael Flynn’s December 2016 telephone conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. 

    As I reported following Grenell’s declassification of the transcript of the call between Flynn, Trump’s then-incoming national security adviser, and Kislyak, Mueller’s office deceived the country and a federal court when prosecutors claimed Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with his Russian counterpart. The transcripts established that, contrary to court filings, Flynn never raised the issue of sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

    The release of the Flynn transcript did reveal, however, the FBI’s secret “sources and methods” — but the sources and methods were those of deep-state actors seeking to rid themselves of the president’s chosen national security adviser by launching a perjury trap and then lying about what Flynn said.

    5. Crossfire Hurricane Was Properly Predicated 

    To this day, both DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Wray maintain that the FBI’s launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was properly predicated. Publicly released FBI documents say otherwise. 

    Former FBI agent Peter Strzok explained the supposed predicate for launching Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, in the opening “Electronic Communication” that he both prepared and approved. According to Strzok, the FBI opened the umbrella investigation into the Trump campaign after the government had “received information” “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.” 

    But Strzok’s summary of the information received made no mention of any intel obtained by the FBI related to the DNC hacking. Rather, the supposed intel “consisted of information received from an unnamed representative, now publicly known to be Alexander Downer, a then-Australian diplomat” stationed in London. The opening memorandum explained that Downer had relayed “statements Mr. [George] Papadopoulos made about suggestions from the Russians that they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

    The opening document then asserted that Papadopoulos “also suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama.).” The electronic communication added a caveat, though, noting that it was unclear whether Papadopoulos “or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of [sic] through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer.”

    Thus, while Strzok framed the information received by the FBI as evidence “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server,” the remainder of the Electronic Communication contradicted that claim and in fact acknowledged that the material might refer to “publicly acquired” information.

    What the FBI did — or rather didn’t do — after the launch of Crossfire Hurricane further confirms the sham predicate set forth by Strzok in the Electronic Communication. 

    While Papadopoulos’s statements to Downer supposedly prompted the FBI to open the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, agents failed to question Papadopoulos for six months. The FBI also put little (or no) effort into determining who purportedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary. The supposed source of that statement, Joseph Mifsud, could have been easily located soon after the launch of Crossfire Hurricane if the FBI genuinely believed Russia had conspired with the Trump campaign to hack and release the DNC emails.

    Agents pursuing a legitimate investigation “would have immediately scoured Papadopoulos’s London-based connections and discovered he was associated with the London Centre of International Law Practice around the time he met with Downer. From there, the FBI could have easily fingered Mifsud as a possible source for the information, since he was listed as a board advisor and public source searches would show Mifsud had connections to Russia. (The intelligence community would have also hit on Mifsud’s many connections to Western intelligence agencies.)”

    But the FBI did none of this, waiting instead until late January 2017 to quiz Papadopoulos on the source of the supposed inside information coming from Russia. Yet, Wray and the DOJ’s inspector general want Americans to trust them when they say that agents launched Crossfire Hurricane based on Papadopoulos’s London chat with Downer over drinks. 

    Special Counsel John Durham, however, says otherwise, having released a statement following the DOJ’s report on FISA abuse that informed the public that, “based on the evidence collected to date,” his team had “advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

    The special counsel’s public statements prove significant for two reasons. First, Durham’s comments refute the inspector general’s conclusions regarding the predication of Crossfire Hurricane. But beyond that, the fact that Durham needed to correct the record shows the lack of trust due the DOJ and even the inspector general’s office — something further confirmed during the special counsel’s prosecution of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann. 

    Each of these five falsehoods peddled by the government to the public during the Russia collusion hoax has a clear corollary in the current scandal involving the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. And after the lies, pretext, and political warfare exposed during the unraveling of SpyGate, the DOJ and FBI’s current entreat to an angry public to “trust them” will be ignored — as it should.


    Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

      Redacted Mar-A-Lago Affidavit Confirms Biden’s DOJ Fished For A Crime To Pin On Trump


      BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | AUGUST 29, 2022

      Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/redacted-mar-a-lago-affidavit-confirms-bidens-doj-fished-for-a-crime-to-pin-on-trump-2657957240.html/

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      The search warrant affidavit unsealed on Friday confirms the Department of Justice used a bait-and-switch tactic to justify the FBI’s unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s home. The unredacted portions of the affidavit further expose the Biden administration’s manipulative and tenuous basis for the search and its reliance on inapplicable federal criminal code provisions to justify the targeting of a political enemy. 

      At noon on Friday, the search warrant affidavit used by the DOJ to obtain a warrant to raid Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home hit the public court docket, albeit with heavy redactions. While sparse, the unredacted portions of the affidavit nonetheless proved significant, especially when read in conjunction with the previously unsealed search warrant and the leaks to the compliant media cartel.

      “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the affidavit opened, before noting that “the investigation began as a result of a referral the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) sent to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on February 9, 2022.”

      The affidavit then summarized the background of the NARA referral, explaining that “on February 9, 2022, the Special Agent in Charge of NARA’s Office of Inspector General sent a referral via email to the DOJ.” The referral explained that the NARA’s White House Liaison Division director had reviewed 15 boxes NARA had retrieved from Mar-a-Lago including “newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, miscellaneous print-outs, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post-presidential records, and ‘a lot of classified records.’” “Of most significant,” the search warrant affidavit explained, was that “highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”

      While the next nearly eight pages of the search warrant affidavit remained redacted, the disclosures that followed exposed the affidavit’s focus on “classified records” as a sham. “On or about May 6, 2021, NARA made a request for the missing PRA records and continued to make requests until approximately late December 2021 when NARA was informed twelve boxes were found and ready for retrieval at the [Mar-a-Lago],” the affidavit continued, with the abbreviation “PRA” previously noted to stand for the Presidential Records Act.

      As I explained previously, to fully comprehend the Biden administration’s weaponizing of the DOJ and FBI, it is necessary to understand the Presidential Records Act, the concept of “presidential records,” and the NARA’s role, and the search warrant affidavit’s references to those concepts confirm that point. In short:

      “The Presidential Records Act provides that documents created or received by the president or his immediate staff, such as memos, letters, notes, emails, and other written communications, related to a president’s official duties, constitute ‘presidential records’ and must be preserved. The act further declares that the United States shall retain complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records.’ And at the conclusion of a president’s term in office, the ‘Archivist of the United States’ ‘assumes responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records.’”

      The Presidential Records Act, however, expressly excludes specific documents from the definition of “presidential records,” including any documentary materials that are “official records of an agency,” “personal records,” or “extra copies of documents produced only for convenience of reference, when such copies are clearly so identified.” The federal statute further defines “personal records” as “diaries, journals, or personal notes ‘not prepared or utilized for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting Government business’” or “materials relating to private political associations” or “relating exclusively to the President’s own election to the office of the Presidency.”

      The public (understandably) may wish to sidestep the minutia of the mandates of the Presidential Records Act, but three top-line takeaways prove imperative to understanding the scandal of the Mar-a-Lago search. First, the Presidential Records Act is not a criminal statute, and violations of that federal law do not constitute a crime. Second, the Presidential Records Act does not reach broad swathes of documents retained by a former president, including “official records of an agency,” “personal records,” and convenience copies of presidential records. And third, the courts have refused to question a former president’s conclusion that a record constitutes a “personal record” and not a “presidential record.”

      Two additional legal points require expansion for the populace to fully grasp the outrageous overreach of the DOJ, which was further exposed in the partially unsealed affidavit. The first legal principle of note concerns a president’s power to declassify documents. As Trump’s attorney stressed in a May 2022 letter to the DOJ, which the government released along with the redacted version of the search warrant affidavit, “a president has absolute authority to declassify documents.”

      “Under the U.S. Constitution, the President is vested with the highest level of authority when it comes to the classification and declassification of documents,” Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran explained in his correspondence with the DOJ. Citing both the Constitution and Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518, 527 (1988), wherein the United States Supreme Court wrote, “the President’s authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant,” Corcoran countered the DOJ’s attempt to frame NARA’s discovery of documents marked “classified” as warranting a criminal investigation.

      Trump’s lawyer stressed a second significant legal principle in the same letter, writing that “presidential actions involving classified documents are not subject to criminal sanction.” Then, after noting that “any attempt to impose criminal liability on a President or former President that involves his actions with respect to documents marked classified would implicate grave constitutional separation-of-powers issues,” Corcoran wrote: “Beyond that, the primary criminal statute that governs the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material does not apply to the President.” 

      The attorney for the former president then quoted the statute that criminalizes the removal, possession, or retention of classified materials before stressing that “an element of this offense, which the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, is that the accused is ‘an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States.’” “The President is none of these,” Trump’s attorney continued, before concluding, “thus, the statute does not apply to acts by a President.”

      Corcoran closed his letter by reminding the DOJ of its obligation “to be candid in representations made to judges,” and requested that a copy of the lawyer’s letter be provided “to any judicial officer who is asked to rule on any motion pertaining to this investigation, or on any application made in connection with any investigative request concerning this investigation,” as well as “any grand jury considering evidence in connection with this matter, or any grand jury asked to issue a subpoena for testimony or documents in connection with this matter.” 

      The search warrant affidavit referenced Corcoran’s letter and provided a copy to Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who issued the search warrant. The DOJ also informed Reinhart of a Breitbart News article from May 5, 2022, which states that a former Trump administration official, Kash Patel, had characterized as “misleading” reports that documents retrieved by NARA included classified material; Patel alleged that the reporting was misleading because Trump had declassified the materials at issue.

      The DOJ informed Reinhart of the above details and thus, in essence, that the government lacked probable cause to search Mar-a-Lago based on a violation of the statute governing the mishandling of classified documents. But what Trump’s legal team did not foresee, and what the search warrant affidavit revealed, was that the DOJ would twist the facts to find other crimes to justify the targeting of Trump. 

      The introductory section of the affidavit summarized three other legal theories to justify the search, stating first that “the FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials” contained in the 15 boxes retrieved by the NARA. Second, the affidavit maintained that there was “probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the Mar-a-Lago.” And third, the affidavit claimed there was “also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at” Mar-a-Lago. Those legal theories track the three statutes cited by the DOJ to justify the search, namely 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(e), 1519, and 2071. 

      As I previously explained, none of those criminal code provisions require material to be classified for there to be criminal liability. Rather, Section 793(e), also called the Espionage Act, makes it a crime for a person “having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over” “national defense information” to “willfully” share that information with a “person not entitled to receive it” or to “willfully retain” the national defense information and fail to deliver it to an employee of the United States “entitled to receive it,” if “the possessor has reason to believe [it] could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” 

      The unredacted portions of the search warrant affidavit reveal how the DOJ manipulated the facts to fit within the Espionage Act. First, for the Espionage Act to apply, the material must qualify as “national defense information.” To establish probable cause that “national defense information” remained at Mar-a-Lago, the affidavit noted that a review by FBI agents of the 15 boxes retrieved by NARA “identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the fifteen boxes.” The FBI agent who signed the search warrant affidavit then attested that based on his “training and experience,” he “knows that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI” or “national defense information.”

      What the DOJ did here, then, was this: It highlighted that the documents retrieved by the NARA contained “classification markings” and then used the FBI agent’s expertise to establish that documents that receive a classification marking typically include “national defense information.” That Trump declassified (or may have declassified) the documents is irrelevant under this analysis because the fact that they were ever classified would mean they likely qualified as “national defense information.” 

      The DOJ subtly confirmed this point by dropping a footnote that explains that “§ 793(e) does not use the term ‘classified information,’ but rather criminalizes the unlawful retention of ‘information relating to the national defense.’” The footnote continues by noting that Section 793(e) does not define “information related to the national defense,” but adds that courts have construed national defense information “broadly.” 

      In other words, the DOJ bent the Espionage Act to fit the facts of Trump’s possession of documents at Mar-a-Lago. The Biden administration couldn’t target Trump for mishandling classified material both because he declassified it and because the statute that criminalizes such mishandling doesn’t reach a president or a former president. So instead, they tried to find a crime to get the man. 

      Even then, there is a second problem with the DOJ’s reliance on the Espionage Act: An Espionage Act violation only occurs if the person has “unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over,” the national defense information. But how was Trump’s possession “unauthorized”?

      From the unredacted portions of the affidavit, it appears the DOJ maintained that Trump’s possession of the national defense information was “unauthorized” because the documents were “presidential records” wrongly retained by Trump. But “presidential records” do not include agency records, personal records, or convenience copies, and the documents bearing the classification markings likely originated from intelligence community agencies and/or were hard copies printed for convenience, meaning Trump’s possession of those documents would not be “unauthorized” under the Presidential Records Act. 

      For the same reason, the DOJ’s reliance on Section 2017, which criminalizes the removal, destruction, or concealing of government records, falters because that criminal provision protects the government’s access to its own records, and merely possessing copies of government records is not enough to constitute a crime. Yet from the search warrant affidavit and the search warrant, it appears the government sought to recover from Trump hard copies of information it already had within its possession, either through various agencies or the electronic copies maintained by the relevant authorities. And it is a stretch for the government to rely on Section 2017 to criminalize Trump’s possession of the records.

      Again, what we are seeing is a bending and twisting of the law to find a crime on which to launch the Mar-a-Lago raid. Mishandling of classified materials wouldn’t work, and Trump’s attorney made sure the DOJ knew that, so the creative team working under Attorney General Merrick Garland combed the federal code and found two plausible statutes on which to rely, adding a claim of obstruction of justice to round out the search warrant affidavit. While it is unclear from the affidavit the basis for the government’s obstruction of justice allegation, the affidavit establishes that the other criminal provisions relied upon representing illicit maneuvering to manufacture a crime for the man who was their political enemy.

      Americans may shrug when prosecutors use pretext to target known drug dealers or human traffickers, but manipulating the criminal code to find a basis to search the home of a former president and a political enemy represents an appalling weaponization of the criminal justice system. And while large portions of the affidavit remain under seal, the country has seen enough to know that is precisely what the Biden administration did to get Trump.


      Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

      Feds’ Routine Tyranny Suggests They Aren’t as Afraid of the American People as They Should Be


      BY: J.B. SHURK | AUGUST 16, 2022

      Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/16/feds-routine-tyranny-suggest-they-arent-as-afraid-of-the-american-people-as-they-should-be/

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      Alan Moore, author and social critic, asserts in “V for Vendetta” that “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” When a young director in Karachi, Pakistan, adapted “Vendetta” for a live theatrical performance 10 years ago, he repeated the line during the play’s curtain call to raucous applause from the audience. Moore’s simple words reflect poignantly the human desire to be free from government tyranny.

      Moore’s statement is widely embraced in the United States, where “the people” are constitutionally vested with power over government. It is doubtful, however, that today’s permanent bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., would concur. 

      This philosophical divide between the American people and their government is an important one. Should the American people be afraid of the U.S. government? Of course not. Yet a new army of IRS agents that will be used to audit middle-class Americans and a partisan DOJ and FBI that routinely ignore leftist violence while throwing the book at MAGA voters strongly suggest otherwise. 

      Does the federal government still work for American citizens, or have American citizens become nothing more than subjects expected to obey Washington’s bureaucratic regime? For many Americans, the answer to that question is glaringly obvious. 

      After Chris Wray’s FBI launched an unprecedented raid of President Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, the director’s immediate concern was not his agency’s appearance of impropriety but the denouncement of his lackeys’ behavior by the American public. 

      “I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Wray declared while saying nothing of threats to Americans from federal law enforcement. Who is more of a threat to American liberty: citizens using their constitutionally protected free speech to criticize the FBI or wayward FBI agents acting under the color of law? 

      Clearly, those with great power represent the greatest threat to freedom. For those such as Wray, who believe the FBI is the real victim, it is the citizen expressing himself who must be held accountable.

      Wray’s decision to shield his agents from criticism while obliquely intimidating citizens is hardly a departure from the federal government’s standard operating procedure. Before the Democrats’ recent addition of 87,000 new prying IRS agents to hound American taxpayers, including the hiring of agents who will “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force,” Barack Obama’s IRS was already targeting and harassing conservative organizations. 

      Why should Americans expect a greatly expanded and well-armed IRS to behave any differently this time?

      A similar abuse of power during Obama’s presidency occurred when his Environmental Protection Agency released “sensitive, private, and personal materials on more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers” to outside environmental groups in what was seen as an intentional effort to promote “eco-activist tyranny.” It was not enough for the EPA to harass America’s farmers with endless agricultural, livestock, and water regulations; the agency decided to permit outside “help” to further its interests in enforcing “green” regulations. 

      Now that congressional Democrats have succeeded in finding a path for greatly expanding the Green New Deal “climate change” agenda, it is likely that the EPA’s harassment of farmers will continue in the future. 

      The FBI, the IRS, and the EPA are but three agencies with tremendous powers that can be used to intimidate or imperil Americans. There are more than 400 departments, agencies, and sub-agencies within the federal government, and “no one knows definitively how many agencies, components, and commissions exist.” 

      Each of these authorities is constantly issuing rules, regulations, and guidelines that affect Americans’ rights and liberties without their knowledge. Each of those bodies exercises jurisdiction over the American people in ways that most don’t even realize. Does this sound like a government afraid of its citizens or tyranny?


      J.B. Shurk is a freedom-minded, anti-establishment, sometimes unorthodox, committed generalist and a proud American from Daniel Boone country.

      If the FBI Raided a REDNECKS HOUSE…instead of Trump | Buddy Brown


      127,933 views Aug 10, 2022

      Democrats Have Arrested, Prosecuted, And Raided Their Enemies. There’s Only One Way to Make Them Stop


      BY: CHRISTOPHER BEDFORD | AUGUST 10, 2022

      Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/10/democrats-have-arrested-prosecuted-and-raided-their-enemies-theres-only-one-way-to-make-them-stop/

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      Arrests and convictions over contempt of Congress. Police enforcement of bureaucratic and relatively obscure archivist laws. FBI raids on former presidents (and future political opponents?). In their rage, the Democratic Congress and administration have written a vicious battle plan — one that conservatives will do well to follow when they return to power if they’re at all serious about restoring any semblance of respect for law in our country. In weeks past, there’s little reason to believe conservatives are; but Monday night’s raid might finally have changed that.

      Just over one year after President Joe Biden’s election to the White House, his Department of Justice arrested Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former political director. Bannon was arrested for contempt of Congress, or, refusing to answer a congressional subpoena. After he was convicted last month, Bannon became the first American to face a prison sentence for contempt since the House Un-American Activities Committee sent 10 uncooperative, suspected Hollywood communists to prison in 1948. In the more than 70 years between the Hollywood Ten’s sentencings and Bannon’s conviction, contempt of Congress had devolved into more of a political tool used to investigate the other party, but rarely brought to its legal conclusion.

      While Democrats tried to prosecute contempt of Congress twice during the Reagan years, the administration only let one prosecution come to pass (in which the defendant was ultimately found innocent of contempt). Decades later, when Republicans tried to bring a similar case against President Barack Obama’s obstinate attorney general, Eric Holder declined to prosecute himself, citing executive privilege. Two years later, when Republicans sought answers from the IRS’s Lois Lerner over her targeting of political opponents, Holder also declined to prosecute. Later, when Democrats tried to bring criminal contempt charges against Trump’s secretary of commerce and attorney general, Bill Barr similarly declined to prosecute himself.

      Criminal enforcement is extremely rare because the reality is Congress can refer who they like, but the administration prosecutes whomever the administration chooses to prosecute.

      The Biden administration has made clear they’ll prosecute their political opponents every chance they get. That means that despite Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s threat to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable in the next Congress, he will only be empowered to hold Garland accountable under a Republican administration (unless he complies with Republican congressional oversight, which he won’t).

      True: Arresting an administration official after he’s left office is a dangerous precedent, but it’s one Democrats gleefully set this past year. And contempt of Congress is far from the only weapon the administration has wielded against their out-of-power opponents: Tuesday’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s home, for example, reportedly centered on his handling of classified information (and the Watergate-era Presidential Records Act).

      While politicians such as Hillary Clinton have been accused of similar crimes, prosecution is extremely rare — and focuses on the most egregious cases. For example, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, was prosecuted in 2004 for stealing and destroying classified documents on the Clinton administration’s handling of terrorism prior to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. Gen. David Petraeus was similarly charged for sharing classified documents with his mistress. Neither Berger nor Petraeus was charged with so much as a felony, instead pleading guilty to misdemeanors. Neither Berger nor Petraeus’s homes were ever raided, either, and, neither man ever served a day in prison. Most importantly, neither was a former president of the opposing party — nor a potential political opponent in the next general election.

      That’s what makes the FBI’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home so shocking — so disconcerting that voices from former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the liberal Bloomberg editorial board to D.C.-groupthink mouthpiece Playbook have all voiced their unease.

      These liberals’ unease stands in contrast with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who ignored a reporter’s Tuesday afternoon question on the subject and didn’t issue so much as a peep of concern for the first 23 hours after the raid was publicized. He was joined in his silence by Senate Republican Whip John Thune (who issued a statement at the same time, Tuesday night), Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (who remained silent as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday), and the Senate’s premier “thoughtful conservative” cosplayer, Ben Sasse. Why the silence? While after five years of increasingly unrealistic (and unproven) conspiracies and accusations against the former president, some Republicans still somehow trust the FBI. The reality is that others, such as McConnell, are pleased by the raid. But regardless of their private thoughts and motivations, their impotent silence in the face of the Biden administration’s charges, arrests, and raids on its political opponents exposes their inability to handle the crisis the American state finds itself in.

      While over the coming years, still other Republicans will cite this dead norm or that gutted precedent as they hesitate to use the Democrats’ own battle plans back on them, one-sided disarmament is no strategy at all. The only way to fight back is to make the kinds of people who’ve weaponized and undermined the American state suffer for their actions. They’ve arrested their enemies, revived obscure rules as pretexts for partisan attacks, and raided their opponents’ homes, and they won’t be sorry until they’ve felt the same pain.

      They aren’t sorry at all — yet.


      Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, a founding partner of RightForge, vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at The Daily Caller News Foundation and National Journalism Center, and the author of “The Art of the Donald.” His work has been featured in The American Mind, National Review, the New York Post and the Daily Caller, where he led the Daily Caller News Foundation and spent eight years. A frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business, he was raised in Massachusetts and lives across the river from D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

      Under Biden’s DOJ, The Rule of Law in America Has Become a Farce


      BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | AUGUST 10, 2022

      Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/10/under-bidens-doj-the-rule-of-law-in-america-has-become-a-farce/

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      The criminal indictment and imprisonment of former heads of state by ruling regimes in other countries is more common than most Americans probably realize. Today, former presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, and Costa Rica are all imprisoned — and that’s just in Central and South America.

      The world is replete with corrupt leaders who criminalize the opposition and politicize domestic law enforcement. That’s why, for example, Daniel Ortega has been president of Nicaragua since 2007. When you jail your political opponents and potential rivals, as Ortega did with gusto ahead of Nicaragua’s 2021 presidential election, it’s easy to stay in office. One of the salient features of these so-called “developing countries” is that they have not developed a way to transfer power peacefully. Brute force, not free and fair elections, is how rulers of the Third World seize and retain power.

      Soon, the United States might join their ranks. On Monday evening, dozens of FBI agents raided the Florida home of former President Donald Trump. The absurd pretext for the raid was a dispute over documents with the National Archives — a circumstance by no means unique to the Trump administration and one that no serious person believes could ever justify such a raid. (As my colleague David Harsanyi pointed out on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and her staff committed numerous felonies by using a private email server to send classified and even top-secret information and then destroyed all evidence related to the illegal server. Yet there was never an FBI raid or even a single charge filed against anyone. Just the opposite, in fact: Clinton’s staff was given immunity.) 

      Everyone in America knows the real reason for the FBI raid: to tarnish Trump as unfit for office and to intimidate and dissuade him from running again in 2024. Nothing like this has ever happened in American history. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was exactly right to compare the FBI raid to the kind of thing you see in Ortega’s Nicaragua. It’s what ruling regimes do to rob the people of their voice and avoid the consequences of elections.

      As bad as the raid was, though, it’s only the most recent incident in a larger pattern of corruption, not only in the Justice Department but across the federal government, designed to keep Trump out of office and away from the levers of power.

      On Monday, before news broke of the FBI raid, The New Yorker published a remarkable piece about Gen. Mark Milley and other top Pentagon officials during Trump’s presidency. The article, an excerpt of a forthcoming book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser titled “The Divider,” is meant to show what a hero Milley was to stand up to Trump, especially after the 2020 election (no doubt thanks to Milley obviously being the unnamed source for the conversations the article recounts). But what it unintentionally reveals is a U.S. military establishment that simply refused to follow the orders of a duly elected commander-in-chief and worked behind the scenes to thwart Trump’s entire foreign policy agenda, and, in Milley, a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who came within a stone’s throw of staging a military coup in Washington. Milley and other top-ranking generals undermined Trump not because he asked them to do anything illegal but because he asked them to do things they opposed, like withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan and take a hard line on Iran.

      Withdrawing U.S. troops from these places and pushing back against Iran is, of course, one of the things Trump campaigned on in 2016. Many of Trump’s voters, disillusioned with unending and seemingly pointless foreign conflicts, were ready for a radical shift in U.S. foreign policy. But Milley, whom zero Americans voted for, disagreed. He thought he knew better. Thus, we are told about how in December 2020, Milley met privately with then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to personally urge him to back off with Trump” and not strike Iran’s ballistic missile sites, which Trump wanted to do in response to Tehran’s breakout nuclear capabilities. This was around the same time Milley was making phone calls to a Chinese general to reassure Beijing that Trump wasn’t about to start a war — and that if Trump did plan to attack, Milley would personally warn his Chinese counterparts ahead of time. 

      The left and the Never Trump crowd think that doesn’t count as treason because they think Trump was never a legitimate president. They think we needed people like Milley to undermine him until he was out of office and the “adults” were in charge again. Under the circumstances, almost anything was justified, goes the thinking.

      The same twisted logic is at work in this FBI raid against Trump. In addition to corrupt Democrat lawyers like Marc Elias admitting on Twitter that the real purpose of the raid is to rig the 2024 election by disqualifying Trump from running, you have Never Trumpers like David French peddling the laughably naive line that “no president is above the law” and that no one should assume the FBI is abusing its power. Even South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said Americans should not jump to conclusions but let the DOJ investigation “play out.”

      But of course the FBI is abusing its power, as is Attorney General Merrick Garland. The idea that the FBI and Garland’s DOJ deserve the presumption of integrity and impartiality is only possible if you have been blissfully unaware of the events of the past six years in American politics.

      The FBI fabricated evidence and then repeatedly submitted it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain an illegal warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. The FBI’s top officials then illegally leaked to the press and later lied about it. They used this illegal surveillance as a pretext for the years-long Mueller investigation. All of it was designed to remove Trump from office or, failing that, fatally weaken his administration. None of it had anything to do with the rule of law.

      Nor did the FBI’s decision to quash an investigation into Hunter Biden’s criminal activities and overseas business dealings ahead of the 2020 election, even though much of the information driving the investigation was verified or easily verifiable.  And neither does this FBI raid. This is about one thing and one thing only: holding onto power by any means necessary. There is nothing particularly subtle or nuanced about it. If you want to know where it leads, check out Nicaragua.


      John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

      Sources, Trump lawyer make eyebrow-raising accusations against FBI agents who conducted Mar-a-Lago raid: ‘Trying to shield what they’re doing’


      By CHRIS ENLOE | August 10, 2022

      Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/sources-trump-attorney-accusations-fbi-mar-a-lago-raid/

      Law enforcement sources and an attorney for former President Donald Trump are making eyebrow-raising accusations as more details about the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago are sifted through the media. The New York Post reported Tuesday the purpose of the raid was to retrieve “presidential records and evidence of classified information being stored there.”

      Sources further alleged that FBI agents barred Trump’s attorneys — who arrived at Mar-a-Lago shortly after the raid began — from witnessing the search, which is unusual. Once a judge approves a search warrant, authorities have the ability to execute the warrant without consent from the person whose property is being searched, thus attorneys or the person being searched are typically allowed to witness the search. Shockingly, sources even alleged FBI agents demanded surveillance cameras be switched off, but Trump’s employees did not comply with the request.

      After searching Trump’s property for nearly 10 hours, the FBI removed boxes of documents and personal mementos that Trump collected during his presidency. It is not clear what other items the FBI confiscated, the Post reported. However, sources told the Post that FBI agents searched every room — including Melania Trump’s wardrobe — and repeatedly boasted to Trump’s lawyers, “We have full access to everything. We can go everywhere.”

      Secret Services agents who are stationed at Mar-a-Lago reportedly granted the FBI access to the property after likely receiving instructions from U.S. Secret Service attorneys.

      The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a Trump lawyer confirmed the FBI confiscated about 12 boxes of documents from a basement room. The documents were reportedly taken from the same room that FBI investigators, according to CNN, had already inspected in June.

      Trump attorney Christina Bobb — one of the attorneys who responded to Mar-a-Lago after the FBI arrived — confirmed that agents were looking for documents in compliance with the Presidential Records Act and allegedly classified documents. She also described the warrant as “thin” and explained that she does not yet know the probable cause for the warrant because the affidavit remains sealed.

      In another interview, Bobb suggested the search is related to other matters and the DOJ’s purported attempts to prosecute Trump.

      “I think this is clearly a situation where they’re looking for a way that they can easily prosecute President Trump,” Bobb claimed. “They want to do it under a national security-type guise because they can hide things from the public and they can say, ‘Oh, we can’t tell you. We can’t give you the details because it’s confidential information, subject to national security concerns, so we can’t tell you, but we’re just going to prosecute [Trump].

      “They’re trying to shield what they’re doing,” she charged.

      Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired under the Trump administration, agrees the aggressive nature of the raid suggests it was about something more than documents.

      “This is such a bold, such a disruptive, such an aggressive move,” McCabe said on CNN. “The idea they would do this simply because they weren’t getting the sort of compliance they were looking for out of securing the room with the documents, things like that, seems really unimaginable to me. It seems like they must have — I hope they have more than just that.”

      President Trump Posts Apocalyptic Ad Mourning America Hours After FBI Raids His Home – And He Makes One Inspirational Promise


      By Alicia Powe | Published August 9, 2022

      Read more at https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/08/president-trump-posts-apocalyptic-ad-mourning-america-hours-fbi-raids-home-makes-one-inspirational-promise/

      Just hours after Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida was raided by the FBI, the former president posted his eerie new ad on his social media platform late Monday night warning America is in decline and “a failing nation.” Despite the unprecedented tyranny that’s taken hold of the U.S. over the past two years, the legitimate president assures, “The best is yet to come.”

      A harrowing clap of thunder is heard as Trump mournfully details the litany of dangers Americans face as tyranny takes hold in the somber ad, which opens in black and white.

      TRENDING: Judge Bruce Reinhart Who Signed Warrant to Raid Trump’s Home at Mar-a-Lago Previously Worked for Jeffrey Epstein — Please Help TGP In Our Legal Quest to Get Epstein Client List

      “We are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation,” Trump cautions:

      We are a nation that has the highest inflation in over 40 years; where the stock market just finished the worst first half of a year in more than five decades. We are a nation that has the highest energy cost in its history and we are no longer energy independent or energy dominant, which we were just two short years ago. We are a nation that is begging Venezuela and Saudi Arabia for oil.

      “We are a nation that surrendered in Afghanistan, leaving behind dead soldiers, American citizens and $85 billion worth of the finest military equipment in the world. We are a nation that allowed Russia to devastate a country, Ukraine, killing hundreds of thousands of people and it will only get worse.

      We are a nation that has weaponized its law enforcement against the opposing political party, like never before — we’ve never seen anything like this.

      We are a nation that no longer has a free and fair press. Fake news is about all you get.

      We are a nation where free speech is no longer allowed; where crime is rampant like never before; where the economy has been collapsing; where more people died of COVID in 2021 than in 2020.

      We are a nation that is allowing Iran to build a massive nuclear weapon and China to use the trillions and trillions of dollars that’s taken from the United States to build a military to rival our own, that over the past two years is no longer respected or listened to all around the world. And we are a nation that is hostile to liberty and freedom and faith. We are a nation whose economy is floundering, whose stores are not stocked, whose deliveries are not coming and whose education system is ranked at the bottom of every list.

      We are a nation that in many ways has become a joke.

      The adversity may seem insurmountable, “But soon we will have greatness again,” Trump continues, as color is restored in the video.

      Trump's eerie ad ended with: 'We are a nation that in many ways has become a joke. But soon we will have greatness again'

      “It was hard working Patriots like you who built this country and it is hardworking patriots like you who are willing to save our country,” Trump affirms. “There is no mountain we cannot climb. There is no summit we cannot reach. There is no challenge we cannot meet. There is no victory we cannot have.

      “We will not bend. We will not break. We will not yield, ever, ever, ever. We will never give in, we will never give up. We will never, ever back down. We will never let you down as long as we are confident and united, the tyrants we are fighting do not stand even a little chance because we are Americans and Americans yield to God and God alone and it is time to start talking about greatness for our country again.”

      WATCH:

      Hours before the ad was published, Lara Trump argued the FBI’s raid of the former president’s home is an attempt to derail his 2024 bid for the presidency which “he’s going to announce any day.”

      “This is about weaponizing the justice system, as it has been so many times in the past against somebody who you politically do not like,” she admonished in an appearance on the Fox News Channel. “They detest Donald Trump, not just on the Democrat side, but the general establishment, because he’s not one of them, because he doesn’t play their game. They are terrified. He’s going to announce any day that he’s running for president in 2024. And this is a very convenient way to just throw a little more mud on Donald Trump as though they haven’t already done enough.

      “Think about this. If this is what they’re able to do to the former president of the United States, think about what they could do to you, to anybody in America. The bottom line here is that these documents that have been in question have been, everybody’s been cooperating,” she continued. “Everybody from my father-in-law’s team has been cooperating with the FBI with any authority that asks for anything up until now and there was no need to make such a big scene, to do something this insane, quite frankly, to a former president. But I think everybody clearly knows, Will, what is going on here. This is about weaponizing the justice system, as it has been so many times in the past against somebody who you politically do not like.”

      WATCH:

      Trump trounced potential 2024 contenders in CPAC’s presidential nomination straw poll presidential nomination straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference three-day gathering in Texas last week, capturing 69 percent of ballots cast in the anonymous survey.

      “The support for the former president, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party and continues to play a kingmaker’s role in GOP primaries, is up from his 59% showing in the anonymous online straw poll at the CPAC gathering in Orlando, Florida in February,” Fox News reports. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second on the 2024 presidential nomination question, at 24%, down from his 28% showing at CPAC in Orlando five months ago.”

      Alicia Powe

      Alicia is an investigative journalist and multimedia reporter. Alicia’s work is featured on numerous outlets including the Gateway Pundit, Project Veritas, World Net Daily, Townhall and Media Research Center, where she exposes fraud and abuse in government, media, Big Tech, and Big Pharma and public corruption. She has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She served in the Correspondence Department of the George W. Bush administration and as a War Room analyst for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee. Alicia is originally from New York City and currently resides in Washington D.C.

      New details leak about FBI’s shock raid on Mar-a-Lago — and GOP leader fires back at AG Garland: ‘Preserve your documents and clear your calendar’


      By CHRIS ENLOE | August 09, 2022

      Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/new-details-fbi-raid-mar-a-lago/

      The FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago was reportedly part of an investigation into former President Donald Trump removing classified documents from the White House and storing them in his south Florida resort. FBI agents began the raid early Monday morning around 9 a.m. and searched the property until 6:30 p.m., according to News Nation reporter Brian Entin, who cited his sources. The agents arrived in plain clothes — thus appearing to be Secret Service agents — and only notified the Secret Service about the raid right before it began. “That is why it didn’t leak earlier,” Entin explained.

      Three of Trump’s lawyers arrived at Mar-a-Lago after the raid began, and the FBI agents did, as Trump claimed, open a safe in his office.

      The purpose of the raid was to retrieve classified documents that Trump allegedly removed from the White House, the New York Times confirmed.

      From the Times:

      Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action to retrieve them. The case was referred to the Justice Department by the archives early this year.

      Eric Trump confirmed about 30 FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago, that nothing was found in Trump’s safe, and the purpose of the raid was to retrieve documents.

      The raid does not confirm that Trump has committed a crime. It does, however, signal that investigators convinced a federal judge they had sufficient probable cause that a crime had been committed and that raiding Mar-a-Lago was necessary to retrieve evidence. Legal experts believe the raid must have been approved by the most senior levels of the Justice Department, perhaps even by Attorney General Merrick Garland, because Trump is a former president and raiding his residence would require approval at the highest levels of government.

      The White House allegedly did not know about the raid beforehand.

      But Republicans say the raid is more evidence the Justice Department has become politicized under President Joe Biden. After the raid, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised an investigation into the DOJ should Republicans retake control of the House after the 2022 midterm elections.

      “I’ve seen enough,” McCarthy said in a statement. “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,” he added.

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