The investigation of the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump’s family raises troubling questions regarding the search itself and its motivations.
In addition to executive privilege and attorney-client privilege-protected materials, questions have been raised regarding personal documents.
Judicial Review President Tom Fitton, whose conservative watchdog routinely sues the government to release documents and is seeking to compel the release of documents in the Trump investigation, stated that the government’s initial court filings appear to describe an overly broad search that went well beyond classified records.
“They were engaged in a fishing expedition, and the warrant itself wasn’t about classified information, though it mentioned it,” Fitton informed Just the News. “It talked about all sort of other documents. It basically gave the FBI carte blanche to anything they wanted from the Trump home.
“And the fact that a judge signed off on it is very troubling,” he continued.
A variety of papers were removed from the Trump residence, including ones that were legally protected.
“Occasionally a warrant collection can grab things outside the scope authorized by the court and the department is now following a procedure we would for any person affected this way,” a department spokesperson stated Monday night.
Kevin Brock, a former assistant director for intelligence at the FBI under former director Robert Mueller, stated that the latest discoveries raise real concerns about the excessive acquisition of material, which might result in substantial legal problems.
Trump’s attorneys are contemplating whether to petition a federal court to appoint a special master to analyze sensitive records and safeguard the president’s Fourth Amendment, executive, and attorney-client privileges.
“Trump’s attorneys could have a runway to argue the scope of the search is overly broad,” Brock tells Just the News. “Search warrants normally require a level of specificity that seems to be missing in this warrant. Specificity is important in order to protect 4th Amendment rights from exuberant government overreach designed to find whatever they can.”
Brock expressed concern that FBI investigators felt at ease collecting a record of Trump’s pardon of his longtime buddy Roger Stone, which was disclosed in court records.
He noted that the raid may have had more to do with the inquiry into the January 6 Capitol incident, in which Stone has been a subject of interest, than with the investigation into classified data.
Brock stated, “The president’s authority to grant pardon and clemency is clear but what isn’t clear is why the retention of a clemency order would be considered illegal. The fact that it is highlighted on the receipt list, and that it has to do with Stone, will likely provide ammunition to Republicans who are asserting that the search was less about a document dispute and more about a hunt for derogatory Jan. 6 information.”
Brock said that the search warrant featured a “stunningly broad sweep” of targeted material and cautioned that it may have a chilling effect on previous and future presidents.
“This apparently makes a novel legal assertion that any presidential record kept by a former president is against the law,” he stated.
The previous president found that his personal passports had been seized after tallying the missing documents.
Monday, Trump posted on Truth Social, “Wow! In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three passports (one expired) along with everything else. This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our country. Third world!”
More on this story via The Republic Breif:
U.S. citizens are allowed more than one blue passport book if they are frequent flyers, such as if they need to apply for more than one visa at a time.
The former president also likely has a regular blue tourist passport issued to U.S. citizens, a red passport issued for official government travel, and a black ‘diplomatic’ passport. He could have received the black and red passports as president. CONTINUE READING…