By Aaron Miller-
The unprecedented search of Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence.
Former prosecutor, Randall Eliason has described the execution of such a search as an enormous, unprecedented thing, adding that ”I am confident they wouldn’t do it unless they felt they had a pretty compelling reason”.
“They are not going to do this for some nickel-or-dime case involving a guest list from a state dinner that got improperly removed from the White House,” he added.
Suspicions have been raised from Trump supporters that plans for a possible third presidential run in 2024 may have inspired the search. Supporters of this theory claim that the authorities are doing everything in their might to prevent the controversial politician from getting within any touching distance of power.
Trump has been under the microscope for quite a while and is facing numerous investigations, including a Congressional inquiry into the 6 January Capitol riots, after a number of rallies he held in the days leading up to and on the day itself, led to a bloody insurrection on Capitol Hill which terrified law makers who had gathered to certify the election victory of Joe Biden.
Officials concluded that Donald Trump took 15 boxes from the White House to his Florida home when he left office and an investigation was launched by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the independent US government body charged with preserving government and historical records.
After demanding he return the boxes, the NARA discovered in January this year they contained government documents, including ones “marked as classified national security information”, as well as gifts, letters, and mementos.
The NARA then referred the case to the US Justice Department to probe whether Mr Trump’s unauthorised handling of the documents amounted to a violation of federal law. Some documents in the boxes are apparently subject to the Presidential Records Act.
Passed by Congress in the wake of the 1972 Watergate Scandal, the Act stipulates that presidential documents are not the then-president’s property and should be handed over to the NARA when they leave office to be made public 12 years later.
One not fully content with the reasons behind the search, former US Vice President Mike Pence has called on US Attorney General Merrick Garland to give a “a full accounting” to the public of why the search warrant was carried out at Mar-a-Lago.
Pence was subjected to pressure by Donald Trump in the period leading up to the insurrection to ”have the courage” to overturn the results of the U.S 2020 elections even though the former vice president did not have the authority to do so.
Trump’s representatives today said the search of his estate would make third world dictators blush, an insinuation that the search was despotic in nature, without any legitimate grounds.
Investigators have so far been silent about their findings or experience at the property, one from which no premature conclusions would be advised. They could be putting together damning evidence which have surfaced from the search, or may still be conducting a through search for prohibited documents at the property.
Any findings amounting to a criminal offence would be bingo for investigators and the multiple enemies of Donald Trump. In the meantime , his family and well wisher will either wait nervously for news about the search, or trust any claims from the former U.S chief of army staff that the search is nothing but a witch hunt, and investigators have nothing on him in the property.