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Attorney General Merrick Garland‘s claim that the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was a matter of vital national importance doesn’t add up, according to Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro.
Garland’s assertion doesn’t jibe with a report that he wrestled with the decision for two weeks, according to Shapiro. A true national security issue would seemingly require immediate action, not two weeks of dithering, Shapiro said on his Wednesday podcast.
“It turns out that Merrick Garland actually weighed searching at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago for weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal, which undermines the idea that this was of vital national security importance,” Shapiro said. “Remember, we were originally told here that the search warrant had to be served because Donald Trump had nuclear secrets in his closet in a box.”
The Wall Street Journal article Shapiro referenced said Garland was initially asked about authorizing a search of Trump’s Florida home weeks before approving it. The Department of Justice has released the search warrant and inventory of seized items, but has so far balked at releasing the affidavit that would state the probable cause for the search. As a result, speculation has swirled about what the feds were looking for in the August 8 search and what potential criminal charges the former president could face.
“There are people yesterday in the media who are comparing this to Al Capone, that we know Trump is guilty of something,” Shapiro said. “‘We know that he’s a bootlegger. We know that he’s responsible for the same Valentine’s Day massacre. We know all those things, but we can’t get him on that. Let’s get him on tax evasion.’”
Without knowing specifically what the FBI agents were searching for and why — information that might be revealed by the affidavit — the public can either assume the worst about Trump or dismiss it as a fishing expedition by Garland’s DOJ. Trump is pushing for the affidavit to be released, but the DOJ argued unsealing it could cause “significant and irreparable damage” to an ongoing investigation that “implicates national security.”
Shapiro, a Harvard-trained lawyer, said the breadth of the search warrant, which included seizure of “any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021,” is a big hint about the feds’ motives.
“That’s why that search warrant was so broad,” Shapiro said. “Originally, the idea was that this was done in order to shore up the holdings of the National Archives. That’s a joke. That’s obviously not what this is about. As I said yesterday, it was a deep sea fishing expedition, and maybe they come up with something. I have a feeling that probably they will not.”
If the DOJ doesn’t reveal real evidence that the search was necessary as a matter national security, the entire effort could look like yet another effort by anti-Trump forces in the government to stop him from running for president again.
“Well, if the way that you got Donald Trump is he had a couple of classified documents in his possession that he had the power to declassify but he didn’t declassify them in the way that you see fit, and this is how you attempt to invalidate him for 2024, good luck with that,” Shapiro said. “Truly. Good luck.”