The Daily Wire’s editor emeritus Ben Shapiro took a break from his Israeli vacation to react to the FBI’s raid of former President Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, warning that there will be “hell to pay” if there is not any concrete evidence of a serious crime.
Shapiro noted that Maggie Haberman of The New York Times reported that the National Archives had referred a case to the Department of Justice earlier this year after “Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when they became a threat of action to retrieve them.”
Trump had allegedly brought these boxes to his Mar-a-Lago home after leaving office. Haberman has also reported that Trump would flush certain documents down the toilet that should have been kept for preservation by the National Archives. For now, it would appear that the raid is connected to Trump’s record keeping.
As Shapiro explained on his Tuesday podcast, the FBI and Department of Justice’s (DOJ) actions appear to be “Banana Republic type stuff,” given what the public knows so far.
“It seems like on the face of it, pretextual, especially because if you’re going to do something like this, there had damn well better be a crime,” the host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” added.
“It is just an insane thing,” Shapiro continued. “The FBI is not trusted by many, many Americans … What the FBI just did requires extraordinary institutional trust.”
Putting it into context, Shapiro explained, “The FBI — under the auspices of a current administration — raided the home of the leader of the last administration and the likeliest potential nominee for the opposition come 2024.”
Based on Haberman’s reporting, Shapiro also claimed that the impetus for the DOJ’s raid is weak and lacks precedent.
“The crime can’t be something like, ‘The President of the United States, when he left office, he brought with him stuff.’ Bill Clinton brought half the White House with him when he left office,” Shapiro said rhetorically. “He was never raided. It can’t be, ‘The president of the United States has a battle with the National Archives over material.’ It can’t be about the National Archives. It’s got to be more than that. It can’t be something like, ‘The National Archives, is just mad that they don’t have a full record of everything that went on’ — especially if what we are talking about here is not particularly important material.”
The best-selling author argued that unless the rationale for the raid is “damned extraordinarily solid, like rock solid, bedrock solid rationale with serious underlying evidence,” then the U.S. is facing “a political crisis” with “current administrations investigating former administrations.”
Shapiro again said that if Trump was investigated on behalf of the National Archives because he didn’t turn in certain documents on time, then that’s “banana republic-type stuff and it looks more like an attempt to take Donald Trump out of the running come 2024 than anything else, or maybe, nefariously it’s an attempt to elevate Trump for 2024.”
“If there is no extraordinary basis for this raid, then what we are looking at is a crisis in American governance,” he said at one point. “Right now, it looks like the intelligence apparatus is being weaponized against the opponents of a political administration, which is insane.”
Shapiro also warned that if Trump runs in 2024 and loses, this raid will only add fuel to the fire of individuals who already harbor animosity against the FBI and DOJ for their previous actions.
“If you don’t trust any aspect of how the system works and it feels like the FBI is rigged against the president of the United States when he’s Donald Trump, and then rigged against him again when he is candidate Trump come 2024,” he continued. “If it feels as though all the institutions are set up in opposition to one political party and to one guy, how do you think that’s going to work out? … Is that going to allow us to move forward as a country, or is it going to rip apart the country?”
Shapiro argued that other investigations into Trump, such as the Russia collusion investigation, have already soured any good faith that the FBI might have had. He also remarked that he had given the DOJ and FBI the benefit of the doubt in the past, only to be led astray.
“Let’s just color me skeptical, because I waited for the evidence for years and years,” Shapiro remarked. “Every five minutes, breaking news alert on CNN. Russia, Russia, Russia … And it turns out to be nothing.”
“It turns out to be a waste of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars,” he continued. “It turns out to be a waste of all of our time. It turns out to be a deliberate attempt by some people who hate Donald Trump to undermine his presidency.”
“And I’m supposed to sit here taking it on faith. No one is taking this one on faith, no one,” he added.
He also called upon the leaders of the FBI and DOJ to explain why the incident occurred.
“You’d better get out there, if you’re Christopher Wray of the FBI, and show us what you are doing,” he continued. “If you’re Merrick Garland, you better be out there showing us what you’re doing.”
“Considering that you’ve spent your presidency going after police departments for no reason, suggesting you’re going to go after states if those states don’t cram down gender-affirming health care, i.e., sex changes on small children, that you’re going to go after parents,” he wondered out loud, “Why exactly would I trust you? … Where exactly is the rope you expect me to give you here?”
Shapiro also noted that Kash Patel, a former high-ranking Trump appointee, had previously claimed that he “had declassified documents before leaving the White House and the proper markings simply had not been adjusted.”
Shapiro observed, “If that is what this boils down to — some sort of miscommunication in which the FBI goes after the former president of the United States for a raid on his home because there was some miscommunication about the identification of documents? There’s going to be hell to pay. There really will be.”
“The adjudication of how this is going to work in our politics going forward when it feels like correctly if this is nothing if it feels like all of the institutions of our government have been mobilized against one side, things are going to get really, really, really ugly,” he added.
Shapiro also blasted the DOJ and FBI for malfeasance regarding Carter Page, Russiagate, and more. His full monologue can be seen here: