Yesterday, in addition to the post I planned to share, I accidentally posted what was meant to be today’s blog, about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago–so today, I’ll just follow up by pointing to some of the rather obvious holes in Trump’s howls about being the focus of a “witch hunt.” (Actually,  witches are female–if this investigation really was just political theater, it would be a “warlock” hunt. But I digress.)

Heather Cox Richardson, among others, has joined those reminding folks that federal search warrants require the sign-off of a judge who–after reviewing the evidence provided by prosecutors–agrees that there is substantial probable cause to believe both that a crime has been committed and that a search will provide evidence of that crime.

She also reminded readers that, although the FBI cannot legally release such search warrants, the individual targeted  for the search must be given a copy, and is free to release it. If this were truly  a “warlock hunt”  and the search warrant was evidence of the absence of probative probable cause supporting the search, you can be sure Trump would have released it .

Legal analysts have pointed out that the law also requires the FBI to give Trump an inventory of what they found and confiscated–and according to several reports, agents removed ten boxes of materials found during the search. Those ten boxes were in addition to the fifteen boxes that Trump formerly returned after repeated demands from federal archivists. Trump could also release that inventory if it bolstered his claim that he is being unfairly targeted.

Trump’s retention of all these materials was a clear violation of federal law–but just as clearly, violating federal records law would not have been considered a sufficient violation to support the issuance of a search warrant for a former President’s residence.

Whatever the suspected crime, it ‘s clearly far more serious.

As usual, there has been an unhinged response from the “law and order” Right. As The Washington Post reported,

For months, right-wing agitators with millions of followers have peddled the idea that a moment was coming soon when violence would become necessary — a patriotic duty — to save the republic.

With the FBI search Monday of Donald Trump’s compound in Florida, that moment is now, according to enraged commentators’ all-caps, exclamation-pointed screeds urging supporters of the former president to take up arms. Within hours of the search at Mar-a-Lago, a chorus of Republican lawmakers, conservative talk-show hosts, anti-government provocateurs and pro-Trump conspiracy theorists began issuing explicit or thinly veiled calls for violence.

“Today is war. That is all you will get on today’s show,” right-wing podcaster Steven Crowder announced Tuesday to his nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, referring to the program that goes to his YouTube audience of 5.6 million.

Robert Hubble’s daily letter addressed that hysteria, and the media’s widespread coverage of Trumpist rage. He reminded readers that–despite the avalanche of threats of violence and even civil war on Twitter and other social media platforms –the people leveling those threats represent a small percentage of the American public.

The Post was less sanguine.

If the goal is to normalize vigilante violence as a political response, studies show that the tactic seems to be working.

A recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found that about 1 in 3 Americans say they believe violence against the government can at times be justified, the largest share to feel that way in more than two decades. Other studies similarly have found a growing tolerance of violent ideologies that historically were confined to fringe elements.

Hubble wasn’t recommending that we dismiss the threats. As he conceded,

The reaction on the right is serious because of what it says about the unraveling of the Republican Party. The outlandish and unhinged threats (including calls for secession, civil war, dissolution of the FBI, and gutting of the DOJ) show that the Republican Party is opposed to the rule of law and the institutions of state necessary to maintain peace and security. In their opposition to the federal government, Republicans are deadly serious and dangerous—whether Trump wins in 2024 or not.

I am confident that Garland did not err in choosing to execute a search warrant rather than issuing a subpoena. Indeed, given his overly cautious nature, my belief—rank speculation, I admit—is that Trump removed documents vital to national security or military alliances that could be devastating if they fall into the wrong hands.

Every Republican rallying to Trump’s defense must be secretly thinking, “Oh, God! What did he do? I hope it isn’t really bad!” Trump could dispel some of that uncertainty by releasing the search warrant—an omission that must be ominous for Trump’s defenders.

As I said yesterday, stay tuned……


  1. It’s getting scary. It’s always been the 20% – or less – that have fomented the violence and hate of insurrection, discord and mindless rage. Hitler’s minions did it the late 20s and early 30s. Now it’s those affiliated with Trump.

    But it’s more than Trump. It’s white male grievance. Why should white males feel aggrieved? Maybe it’s their fear of being not in the majority and that “those people” are taking over. Enter the latest in white male grievance organizations: WHITE BOYS. They are baiting and daring everyone to accuse them of being racist. Yes. I know. But that’s the kind of social psychosis that this 25% harbor, nurture and feed each other.

    The FBI says they’ve never seen so much violence-oriented chatter in the ether. Has this country lost its mind or is it just that the social and legitimate media have sensationalized this horror show just to sell air time and sponsorships? How will the next elections be conducted? Will poll workers be intimidated, threatened and even injured by the spittle-spewing cretins claiming white privilege?

    I’m glad I’m old.

  2. As I continue to say, I believe the US is on the verge of loosing its democracy and becoming a theocratic dictatorship. The rabid hate mongers of the “Christian” Nationalism are just chomping at the bit to instill such a dictatorship in the same vein as the fictional “Handmaiden”. Empires typically only last 250 years and the US is right there and there is no doubt that the US is an empire. Just look at the military bases strategically located across the globe. I don’t like saying so, but I foresee the US breaking up into four or five nations. I have relocated and will be watching from across the Pacific. While I do not have degrees in history or political science I do have a doctorate and can do a good job of analyzing data. If I had earned my degrees in a more conventional matter I would have been a history major and consider myself to be an above average amateur historian.

  3. The “omission” is anything but ominous for Trump’s defenders because they are untethered from reason, logic, morals and, really, all cognitive function. As I’ve said before, they must simply be beaten, politically speaking for now, until they crawl back into the woodwork. Vote and vote Dem, even if you have to hold your nose.

  4. Charles Koch must be cracking up on the phone with Manchin and Todd Young today. While all this “drama” took place, billions in direct subsidies to the oligarchy were passed bipartisanly.

    The greased industries are the same ones that threw workers under the bus decades ago as they hunted for cheap labor in Asia. It’s hard to use them as a supply chain when you lost the technology, and now you’re raging war against China.

    Taiwan will explode soon, and Trump will be the savior or another authoritarian like DeSantis.

    What you are watching unfold is pure political theater. It’s all orchestrated to impose fear on citizens watching through their TVs. Both political bases are reactionary while the real damage is being done behind the scenes.

    Oil is being stolen from Syria. Military exercises around Taiwan. War games. Subsidies for industries. More money for the MIC.

    Where are the US unions?

    I know the UK unions are getting ready to boycott and organize work protests. They see through the UK media propaganda. The US citizens are a little slow. Backward, but getting there.

    It’s because US citizens think politicians don’t lie, and neither does their favorite media host. LOL

  5. “Trump’s retention of all these materials was a clear violation of federal law…”

    If a warrant must list specifics of what materials they are seeking and that initial 15 boxes were returned after repeated demands from federal archivists due to Trump’s violation of federal law, why were the 10 recently confiscated boxes left in Trump’s possession if it is a clear violation of federal law for any of them to be in his possession…whatever the contents are?

  6. seems his fifth,is keeping him alive. now the warrant,hes being led by his own party in response. seem choreographed like swaggart lookin to buy a new jet, so he can flyover and save the world.
    the republicans mimik the call, for, more money….the talk holes,getting advertisers to shower primetime with infomercials and fatten alex jones alittle more. seems the public looks like a buncha gapping open mouths looking for water. if the public is seriously buying this crap, then maybe the finger is long overdue.(mine works quite well) im listening to,the yabbers(locals) go on about how the goverment this and that,by old white men who obviously forgot about the past, or what gives them the right to say. maybe all that farm welfare money should be stopped..now send them a constitutional convention run by the likes of the mimes of congress,and you find,those rights will dry up and be thrown out of swaggarts jet.. did anyone there, ask where the hell their money goes when trump sucks it up? ive been served a search warrant,it was detailed, and im sure the DOJ didnt miss beat when they deployed it. seems like a bad dream how one sucker punched billionaire,and his buddies that spit on him for decades,became the grand illusion of our generation..
    we should also rethink public eduaction,for a civil society.

  7. Vern:
    the percentage of white boy here in NoDak,is 98%. but since the oil field and climate change,warming has made inroads for minorities from the south coming here.its nice to see some diversity.
    but,anywhere i do buisness in the working mans field around the state, its all bigots and hate.

  8. I love the fact that 45 increased the penalty for mishandling of confidential documents to 5 years. Irony, thy name is Donald!

    I know there are many people in the middle and on the left begging Garland to release documentation regarding the warrant, but I for one am very pleased that he is doing his job the way it was meant to be done. In fact those who have been whining about him not acting on Meadows’ contempt of Congress charges might just consider what that means, considering what we now know. Do you go for the slap on the wrist charge or hold your cards until you have what you really need?

  9. Sabre rattling is an idiom with military roots, but is often expressed/demonstrated in political debate when one side in a fit of frustrated anger threatens violence. When the veiled substance of the opposition fails to make its case in the court of public opinion, threats of violence is a signal to a civil world that reason has failed within the ranks of the opposition who have resigned to the notion brutal force is the only answer left on the table.

    If the checks and balances, by design, fail to deliver by the rule of law, then a neutral force stands by to defend The Constitution.

    Rest assured, fat boys with a big mouth during recess, never win in the long run.

  10. Trumpists aren’t “opposed to the rule of law and the institutions of state necessary to maintain peace and security.” They have a radically different conception of what “rule of law” means and who is transgressing and abusing it. And as for those institutions, should the Trumpists regain control of the federal government, you can bet they’ll not hesitate to use those institutions to impose and enforce their beliefs.

  11. Surely, trump would not illegally remove documents containing info vital to our country’s national security.

    I just can’t imagine that he would choose to use that type of info to threaten our legal/justice system if they were to come after him for the crimes he has committed. Plus, he would never consider selling that type of info to Putin or any other country for his own personal gain. Never!

    In case anyone wonders – the above was typed with a huge amount of sarcasm.

  12. One of the things that has been revealed is the degree to which Republicans believe only in politics, winning, and power. There’s is a world of no objective right and wrong now. Trump’s right or wrong, justice’s right and wrong, individual right and wrong, the law’s right and wrong. It’s all competition with no rules and whoever prevails determines right.

    Now it’s inconceivable that this describes every single Republican individually but also that it doesn’t describe Republicans collectively.

    Being a soul searcher, if I were still a Republican, these would be times of mighty soul searching for me. Would I be nearly alone in doing that now?

  13. Fringe groups representing 10% of a country’s population have overthrown governments.

    On the other hand, we have a lot of professional law enforcement and military people who know that isn’t allowed and would take caution, but necessarily extreme action when called for.

  14. Nancy, we knew you were joking when you mentioned “selling” secrets to Putin. We all know he’d gift wrap them and hand them over.

  15. I like irony, too!
    I do expect that Garland and the seekers of that warrant had some serious issues t present to the judge,
    that Trump knows full well that the walls are closing in, and his troubles are only growing, so, of course,
    and predictably, he screams like a banshee. The imbeciles who can still believe that he’s their guy, their
    god-thing sent guy, may some day just wake up and need to take a walk off the edge of the flat earth they live on!
    Mind-boggled, Mitch D.

  16. Let’s get this straight – Violence against those who disagree with me is legitimate, but if someone listens to me and actually is violent, then they are obviously false-flag ANTIFA people – signed — any number of GOP politicians, MAGA adherents, and FOX propaganda hosts.

    So Trump may have had documents on intelligence gathering and “nuclear” topics. I don’t care if he was going to give them to Putin or wave them around saying “Look how important I am,” it’s a bit scary.

    A curiosity, the man who attacked the FBI office today wanted a war “like 1775”. Did you ever think how in 1775, they wanted to replace a king with some sort of democratic republic and today, those who invoke 1775 want to replace a democratic republic with a king, — or savior, whatever the Donald is to them – a little of each, I think. Just saying.

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