Wednesday, May 22, 2024

FBI Was Authorized to Use 'Deadly Force' in Mar-a-Lago Raid

By Rebecca Downs |

AP Photo/Terry Renna

On August 8, 2022, former and potentially future President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence faced an unannounced FBI raid in a search for classified documents. Trump was not there at the time. Close to two years after the raid, and less than six months away from the 2024 presidential election, we know now that the FBI was authorized to use "deadly force."  

Coverage from The New York Post cites court documents unsealed on Tuesday in a motion to dismiss and suppress from Trump's attorneys in the case of United States v. Trump. As the report mentioned: 

The Department of Justice authorized “the use of deadly force” when FBI agents swarmed former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August 2022 looking for classified documents, according to court filings Tuesday.


The authorities also were told to conceal their “law enforcement equipment” and come armed with “ammo,” “handcuffs” and “medium and large sized bolt cutters,” notes the filing by lawyers for the former president.

According to the lawyers, Todd Blanche and Christopher Kise, the nearly 10-hour “unconstitutional” search swept through the Palm Beach estate’s gym and kitchen, as well as the bedroom suite of former first lady Melania Trump and the bedroom of the couple’s teenage son Barron Trump.


Deputy Assistant Attorney General George Toscas, in a phone call in the days leading up to the raid, allegedly said he “frankly [didn’t] give a damn about the optics” of the recovery operation.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has said he “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant.”

Evidence in the court filing reveals an earlier back-and-forth between Trump’s lawyer and a prosecutor working for special counsel Jack Smith over retrieving the documents.

 Such revelations from the court documents have sparked considerable chatter over social media, with "Mar-a-Lago" and "Use of Deadly Force" trending over X. 

RealClearInvestigation's Julie Kelly also posted the documents from her X account in a thread from earlier on Tuesday. As part of her candid reaction, she referred to such a move as "Gestapo."

In response, Trump fired off a Truth Social post referring to President Joe Biden as "A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY." He also referred to Biden as "MENTALLY FIT UNFIT TO HOLD OFFICE" and even referenced using the 25th Amendment. 

The Trump campaign sent out an ICYMI email alert about the post as well as a fundraising pitch to "STOP THE WITCH HUNT."

When it comes to Special Counsel Jack Smith's case against Trump for the former president's alleged mishandling of classified documents, earlier this month Judge Aileen Cannon had indefinitely postponed the trial, as Spencer covered at the time. 

The court determined "that finalization of a trial date at this juncture—before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA issues remaining and forthcoming—would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court, critical [Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA)] issues, and additional pretrial and trial preparations necessary to present this case to a jury."

The trial date, which Cannon vacated, had been set for May 20, 2024, and so would have just started. Meanwhile, the hush money case against Trump brought by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is currently going on. 

At the time of the Mar-a-Lago raid, Matt predicted that this sealed the fate with the 2024 Republican nomination, declaring how the primaries were "over." Trump has since become the presumptive Republican nominee, despite facing a crowded Republican primary. We'll see if this news about "deadly force" helps the narrative about President Joe Biden and his administration weaponizing and politicizing the Department of Justice against his political opponents, and thus help Trump for the November election.