After the FBI raided former president Trump’s Florida residence Monday in a surprise document bust, Andrew Cuomo, the disgraced former Democratic governor of New York, warned that the Department of Justice must find a way to justify the raid or risk the legitimacy of the January 6 investigation.
“DOJ must immediately explain the reason for its raid & it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives or it will be viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation & legitimacy of January 6 investigations,” Cuomo tweeted.
Trump released a statement Monday after the raid, claiming that he had been cooperating with federal authorities for months to return a trove of documents he allegedly took from the White House after his term but never expected the FBI would suddenly ransack Mar-a-Lago. The warrant for the search was reportedly obtained in Palm Beach County, signed by Bruce E Reinhart, magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida.
Many GOP politicians and pundits condemned the raid Tuesday, calling it an unprecedented and extreme exercise of federal authority that appeared politically motivated at first glance. The common theme in the multiple Republican statements is “political weaponization,” the idea that Biden administration strategically used the FBI to go after its chief political enemy, namely Trump.
As the January 6 committee continues to investigate the Capitol riot and the extent of Trump’s involvement in and incitement of it, some Republicans have claimed the project has devolved into a show trial designed to penalize and deny Trump any future opportunity to re-enter the political arena.
While Cuomo seems skeptical of the reasoning for the raid, other Democratic members of the press assumed Trump must have committed grave wrongdoing that merited barging into his house to confiscate records, which is typically the “last resort,” Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said on Newsmax Tuesday.
George Conway, lawyer and columnist at the Washington Post, said on CNN Tuesday: “They’ve crossed the Rubicon here. Not even Richard Nixon’s house in San Clemente was searched by the FBI, as far as I know. You have to conclude there’s something behind the curtain that would surprise us.”
Supreme Court lawyer Neal Katyal implied Trump was withholding information about why the FBI raided his estate.
“Donald Trump, you have a copy of the warrant. It explains what they were looking for, what statutes they think were violated, what judge signed off on that…If you believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves,” he said on Morning Joe Tuesday.