FBI Raids Mar-a-Lago (Updated)

I’m just hearing this. Details to come.

Update: So far, there is little in the way of official information coming from the Justice Department. There is widespread consensus that the search is mostly likely about documents, possibly including classified documents, illegally removed and taken to Mar-a-Lago. Here is the New York Times coverage, outside the paywall.

There is also widespread consensus that this is a big bleeping deal.

Bess Levin writes at Vanity Fair,

As reporter and historian Garrett Graff opined shortly after the news broke: “This is one of the most significant, sensitive, and politically explosive actions the US Justice Department and FBI has ever taken—one of a tiny handful of times it’s ever investigated a president. Bottom line: The FBI & DOJ must’ve known they had the goods.” In other words, there’s a fuck-ton of ketchup dripping down the walls tonight, and this seems 100% plausible:

Bring it on, I say.


Trump supporters are calling for Civil War. Yeah, that’ll be over as soon as the meatballs face a line of tanks.

Aaron Blake has a good roundup of the knee-jerk reactions from the Right. Linked without the paywall.

In the News: Voting Machines, Nazi Generals, Dirty Cops

There’s a whole lot of celebrating going on about the Senate’s passing the Inflation Reduction Act bill. It still has to survive the House. I’m hoping the troublemaking “moderates” get the message that this is not the time for grandstanding. Just pass the damn thing without changes, please. Then everybody can go home for August recess, right?

And it’s a bit nauseating to see Joe Manchin being lauded as some kind of hero, when his primary contribution was to extort benefits for his fossil fuel donors in exchange for his support for the bill.

In other news …

This one is complicated. You’ll remember that Michigan was one of the “contested” states in the 2020 election, and Trump supporters in Michigan went on a rampage looking for “evidence” that the votes had been tampered with. As I understand it, some of these supporters persuaded county clerks into giving them access to the voting machines, which was a felony. Investigation into this breach has turned up the name of Kalamazoo lawyer Matthew DePerno, who won the primary to be the Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general.

Politico reports,

DePerno led a November 2020 lawsuit against the state’s Antrim County over an election night tabulation error that was quickly fixed but which Trump and his allies seized on to claim the entire presidential election was fraudulent. Among the evidence that Nessel’s office said it uncovered were digital ID’s matching the seized voting machines which DePerno had used as evidence in that ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit.

Yeah, it looks bad. DePerno is running against the incumbent attorney general, Democrat Dana Nessel. Nessel has recused herself and requested that a special prosecutor be named to continue the investigation, since she and DePerno are political opponents.

The big headlines today tell us that while he was president, Trump wanted Nazi generals.

“Why can’t you be like the German generals?” Mr. Trump told John Kelly, his chief of staff, preceding the question with an obscenity, according to an excerpt from “The Divider: Trump in the White House,” by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, published online by The New Yorker on Monday morning. (Mr. Baker is the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times; Ms. Glasser is a staff writer for The New Yorker.)

The excerpt depicts Mr. Trump as deeply frustrated by his top military officials, whom he saw as insufficiently loyal or obedient to him. In the conversation with Mr. Kelly, which took place years before the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the authors write, the chief of staff told Mr. Trump that Germany’s generals had “tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off.”

Mr. Trump was dismissive, according to the excerpt, apparently unaware of the World War II history that Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star general, knew all too well.

“‘No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him,’ the president replied,” according to the book’s authors. “In his version of history, the generals of the Third Reich had been completely subservient to Hitler; this was the model he wanted for his military. Kelly told Trump that there were no such American generals, but the president was determined to test the proposition.”

I feel remiss in not mentioning the federal indictments against the Louisville cops involved in Breonna Taylor’s death. There were no state indictments, as the Kentucky attorney general, a Republican, refused to prosecute. There’s a really good article in Slate by Charles F. Coleman Jr. headlined The Most Important Revelation About the Cops Involved in Killing Breonna Taylor. Remember, if you’re out of free articles at Slate, you can still probably read it using an incognito or private window on your browser.

The indictment of the cops that killed Taylor is unique in that it offers the public a peek into typically opaque law enforcement decisions. As the DOJ noted, the “Place-Based Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home.” To put it another way, the police had no real reason to be at Taylor’s house. They were not acting in the interest of public safety when they broke into her home in the middle of the night without knocking and shot her to death. Instead, the officers who authorized the warrant “knew that the affidavit contained false and misleading statements, omitted material facts, relied on stale information, and was not supported by probable cause.” It was the cops, we now know, not Taylor or her boyfriend, who broke the law and need to be brought to justice.

Do read the whole article; there’s a lot of good commentary in it.