Partisans quickly retreated to their corners late Monday when news broke that the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.
Republicans — including many Texas elected officials — and hard-right commentators declared the U.S. a banana republic, where the ruling regime sics law enforcement on its political enemies. On the left, there was glee over Trump surely headed for prison, even though few know exactly what federal agents were after or why.
Given the history of both the FBI and Trump, the smartest reaction is wait and see.
Federal law enforcement hasn’t covered itself in glory recently. Politics seemed to infuse the handling of accusations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, especially the credulity (or convenience) that prompted officials to buy into the ridiculous Steele dossier.
More recently, the Department of Justice swallowed specious accusations of “domestic terrorism” to push for investigation of parents with the temerity to address their local elected officials about school operations.
Even the handling of the gymnastic doctor Larry Nasser’s despicable sexual abuses came with scandal.
Leftists seem to have forgotten their anger at the tail end of the 2016 campaign, when FBI Director James Comey briefly reopened the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s classified emails. When she narrowly lost to Trump, many blamed Comey. Suddenly, the FBI is unimpeachable?
So, no, don’t automatically trust that the FBI told the complete truth to get a judge’s permission to raid Trump. Wait for the receipts.
This is, however, Trump. It’s preposterous to think that the only possible explanation for the raid is politics.
For many Trump supporters, no amount of paperwork will penetrate their fog about the man. They see no culpability for him in the Jan. 6 riot. The evidence that he should have known that the 2020 election results were legit, that he seemed fine with the assault on the Capitol, that insurrection planners took his words as instructions — it’s all “Trump hatred.”