Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears

Trump jokes about Cheney being in spotlight

Liz Cheney says it would be ‘very difficult’ to support Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley

Donald Trump began his Sunday lashing out at the Democratic Party for the “politically motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago” by the FBI, claiming it was because they fear him most as a candidate in the 2024 election.

The former president also griped at the media attention being given to Wyoming GOP Rep Liz Cheney, his current favourite foe and vice chair of the January 6 committee, following her primary defeat. On Sunday morning she told ABC News she intends to focus on keeping election deniers out of office.

Relatedly, Ms Cheney has said that panel members are “in discussions” with counsel for Mike Pence about testifying as part of the investigation into the Capitol riot. Asked about the FBI search and if he had taken any classified documents when leaving office, the former vice president told the JournoNews he had not.

This coming week will see a decision by Judge Bruce Reinhart as to whether the affidavit that led to the search warrant can be released in redacted form as media organisations have requested. Mr Trump’s legal team has made no moves to push for its release.

Liz Cheney admits her true goal is to ruin Trump in 2024

Liz Cheney is “ashamed” at some of her Republican colleagues

Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears
Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, once a rising star in the Republican Party and considered a potential speaker of the House, told ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl she has no regrets about her political career, including her landslide primary election loss in Wyoming on Tuesday, saying she is now laser-focused on keeping Donald Trump out of the White House.

In an exclusive wide-ranging interview for ABC’s “This Week,” Cheney also discussed the FBI search at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate – calling the investigation a very serious development and saying she is “ashamed” at some of her Republican colleagues who have attacked the Justice Department and the FBI.

During her sit-down interview with ABC’s Karl, Cheney weighed in on the FBI’s search executed at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month and said she was ashamed that congressional Republicans had leapt to Trump’s defense and had accused the Justice Department of political malice.

“That’s a very serious thing. I think that when you think about the fact that we were in a position where the FBI, the Department of Justice, felt the need to execute a search warrant at the home of a former president — that’s a really serious thing for the nation,” she said.

Trump pushes for un-redacted affidavit’s release, despite the risks

Former President Trump is pushing for the full, unredacted release of the affidavit that led to the search warrant for his Mar-a-Lago estate, a move that carries risks for both Trump and the Justice Department.

“Pres. Trump has made his view clear that the American people should be permitted to see the unredacted affidavit related to the raid and break-in of his home,” Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for the former president, said Thursday after Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said he may be willing to unseal portions of the document.

Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears
Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears

Reinhart ordered Justice Department officials to suggest redactions to the document by next Thursday.

“Today, magistrate Judge Reinhard rejected the DOJ’s [Justice Department’s] cynical attempt to hide the whole affidavit from Americans,” Budowich continued. “However, no redactions should be necessary and the whole affidavit should be released, given the Democrats’ penchant for using redactions to hide government corruption, just like they did with the Russia hoax.”

Trump and his supporters have for years believed the FBI and Justice Department are biased against the former president, arguing that the bureau improperly surveilled his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump separately posted on Truth Social, his social media platform, calling for the “immediate release” of the unredacted affidavit, citing the need for transparency. He also called for Reinhart to recuse himself from the case without giving a clear reason.

The rhetoric from Trump and his camp follows a similar playbook, experts say, in which the former president demands the release of potentially sensitive information.

If the government and judge decline to release the full, unredacted document, it allows Trump and his allies to claim federal law enforcement is hiding something, further fueling distrust among Trump supporters.

“It certainly is consistent with a project of delegitimizing law enforcement and law enforcement targeting him in particular,” said Dan Richman, a law professor at Columbia University. “Because he knows, as everybody knows, the government will regardless of the case be averse to the disclosure of search warrants as an institutional matter.”

Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears
Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears

The affidavit, which was used to convince Reinhart that there was enough evidence to support the probable cause needed to obtain a search warrant, contains information about the federal law enforcement investigation into Trump’s handling of material marked classified following his departure from the White House.

The Justice Department has argued that released the affidavit could jeopardize an ongoing investigation, as well as the sources of information in the case. Releasing identifying information about those sources could lead to threats. Reinhart, for example, has been subjected to threats since signing off on the warrant for the Mar-a-Lago search.

Beyond the risks for the Justice Department, there could be some risks for Trump should the full affidavit come out.

“There is a risk if it seems like he was sharing intel with unauthorized parties while out of office,” said one former Trump adviser, who noted that such details could ultimately be redacted by the government.

Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears
Ex-president blames FBI raid on Dem 2024 fears

Experts also pointed out that the affidavit could reveal exchanges between the Justice Department and Trump’s team discussing the need to return sensitive materials, ultimately showing the government had made multiple good faith efforts to secure the documents in question before resorting to a search warrant.

The release of the affidavit could also carry political risks for Trump if it bolsters the case that Trump mishandled classified information.

Polling has already showed a significant percentage of voters believe Trump may have broken the law as president.

A Politico-Morning Consult poll released days after the Mar-a-Lago search found roughly half of registered voters approved of the raid, though only 15 percent of Republicans approved. And 58 percent of voters said they believe Trump definitely or probably broke the law as president.

 

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