Two venerable law professors told Fox News that the FBI’s raid Monday on former President Donald Trump’s Florida home is unprecedented and unjustified.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday “as part of an investigation into the alleged mishandling of White House records, including potentially classified material,” Politico reported.
Harvard Law’s Professor Alan Dershowitz, a supporter of Trump’s, told Fox News that based “on what we now know, it was totally unjustified, even one FBI agent would have been too many.”
And George Washington University law Professor Jonathan Turley told Fox News: “The Presidential Records Act is not commonly a subject of criminal prosecution, even in the most egregious cases. These incidents have generally been handled administratively.”
“This is a historic raid on the residence of a former president as well as a presumed candidate for the next presidential election,” Turley said. “The public needs to know the reasons for the Justice Department’s decision.”
Cornell University law Professor William Jacobson, in a post Monday on his Legal Insurrection blog, called the raid a “provocation.”
“If New York Times reporting is right — and they never err on the side of being soft on Trump — then this raid was over documents the National Archives thinks Trump should not have, or perhaps classified documents in his possession. That is not something the FBI raids major political candidates over,” Jacobson wrote.
“This is a provocation. They are trying to get a reaction that allows a further crackdown. … It’s also a provocation to get Trump to declare his candidacy for President before the midterms. Democrats would love to turn 2022 into a referendum on Trump rather than the deliberate destruction of the national borders and inflation.”
Also weighing in on the matter is Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, who argued on Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy that the move appears highly politically motivated.
“I have no doubt that [Merrick] Garland weighed this decision at some length before he signed off on the search. Will this search lead to an indictment? Who knows. But the optics here are stark: the chief law enforcement officer of the Biden administration is searching the home of the front-runner for the 2024 republican ticket,” Blackman wrote.
“… We are veering into uncharted territories if the incumbent president is prosecuting the former president who is running for re-election. And even if Trump is convicted, he still would not be disqualified.”
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