Late Monday, the Wall Street Journal revealed that US Attorney General Merrick Garland deliberated for weeks before signing the application for a search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The WSJ published the claims from unidentified sources, writing,
Attorney General Merrick Garland deliberated for weeks over whether to approve the application for a warrant to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, people familiar with the matter said, a sign of his cautious approach that will be tested over the coming months.
The decision had been the subject of weeks of meetings between senior Justice Department and FBI officials, the people said. The warrant allowed agents last Monday to seize classified information and other presidential material from Mar-a-Lago.
The WSJ article goes on to say that Garland’s next deliberative test is to consider if the DOJ should bring charges against Trump. Which is one way to set up a pretext — as if Garland deserves credit for being merciful in light of the fact nobody has been able to articulate the specific allegations, or evidence, or much of anything to this point.
In fact, Garland’s DOJ has opposed releasing the affidavit where the DOJ lays out their case for probable cause for the judge to issue the search warrant. The DOJ wants to keep the affidavit sealed, or heavily redact it if the judge decides to release it to the media because the DOJ claims it will compromise their investigation.
To put this in perspective, consider the totality of recent reports on the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid:
If there’s one theme here it’s that we can’t get a straight answer from the agencies. What evidence did the DOJ have? Oh, we can’t know that because it will impair their investigation. Why did they take Trump’s passports? Well, they don’t have his passports because they are returning the passports and played semantics instead of outright saying that to make Trump’s claim look dishonest. Why did they wait 18 months if this was imperative to national security? Schiff: “I don’t know, but if…”
If the AG had weeks to deliberate how real could any potential threat or emergency be? If Garland had a legal duty to carry out, why did he take weeks to sleep on it? If he had a solid probable cause, why are they trying to hide that from the public? Why is the WSJ suggesting he will have to deliberate into the future about prosecution of a crime? Really? He didn’t think about that in the weeks he took to ponder a raid on a former president’s home?
It appears the DOJ is on a fishing expedition and the optics are more important than the facts. Brooding for weeks about matters of national security sounds a lot like waiting for the administration to say “lights, camera, action!”