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Here’s How the FBI Raid on Trump Could Play Out

AP Photo/Terry Renna

Unless you have been residing in a cave over the past 24 hours, you have already heard that the FBI raided the home of former President Donald Trump. The interwebs and airwaves are abuzz with speculation as to what this will mean for the country and the upcoming 2022 and 2024 elections.

Along with the speculation and predictions, the debate over the propriety of the raid is also raging and has been since precisely six seconds after the former president announced that his home was being raided. Democrats believe they are smelling blood in the water, and some are hoping this leads to an indictment or enough political damage to prevent Trump from running for president again. Republicans are crying foul at the whole affair, accusing the Justice Department of being politically motivated.

But right now, nobody knows exactly how this situation might play out, and we won’t know until we have more information.

On one hand, this scenario could be perilous for the former president, depending on what the FBI found. It appears there was at least one informant in Trump’s camp who told them where to find what they were looking for. While his retaining documents that belonged in the National Archives might have been the pretext for the warrant to search his home, if they come across anything else that could be damaging, it could be used as well.

But on the other hand, if the Bureau only managed to find items related to the National Archives issue, this will not play out the way the Democrats hoped. In essence, Trump keeping those documents would be on par with Hillary Clinton’s emails – at worst. At best, the information the FBI took could amount to a whole lot of nothing piled high on a sesame seed bun. In this case, they may have just done President Trump a huge favor.

There is already talk of Trump and Republicans using this to gain sympathy and portray the former president as a martyr. Indeed, there is ample reason for them to do so. Trump’s team would rightly point out that this was nothing more than a politically-motivated effort to use the Justice Department to attack a political opponent. Even some Democrats have pointed this out.

There are already questions about the judge who signed the warrant. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhardt was the official who approved the warrant, which is suspicious because it does not seem normal to have a low-level judge sign off on a warrant to raid the home of a former president of the United States. Magistrate judges are not appointed by the president nor are they even confirmed by the Senate. It comes off like the Bureau was looking for a judge that would be more amenable to granting its request. Moreover, it later came out that this particular judge donated to former President Barack Obama’s campaign.

So, who looks worse in this whole affair?

Opinions on that question might depend largely on the side one is on. But it can’t be denied that something is off here. This is an unprecedented move on the FBI’s part, and if they were willing to take this step, they might be pushed to issue an indictment even if it is based on flimsy evidence. At this point, they are all but fully committed, even if they don’t want to be. But as the adage goes, “if you’re going to take a shot at the king, you better not miss.”

The question is: Did the Bureau hit the target, or will the left reap the consequences of missing the shot?