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House Democrats Make Move to Capitalize on FBI Raid

AP Photo/Terry Renna

We all knew it would happen, didn’t we? House Democrats are now trying to leverage the FBI raid on the home of former President Donald Trump to heighten their political prospects.

The lawmakers, on Saturday, asked the director of National Intelligence to perform a damage assessment of the documents that the Bureau took from Trump’s home during its search. They are likely hoping that they can add more fuel to the fire by convincing the nation that the former president put its national security in peril by possessing the documents.

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter to National Intelligence Director Avril Haines making the request. The letter referred to the warrant used to justify the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

“Former President Trump’s conduct has potentially put our national security at grave risk,” they wrote. The lawmakers also requested a classified briefing on the assessment. “This issue demands a full review, in addition to the ongoing law enforcement inquiry.”

They also expressed concern that the FBI might have retrieved documents related to the country’s nuclear weapons program. “If this report is true, it is hard to overstate the national security danger that could emanate from the reckless decision to remove and retain this material,” they insisted.

According to the director of National Intelligence’s website, “Damage assessments are conducted by NCSC to evaluate actual or potential damage to national security from the unauthorized disclosure or compromise of classified information.”

The recently-unsealed warrant, which was released on Friday, cites three federal crimes that the Justice Department suspects Trump of committing. These include violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and criminal handling of government records. It indicated that the DOJ suspected Trump retained documents with various levels of classification, at least one of which is related to national security. Material regarding nuclear weapons does not appear explicitly on the warrant.

Right now, Democrats are salivating at the possibility that the FBI raid may have turned up evidence of an offense that could lead to an indictment – or, at the very least, tank Trump’s political aspirations. The nation is still in wait-and-see mode because we do not yet know what the Bureau found. The warrant outlined specific documents they searched for, but it is not clear which of these items were found – or will be found – in the 20 boxes they took from the former president’s residence.

Progressives on Twitter are already propagating conspiracy theories about the documents, intimating that Trump sold sensitive secrets to China or Russia. #BlueAnon is in full swing on Twitter, with some even indicating that the former president hid evidence in Ivana Trump’s casket, which is buried on his property:

The administration and Democrats might be playing a dangerous game here. As many have pointed out, this whole thing could turn out to be nothing. So far, it seems that Trump’s alleged offenses don’t rise above what Hillary Clinton did when she refused to turn over sensitive emails. The Bureau exonerated her shortly before the 2016 election and she never had agents searching her home.

Of course, the DOJ might be hoping to find something else in those 20 boxes that could lead to an indictment or political damage. I still contend the supposed violation of the Presidential Records Act was nothing more than a pretext to look for other harmful information. If they don’t manage to come up with something huge, this will backfire on the FBI and Democrats and pretty much hand the White House back to Trump in 2024.