Why Trump loyalists are rallying against Fed raid at Mar-a-Lago
After the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a court-authorized search warrant Monday at former President Donald Trump's home in Palm Beach, Trump supporters gathered yesterday on top of a bridge near Mar-a-Lago and rallied against the Biden administration.
Amid investigations into the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, a judge granted a federal probe into whether Trump kept classified records when he left the White House — records that were supposed to be handed over to the National Archives at the end of his term. Taking classified files is a breach of the Presidential Records Act.
Earlier this year, the National Archives said it had retrieved up to 15 boxes of records that Trump had taken to his estate.
Republicans condemned the FBI raid:
Trump, in a public statement, called the raid a "weaponization of the justice system."
The public is unaware as to what the FBI recovered from the raid or any other concrete details. Donald Trump, who has the power to make what was taken public, isn't clearing up some of that mystery, and that lack of detailed information has led to many elected Republican officials and Trump defenders speculating that the raid was politically motivated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Biden administration.
In a tweet response to the raid, Governor Ron DeSantis called the ordeal "a Banana Republic."
“The raid of MAL (Mar-a-Lago) is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves,” DeSantis wrote. "Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries?"
Sen. Marco Rubio, in a video tweet, said the raid is used to "intimidate Republicans who oppose the left" and that it reminds him of "Marxist dictatorships."
Florida agriculture commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, however, said DeSantis' response is "another escalation of your pathetic loyalty to an insurrectionist over country and the rule of law."
And Congressman and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, in a tweet, wrote that "no one is above the law, not even the former president."
Trump Loyalists on the bridge:
This federal probe into the boxes of files and the civil probe into Trump's past business dealings isn't changing how loyalists feel about the former president. Many supporters told WLRN that they felt the raid was a distraction from bigger issues, such as inflation, fentanyl overdoses and immigration at the US border.
Adriane Shochet, 64, is a registered Republican and former Democrat. She believes that the justice system treats elected Republican officials more harshly than Democrats.
Shochet, and many supporters compared the search warrant in Mar-a-Lago to the controversial case surrounding the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's handling of email exchanges on her private home server with staff during the Obama administration, where she deleted private emails. 110 emails out of 30,000 sent to the FBI were deemed classified. The FBI concluded that Clinton's actions were not intentional.
Shochet is demanding more evidence about the FBI's raid in Mar-a-Lago.
"Nobody knows. Look, if they find something, ok, I mean, I’m a Republican, but if they find something that's illegal or terribly wrong or whatever you want to call it, then justice needs to be served," Shochet said.
Della Striker, 76, considers herself a staunch Republican who is often upset with the GOP because she believes many in her party have turned against Trump.
"Came here last night because I was so grieved when I heard," Striker said. "And I just got in the car drove and I met a stranger, never met her before, she had a Trump flag, and I went over to her and we embraced and we wept for the state of the nation … that they would take a president and go raid his safe."
Bob Wood, 63, is a local loyalist who calls the raid a distraction and says Republicans who support any investigations against Trump or who don't agree that the election was stolen are “a RAT, Republicans Against Trump”
"I don't put anything past the liberals anymore. You know, you can expect this kind of nonsense to go on," Wood said. "They're attacking Donald Trump every chance they got. They can't have him run because I know if he runs, he's going to get elected."
Many Trump loyalists believe the raid will embolden the voters within the Republican Party and use the raid as a rallying cry during the upcoming elections.