WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro weighed in on the FBI’s stunning raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence on Monday, saying that there should be “hell to pay” if there aren’t “bedrock-solid” reasons behind the law enforcement agency’s actions.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Florida home Monday, reportedly searching for classified documents that he was alleged to have taken with him when he left the White House, either on purpose – which, if they had not been officially declassified, would potentially be illegal – or inadvertently. However, some commentators have hypothesized that the raid may have actually had its roots in the January 6 investigation as a means to build a criminal case against Trump.
Trump issued a statement reacting to the raid – he was in New York at Trump Tower at the time – saying that the “unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World countries,” he said. “Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.”
Some conservatives have referred to the raid as an “unprecedented politicization of the Department of Justice.” Shapiro himself noted that the public’s trust in their institutions are currently at an all-time low, and said that serious proof of wrongdoing on Trump’s part would be needed or else it could look extraordinarily bad for the FBI.
“We won’t know how fully insane the FBI raid on Trump is until we see the warrant and warrant application. But after Russiagate – years of investigation predicated largely on Clinton campaign misinformation — if the basis for this isn’t bedrock-solid, there should be hell to pay,” he said. “This sort of move requires serious levels of trust by the American public in its institutions. That trust no longer exists. If those institutions fail yet again, and target the leader of Joe Biden’s political opposition in doing so, this looks like banana republic stuff.”
“The president has the ability to declassify materials before leaving the White House. So this is even more dicey for the FBI and DOJ than usual, requiring real specifics,” Shapiro added.
The Daily Wire founder also spoke about Trump’s chances for running for president once again if he is indeed convicted of removing classified documents from the White House.
“For those claiming that a violation of law regarding classified documents would prevent Trump from running, nope…the statutory penalties for any such violation do not overcome the Constitution definition of qualifications for eligibility,” he said.
According to reports, Trump was in possession of 15 boxes of documents that he eventually returned after federal prosecutors opened a grand jury investigation into the matter; upon receiving the materials from the former president, the National Archives confirmed that some of the documents were indeed “classified national security information.”
However, to prove that Trump had indeed committed a crime, it would require evidence that he knew the documents that he took to Mar-A-Lago were indeed classified, and that taking them was, in fact, illegal.