On Monday morning at 10 a.m. EST, two dozen FBI agents and technicians executed a raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence (with a search warrant signed off by a federal judge for probable cause)— a first for an ex-President.
There is an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, titled ‘The FBI’s Dangerous Trump Search: Merrick Garland is taking the U.S. down a perilous path’.
Here is Prof. Yascha Mounk from Johns Hopkins University (@Yascha_Mounk on Twitter):
A few thoughts and principles about the FBI raid in Miami:
1 The rule of law applies to everyone. If Trump committed a crime, he should be punished for it.
2 Prosecutions against possible political candidates always deserve special scrutiny to ensure they are above the board.
3 The best way to beat an authoritarian populist is at the ballot box, not by disqualifying him from running.
4 If Trump is to be prosecuted, it would ideally be for a morally highly significant crime (like 1/6), not a procedural one (like mishandling classified documents).
5 One overlooked political risk is Trump getting acquitted, allowing him to claim he was exonerated.
6 We know very little about the FBI’s case against Trump so far. Anyone declaring with certainty that it is either appropriate or inappropriate is getting ahead of themselves.