Here Is Merrick Garland With An Important Announcement, Probably About Summer Boating Safety

Attorney General Merrick Garland has an announcement, probably about the FBI serving that warrant at Donald Trump’s Trash Palace in Palm Beach, Florida, but you never know. Maybe he’ll be doing an unboxing video of top secret documents, like the kids on the Ticker Tocker are so into these days.

Here, follow along as yr WonkTV broadcasts from the Washington Post’s YouTube feed!

www.youtube.com

3:02 Still waiting. Not fake news.

3:05 Two minute warning. ICMI, turns out there’s been a grand jury investigation of Trump for withholding documents for months.

3:07 Garland says the DOJ has moved to unseal the warrant in Florida in light of Trump’s statements and the public interest. He says that the DOJ gave Trump’s lawyer (Christina Bobb) got a receipt for everything taken.

3:09 Garland says the DOJ applies the law evenhandedly. He says he personally approved the warrant.

Addressing the attacks on the FBI and its agents, he says “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is attacked.”

3:10 And we’re done. He’s not taking any questions.

Here’s the government’s motion to unseal the warrant.

3:20 Okay, I have read this motion. Let’s talk about it, shall we?

As Garland stated, it wasn’t the Justice Department trying to make hay out of this. They sent about a dozen agents in with no guns and in plain clothes. It was Trump who flipped his shit and made it A THING.

At the time the warrant was initially executed, the Department provided notice directly to former President Trump’s counsel. The Department did not make any public statements about the search, and the search apparently attracted little or no public attention as it was taking place. Later that same day, former President Trump issued a public statement acknowledging the execution of the warrant.

Trump and his people have been screaming bloody murder that it’s unprecedented that a former president’s home would be raided by the FBI. The DOJ agrees, but then flips that on its head: Yes, they say, this is so bananapants crazy that you, Donald Trump, should not stand on your due process rights. Tell the people what they want to know!

In the days since, the search warrant and related materials have been the subject of significant interest and attention from news media organizations and other entities.

In these circumstances involving a search of the residence of a former President, the government hereby requests that the Court unseal the Notice of Filing and its attachment (Docket Entry 17), absent objection by former President Trump.

Astute observers will note that Trump could have put the notice on his dumb social media platform any time he wanted. He deliberately chose not to, effectively hiding behind the DOJ’s skirts, counting on Garland’s fealty to norms to ensure that the Department wouldn’t violate the privacy rights of witnesses and suspects in an ongoing investigation.

So now the AG is calling his bluff.

Given the intense public interest presented by a search of a residence of a former President, the government believes these factors favor unsealing the search warrant, its accompanying Attachments A and B, and the Property Receipt, absent objection from the former President.

“Absent objection from the former President,” the Justice Department is asking the court to unseal the warrant and the receipt for property taken, i.e. exactly what Trump’s lawyers got on Monday and have since then refused to release.

And they’re making it 100 percent clear that Trump and his allies brought this shit on themselves by flapping their stupid yaps about the raid.

Furthermore, on the day that the search was executed, former President Trump issued a public statement that provided the first public confirmation that the search had occurred. Subsequently, the former President’s representatives have given additional statements to the press concerning the search, including public characterizations of the materials sought. See, e.g., F.B.I Search of Trump’s Home Pushes Long Conflict Into Public View, N.Y. Times […] (“Christina Bobb, a lawyer and aide to Mr. Trump who said she received a copy of the search warrant, told one interviewer that the agents were looking for ‘presidential records or any possibly classified material.’”). As such, the occurrence of the search and indications of the subject matter involved are already public.

You can hardly claim to be standing on your privacy rights when your lawyers are out there screeching on Fox eleventy-seven hours a day. And not for nothing, but his lawyers have been allowing wingnut media to run with the lie that the Justice Department escalated to a raid without requesting the documents or even issuing a subpoena first, which, as CNN reported this morning, was a total lie.

So now the ball’s in Trump’s court. He can agree to the unsealing of these documents, or he can object. And if he does, it’s a pretty clear statement that whatever is in there is totally damning.

Well played, DOJ. Let the Dark Merrick memes flow.

And PS: Judge Reinhart gave Trump until tomorrow to say whether he opposes the DOJ’s motion to unseal the warrant. EL OH EL.

United States v. Sealed Search Warrant [Docket via Court Listener]

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