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The Brief: When Merrick Garland says, “Trust Us” – Don’t; He Hasn’t Earned Our Trust

Gregg is joined by Pam Bondi, the former Attorney General of Florida

Photo by Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty Images

When Merrick Garland sent the FBI into former President Donald Trump’s home, agents grabbed everything in sight.

The lawlessness of that raid was proven by the attorney general’s own confession on Monday.  In a federal court filing he admitted they seized materials they were not entitled to have or even look at —documents covered by attorney-client and executive privilege.

But not to worry, assured Garland, we used a “taint team” to ensure the documents were properly segregated and protected.  Oh…and there’s no need for a “special master” to be appointed because the DOJ already looked at everything!

In other words, Garland wants us to trust the government.  Why should we?

The so-called “taint teams” are themselves tainted.  They’re an artifice —a charade.  They pretend to be objective, but they’re not…because they’re all on the same team as government prosecutors.  It’s like letting cops investigate cops.  It’s fair in name only.

When Garland says “trust us,” ask yourself this question: does he deserve our trust?  Let’s review.

This is the same guy who’s been running a protection racket for Hunter and Joe Biden.  He presides over an investigation of his boss’s son amid evidence that directly implicates the father, but he refuses to appoint a neutral special counsel as federal regulations require.

That explains why there have been no criminal charges filed despite compelling evidence of influence peddling, money laundering, and tax fraud.  Hunter was selling access to his powerful father.  Foreign entities and governments paid millions.  No one raided Hunter’s home.  That’s off limits.

Yet, we’re supposed to trust Merrick Garland.  This is the same AG who ordered the FBI to treat concerned parents as “domestic terrorists,” but refused to enforce the law when protesters threatened conservative Supreme Court Justices outside their homes in a blatant attempt at obstructing an important high court ruling.  Feel warm and fuzzy yet?

Garland also demands that we trust the FBI.  That must be some kind of a twisted joke.

Last Friday, the agency frog-marched a top official out of the building after a cavalcade of whistleblowers said he undermined the Hunter Biden probe with political bias, shutting it down and spreading the lie that the laptop was Russian disinformation.  This is the same FBI that played a role in pressuring social media to censure the laptop story.  But that’s not all.

The canned agent reportedly gained approval to open an investigation of Trump by concealing his partisan motivations.  The twenty whistleblowers allege a pattern of political bias from high-ranking officials at the FBI.  In other words, the Hoover Building is a cesspool of corruption.

This is same agency that repeatedly lied to the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign and later confessed to doctoring evidence to gain unlawful warrants.  It’s the same FBI that bankrolled an ex-British spy who invented phony evidence of collusion that the bureau then exploited despite no credible evidence.  Indeed, declassified documents now show that the FBI knew at the outset that the anti-Trump “dossier” was bogus and that it was all an elaborate hoax conjured up by Hillary Clinton.

This is the same FBI whose former Director, James Comey, stole government documents and leaked them to the media for the admitted purpose of triggering the appointment of a special counsel who just happened to be his longtime colleague and friend, Bob Mueller.

“Trust us?”  Forget about it.  Trust is earned.  Garland, the Justice Department, and the FBI have squandered it.

Last week, Garland’s thick black pen got quite a workout.  The attorney general may have used more than one Sharpie to obliterate the face of a document he used for the pre-dawn raid of former President Donald Trump’s home.  He literally shed more dark than light on the matter.

Much of what Garland grudgingly released to the public on Friday was a heavily redacted copy of the search warrant affidavit.  It revealed precious little about why he chose to launch his unprecedented intrusion.  The AG clearly prefers to bludgeon his boss’s political adversary with the cudgel of pernicious leaks to the media rather than being transparent about his dubious legal maneuvers.

Garland earlier claimed that he only speaks through his court filings.  Then he muzzled with ink the most important filing of all.  He argued for secrecy while whispering into the ears of liberal media outlets that promptly trashed Trump with ludicrous allegations of espionage and treason.

If national security was truly in jeopardy, why did the AG dither for weeks before sending a phalanx of FBI agents to Mar-a-Lago to remedy something so urgent?  Indeed, if bureau officials were aware of errant documents in early June or even back in February, why wait for months to retrieve them?  If there are answers to those vexing questions in the affidavit, you won’t find them amid pages brimming with black lines.

Nor will you find any reference to how Trump and his legal team cooperated in returning previously requested documents to the National Archives.  That kind of exculpatory information might have discouraged the magistrate from signing off on the warrant.  Was he deceived by omission, as the FBI has done in the past when obtaining lawless warrants?  Did the FBI misrepresent the government’s discussions with Trump’s lawyers?  We don’t know because so much is wiped out in black.

The first eight pages are a rote recitation of background information and quotations from statutes that Garland cited to the magistrate to gain his consent for the raid.  But the core of the affidavit that contains the attorney general’s probable cause arguments and justification for the raid —pages 9 through 29— are nearly all redacted.  The pagination is there, but that’s about it.  Then the affidavit ends abruptly with a two-sentence conclusion that reveals nothing meaningful.

We already knew this sordid affair was a dispute over the custody of documents.  If Trump declassified them as he insists, then the statute involving the retention of “defense information” (otherwise known as classified materials) has no relevance whatsoever.  The other two laws cited by Garland involve improper possession of government records.

There’s just one pesky problem.  Pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, they don’t apply.  That Act grants former presidents a right of access to presidential papers, as well as possession.  The Act is a specific statute that takes precedence over general statues, namely those cited by the attorney general.

There is nothing readable in the affidavit that alleges Trump harbored any criminal intent to break the law.  The absence of such a claim is conspicuous inasmuch as all three statutes upon which Garland relies demand proof that an accused person act “willfully” or “knowingly” or “deliberately.”

Even if Trump somehow violated the Presidential Records Act, the proper legal cure is a civil enforcement proceeding.  The Attorney General could have filed a motion in court to compel the return of the materials sought.  An impartial judge would have resolved the dispute by evaluating competing interests consistent with the law.

Instead, Garland overreached and pursued a criminal course against Trump that smacks of thuggish authoritarianism.  He employed a general warrant which is strictly forbidden by our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment that requires a description of specific or particular places to be searched and things to be seized.  Garland’s warrant did not.

The raid on Trump’s home was the definition of an unreasonable search and seizure as FBI agents spent ten hours rummaging through offices and buildings at Mar-a-Lago and snooping through Melania’s closet.  They grabbed just about anything in sight.

This was always an investigation in search of a crime where government agents manipulated a disagreement over records as a pretext for something else —sniffing around for a document that might tie Trump to some other imagined offense.  Friday’s release of the heavily redacted affidavit did nothing to dispel this very real possibility.

In a case that yearns for transparency, the attorney general chose concealment.  But don’t expect Garland’s assault on justice to end here.  More leaks from his politicized department will take venomous aim at Joe Biden’s nemesis as the current administration lays waste to the rule of law.