Trump and his followers are apoplectic about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday. Trump has called the search a “raid” (“They even broke into my safe”) and various Republican politicians have demanded the attorney general resign and called on the U.S. Justice Department to release the documents associated with the search.
They all ignore two important realities that are at odds with their accusations and demands.
1.A search warrant is a tightly regulated legal instrument based on the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment’s language is unequivocal: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Thus, Trump’s home couldn’t be searched until a federal magistrate had reviewed the warrant, questioned the law enforcement agents proposing the search, inquired into the “probable cause,” and then signed off on the search. You can be sure the judge in this case, Bruce Reinhart, who was appointed during Trump’s administration, understood the historical significance of what he was reviewing, and took it very seriously.
2.The person whose home or other property is being searched gets a copy of the search warrant. Law enforcement officials almost never release a search warrant because it contains information related to an ongoing investigation, which is kept confidential until charges are filed, or not filed. However, the subject of the warrant is free to release a search warrant as he or she sees fit. That’s how I’ve obtained a number of search warrants over the years—directly from farmers and owners of food clubs whose facilities or vehicles have been the subjects of searches by state and federal regulators. The farmers felt they had done nothing wrong, and wanted to let supporters see the weakness of the cases against them.
Here is one such warrant, covering the 2011 search of a delivery truck owned by Alvin Schlangen, a Minnesota farmer who was put on trial twice for illegal sales of raw milk and other foods, and exonerated.
When you read the warrant, you see it follows the form prescribed in the Fourth Amendment. It is very specific in describing the vehicle subject to being searched, and even limits the time it can be searched to between 7 and 8 am. It adds an affidavit from the agriculture official providing evidence that has led him to believe Schlangen was violating the law. For example, “On February 14, 2011, I received a telephone call from a person who identified himself and stated that he is a tenant of the building” Schlangen had space in. “The person was concerned that another tenant, Alvin Schlangen, was conducting illegal activity in the building and that authorities might mistakenly think other building tenants like himself were involved.” The affidavit lists other potentially incriminating information from the tenant as well as evidence culled from a previous interview the agriculture inspector had with Schlangen.
For Schlangen, the farmer, a jury eventually acquitted him of the charges, in part because supporters had read about the case on this blog and other places.
In Trump’s search warrant, I would venture that there is much detail about Trump’s safe that was cracked open—what agents expected to find and what kinds of things were off limits to them. Same for other areas of the house.
The farmers who gave me their warrants did so because they felt they hadn’t done anything illegal and that agriculture officials were harassing them. If Trump feels so strongly that he is innocent and that the search of his residence was “a raid,” why doesn’t he just make public his warrant, which is likely much more voluminous than the farmer warrant displayed here?
There could be any number of reasons he doesn’t want the information contained in the warrant going public. Perhaps there are documents with information he wanted to use to blackmail adversaries. Possibly he hoped to sell documents from well known world leaders. Or possibly he just wants to stick it to his country, which owns the documents. Most likely, he just isn’t so sure the documents sought by the government don’t incriminate him. So in the followup news about this first-ever search of a former president’s residence, keep your eye on what the former president decides to do about releasing the warrant, and not on all the noise Trump and his followers are making.
Thank for this lucid analysis of the situation, David. I agree that releasing the warrant would clear up a lot of speculation.
And that’s why the warrant most likely won’t be released. Clarity is the last thing Trump & Co. want. They are at their best stirring up dust and distrust. Today’s Columbia Journalism Review reviews all the media coverage of the Mar-a-Lago search, and concludes: “Ultimately, all of the above—the furious right-wing response, the 2024 chatter, the analysis of Garland’s risk—is rooted not just in an absence of evidence but in the person at the center of the story actively withholding that evidence so he can shape the narrative in a way that’s favorable to him.”
I was off on the timing. Trump and supporters made such a fuss that the Department of Justice felt compelled to request making the list of items taken public. So part of the warrant just was released (except for the affidavit, which is a key part). It shows that a couple boxes of ‘top secret’ documents were retrieved. Among the laws Trump is under investigation for violating is the Espionage Act; in other words, spying for an enemy country. It’s the law that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for back in 1953.
Here’s the part of the warrant that was unsealed:
from the very little I know about the brouhaha … Donald Trump is not facing a criminal charge.
Even as far-removed as the Republic is today from its founding principles, an Accused still has the right to remain silent
more important than the Warrant to Search, is the Affidavit upon which that Warrant is predicated. In Canada, defence lawyers are very good at ‘knocking the legs out from under’ the Application for a Warrant. There goes all the evidence so-obtained
Aw, Watson, your concern for Donald Trump’s rights is so touching. You’re always there when human rights are threatened.
You are correct about one thing: an accused has the right to remain silent. However, when the accused goes off on rants excoriating the search, well, he then has something of an obligation to back up his claims with evidence…..especially when he has the evidence, the affidavit you describe, in his possession. When he refuses to make it public, he invites us to assume it must be bad news for him.
what may be assumed … since you’re the one doing so … is that the Judge who issued the Warrant, has a very serious ethical breach of his own to hide… going back to the time when he was the federal prosecutor, who made an astonishingly lenient plea bargain with none-other than court-certified pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein. Remember him?
too bad your journalistic acumen has deserted you, David Gumpert. You clamor for ‘transparency’ ?
A real investigative journalist would go after the story behind the story … how come the webpage with background information formerly available to the public, for this judge disappeared?
Sure, Watson, a ‘real investigative journalist’ would go down your various rabbit holes, like the one you scolded me for not pursuing that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was staged. Remember that one, Watson, when you parroted Alex Jones’ pathetic arguments?
As for investigating Epstein, I might start with this video of Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump rating and evaluating young girls at Mar-a-Lago some years back.
wrong, me Bucko. I never “parroted what Alex Jones had to say’ about the incident in Sandy Hook, which was merchandised to the world as a “mass shooting.” This latest debacle more of the same in the relentless plodding to disarm Americans
My opinion then, and now, is as explained by Jim Fetzer & 5 professors co-authors in his tour de force of that topic NO ONE DIED AT SANDY HOOK ; IT WAS A FEMA DRILL
I dare you to read it for thy-self then review it on your blog
if you’d do the barest minimum original research, you’d soon find that in both Jones’ case and Fetzer’s court cases, the issue of proof was never permitted before the Court. Got that?
that co-ordinated perversion of the legal racket is so far beyond any reasonable expectation of due process of law, that, – the fix being in at Courts – is compelling proof the Sandy Hook thing is one of the greatest psychological operations = HOAXES in American history
for the record, Alex Jones is the biggest circusmaster blowhard I’ve encountered in 70 years : so don’t bag me with him
Okay, that’s all you get for your fantasy stuff. I trashed your follow on. You guys get going and you can’t stop.
L’infMAO @ U Watson!! You’re insane!!
You may recall meeting Dr. Richard Schwartzman. He attended your seminar presentation on raw milk at Rutgers University and then wrote this blog about it.
Government vs. Raw Milk
He also invited me to blog about raw milk:
Where is the Truth about Raw Milk?
Reporting on the passing of Richard Schwartzman:
From: RICHARD SCHWARTZMAN email@example.com
Sent: Sunday, August 14, 2022 2:21 PM
To: Rebecca Idaho firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Passing of Richard Schwartzman
It is with a heavy heart that I share news of the passing of my dear father Richard Schwartzman. Richard passed away peacefully, the consequence of natural causes, on July 20, 2022. He was 83. He is survived by an immediate family that includes myself, my husband, our three children and my mother.
Like his mother, Beatrice, Richard was an optimist who always saw his cup in life as half full. He felt extremely fortunate throughout his life, pointing out on the occasion of his 83rd birthday that he had enjoyed good health until old age had recently taken its toll. He expressed how very lucky he was to have had meaningful work that he was able to enjoy for so many years. (He practiced medicine until age 80.) In addition to his work, he was made extremely happy and proud by his immediate family, who were all very close to him.
Richard’s message was to enjoy life whenever possible, often encouraging his family to have more fun. He very much liked Goethe’s quote: “Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” He had an incredibly generous spirit and gave everything he had to his family.
Richard was full of energy and full of love for his family and his work. He engaged in many endeavors throughout his life in an attempt to get the word out about the effective and unique therapy pioneered by Wilhelm Reich that Richard practiced for 50 years. He was trained first by Morton Herskowitz and then by Elsworth Baker, both of whom were trained by Reich.
Richard was involved with several organizations dedicated to keeping Reich’s work alive. He trained many therapists (not just in the U.S. but also in Greece, Rome, and Germany); he wrote many articles; he produced a film about Reich’s therapy called Room for Happiness; he was an early blogger, and he lectured on many topics related to Reich’s work — all in the hope that one day the world would come to know of and embrace Reich’s therapeutic approach. Richard also encouraged people interested in Reich to actually read Reich’s books (versus the many articles and books about Reich which Dad found to be almost always inaccurate and disparaging).
As a follower of Wilhelm Reich, Richard felt that infant and early childhood emotional traumas were largely responsible for the human condition, saying that “everything is front-loaded” with the first days of life being among the most impactful in terms of lifelong emotional health. It was for this reason that he wrote and spoke against infant circumcision, a preventable childhood trauma. As founding board member emeritus, he played a role in the founding of Bruchim, a non-profit that supports non-circumcising Jewish families. Richard was delighted by Bruchim and always enjoyed hearing the latest Bruchim news, frequently sharing insights with me that have helped to shape the direction of the organization. Bruchim will be a lesser organization for his absence.
Please do not reply to this email address. If you would like to share thoughts or memories of Richard with his family, you may send them to email@example.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Bruchim or the charity of your choice. Please do feel free to forward this notice to those in your circle who knew Richard.
BS David. Who is it that does not want the search warrant to be seen. Oh, it’s the DOJ leaking bits and pieces with the mainstream media as part of this collusion. (yes you). Wrong again. Trump wants the search warrant to be exposed. Liz Cheney will hopefully get soundly defeated today. You think it is Trump, but he is a proxy for us, the American people who are sick and tired of the RINO Republicans and the looney far left Dems. You think you are attacking Trump but you are attacking me and all the decent freedom loving Americans who are sick and tired of your tyranny and lies. You are attacking freedom loving Canadians and any decent freedom loving person in this world,
Correction, He is calling for release of the full affidavit.
LOL Janet!! You really could use some leesons in American Civics!!
Speculating re your question
If Trump feels so strongly that he is innocent and that the search of his residence was “a raid,” why doesn’t he just make public his warrant, which is likely much more voluminous than the farmer warrant displayed here?”
My answer is based in experience gained, having defended me-self 7 times, against charges of contempt ex facie, in Her Majesty’s Courts in British Columbia.
since that Warrant to Search is categorically sealed, if Mr Trump were to post its wording for all cyberspace to see, his enemies would gleefully slap him with a charge of contempt of Court. It doesn’t take a law degree to grasp how the institutions of government are being perverted for partisan political purposes.
What’s fun, is > this episode ( figuratively !! ) – ‘lit the fuse on the stick of dynamite which will blow the doors off’ the Biden administration. One of the hallmarks of the little anti-christs, is = they ALWAYS overstep demselves
No mere co-incidence that Melania Trump led the nation in saying the Lord’s Prayer, on the day her husband was inaugurated to preside over the Republic. Christians know that our God is in charge, so its domestic enemies best bear in mind
‘seeing it is a righteous thing with God, to recompense tribulation to them who trouble you’
Pretty funny, Watson, the business about Trump being afraid he might offend a judge or a court. You or I might be afraid of being held in contempt. But Trump? He would love the additional attention and glory of victimhood of a court trying to penalize him for exposing what he claims is another example of the machinations of the ‘deep state.’ Even if he didn’t put it out, he could easily have leaked it to the media via any number of supporters/advisers. No, the explanation for why he held onto the warrant, and hoped against hope it wasn’t made public, was because it revealed Trump is being investigated for espionage…better known as spying and undermining the security of his own country. Several members of the so-called mainstream media are suing to have the affidavit behind the warrant revealed, and a judge indicated last week he may well order it unsealed. We’ll see.
a handy example of how it goes when the rubber meets the road, in a real courtroom, rather than the pontifications of guys who get payed by the word but have never set foot before the bar … is > what’s happening lately in Courts in Canada. Defence lawyers go after the Information to obtain a Warrant. They then knock out the underpinning of that Affidavit. If it’s ruled invalid, there goes all the material seized under the Warrant.
in our raw milk trial in 2013, I did that. I showed that Inspector George Rice had lied to the Justice of the Peace, stating that he was going after evidence for breaching a certain provincial Regulation * when, in fact, he always intended to gather evidence for charging us with different crime = contempt = which falls under the federal Criminal Code.
It was a good argument. But Mister Justice Wong just scowled down from the Bench and said “Move on”. It would have been educational to pitch it in the Court of Appeal, but I never did get the chance because I couldn’t raise the upset fee to proceed
The Enemies of Donald Trump … who are one + the same as the domestic enemies of the Republic … presuming they can draw on the deep deep pockets of the government, to war with him in Court, “have another think coming”. In the Song of the South, Br’er Rabbit sez “oh, Please don’t throw me in that briarpatch” Br’er Rabbit LIVES in the Briarpatch : Trump is in his element. Now that he has his own medium for getting out his message, Cho Bai Den et al. are slouching towards Gommorah.
Health Hazard Regulation prohibiting distribution of raw milk for human consumption
except for your silliness that Donald Trump is “afraid”, you’ve made my point better than I did.
the God of Israel gives to prophetic types an adamantine forehead. NOT saying that he’s actually a prophet, rather, a mortal being used to further the purposes of God for America. Flawed hero that he is, one of Donald Trump’s gifts, is = Courage. Regardless of how much he’s reviled, he will carry out his own self-image as “The Hero”
Guaranteed the world WILL see the Affidavit in support of the Warrant, made available.
“Espionage” ? ! It is to laugh. Where’s the original crew from Saturday Night Live … Monty Python? we could sure use them
notice that I never used the word “afraid” re Mr Trump. Having spent half his life in dozens of lawsuits, he’s cautious.
Contempt is a reverse onus offence. The alleged contemnor is presumed guilty. He then has to talk his way out of trouble. Very hard to do. Nearly always, the Accused winds up grovelling apology to the Court, just to get to go home and sleep in his own bed. Which is why prosecutors love ‘contempt’.
And it’s even harder to make a claim for ‘malicious prosecution’, stick.
the domestic Enemies of the Republic … guys presently atop the US DoJ … don’t have to win. By framing-up the latest Champion of The People as political enemy to be ground through the Courts FOR YEARS, the process itself, becomes a punishment.
In Canada, we have a textbook example of that playing out right now. The boywonder of a Prime Minister, chickenshit Justin (son of Fidel Castro ) Trudeau, invoked the War Measures / Emergency Act ! against Tamara Lich, one of the leaders of the authentic populist movement protesting the INsanity of the SARS2Covid19 HOAX. One by one, those charges are being stayed by the Crown. Making obvious that laying CRIMINAL charges, at all ….for what was not much more than parking fines … was rank perversion of Justice
You win the award for attracting the most unusual crowd here at TCP. So diverse and extreme. It makes my life so easy when I want to get a pulse check on extremists and cult followers.
Most of the rational people don’t bother to write much here because rational people set priorities in a different direction. Hang in there buddy.
I heard it said by those who adhere and conform to the pasteurized milk dogma that raw milk consumers are “loopy libertarian fanatics”…
Agree with you Mark!!
well, Mr Mcafee … just this week we got some ‘deep intel.’ from a usually-reliable source. Word is = inhouse, the BC Milk Marketing Board calls producers + consumers of raw milk “black market cultists”. So you’re in good company on that score
A big ask !?
Has anyone heard of a FDA Raid on Amos Millers Raw Milk Dairy operation ?
It supposedly occurred in the last few days. I can not find the news link. I just got a call from someone listing to FOX News. They report that the FDA raided Milkers farm and he using fined $300,000 for raw milk shipping violations.
Does anyone have deeper knowledge of this event ? Is this accurate ? I tried calling Amos and left a message.
“An Amish Farmer Needs Our Help”. https://news.gab.com/2022/08/22/an-amish-farmer-needs-our-help/. The Gab story says Tucker Carlson has run a segment about Amos Miller.
Once again, you guys are spending too much time reading incompetent media outlets that don’t know the first thing about responsible journalism. The problem with this and other such garbage is it fails at one of the most basic requirements of accurate reporting: WHEN (as in ‘who, what, when, why, where’). I spoke with Amos Miller today, and he told me there’s been no official action (inspection, confiscation) at his farm for at least six months. The federal court has his farm on hold slaughtering meat of any kind, insisting as it has for some years now that Amos’ farm send its animals to a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse. Amos refuses, as he has for some years, because he doesn’t like the chemicals used in such slaughterhouses for cleaning the meat. He continues producing other products. But the point here was to suggest Amos’ farm had been raided in the last few days, and that’s a lie, designed to get people riled up against the powers that be. Maybe you ought to try reading some mainstream media, which employ trained, professional journalists. You really can’t trust anything this “Gab” (and many others) reports because it isn’t interested in accuracy, it is only interested in promoting a particular political narrative. I happen to sympathize with Amos, but that doesn’t entitle me to report on raids that never happened to rile people up. Disgusting.
I saw no reference in the Gab article, in Lancaster Patriot article that Gab cited, nor in the Tucker Carlson segment about a raid on Amos Miller. The 8/11/22 Lancaster Patriot article referenced a Friday stay of a show cause hearing. “An Amish Farmer needs our help” was quoted from the Lancaster Patriot.
So you apparently didn’t read the source I gave yet you feel free to denigrate it as an irresponsible media outlet, failing the basic requirements of accurate reporting. There was no suggestion that the farm had been raided in the last few days, yet you insinuate that they said that. You’re the trained, professional journalist we’re supposed to respect? You’re the one that has earned disgust here.
This whole exchange begun by Mark McAfee, who asked: “Has anyone heard of a FDA Raid on Amos Millers Raw Milk Dairy operation? It supposedly occurred in the last few days. I can not find the news link. I just got a call from someone listing to FOX News.” Then Watson responded with a YouTube link, you responded with Gab.com link. There are no dates on any of it, only the strong suggestion that this is ‘news.’ Now you say “no suggestion the farm had been raided…” and I’ve “earned disgust.” Really? Earth to Lynn….
2 minute video posted Aug 17 2022 regarding situation at Miller’s farm
Heaven forbid if individuals assert their independence, rejecting government policies that are designed to oppress and enslave… In these last two years under the guise of so-called safety, coupled with the use of onerous tactics, governments have accelerated the above absolutist policies.
Mainstream media’s persistent political and medical biased reporting done by so called “trained, professional journalists” has cast a shadow on its reputation as a reliable source of news… When people’s lives are being upended and the mainstream media defends and sides with the powers that be that are doing the upending then the public have good reason to distrust those news outlets and look to other sources for their news…
There is a global “power grab” that is happening and true to form, the mainstream media have played their hand by endorsing it, and that includes, marginalizing and cancelling people who argue against its position, including its own reporters who attempt to shed a light on what is happening… As Bari Weis pointed out, “Twitter is not on the masthead of the New York Times, but Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.” In her resignation letter to NYT Chairman and Publisher A. G. Sulzberger Bari Weis points out “My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are”. Indeed, this no isolated incident and it continues to today…
Link to Bari Weis interview,
“Cops Shut Down 8-Year-old Girl’s Lemonade Stand to Protect Society from Unlicensed Lemonade”
“Police were dispatched to an Ohio city, not for a robbery or murder, but for an 8 year-old girl selling lemonade without a permit”.
Of course, in the name of a control freak’s perverted and obsessed perception of “safety”.
David, Mark Mcafee did ask about a FDA raid on Amos Miller’s farm. Gordon Watson’s clip from Rebel News flashed the headlines for a news item dated May 21, 2022 about a raid on the farm. There was nothing at all in the 3 sources I cited about a raid, and all 3 sources were dated. My comment about no suggestion the farm had been raided is totally true, because my comment was made in reference to the 3 news sources I cited in my comment. You are the one that expanded it in your mind to include referencing other news sources. You are also wrong about “no dates on any of it”. You pulled the disgusting journalist trick of twisting words to support your prejudice and your preconceived ideas.