Margaret Minnicks has been writing for HubPages for a long time. She is an expert about a variety of subjects she writes about.
Former President Donald Trump was initially upbeat after his Mar-a-Largo residence in Palm Beach, Florida was raided by the DOJ and FBI on Monday, August 8, 2022. At first, he believed the raid would benefit him in his 2024 upcoming bid for president, according to The Washington Post.
He thought by blaming the DOJ and FBI, his supporters would agree with him and would remain loyal. Republicans first spoke out strongly against the raid. Now, some supporters are changing their minds after finding out that 11 sets of documents taken from the Mar-a-Largo residence had classified documents about a certain topic.
Two Words: "Nuclear Weapons"
Trump's supporters remained loyal until they found out that the documents taken were not just classified documents. The 11 sets of classified documents might include documents about "nuclear weapons."
Some Republicans say it would be very concerning if Trump removed information about nuclear weapons from the White House and was keeping classified documents in his personal possession.
Now Trump's Republican supporters are rethinking their loyalty to the former president. Some are beginning to keep their distance from him. Trump is reportedly in a dark place now that he is losing supporters. More than likely he will lose many more.
On Friday, the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative House Republicans, canceled a press conference at the last minute after hearing what was found among the classified documents, according to CBS reporter Scott MacFarlane.
Some Republicans called for Trump to tamp down his rhetoric amid the increased threat level.
Representative of Texas Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called Trump’s rhetoric “inflammatory” during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, August 14.
Even though Trump is losing some supporters, it seems like no matter what he does or does not do, he will always keep some loyal allies, such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene as well as other supporters across the United States who continue to support him.
Trump's Truth Social platform is calling for civil war and advocating for violence against the FBI, NBC reported. On Saturday, August 13, armed supporters protested outside the FBI office in Phoenix, Arizona, as reported by Fox 10 Phoenix.
Timeline of the Searches at Mar-a-Lago
The search for the classified documents at Trump's residence on August 8 was not the first search at Trump's residence. The documents had been requested a couple of times before the most recent search was made.
In 2021, the National Archives asked Trump to turn over documents he should never have taken from the White House. The Presidential Records Act requires official presidential documents to be turned over to the National Archives at the end of every presidency. Trump initially said he had returned all the items. Later he found some items still in his possession and returned them at the end of 2021.
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First Search: June 2022
The National Archives insisted that more records were missing in January 2022. The agency informed the Department of Justice about the missing documents. When a search took place in June 2022, Trump turned over more records to the government. His representatives said they believed all the missing documents had been returned at that time. A Trump lawyer signed a document indicating Trump had no more documents in his possession, according to The New York Times.
Recent Search: August 8, 2022
After the June search, the FBI discovered more classified documents were still in Trump's possession. That led to the Mar-a-Lago search on Monday, August 8 when Trump was in New York. Up to two dozen agents searched the residence and found boxes containing 11 sets of classified documents. Some of the documents were secret and top secret, according to the property receipt from the search.
The Department of Justice is investigating if Trump violated three laws when he removed official government documents when he was no longer in office.
- He might have violated the Espionage Act by removing information about United States' national defense.
- The other two laws relate to the concealment or destruction of government records.
Some documents in the 11 sets of classified records from Mar-a-Lago were marked secret and top secret and should have been left in the White House or stored in special government facilities because of their sensitive nature.
Trump has rationalized about having the documents.
- He said the documents were not all declassified.
- Trump claimed the investigation was politically motivated.
- Trump has described the FBI's search as a "witch hunt" not once but several times on his social media platform Truth Social.
- The former president claims the FBI is corrupt.
- Donald Trump suggested that the FBI planted evidence to hurt him.
- He insisted that he would have the documents to the Justice Department if anyone had asked him to do so. Sources suggest that in accordance with federal law, he had been asked to turn them over more than once.
- It is no surprise that Donald Trump is comparing what he did illegally to what former President Barack Obama did legally when he left office.
Trump's False Claim Against Obama
Donald Trump wouldn't be Donald Trump if he doesn't bring former President Barack Obama into his situation. He wrote on his Truth Social:
"What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama? He refused to give them back! What is going on? This act was strongly at odds with NARA. Will they be breaking into Obama's 'mansion' in Martha's Vineyard?"
What Donald Trump and his oldest son Donald Trump, Jr. are saying has no basis. The tens of thousands of Obama's documents were shipped to a federal government facility and were well protected in Chicago. That's what is supposed to happen to a president's records when he leaves office. A detailed collection of emails, documents, and even gifts from their time in office are properties of the American people and should be available to view.
The National Archives did what it was supposed to do with former President Obama's documents. The agency took legal ownership of Obama's documents and started the long process of sorting through the material to make them available to the public years later. Obama kept no document in his residence. Instead, the National Archives turned his documents over to Obama's presidential library in Chicago.
Trump's documents were taken to a private residence instead of being shipped to a federal government facility. That means the classified documents were not protected at all.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.