Fallon: Mar-a-Lago Raid ‘Clearly Political Persecution’
More than 24 hours after an unprecedented FBI raid on his Palm Beach residence, former President Donald Trump remained “flabbergasted” by their actions, a congressman who met with him has revealed.
Attorney General Merrick Garland vigorously defended the Biden administration’s norm-shattering actions on Thursday afternoon. In a terse, two-minute statement Garland called for the search warrant used to justify the multiple-hour search of Mar-a-Lago — which he sealed — to be unsealed. He did not unveil a time line for the document to go public, and he admitted he would not unseal the underlying affidavit, which would shed considerably greater insight on the reasons for the action. Garland acknowledged that “it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
“Much of our work is by necessity conducted out of the public eye,” Garland said. “We do that to protect the constitutional rights of all.” FBI Director Christopher Wray similarly insisted, “We don’t play favorites.”
Garland cast criticism of his office as an attack on those tasked with following the orders of its political leadership. “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” Garland deflected. He took no questions.
Meanwhile, President Trump continued to express deep concern and shock over the raid, purportedly undertaken in pursuance of the Presidential Records Act, which regulates how presidents handle classified information.
“He’s flabbergasted,” Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) told “Washington Watch” guest host Joseph Backholm on Thursday. Fallon met with Trump roughly 24 hours after the Monday raid. “I ironically had planned dinner with President Trump two nights ago. It was planned for about a month, so I got to speak with him directly about it. It was him and myself and about eight other members of Congress. And he’s flabbergasted as well. It’s clearly a political persecution,” Fallon told Backholm. “I’m highly suspicious of this move by the FBI and the Department of Justice.”
Fallon said the FBI could have taken multiple steps short of the 30-member raid, the first of any former president.
“If they don’t find Jimmy Hoffa’s body at Mar-a-Lago, they have some real explaining to do,” Fallon stated.
He also highlighted the two-tier justice system, which has let well-connected Democrats elude prosecution. “We have Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser, being caught red-handed on camera stuffing classified documents in his socks and he got a pass.” Berger shoved unique documents related to 9/11 and Osama bin Laden into his socks and down his underwear during a time when the Clinton administration came under public scrutiny for failing to prevent the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.
“We are going to have hearings” if Republicans take control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, Fallon vowed. “We’re going to get to the bottom of it. Merrick Garland is going to be called to testify in front of the Oversight Committee, and so is the director of the FBI, and anyone and everyone else that’s been involved in this case, so the American people can know the truth.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.