The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to search the home of former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort
The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to search former President Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago resort may become the most politically risky criminal case in American history.
And if they don’t find incriminating information against Trump, it could backfire spectacularly.
For most Americans, the decision to send in the FBI sends the message that there are potential felonies to prosecute. Early reports indicate that it was for classified documents illegally removed by Trump late in his term.
But at the same time, there is a sector in the U.S. that distrusts federal authorities and is therefore inclined to pay attention to Trump’s allegations about the “deep state” — a kind of parallel government.
Should nothing come of the “raid,” which Trump denounced as politically motivated, it could offer the former president the role of martyr, at least among his followers.
In any case, it is one more blow to Trump’s personal image and his aspirations to return to the presidency in 2024.
In fact, the former president’s standing among Republicans looks good, but Trumpism looks better.
While Trump continues on his path as a literal magnet of controversy, at least two “Trumpists” and two “ultra-Trumpists” are lining up to take his place should the former president fall from public grace for the sins accumulated in his administration and his personal life.
In fact, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo present themselves as followers of Trumpism, but not under the negative aegis of Trump.
Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, seemingly further to the right than Trump, but without his controversial baggage, suggest they will do what Trump couldn’t.
But their future depends on what happens with Trump’s possible judicial problems.
The fact remains that there is an increasingly active movement among Republicans against Trump and his egocentric and authoritarian personal style of politics.
Trump, however, is the party’s top leader, with a reputation for vindictiveness, and as such, capable of making and breaking political careers.
That consideration drives many Republicans to bow their heads and abide by his determinations on pain of facing opposition from the right regardless of their party loyalty or personal record.
But at the same time, Trump is embroiled in a series of political and perhaps judicial problems that threaten his plan to run again as a presidential candidate in 2024, including his attempt to alter the electoral results and his links to the riot of Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob stormed the Capitol building to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the November 2020 election.