The controversial and unprecedented FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was viewed by many Americans as an overt and politically motivated abuse of government power to attack and harass President Joe Biden’s chief political rival.
Now the former president has suggested that he might file a lawsuit against the FBI for violating his constitutional Fourth Amendment rights with an illegal search and seizure, Breitbart reported.
Trump may have a legitimate legal basis for such a claim, as the FBI admittedly improperly seized the former president’s passports and certain privileged materials that they were not authorized to take by what some analysts suggest was an overly broad and unspecific search warrant.
Trump asserts Fourth Amendment rights
In a post to his Truth Social platform Friday, Trump wrote, “A major motion pertaining to the Fourth Amendment will soon be filed concerning the illegal Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago, right before the ever important Mid-Term Elections.”
“My rights, together with the rights of all Americans, have been violated at a level rarely seen before in our Country,” he added. “Remember, they even spied on my campaign. The greatest Witch Hunt in USA history has been going on for six years, with no consequences to the scammers. It should not be allowed to continue!”
For reference, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution plainly states: “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.”
Legitimate basis for Fourth Amendment claim
The Washington Examiner reported that, following an initial denial, the FBI has since admitted that its agents improperly seized three passports belonging to former President Trump, as well as several boxes containing materials protected by the attorney-client privilege or Trump’s retained executive privilege as a former president.
It is possible that the FBI agents who participated in the raid of Mar-a-Lago inaccurately believed that they were authorized to seize those passports and privileged documents due to what some critics have characterized as a potentially illegal and unnecessarily broad search warrant.
That warrant appears to have given the raiding agent carte-blanche to seize virtually any and every document they came across in Trump’s residence, as it authorized the seizure of “any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”
“Trump’s attorneys could have a runway to argue the scope of the search is overly broad,” former senior FBI official Kevin Brock told Just the News this week. “Search warrants normally require a level of specificity that seems to be missing in this warrant. Specificity is important in order to protect 4th Amendment rights from exuberant government overreach designed to find whatever they can.”
FBI acting as “Joe Biden‘s personal Gestapo”
Meanwhile, it isn’t just former President Trump who believes the FBI raid of his home was a potentially illegal and grossly partisan abuse of government force against a political opponent, at least according to a poll this week by Rasmussen Reports.
That poll found that 53 percent of likely voters agreed that the FBI raid was evidence of “politicized thugs at the top of the FBI” using the bureau as “Joe Biden‘s personal Gestapo” against his political opponents — a number that included 76 percent of Republicans and even 49 percent of independents.