Former President Trump spent the weekend raving about the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago club last month. And this time, he’s got a new gripe: The agents, he said, failed to remove their footwear while searching his bedroom for sensitive government records.
Trump claimed, without evidence, that the agents turned his Palm Beach, Florida, property upside-down during their Aug. 8 search in a post on his Truth Social network.
“It was ‘ransacked,’ and in far different condition than the way I left it,” Trump wrote after he finally returned to Mar-a-Lago this weekend to have a look himself. “Many Agents - And they didn’t even take off their shoes in my bedroom. Nice!!!”
Trump is a famous germaphobe and seems to have found the idea of federal agents galumphing through his boudoir galling. But the objection also underscored the split-screen gap between the amount of deference Trump often claims he’s owed by investigators and the stiff punishments he demands for others.
For instance, Trump’s lawyers claimed, while he was in office, that he should be immune from any kind of criminal investigation whatsoever. They argued in court that even an accounting firm that had worked for Trump should be able to blow off a grand jury subpoena.
Yet just hours before Trump wrote that federal agents should doff their shoes before entering his bedroom, he won applause from his followers at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio by calling for the summary execution of people caught dealing drugs. (At the same event, his fans also served up an eerie, stiff-armed salute that puzzled commentators and drew comparisons to a certain, infamous stiff-armed salute from the last century.)
Meanwhile, the legal battle over the documents seized by those boot-wearing agents continued apace.
An appeals court in the 11th Circuit set a tight deadline for deciding whether the Department of Justice can continue using the documents seized at Trump’s property in their investigation.
Use of the files in the probe was frozen by District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, in a ruling widely criticized by independent lawyers for resting on shaky logic and appearing overly deferential toward Trump’s interests. Judge Cannon was appointed by Trump, and she was confirmed to the bench for a lifetime appointment by the Senate after Trump lost the 2020 election.
Trump’s lawyers must respond to the DOJ’s appeal by Tuesday at noon, the appellate court said, setting a lightning-quick turnaround. That pacing suggests the court may either reverse or sustain Cannon’s order within a matter of days, although the losing side could still appeal to a broader grouping of judges on the appeals court or to the Supreme Court.
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