Eight days after the shock search of Donald Trump's Florida estate, the hysteria that gripped Republicans has taken on unreal proportions.
Some Trump supporters continue to support him unwaveringly.
The version changes, denials, lies, fabricated fabrications and serious threats that were made in speak volumes about the moral conscience of the self-proclaimed “law and order” party.
Since this search, which led to the seizure of top-secret documents that Donald Trump could not, by law, keep at home, the explanations given by the former president on his Truth Social network, sometimes fanciful, often illogical and misleading, have set the tone for the Republican Party. Many Grand Old Party tenors just repeated them, like good parrots.
Shortly after the search was made public, Donald Trump first said that he had worked with the FBI and that it had entered Mar-a-Lago inappropriately. Then, as the agency revealed it had recovered nearly a dozen sets of classified documents, he suggested that agents planted false evidence to incriminate him.
Faced with the enormity of such remarks and the seriousness of the FBI in this matter, the former tenant of the White House then branched off to another explanation: he had the permanent power to declassify documents that come out of the White House and meet at his residence. So, if we follow the evolution of Donald Trump's defense, the FBI had therefore put false evidence that he would have finally declassified before leaving office… Absurd, no?
FBI Director Christopher Wray was appointed by ex-President Donald Trump.
And since an attack on Barack Obama never hurts to promote his FBI political persecution-themed fundraising campaign, Donald Trump then claimed that his predecessor had done the same with classified documents. President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, most of which are classified, Trump said. How many of them were nuclear? Apparently a lot!
Except the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which maintains records after a president's departure, has confirmed that Barack Obama did indeed properly delivered his documents, as required by the Presidential Records Act 1978.
Recall that the search warrant made public showed that Donald Trump is being investigated for a potential violation of the Espionage Act and possible obstruction of justice.
But according to some Republicans, a lawfully executed search of Mr. Trump's property deserves nothing but opprobrium and threats, since obviously, according to them, it is a targeted attack by the White House which uses the Department of Justice as a weapon to get rid of the ex-president. They would almost forget that the director of the FBI, Christopher A. Wray, was appointed to his post by Donald Trump himself.
Conspiracy ideas conveyed by Donald Trump have therefore resonated with not only his faithful, but also big names in the party who, for the most part, have united behind their former boss to defend him. Among them, Mike Pence, potential opponent to the Republican nomination.
However, in October 2016, he was delighted that the FBI reopened an investigation into Hillary Clinton's famous email server because, he said, no one is above the law. Last week during the search, the former vice president said he now shared the deep concern of millions of Americans about the unprecedented search of his former running mate. Two weights, two measures?
Republican Party heavyweights, including New York State Representative Elise Stefanik, have lined up behind Donald Trump to castigate the FBI.
While Florida senator Marco Rubio mentioned a banana republic, his colleague Rick Scott, chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee, said the federal government had gone the way of the Gestapo.
In the opinion of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the FBI raid was a further escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against political opponents of the regime. Same story with Elise Stefanik, the third-ranked Republican representative in the House: There must be an immediate investigation into Joe Biden and his administration for using the FBI and the Department of Justice against their political opponents.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, said the search was Nixonian next-level to target a former president and political rival. As for Marjorie Taylor Greene, the voluble representative of Georgia, she spoke openly about the defunding of the FBI. The party of law and order?
Finally, Ronna McDaniel, Chairman of the Republican Party, said point-blank on Twitter five days ago: How long before the Democrats send in a "SWAT team" from the IRS [federal tax administration] for your kids' lemonade stand?
Will you be surprised, then, that the FBI is investigating an unprecedented number of threats against agency personnel and property since this Republican surge?
The search at the Mar-a-Lago, Florida estate continues to make political waves.
The federal agency and the Department of Homeland Security also issued a joint bulletin warning of violent threats against federal law enforcement, courts, and government personnel and facilities. Worse than that, the names of the two officers who signed the search warrant documents have been circulating online, thanks to right-wing media and network accounts.
Believe it or no, this whole Mar-a-Lago storm has even had some Republicans say that the idea of government agencies being used by the left to target political opponents would help Donald Trump win in 2024.
By its naturally partisan side, a political party must have a compass that will guide it as it navigates the sometimes troubled waters of decision-making, controversy and operational problems. Normal, therefore, that he constitutes a moral compass. But it looks like the Republican Party is having a really hard time finding its north.
This political tornado around the search of Donald Trump is blowing at a time when the party, under the influence of the ex-president, has selected, in more than half of the primaries which have taken place in 41 states so far, candidates who have chosen to line up behind the myth of the stolen 2020 election, yet repeatedly dismantled in court.
After a controversial Supreme Court decision on access to abortion, the numerous bills passed by Democrats in Congress, the continued decline in the rate of inflation and a certain fatigue among Americans in the face of the Trump saga crowned by the search and its fallout, voters could well decide to sulk a disoriented Republican Party.
Is it any coincidence that the red wave forecast for both chambers of Congress next November loses some of its power, according to the most recent surveys? Democrats don't necessarily expect to avoid the wrath of voters in the midterm elections. But will it be as dramatic as expected a few months ago?