Press "Enter" to skip to content

Opinion Was the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago justified? Only the documents know.

Frida Ghitis: The FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago has created a logical tension at the center of American political life. She says if the FBI has been used as an instrument of political harassment, then former judge Merrick Garland has become Mr. Hyde or, in the typically restrained Republican translation, a Nazi. Ghitis says it's possible that a stickler for the rules such as Garland is offended by Trump’s complete indifference to the rules of presidential document preservation. The likely next speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, has promised to use his office to persecute Garland, no matter what the justification for the search may turn out to be, she says. Ghitis writes.

If this were a fishing expedition, the absence of fish would show the expedition to be reckless. It is also possible that a search formally justified by the protection of presidential documents could have other legal purposes. The justification for the search would depend on the likely presence of material that is damaging to Trump, not just illegally in his possession.