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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Merrick Garland’s Mar-a-Lago Warrant Gambit

Who says Merrick Garland is a political naif? The Attorney General emerged briefly from Main Justice on Thursday to defend the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s residence without saying much at all. Instead he put the burden on Mr. Trump to let a federal judge release the judicial warrant that allowed the search of Mar-a-Lago.

Mr. Garland said he had asked the judge to release the warrant and property list presented by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago, which gives the appearance of transparency. The magistrate will no doubt consult Mr. Trump’s attorney, and if the former President declines his assent the warrant may stay sealed. That could make it look as if Mr. Trump is trying to hide something, though a warrant is nothing more than a license to search a premises. It is not an implication of guilt, though it can do reputational harm if it suggests the FBI is looking for evidence of wrongdoing.

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