Originally Published August 9, 2022 in the Daily Caller
This week’s FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago properly concerns every American — Republican, Democrat, Independent, or beyond — who cares about the rule of law and the system of norms that are the unwritten rules underpinning our formal Constitution.
One of the core mechanisms ensuring the continuity of American democracy is the fact — continuously true throughout two and a half centuries of history until, perhaps, yesterday — that it is safe to surrender office and leave power. The United States is nearly unique in the history of the developed world in that former presidents are not routinely investigated, harassed, or prosecuted by their successors.
We should acknowledge two things about former President Donald J. Trump. The first is that he occupies a place in the minds and worldviews of his enemies in the D.C. establishment that utterly deranges them. We know by now that their derangement leads them to weaponize institutions, including the FBI, that ought to protect us — but instead mostly now serve as the political police of the regime.
Their descent upon the private residence of a former president of the U.S. is sufficient testimony to that. Major institutional reform of the FBI ought to now move to the forefront of any conservative agenda.
One just needs to reflect on the last two presidential elections. The once premier law enforcement agency in the world, the FBI, meddled in each — to the detriment of Donald J. Trump. In 2016, the FBI used the enormous power of the federal government to spy on then-candidate Trump’s campaign.
In 2020, the FBI and intelligence agencies conspired with big tech to censor damaging and criminal information about then-candidate Joe Biden’s son and his questionable business dealings.
The second thing to understand about President Trump is that he is the most scrutinized president in modern American history. The raid on his home is merely the latest episode in years of efforts to investigate, overthrow, and discredit him. The odds and history tell us that it will likely achieve the same thing as all the others: nothing.
The instigators of the raid on Mar-a-Lago have taken America to a dangerous place. In a single day, they have smashed two and a half centuries of American civil-society precedent in their obsessive quest to destroy Donald Trump.
They have taken the unprecedented step of weaponizing federal law enforcement against a former president and they have further eroded trust of American citizens in their government. Future generations will judge them harshly for it. No man is above the law.
I know firsthand that President Trump would be the first to agree with that, but the current regime no longer abides by the law. What we see roaming the halls of Mar-a-Lago, armed, uniformed and unconstrained, is the face of left-wing governance. It is bound by no law. It seeks the destruction of its enemies.
Now the federal government is arming itself to intrude on everyday Americans even further. The Left’s priority includes hiring 87,000 new IRS agents that will likely investigate middle-class Americans. Remember, the Obama-Biden Administration used the IRS to target conservative groups.
They did it once. They will do it again. If their raid and targeting of former President Trump succeeds, they will come for you and me next.
Brooke Rollins is the president and chief executive officer of America First Policy Institute and the former director of the Domestic Policy Council and chief strategist in the White House under President Donald Trump.