Former President Donald Trump allegedly conveyed a message to Attorney General Merrick Garland sometime before the AG’s press conference Thursday in which he defended the FBI’s raid of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home.
“Shortly before Mr. Garland made the announcement, a person close to Mr. Trump reached out to a Justice Department official to pass along a message from the former president to the attorney general,” The New York Times reported Saturday, citing its dubious anonymous sources.
“Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Garland to know that he had been checking in with people around the country and found them to be enraged by the search.”
“The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?” the president allegedly wrote to Garland.
It’s not clear why on Earth the former president would reach out to Garland of all people, especially given as the AG’s department is responsible for the outrage currently permeating the right.
Last Monday, the FBI, a subset of the Department of Justice, raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in pursuit of classified documents.
As noted by many critics on the right, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never faced a raid of any type despite her own possession of classified information.
It doesn’t help that Clinton has been gloating about the disparate treatment:
Hillary gloats about getting away with what Trump got raided for, uses her email scandal to fundraise https://t.co/vAMYEuPgEc
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) August 10, 2022
Speaking of the left’s bad behavior, many on the establishment left have responded to the Times’ reporting by bizarrely accusing Trump of trying to intimidate Garland.
It’s not clear how him allegedly asking Garland how he can help reduce the tension across America amounts to an act of intimidation.
— Christian Vanderbrouk 🇺🇸🇺🇦🌻 (@UrbanAchievr) August 13, 2022
Donald Trump issuing a mob-boss-like threat to the Attorney General of the United States by saying “What can I do to reduce the heat?” is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen a criminal do in my entire life. Garland is going to bring the hammer down on this domestic terrorist pic.twitter.com/XFRwZYPfSx
— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈🇺🇸 (@AmoneyResists) August 13, 2022
I would classify this as extortion. Implicitly threatening violence as retribution. If trump had threatened to expose something about Garland unless he backed off, such as having invited J. Epstein to his house so they could party with underage girls, that would be blackmail. pic.twitter.com/kzbRtCoxZ4
— Timmy (@Timmy65784) August 13, 2022
CRITICAL TRUMP had someone call Garland before presser and threatened him by implying all hell will break loose around the Country if DOJ continues investigating him. I’m sure DOJ traced the caller etc but this is pure mob boss Putin Hitler stuff!
— karen langsam (@karen_langsam) August 13, 2022
Trump is trying to blackmail the Attorney General of the United States
He had someone send the AG this: “The country’s on fire. What can I do reduce the heat?”
Are u kidding? He himself is the arsonist! He himself is inciting violence
America shouldn’t negotiate w terrorists
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) August 13, 2022
Again, it’s not clear how the message, if true, constitutes a “mob-boss-like threat” or a form of “extortion.”
What remains unclear is what happens next.
One growing belief, as expressed by commentator Scott Jennings on Sunday, is that, based on the severity of the action taken against Trump — a former president — either he needs to be indicted or Garland needs to resign from his post.
“[T]his can only end one of two ways. He’s got to be indicted, or Merrick Garland has to resign. You can’t raid the president’s house, the former president, and possible future candidate, say to the American people, we think he’s violating three different laws, and then do nothing,” Jennings said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“[T]his cannot end in any — in any other way. I mean, how could it possibly end with just, well, OK, we got them [the classified documents] back, and it’s over now? That — there’s no going back now.”
The problem is that indicting Trump would create a calamitous double standard that would effectively destroy the Justice Department’s credibility.
As Mark Antonio Wright put it in a piece for National Review, “[A]nyone … who thinks that the FBI and Department of Justice’s credibility can survive in the eyes of the average, normie American if it prosecutes Donald J. Trump on very, very similar mishandling-of-classified-documents charges that Hillary avoided with nary a slap on the wrist is naïve to the point of lunacy.”
Especially since the evidence suggests Clinton’s transgressions were even worse than those allegedly committed by Trump:
In fact, conservatives argue her transgressions were far, far, far worse — or at least compared to what’s known thus far about Trump’s alleged transgressions.https://t.co/PGWKjH1Z9b
— Debra Carey (@DebraKC56) August 14, 2022
She was caught with “seven email chains concerning matters that were classified top secret special access level programs,” she had her aides destroy two of her phones with a hammer, and she had her aides wipe her digital devices clean with BleachBit.
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