The FBI Search of Mar-a-Lago: Five Takeaways and Questions
Plus, Ron DeSantis Endorses Election Deniers.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The DOJ Crosses the Rubicon
JVL: There's a Storm Coming 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
The potential significance of Monday’s FBI search of Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida cannot be overstated. It matters for Trump’s personal criminal liability, yes. But it is also symbolically meaningful for the rule of law and the Constitution, which are under assault right now.
Although a great deal remains unknown, here are five immediate takeaways and some of the big remaining questions.
WILLIAM SALETAN: ‘Defund the FBI’—the MAGA Right’s Hypocritical New Slogan.
Two years ago, in congressional and state elections, Republican candidates accused Democrats of supporting proposals to “defund” or “abolish” police. Actually, although anti-police slogans were widespread on social media and among protesters, very few Democratic officeholders supported these ideas. But Republicans didn’t let those facts get in the way. They smeared the whole Democratic party as an agent of crime and chaos.
Monday’s FBI search of Mar-a-Lago—reportedly in pursuit of classified documents that former President Donald Trump may have illegally kept when he left office—has turned this issue upside down. Now that law enforcement has targeted Trump, conservatives are denouncing the FBI. Some want to defund the bureau; others are demanding its complete abolition. Here are some of the more egregious reversals.
Trump supporters who slammed the left for Defund the Police now want to Defund the FBI because whatever the “Lock Her Up” guy was doing to justify a search warrant couldn’t possibly be illegal. Peter Wehner joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Ron DeSantis Endorses Election Deniers.
Pour one out for all the anti-anti-Trumpers who thought the grand eminence of the Sunshine State, America’s Governor Ron DeSantis, would be coy enough to avoid getting mired in all the yucky January 6th-style election denialism so he could be the great 2024 Republican vessel to painlessly float them away from the land of mean tweets.
It’s not that I hate to say, “I told you so.” That’s usually pretty fun. I’m just sick of saying it a hundred million times. What did they expect? DeSantis is the guy who made his baby play “Build the Wall” to endear himself to Trump in his 2018 gubernatorial primary. Subtlety has never been his thing.
This campaign season, DeSantis is sending another unmistakable pro-Trump signal by wrapping himself in a big unity flag with MAGA candidates Doug Mastriano and Kari Lake. Announcements went out Monday that DeSantis is ready and willing to campaign with these two great patriots who just happened to stake their campaigns on Trump’s 2020 election lies, false claims of fraud, threats to prosecute those who certified the election, and promises to (somehow) overturn the results.
LINDSAY M. CHERVINSKY: The Rediscovering of David McCullough.
“Have you read John Adams? What do you think of the miniseries?”
These are the first questions I receive anytime I tell anyone I’m writing a book on John Adams. They never include the full title, the author’s name, or the title of the HBO miniseries. They don’t have to.
Between 1968 and 1992, David McCullough had written six books and racked up a slew of awards, including the National Book Award (twice) and the Pulitzer Prize. His voice, if not his name, was familiar to many Americans as the narrator of many programs on PBS, most famously Ken Burns’s 1990 documentary series The Civil War. But he didn’t become a real cultural touchstone until 2001, when he published John Adams.
More bad news for Trump. A court ruled that the House Ways & Means Committee can access Trump’s taxes. But the clock is ticking until midterms.
Just what did they expect? A senior living community built during the pandemic 1.5 miles from Dulles airport is raising a ruckus over the noise. Try living a few miles from a Marine Base.
Boy, this field is sure dusty… A tearjerker at the Little League World Series.
A movie assignment. If you have not watched the movie Bob Roberts, you should do so as soon as you can. It was before its time, which, sadly, is now. It’s based on the SNL skit of the same name that aired earlier in 1992. As Ultra MAGAs lined up outside Mar-a-Lago last night to stand vigil after the dastardly Feds dared do their jobs, all I could think of was this movie and its ending.
The whiplash of the GOP on tech. After achieving victory under Ajit Pai’s FCC on Net Neutrality, the party is at odds with its former self.
Meet “Dark Brandon.” How the left took the offensive chant and turned it into a meme.
Wait, they defecated on the floor? Wild new accusations in a lawsuit against Project Veritas from a former employee.
Fund the IRS. A popular talking point on the right is about all of the new IRS funding. Go read this article and tell me how well equipped they are? So, yeah, we should be funding the IRS. We should want it to be competent and efficient.
One lame duck Republican Congresswoman, who lost her primary in Missouri, even suggested we should use the money for border patrol agents. If you had to guess what number is greater: IRS agents or border patrol agents, what would you guess? (Answer here.)
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.