No, Matt Gaetz, this isn’t “the Stasi” storming into Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

The FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for his involvement in the January 6 insurrection has sent his supporters in Congress and around the country into a frenzy, accusing the agency of storming the place like an East German Stasi.

Samantha Jackson

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In a tweet last Tuesday, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said: They just wanted to storm the place like the East German Stasi. This is in my opinion the most defining moment of the Joe Biden presidency. Before this, it would have been Afghanistan.” The FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago was part of its investigation into what happened concerning Trump’s involvement with the January 6 insurrection. This was a legal move by law enforcement agencies, not a political one. It is certainly not an example of the Stasi or any other authoritarian regime. Joe Biden is the president of the United States, but he has no authority to order an FBI raid. The FBI’s investigation into Trump was not politically motivated; it was a legal move by law enforcement agencies, not a political one.

The FBI cannot search your property unless a federal judge signs a warrant authorizing that search. They can’t just barge in without probable cause. The head of the FBI is Christopher Wray who was appointed by Donald Trump. For a federal judge to agree to a search at the home of a former president is unheard of, suggesting he was incredibly confident that evidence of criminal activity involving the January 6 insurrection would be found there. In addition, this investigation was not the first one into Trump’s campaign. The DOJ also investigated Russian interference in our elections and whether that interference was related to the Trump campaign. Of course, we now know it was — according to Mueller’s investigation.

It’s not accurate to compare the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to East Germany’s Stasi. The Stasi was known for using torture to extract confessions — and it was so notorious that its name became synonymous with political repression and surveillance. “The Stasi” were notorious for its oppression of citizens.

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Samantha Jackson

community organizer / intersectional feminist / Take That & NKOTB fan / fashion enthusiast