Published on: August 9, 2022, 09:01 am.
Last update: 9 August 2022, 09:02.
Donald Trump was the subject of an FBI raid on his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, yesterday, a fairly unprecedented and dramatic development in the federal government investigating a former president.
Sources close to federal law enforcement say the raid is to address allegations that Trump took secret records from the White House to his Florida mansion. Trump has called the scrutiny the “weaponization of the justice system.”
Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States,” Trump said in a statement first released to his social media company Truth Social. “This unannounced raid on my home was neither necessary nor appropriate. It’s prosecutorial misconduct … and an attack by radical left-wing Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for president in 2024.”
Multiple media outlets say the sting was related to the National Archives’ petition asking the Justice Department to seize 15 boxes of classified records that Trump took with him after he left the White House in January 2021. Federal law prohibits the disposal of classified documents in unauthorized locations, although as president it could be argued that Trump had the final authority in declassifying the records he decided to take with him to Florida.
2024 Quotas are extended
Sources close to the DOJ and FBI say the Mar-a-Lago raid was unrelated to the ongoing Congressional hearings on January 6, 2021. The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 attack continues to investigate the events leading up to crowds of Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol that day and what role the then-president may have played in it.
But even though yesterday’s FBI raid had nothing to do with Jan. 6, the criminal investigation has some 2,024 bettors giving up on a second Trump term. On betting exchange Smarkets, which allows users to buy and sell shares of political outcomes, Trump’s odds for 2024 fell overnight amid backlash over developments at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump currently has about a 20% chance on the betting site of winning the November 5, 2024 US presidential election. Before the raid, bookies gave the former president a more than 22% chance of securing a second term.
“Overnight news from Florida saw betting markets cut Donald Trump’s chances of re-election in 2024, with Ron DeSantis now the favorite to take the White House,” said Matthew Shaddick, head of political markets at Smarkets. Casino.org. “Trump’s potential legal troubles have always factored into his price, but this development must raise the possibility that he won’t even make it to the starting line in 2024.”
DeSantis, the current Republican governor of Florida, was the betting favorite with just over 23 percent odds. President Joe Biden is a distant third with about 12 percent, and Vice President Kamala Harris is fourth with 5 percent. California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, rounds out the top five at 4.5 percent.
Trump is apparently preparing to run
Despite the FBI and DOJ ring on his estate, Donald Trump appears to be preparing another run for the presidency. In his statement in response to yesterday’s events, the former president attributed the operation to a political witch hunt.
We stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, restored power to the people… and the establishment hated it. Now as they watch my endorsed candidates win big and see my dominance in everything  polls, they’re trying to stop me and the Republican Party,” Trump said.
“Iniquity, political persecution and witch-hunts must be exposed and stopped,” Trump concluded.