Trump has been vocal in the three weeks since the raid on his Truth Social platform about his fury over the unprecedented search, which was conducted to retrieve boxes of classified documents the 45th president brought to his Palm Beach, Florida, golf club after leaving office. His supporters will gather in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to see the former president stump for his preferred candidates: GOP Senate hopeful Dr. Mehmet Oz and state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial nominee.
The event is taking place over Labor Day weekend, the unofficial start of the midterm election season.
The former president has been active on his social media platform voicing his displeasure with the FBI raid. He has even phoned in to a number of conservative radio shows to bemoan how federal authorities have treated him, as well as to denounce the investigation itself. Trump is known for being his most politically comfortable at campaign rallies, where he frequently goes off-script and takes aim at his opponents.
He is widely expected to have much to say on the raid and investigation into him at Saturday’s event. He will also potentially go after President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland, likely accusing them of partisanship related to the raid of his Florida home.
The Justice Department released a redacted version of the affidavit explaining the search last week. Although the document was heavily censored, it did cite “national defense information” found in multiple boxes obtained from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year as justification for seeking the warrant. It also cited evidence of potential obstruction of justice.
Roughly 184 documents collected from the former president’s resort during a January transfer with the National Archives and Records Administration contained material that bore classified markings and ultimately led to the Aug. 8 raid, according to the affidavit. In that batch, 67 documents were labeled as “confidential,” 92 of them were categorized as “secret,” and 25 were designated “top secret.”
Trump has not been charged related to the matter, though the DOJ’s investigation into his handling of White House documents continues. He has denied any wrongdoing, arguing that the files he possessed were “all declassified.”
Nevertheless, not all of his legal allies agree that his behavior was safe from scrutiny. Famed constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz, who defended Trump in his first impeachment hearings, argued on Friday that there was enough evidence to indict Trump. He cautioned, however, that prosecutors wouldn’t charge him due to precedents he dubbed the “Nixon-Clinton standards.”
Former Attorney General William Barr, who fell out with Trump when he refused to participate in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, said on Friday that his former boss had no legitimate reason to hold on to those documents.
“I can’t think of a legitimate reason why they could be taken out of the government … if they’re classified,” Barr said in a Fox News appearance. “If, in fact, [Trump] sort of stood over scores of boxes, not really knowing what was in them, and said, ‘I hereby declassify everything in here,’ that would be such an abuse. … It’s almost worse than taking the documents.”