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The FBI's Raid at Mar-a-Lago: Over-reach?

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Political Analyst Dr. Frank M. Sorrentino is with us today to on the Lean to the Left podcast to discuss the FBI raid of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate and its potential future political impact.

On the podcast, Sorrentino questions the seriousness of the FBI's investigation of classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago by former President Donald Trump, saying that the Justice Department appeared to be in no hurry to recover the documents.

However, he agrees that the important question is what those documents contain and what Trump planned to do with them -- and that an investigation into the episode is needed. During the episode, Sorrentino criticizes the Justice Department for becoming embroiled in a political dispute, even though Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged that will not happen during the Biden Administration. The FBI, he says, has a long history of being used for political purposes.

In his latest book, “Presidential Power and The American Political System,” Sorrentino analyzes the history of the FBI, from the Palmer Raids in the Woodrow Wilson administration up to Watergate and the Richard Nixon Administration.

He’s a nationally recognized constitutional scholar, widely quoted and relied upon for his insight regarding the major political developments of our time. He received both his PhD and Master's Degree in Politics from New York University and has spent time on the faculty of NYU, Long Island University and Kean College, and has been honored several times by The National Political Science Honor Society.

Once again, his book is "Presidential Power and The American Political System," published by the Archway, Division of Simon & Schuster.

Here are some questions discussed on the episode:

Q. How serious is it that Trump apparently took highly classified and sensitive documents home to Mar a Lago after he left the White House?

Q. According to the warrant for the raid, the search was related to potential violations of the Espionage Act, which has been used to prosecute both foreign spies and domestic leakers, including Daniel Ellsberg. This is pretty serious, right?

Q. You’ve been quoted as saying that "The FBI has been political since its inception.” Why is that? I thought the FBI was supposed to be above reproach.

Q. You also said that "This incident may be a most significant event." That seems to be somewhat of an understatement, but why do you say that?

Q. News reports indicate that classified documents Trump took to Mar a Lago involved nuclear weapons among other highly sensitive and top secret documents. Of course, Trump says the “nuclear weapons issue is a hoax.” But, if that is true, what should happen to Trump?

Q. How are potential violations of classified materials normally handled?

Q. What is the political impact of this event?

Q. One thing we know is Trump is raking in big money in contributions, over $1 million a day last week, according to published reports. Is this right?

Q. What do you think of Trump’s many false and misleading claims about the raid, such as that Biden played a role and that the FBI may have planted evidence during the raid?

Q. What do you make of so many top Republicans making excuses for Trump and accusing the FBI of “gastapo” tactics, etc. Do you think this might come back to bite them?

Q. Have raids like this happened to other former Presidents?

Q. Tell us about your book and where people can find it.

Listen to the podcast:

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