The FBI’s raid of the former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate “handed” the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to Trump and prompted moderate Republicans to vote for him, according to Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman and a critic of Trump.
Trump announced that his Florida property was “under siege” and “occupied by a group of FBI agents” in a statement late on Aug. 8, calling it evidence of “prosecutorial misconduct” and a “weaponization of the Justice System.”
The raid was not announced and was motivated because Democrats do not want Trump to run again for president in 2024, the former president said.
Walsh, who applauded the FBI’s raid on Twitter, said the move angered many GOP voters and pushed them to campaign and vote for Trump.
“I’ve heard from so many GOP voters tonight who were cooling a bit these past few months on Trump but who are so pissed off about this raid and are back to completely & enthusiastically all in with their support for him,” Walsh later wrote in an Aug. 8 post.
‘Handed’ Trump the Nomination
In another post, Walsh said the FBI’s move handed the GOP nomination to Trump.
“Both things are true: 1. The Justice Department’s job is to pursue justice & uphold the rule of law. And they should NEVER let politics get in the way of that. Yesterday, they did their job. 2. What happened yesterday handed the 2024 GOP nomination to Donald Trump,” he said on Twitter.
Trump hasn’t formally announced his presidential bid despite growing confirmation that he will run for the White House again in 2024. On Aug. 7, Trump hinted again about his potential 2024 presidential bid but stopped short of announcing a run.
On Aug. 8, FBI agents raided the resort.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump stand outside his residence in Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida on Aug. 8, 2022. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)
Eric Trump, one of Trump’s sons, said the raid was conducted to see whether his father possessed any documents from his time in office, adding that the former president has been cooperating with the National Archives on the matter for months.
“The purpose for the raid, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession,” Eric Trump said on Fox News.
However, Walsh said if the FBI’s raid “is just about 15 boxes of classified material Trump took down to Mar-a-Lago, this will absolutely enrage his supporters and only strengthen Trump within the GOP.”
He added the former president is “definitely announcing he’s running in early Sept.”
Several other critics of Trump also expressed the same viewpoint.
Former Democratic New York City mayoral candidate and presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who recently formed a new political party, said while he hopes Trump “as far away from the White House as possible,” the FBI’s raid “strengthens that case for millions of Americans who will see this as unjust persecution.”
Alyssa Farah Griffin, former White House communications director who is now extraordinarily critical of Trump, said on CNN’s “New Day” that she hopes the raid “goes beyond simply not complying with some archiving laws.”
Otherwise, the “DOJ just handed Donald Trump the Republican nominee and potentially the presidency,” Griffin, also CNN’s political commentator, said on Tuesday.
“If it’s seen as some sort of massive overreach and not something incredibly serious, this is a very good day for Donald Trump.”
The FBI has declined to comment on the raid. The Department of Justice has not returned an inquiry. A White House official told The Epoch Times in an email it was not notified of the raid before it took place.