Donald Trump has responded with fury to an FBI raid on his home in Palm Beach, Florida, in terms that suggest he will use it to whip up his supporters. On Monday evening his office was searched by officers investigating the removal of official documents from the White House covering his tenure.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before,” Trump said in a statement. “After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”

The decision to authorise the operation will have been taken directly by the Attorney General, and indicates the Department of Justice is stepping up its attempts to use the full force of the legal system against Trump as he considers whether or not to run again in 2024. If convicted of unlawfully removing documents he could, in theory, go to jail and be barred from running again from office.
Trump supporters are likely to be galvanised by this latest development. If it encourages him to run again, and raise money to fight legal cases, it could even backfire and make him more popular with his fans.

Trump was not at home during the raid. He’s shuttling between New York and New Jersey preparing for another legal wrangle over his family’s tax affairs, according to reports.

On past form, Trump will use the FBI raid to suggest to his supporters that there is an elite attempt to block him from winning again in 2024. His son Eric has already said as much.
His opponents, and many others who are worried around the world, will say that if there isn’t such an effort there should be one organised.

An extract in the New Yorker from a new book on Trump’s time in office makes for chilling reading. It details his squabbles with US Generals. They grew so concerned that he would authorise a military strike on Iran to engineer a war as a pretext for clinging to office, after he had lost the 2020 election but could not admit it, that they contacted the Iranians asking them not to do anything blatant to give him an excuse.

At one point Trump complained that he wanted Generals who were completely loyal to the leader, like German Generals in the Second World War. It had to be pointed out to him that some Generals were involved in the 1944 plot against Hitler, and that unlike Nazi-era Germany America is a democracy, where the military is loyal to the country and the constitution, not to one man.