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FBI agents raided one of the former president’s Florida homes Monday as part of a forensic investigation into his archives. An unprecedented trial of a former American head of state that enraged his supporters.
It was still dawn in Palm Beach Monday morning when about 30 FBI agents with a search warrant showed up at the gate of the Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump’s extravagant Florida home. They would then have spent several hours on site, inspecting each office, opening what appeared to be an empty armored safe and confiscating numerous boxes of documents. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States,” the former White House resident protested hours later in a long, puffy press release, referring to a “descent” into his “magnificent home.” was “besieged” and “occupied” by federal agents during his absence. And no one will disagree with Donald Trump on the first point: none of his predecessors have ever suffered such an affront. But this president, from winning the election campaign to denying his overthrow four years later, has grown accustomed to his world thwarting and eclipsing all forms of historical norms.
By law, such a warrant could only be obtained by FBI investigators with the approval of a federal judge and on the basis of the “probable cause” principle — that is, provided the judge does not find it merely probable that a crime has been committed is, but also that the pe…