Bill Maher: Big raid saves Trump, screws DeSantis

On the latest edition of his HBO show, liberal comedian Bill Maher and his guests pondered whether the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property may turn out to be politically advantageous for him.

Maher began the discussion by asking whether the raid was equivalent to Al Capone’s vault, given that possession of classified material isn’t that big of a deal.

“They raided Mar-a-Lago this week. I guess the big question is, is it going to be Al Capone’s vault? … I had them look into this today, how many things are reported as classified, because this is classified information. He definitely shouldn’t have had it, no matter what it was, but they classify a million things,” he said.

“There’s 1.3 million people who are allowed to look at top secret. But then there’s actual top secret stuff — it sounds like some of the stuff he had in there. What is your guess as to how serious this. Is it gonna justify this raid, or is this going to be a political nightmare?”

FYI, as a reminder, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was also caught with “top secret” documents. Except that her home was never raided.

One of Maher’s guests, British commentator Piers Morgan, responded by noting that the left has a habit of overreacting to things — and that this may be a perfect example of that phenomenon, especially if the justification for the raid turns out to be weak.

“There is a tendency from those who don’t like him … to do what my grandmother would call over-egg the soufflé, and that can be a problem because it can play into his hands,” he said.

“I think you take a swing this big, you do an unprecedented act, you go and raid Mar-a-Lago with, you know, over 30 FBI agents, you’ve got to land a big punch in terms of evidence which actually nails it.”

As an example of what he meant, he recalled the 2016 election.

“I remember the day after the election 2016, I went to the Knicks’ basketball game. … And Chris Rock was at the next table. … And we’re talking about the election result, and he said a lot of interesting things about it, but the one that really stuck with me [was] he said, you know, the problem was they over-demonized [Trump]. He said if someone’s killed nine people, you don’t need to go around constantly saying he’s killed ten,” Morgan said.

“And I thought it was a really smart observation, because there’s always a tendency with Trump to overdo the sledgehammer, and then when it doesn’t quite deliver what you scream it’s delivering, he uses it to play the victim, the martyr. It fuels him, empowers him, and actually strengthens him.”

(Source: Trump White House)

He added that whether or not the raid will strengthen or weaken Trump boils down to the contents of the boxes that were retrieved by the FBI.

“In the end, it comes down to what is in these boxes… if it turns out to be the real deal, if it turns out that Donald Trump has violated the Espionage Act, that is a serious crime and he should be held to account,” he said.

“If it doesn’t turn out to be there, [then] there are legitimate questions, I think, from the Trump supporters about the different standards applied to Donald Trump that hasn’t been applied to Hillary Clinton, to James Comey, to Hunter Biden and the others.”

Maher pushed back by saying that he trusts Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray.

“I just don’t think those two people would have signed off on this if there wasn’t reason to do it,” he said.

But, he continued, even if the raid was justified, it still could be advantageous for the former president.

“It’s like Trump, he did sell his soul to the devil, because he is the luckiest man in the world. His fortune was finally falling, the ‘big lie’ was finally losing momentum, DeSantis was beating him in the polls. You know who hates this more than everybody? DeSantis. ‘I had this in the bag, and now I have to run against President Martyr.’ This is saving Trump politically,” he argued.

Morgan concluded the discussion by arguing that no matter how the raid plays out, current President Joe Biden will fare much better going up against Trump than up against DeSantis.

“If you’re Joe Biden, who would you rather face — Donald Trump, who has all the baggage, who has the January 6th investigation raging, a number of legal actions, all this stuff? … Would you rather face him again, or would you rather face a much younger, more dynamic DeSantis who doesn’t have the baggage?” he said.

“So in a way, you could see that although it looks in the short term like this might play out advantageously for Trump politically if he doesn’t get nailed by what’s going on here, [it] actually could work in Joe Biden’s favor in 2024.”

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Vivek Saxena

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