Former FBI special agent Maureen O’Connell offered a telling take on why the Department of Justice was the “heavy” in the unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and not the FBI.
(Video: Fox News)
Appearing Thursday on Fox News’s “Special Report,” O’Connell was skeptical over reports that the DOJ was “trying to push” the FBI to execute the warrant for the Trump raid out of concern that “the integrity of the ongoing investigation might be compromised and the evidence might be destroyed.”
“If they say that they were so concerned about documents being destroyed, then that really doesn’t hold much water for me because we have heard that there were discussions about whether or not they were going to execute this warrant and my sources tell me they were spirited discussions for a couple of weeks,” O’Connell said. “So, if they were really concerned and I have been concerned many times in my career when writing warrants about the destruction of evidence and also when we’re hitting houses or executing warrants. When we’re concerned about, there are exigent circumstances and we know for a fact that something is most probably going to be destroyed. Here, I don’t really see that based on the timeline that we have discovered in the last week.”
The issue here being the timeline, as fellow panelist and Georgetown Law professor Jonathan Turley noted.
“The Wall Street Journal said that the attorney general sat on the application for weeks and yet you have the Justice Department, at least according to media leaking these stories, that they were out for nuclear secrets,” Turley said. “That time is of the essence and it’s a series of delays. That’s a reason a lot of this affidavit can be released because what we are really interested in is that period between the June meeting and the raid. What happened? Did they actually make a second request to the Trump team? Were they told to go pound sand? What happened during that period?”
“Because when you read what we saw today it sounds like a no knock warrant, it sounds like people are going to flush contraband down the toilet,” he continued. “Does the affidavit talk about the destruction allegation and put meat on the allegations we are reading in the press.”
Host Brett Baier asked O’Connell to comment on Trump’s legal team not having made a filing yet in the case to unseal the avadavat.
“Sometimes I think it’s just a real good idea to sit back and let the chips fall where they may. But when I look at the totality of the situation here, I really think — when we talk about spirited conversations going on for a couple of weeks, and DOJ… it seems to me the DOJ is the heavy in this situation,” she replied. “That they were trying to push the [FBI] to do this warrant. They were trying to push the bureau to really, really hit this situation hard. And my guess would be that the bureau was the one going against the DOJ in this particular situation, because when you consider which entity has more to lose — the FBI clearly has much more to lose from this situation.”
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