When the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago early last month, they recovered a massive trove of highly classified documents, over 40 concerningly empty folders, and a few of the former President's personal effects.
Among those, Donald Trump claims, are his personal health records and tax records - which raises more questions than it answers.
Donald Trump Accuses FBI of Taking Private and Privileged Documents
Trump took to Truth Social this morning to blast the FBI again, writing, "Not only did the FBI steal my Passports in the FBI Raid and Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago, but it has just been learned through court filings that they also improperly took my complete and highly confidential medical file and history, with all the bells and whistles (at least they’ll see that I’m very healthy, an absolutely perfect physical specimen!), plus personal Tax Records (Illegal to take), and lawyer/client/privileged information, a definite NO, NO."
Trump added, "Days of the Soviet Union!"
It has already been revealed that the FBI took, and subsequently returned, passports that belonged to Trump when they seized documents in August.
But the fact that Trump's medical records and tax records were snatched up in the search begs the question - why was Trump keeping his personal effects among state secrets?
The disturbing answer comes back to something experts have been pointing out since the search was executed; Trump believes the classified documents belong to him. In Trump's mind, keeping his items among the classified documents make sense because they're all equally his property.
Legally, however, the former POTUS is mistaken. The National Archives owns the documents they have recovered, and the former President could face serious charges once the most pressing question is answered: where did those empty files go?
If Republicans Don't Sweep Midterms, Who's to Blame?
The midterm elections haven't even been held yet and there's already plenty of blame to go around for who won or lost if things go badly for Republicans.
Most commonly, midterm elections go to the party opposite from the sitting President; it's the voter's way of making their dissatisfaction heard and reminding the current administration that they don't have a divine mandate. With record-level inflation and a worrying economy, heading into the midterms earlier this year things looked good for Republicans. But then two things happened: the SCOTUS and Donald Trump.
The Supreme Court ruling overturning centuries old precedent with Roe v Wade energized voters at the start of the summer. But that alone would not have been enough to stall Republican momentum ahead of November. And even the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago and seizure of documents alone wouldn't have done it. But Trump's actions since that search may be enough to blunt the Republican advantage heading into the midterms.
Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy explained on Fox this week. Per Mediaite, "Appearing on Tuesday’s Your World with Neil Cavuto, McCarthy, a former U.S. attorney, said Trump’s public statements about the case have hurt him and may make it more likely the DOJ criminally charges him.
'He had them when he shouldn’t have had them,' Cavuto said, referring to the documents. 'But the sheer volume of them, does it make a difference the fact there were thousands of them?'
McCarthy responded that Trump is not helping his case.
'I think that goes to where I believe President Trump is not helping himself with his public statements,' he said. 'I think if you want a resolution of this without a prosecution, the best thing he could do right now is to stop talking about it. I think, unfortunately, he sees it in terms of the possibility of making a 2024 run. He sees that this is a positive in terms of his political campaign. So he keeps harping on it, but I think by harping on it, he makes it more likely that he gets charged.'”
And if Trump goes down, the midterms could look bleak indeed for the Republicans. There is some question as to whether the Department of Justice will suspend their investigations due to the "60-day rule" which prohibits them from taking action that could influence an election within 60 days of that election. But it's not an actual rule, merely precedent - and since Trump himself is not on the ballot, there is no clear answer.