Max Boot in The Washington Post:
The more we learn about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the sillier — and more sinister — the overcaffeinated Republican defenses of former president Donald Trump look. A genius-level spinmeister, Trump set the tone with a Monday evening statement announcing: “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.” That description allowed his followers to imagine a scene straight out of a Hollywood action picture, with agents in FBI jackets busting down the doors and holding the former president and first lady at gunpoint while they ransacked the premises. Although Trump’s team had a copy of the search warrant, he gave no hint of why the FBI might have been there, claiming, “It is … an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”
His followers — which means pretty much the whole of the Republican Party — took up the cry based on no more information than that. Fox News host Mark Levin called the search “the worst attack on this republic in modern history, period.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) called it “corrupt & an abuse of power.” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) compared the FBI to “the Gestapo.” Not to be outdone, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Whackadoodle) said the FBI was the “American Stasi,” and compared its agents to wolves “who want to eat you.” “Today is war,” declared Steven Crowder, a podcaster with a YouTube audience of 5.6 million people. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted “DEFUND THE FBI!” Former Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon, among many others, suggested that the FBI and the Justice Department (“essentially lawless criminal organizations”) might have planted evidence.
…The New York Times, meanwhile, reported that the search was conducted by FBI agents “intentionally not wearing the blue wind breakers emblazoned with the agency’s logo usually worn during searches.” The club was closed, and Trump was not there. He was in New York, where he would plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination more than 400 times during a deposition with the New York attorney general. But according to Trump’s lawyer, Trump and his family were able to watch the entire search on Mar-a-Lago’s closed-circuit security cameras. So much for the crackpot claim that the FBI could have planted evidence!