Donald Trump was the subject of an FBI raid at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago yesterday. It was a rather unprecedented and dramatic development in the federal government scrutinizing a former president.
Sources close to federal law enforcement say the raid has to do with allegations that Trump took classified records from the White House to his Florida mansion. Trump called the sweep the “weaponization of the Justice System.”
Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States,” Trump said in a statement first released to his social media company, Truth Social. “This unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate. It is prosecutorial misconduct … and an attack by radical left democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for president in 2024.”
Numerous media outlets say the sting was in relation to the National Archives petitioning the Justice Department. The requested DOJ to seize 15 boxes of classified records Trump took with him after departing the White House in January 2021. Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though as president, it could be argued that Trump had the final authority in declassifying records he decided to take with him to Florida.
2024 Odds Lengthen
Sources close to the DOJ and FBI claim the Mar-a-Lago raid was not in relation to ongoing January 6, 2021, congressional hearings. The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack continues to probe the events that resulted in a mob of Trump supporters breaching the US Capitol on that day, and what possible role the then-president played.
But even if the FBI’s raid yesterday had little or nothing to do with January 6, the criminal probe has caused some 2024 bettors to fold on a Trump second term. On the betting exchange Smarkets, which allows users to buy and sell shares of political outcomes, Trump’s 2024 odds fell overnight amid reaction to the Mar-a-Lago developments.
Trump is currently given about a 20% chance on the betting site of winning the US presidential election on November 5, 2024. Before the raid, bettors gave the former president a more than 22% chance of securing a second term.
“The overnight news from Florida saw the betting markets downgrade Donald Trump’s chance of re-election in 2024, with Ron DeSantis now the favorite to take the White House,” Matthew Shaddick, Smarkets’ head of political markets, told Casino.org. “Trump’s potential legal problems had always been factored into his price. But this development must increase the possibility that he won’t even get to the 2024 start line.”
DeSantis, the current Republican governor of Florida, had been the betting front-runner, with a little more than a 23% chance. President Joe Biden is a distant third at about 12%, and VP Kamala Harris fourth at 5%. California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom rounds out the top five at 4.5%.
Trump Seemingly Prepping Run
Despite the FBI and DOJ raid on his estate, Donald Trump appears to be readying another presidential run. In his statement in response to yesterday’s events, the former president chalked up the operation to a political witch hunt.
I stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people … and the establishment hated it. Now, as they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories, and see my dominance in all  polls, they are trying to stop me, and the Republican Party,” Trump opined.
“The lawlessness, political persecution, and witch hunt must be exposed and stopped,” Trump concluded.
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