We are certainly no fans of Donald Trump – let’s make that clear from the outset. But yesterday’s raid by the FBI on the home of a former president sets a dangerous precedent.
A precedent which now means that anyone who evades taxes, attempts to undermine an election, sexually assaults women, manipulates the value of their assets, uses state resources to enrich themselves or aids and abets the overthrow of a democratically elected government will be subject to investigation.
Is that the world we want to live in? Where anyone accused of insurrection can be subject to questioning from law enforcement officers?
It’s a slippery slope. Before we know it, regular citizens accused of defrauding the government, concealing evidence, manipulating financial documents, tampering with witnesses or perverting the course of justice will also be held to account.
Or to put it another way, if we simply shrug our shoulders and fail to question the actions of the FBI, soon any old Joe Citizen who is suspected of ripping classified government documents into small pieces and flushing them down the toilet will be obliged to answer to law enforcement, as well as their plumber.
If we don’t ask the hard questions about the potential motives of the FBI now, soon any one of us who buries our ex-wife in a small grave at the side of their golf course in order to gain a tax concession will be treated with suspicion.
As Trump supporters put it so clearly yesterday, if this can happen to a President, it could happen to anyone who has committed insurrection, assault or fraud. That’s a chilling thought.
We are on new ground here. As Donald Trump himself made clear, this is the first time a former president’s home has been raided. Proof, if ever we needed it, that the FBI shamefully only targets people who it considers to have committed a crime. Who gave FBI director Chris Wray that authority?
As we made clear earlier, we’re certainly not Trump supporters. But in today’s partisan world, it would be easy to fall into the trap of cheering on the FBI’s actions, without taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. If Trump goes to jail, it opens the door for every lying, corrupt, perverted piece of shit to go to jail too. Is that what we want?