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Letters to the Editor: Trump and the Mar-a-Lago raid trigger new questions

Protesters hold signs amid traffic in front of Trump Tower in New York
Protesters post up in front of Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 9, a day after the FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

To the editor: Former President Trump is fuming. On Monday, Trump’s beloved home, Mar-a-Lago, was searched by FBI agents. It’s hypothesized that they were searching for classified documents that Trump may have taken illegally with him after leaving the White House. While Trump calls it “prosecutorial misconduct” and an attack from the “Radical Left,” such a search has to be duly authorized by a federal judge who in approving the search warrant agreed that there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed.

Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland recently said that “no person is above the law.” But when it comes to holding Trump — a man who was never held accountable before — accountable for possible crimes, these words felt empty — until now. Garland may exemplify Theodore Roosevelt’s iconic words, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

Ken Derow, Swarthmore, Pa.

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To the editor: Aides to Trump have said that he routinely tore up documents in violation of the Presidential Records Act. (To appear to be in compliance, the aides tried to tape many of the documents back together and secure them.) There have also been reports about documents being shredded, burned and even flushed down the toilet.

Given that track record, I doubt Trump carted documents to Mar-a-Lago simply because he felt they were incriminating. Otherwise, he could have destroyed them with the reams of other documents he destroyed.

It is, therefore, possible then that he considered them to be assets of value, which could later be sold to individuals or to governments hostile to the U.S. This would explain the unprecedented move by the Justice Department to obtain a search warrant for his home office, and for the willingness of a Trump-appointed judge to approve it. While nothing has yet been proven or adjudicated, we need to consider all possibilities.

Matthew Singerman, Newbury Park

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To the editor: There should be a presumption of innocence for Trump, but I can’t forget the accusations by the former president against Hillary Clinton when he was running for office:

“We have to investigate Hillary Clinton and we have to investigate the investigation… Hillary bleached and deleted 33,000 e-mails after congressional subpoenas. Can you imagine that?” he said. “They got a subpoena from the United States Congress and then they deleted everything. If you did that in private life, you go to jail. And then destroyed her phones, some with a hammer, boom. Anybody destroy your phones before with a hammer, anybody? No? Anybody? No? And people have gone to jail for doing far less.”

Is the past prologue?

Arthur Kraus, Venice

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To the editor: After Monday’s events — the Mar-a-Lago search and reports of an unsent, scathing resignation letter from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley to Trump — on top of the previous Jan. 6 committee revelations, the upcoming 70th anniversary of Nixon’s Checkers speech takes on new meaning. When it aired, I, age 7, stated to my parents that Nixon was lying. He was a crook. Until Trump, I could not have conceived of a more crooked president than Nixon. But Trump has out-trumped Nixon.

Bruce N. Miller, Playa del Rey


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