Did that big news two weeks ago actually happen?
Excuse me for giving a shit, but what happened to the Trump raid story?
Two weeks ago, the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was the biggest story on earth and seemingly one of the most consequential American news events since 9/11. The search inspired a few hours of social media jubilation, followed by roughly a week of frenzied leaking as a parade of national security soothsayers unspooled sinister scenarios on TV, and then — nothing. The line went dead. By last week’s end, the cancellation of Brian Stelter on CNN was a top national headline in comparison.
With a caveat that the relative quiet could be upended by a court decision Thursday, could we pause to reflect on the oddness of this episode? Has a story this big ever receded to the back pages this quickly?
Once the FBI finished searching, everyone from Andrew Cuomo to the New Yorker to Mother Jones to George Will at the Washington Post pointed out the obvious, that the Justice Department needed to quickly produce an explanation, if not an indictment, to avoid the disaster of allowing the perception of a politicized raid to fester.
Instead of providing that explanation, officials across the board posed in the manner of comic strip figures, each pointing at the other and appearing genuinely surprised to be answering questions about it. On the day after the search, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre dumped the matter squarely in the Attorney General’s lap, denying President Joe Biden knew what was coming a remarkable eight times: