It would certainly shock any American to hear that “use of deadly force” was authorized against you and your family, just as it did Tuesday for former President Donald Trump.

As a former U.S. Attorney, I can tell you that it is Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) in a felony search warrant for the FBI to be authorized to use deadly force, but it’s downright frightening to imagine what could have happened at Mar-a-Lago in August of 2022 when a team of SWAT officers raided the residence of a U.S. President in the dead of night.

At the time, Trump was in New York, and luckily no one took up arms, but can anyone justify that this was acceptable protocol to apply the SOP of “use of deadly force” to a U.S. President who has active legal counsel as well as 24/7 Secret Service protection?

What is and what isn’t SOP is one thing. Discretion and awareness are another. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had the autonomy to execute the search warrant when they knew President Trump was out of town. They also had discretion to give notice and conduct the search without using “raid” tactics dictating the “use of deadly force” SOP.

So why did they not exercise such discretion to conduct the search as they often do through coordination with the target and their lawyers?

President Trump plead not guilty to the 37-count indictment, but the ongoing investigation and court filings for the postponed trial brought the “deadly force” language to everyone’s attention.

I’ve held TS/SCI security clearance and both prosecuted and defended federal cases involving national security issues—including unlawful retention of classified documents cases, and while my cases were on a smaller political scale, I can tell you that raids like these rarely happen when the target is represented and in communication with DOJ.

In fact, the DOJ preference historically has been to avoid such raids when cooperation is occurring, as raids can be chaotic and unpredictably dangerous.

Despite all of this, Attorney General Merrick Garland personally authorized the DOJ and FBI to wrangle a felony search warrant in response to the National Archives alleging that classified documents were not returned by Trump.

Whether this warrant was a fishing expedition or political theater, the optics were clearly meant to tarnish President Trump.

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H/T Fox News (

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