Trump delivered an 'ominous warning' to Merrick Garland as Mar-A-Lago probe heats up: columnist
Donald Trump (Photo of Trump via Agence France-Presse)

Shortly before Attorney General Merrick Garland publicly commented on the FBI search at Mar-A-Lago, "a person close" to Donald Trump reportedly reached out to the Department of Justice to deliver a message from the former president.

The New York Times reported that associate wanted Garland to know the search had enraged the former president's supporters, and Trump wanted to know how he could "reduce the heat," but MSNBC columnist Steve Benen said the meaning behind that offer was coming into focus.

"The message wasn’t an explicit threat, per se, though Trump wanted the attorney general to know that, as far as the former president was concerned, the nation was outraged by the execution of a court-approved search warrant," Benen wrote. "Trump was apparently concerned about the consequences of the 'heat' and 'pressure.'"

Those concerns were obviously insincere, according to Benen, because Trump had stoked that anger himself by lashing out wildly against law enforcement after the search, and his attacks on investigators have only gotten worse since Garland commented on the case.

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"But let’s also not miss the forest for the trees. Facing an intensifying federal investigation, and just days after the FBI executed a search warrant at one of his properties, Trump thought it’d be a good idea to deliver a message to the attorney general with an ominous warning about rising 'heat' and 'pressure ... building up,'" Benen wrote. "That’s not based on claims from unnamed sources; that’s what happened according to the former president’s own court filing."

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