Former President Donald Trump's legal problems are about to get a lot worse, according to MSNBC's John Heilemann.
The FBI executed a search warrant Monday at Trump's residence at Mar-A-Lago, reportedly as part of an investigation of his mishandling or theft of classified documents, and the "Morning Joe" political analyst said the former president should be prepared for additional raids.
"It's obviously one of those things that is, you know, like so many things in the era of Trump, shocking but not surprising," Heilemann said. "You heard this news last night, and, you know, can barely believe it, then as soon as you thought about it, you thought, okay, this isn't just -- it wasn't just inevitable on some level, but it's probably the beginning of a sequence of things like this, right?"
The twice-impeached former president is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice, which was granted the search warrant by a judge, and by prosecutors in multiple states, and Heilemann said Trump could see his other properties raided now that this unprecedented line has been crossed.
"He's got headquarters in residence or business operations in a number of places -- New York City, New Jersey -- in addition to Mar-A-Lago," Heilemann said. "You know, this was, in some ways, of all the things we think he is under investigation for, may have been the one that was the least likely in your mind, if you heard Trump had been raided. Raid is obviously the wrong word here, but a search warrant had been executed and the FBI has shown up to look for evidence of a crime. On the list of things you think Donald Trump may have committed a crime on, this is one that might not have been at the top of your mind."
Republican leaders and conservative media have circled their wagons to defend Trump, and his extremist base has already threatened violence in response, but Heilemann said his legal predicament appears to be getting much worse, and quickly.
"I think that bodes very ill for Donald Trump, because anybody who thinks that, now who thinks that Merrick Garland doesn't have the stomach for this fight, I think this is, it's not prima facie evidence he'll file charges against Donald Trump, but it is prima facie evidence he will focus on the law," Heilemann said. "He said all along he will prosecute anybody involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection at any level. This is a smaller thing, yet he is willing to incur the political consequences and all that wrath."
"If I am Donald Trump, I am getting ready for raids at other locations, and I'm getting ready for a very rapid progress of the, not chain reaction, but you can imagine things happening very fast on a lot of fronts right now if this is the attitude Merrick Garland has toward this case," he added.
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