Mar-a-Largo search should be the 'opening act' in prosecution of former president: Trump biographer
Donald Trump pointing at a rally / Gage Skidmore

Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien says that the Department of Justice made the right call in signing off on a search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort -- but he thinks it should be just the "opening act" in a broader prosecution of the former president.

Trump said Monday that his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida was being "raided" by FBI agents in what he called an act of "prosecutorial misconduct."

In his latest Bloomberg column, O'Brien cast doubt on the notion that the DOJ is investigating Trump solely because he illegally brought classified White House documents with him to Mar-a-Lago.

"Theft of government records is the least of Trump’s legal worries," he writes. "Attorney General Merrick Garland appears to be finally bringing the full weight of federal law enforcement to bear on the former president. Depending on how aggressively Garland pursues Trump for the attempted coup that he and his co-conspirators tried to engineer after he lost the 2020 presidential election."

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O'Brien goes on to say that Trump could face a range of criminal charges that include "seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the US and obstruction of official proceedings."

The Trump biographer also addresses concerns that an indictment of Trump could inflame his supporters to commit acts of violence by arguing that letting Trump get away with flagrant lawbreaking would be a far greater danger to the republic.

"Garland’s primary responsibilities aren’t gauging what kind of jury pool he might encounter or how an indictment will ripple across MAGA-land," he concludes. "The American democratic experiment is at stake, and Garland’s core duty is to charge Trump for the crimes he committed and then let the judicial process run its course."

The FBI declined to comment on whether the search was happening or what it might be for, nor did Trump give any indication of why federal agents were at his home.

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But multiple media outlets cited sources close to the investigation as saying that agents were conducting a court-authorized search related to the potential mishandling of classified documents that had been sent to Mar-a-Lago.

While Attorney General Merrick Garland has declined to comment on growing speculation that Trump could face criminal charges, he has insisted that "no person is above the law" and that he intends to "hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election."

Trump is also being investigated for his efforts to alter the 2020 voting results in the state of Georgia, while his business practices are being probed in New York in separate cases, one civil and the other criminal.

The real estate mogul has not yet officially declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, though he has dropped strong hints over the past few months.

With President Joe Biden's approval rating currently below 40 percent and Democrats forecast to lose control of Congress in November midterm elections, Trump is apparently bullish that he could ride the Republican wave all the way to the White House in 2024.

With additional reporting by AFP