By Guy Page
After the story broke last night about the FBI raid on former Pres. Donald Trump’s Mir-A-Lago home in Florida, Vermont Daily Chronicle emailed most participants in statewide races in today’s primary for their comments. It seems important that voters know where the candidates stand. We asked: “Was the raid justified?” and “Are you concerned about possible political motivation, or was it pursuit of justice?”
As of 8:32 AM, VDC has received three responses, one from each of the three major races of the day: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and Lieutenant Governor. This post will be updated throughout today as other responses are received. All responses are published verbatim and in their entirety.
Myers Mermel, GOP – Tonight’s raid on President Trump’s home sets a dangerous legal precedent. A subpoena would have been appropriate for the records they were seeking. But the raid illustrates the tyranny we face. It’s unprecedented — as no President’s home has ever been raided.
It’s a continuation of a 6-year jihad against President Trump which includes two failed attempts to remove him from office via impeachment. And a 4-year saga of the Russian collusion hoax. It appears the FBI and the DOJ have become the enforcement arm of the Democrat party.
The criminalization of candidates and conservatives generally has become accepted practice. What’s happening to President Trump is happening to everyday Americans who are branded “domestic terrorists” for just speaking opinions Washington Democrats don’t agree with.
There is no doubt that Joe Biden has weaponized the Department of Justice. Even Richard Nixon, Hilary Clinton, and Hunter Biden have not been treated this way. The criminal justice system has become weaponized by Democrats to achieve objectives that they can’t obtain at the ballot box.
I have spoken for months against the Department of Justice and how they have undermined law enforcement here in Vermont. This is the Department of Justice of which Christina Nolan was a part. My opponents have been silent on the Department of Justice. Christina Nolan has been complicit, and Gerald Malloy has been silent — perhaps because he spent ten years working as a lobbyist in the swamp. Malloy has never expressed outrage on this type of abuse or insider politics – he just always thanks Sen. Leahy for his service. How silly. Sen. Leahy has given us nothing but massive federal debt.
There is a lesson here for us. We need a Senator who will fight the tyranny. I have exposed the record of Christina Nolan, and you have seen that I will fight for you and our values. I haven’t wrapped myself in the flag and talked about what should be done. I took action when it was needed. Just like my 4th great-grandfather who fought with the Green Mountain Boys. Please vote for me and I will take our fight to Washington. God Bless our Republic and God Bless the State of Vermont.
Peter Welch, Democrat
Vermont Daily Chronicle today unexpectedly met Rep. Welch, who is considered a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for Senate, outside the polls in Montpelier. When asked to comment on the FBI raid, he said “I don’t know anymore than anyone else does now” and said he would need to know more about the court-ordered justification for the raid before passing judgement.
Anya Tynio, GOP – The raid on President Trump’s home is politically motivated. The current administration clearly fears that President Trump will be reelected in 2024 and has weaponized federal law enforcement agencies against him and others that they consider their political rivals. In the absence of credible evidence to suggest otherwise this raid can only be viewed as a way to damage his chances of reelection and to cast a shadow over other GOP elections during the midterms. Every American, regardless of political affiliation or whether or not you support President Trump, should be extremely concerned by this dictatorial action.
Ericka Redic, GOP – I believe it was not justified based on the fact that they just weren’t happy with how the boxes were being stored. That does not justify a raid. This is just another example of the Democratic Party weaponizing our institutions against their political opponents. For people so concerned about the integrity of our democracy, they are certainly willing to destroy it in the meantime.
Brenda Siegel, Democrat – No one is above the law. We live in a country where equality and justice for all are essential. Our nation’s laws apply to everyone. It is important that any current or former elected officials are held to the same standard as the rest of us.
Joe Benning, GOP – I’m just learning of this at 3:45am. I’m reluctant to answer this as a politician because entering the political fray would be irresponsible given my professional career as a criminal defense attorney. So permit me to answer in that mode.
Re: “Was the raid justified?” The answer to this will depend on whether the Government seized classified documents that were removed from Washington, D.C. in violation of the law. I’ll withhold judgment of that, again as a criminal defense lawyer, until the evidence is known. In the meantime, if I were the ex-President’s lawyer, I would be strenuously advising him to remain silent.
Re: “Are you concerned about possible political motivation, or was it pursuit of justice?” One of the great dangers of knee-jerk reactions in such cases, especially ones of this magnitude, is that eventually one side is going to be dead wrong. As with any citizen, the ex-President is entitled to the presumption of innocence. In every criminal trial over the past almost 40 years, I have begged the jury at the beginning of a trial to withhold their judgment until all of the evidence has been presented. That is always a difficult ask, since humans are apt to form opinions too quickly. Asking a politician to join a bandwagon is easy, and I’m sure your news feed will be loaded with ones who do, but this defense attorney chooses to rely on his practice of acting with patience until the evidence is in.