The Fallout Over the FBI’s Trump Raid Is Yet to Come

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
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Republican reaction to the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort was swift, most notably on Fox News. And one thing that struck Fever Dreams podcast host Will Sommer “was how many guys who were also under investigation for Jan. 6-related matters” were also guests on Fox News decrying the move by the FBI.

On the latest episode of the podcast, Sommer and guest host Anthony Fisher, senior opinion editor at The Daily Beast, discuss the right’s reaction to the FBI raid and its overall message that the search was completely unfair and unconstitutional.

“They had Steve Bannon on who said, ‘Hey, leave Trump alone,’” Sommer says. “And they had Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department official who memorably got frisked by the FBI in a strip mall parking lot a few weeks back.

“The phrase that they kept coming back to was ‘banana republic’—this idea that Biden has the FBI kind of roving the land picking up MAGA supporters.”

Sommer predicts the next time Republicans have control of the government, “the FBI and the Justice Department are going to be no more,” instead reconstituted under a different name.

Fisher agrees, warning, “I don’t think it can be overstated how dangerous this could get.”

“It’s terrifying,” he says.

“It reminds me of how Trump, leading up to the 2020 election, basically said, ‘I’m hearing things about election fraud’ and told us the whole time what he was going to do, and then did it. And what happened was terrible.”

Also on the podcast, Sommer and Fisher discuss author James Lindsay, “one of the greatest right-wingers out there, one of the greatest, greatest players, the king of concepts himself.”

Late last week, Twitter permanently banned Lindsay, known as “Conceptual James,” after he used the term “child sexualization specialist” during an exchange with a transgender attorney, in an attempt to sidestep the social media platform’s ban on the use of the word “groomer.” He has repeatedly made transphobic comments, but for Twitter, his latest move was his last.

“He’s just a straight-up posting bully who has increasingly shown his fascistic tendencies but is a very influential person on the anti-woke right and center who has been instrumental in drumming up both the critical race theory, moral panic, and the quote unquote groomer moral panic,” Fisher explains.

The Motive Behind Donald Trump’s Week of Chaos

Elsewhere in the episode, Jessica Pishko, author of the book The Highest Law in the Land and an expert on county sheriffs, discusses what makes the position of sheriff so unique to corruption and abuse.

“One of the things to understand about sheriffs is that they have evolved into a position that’s part politician and part police,” Pishko explains.

“What tends to happen is when a scandal [involving a sheriff] does come to light and people try to take action, the laws are so very old that they’re not quite sure what they’re supposed to do. They kind of enjoy this sort of quasi-outlaw status.”

In the podcast’s “Fresh Hell” segment, the hosts discuss James O’Keefe, “the prankster prince of the right” and his organization, Project Veritas. The conservative media outlet is facing two lawsuits after employee Antonietta Zappier accused Veritas leaders of fostering a “sexually hostile work environment.”

“This is a little more controversy than he [James] and I expected him to get involved in,” Sommer says.

Listen, and subscribe, to Fever Dreams on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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