Why Calling the Mar-a-Lago Search a 'Raid' Is Polarizing 'Disinformation,' in Gov. Ron DeSantis' Own Words

·3 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit held at the Tampa Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. The event features student activism and leadership training, and a chance to participate in a series of networking events with political leaders.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit held at the Tampa Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. The event features student activism and leadership training, and a chance to participate in a series of networking events with political leaders.

Joe Raedle/Getty Ron DeSantis

As many pro-Donald Trump Republicans condemn the FBI's recent search of the former president's Mar-a-Lago home, some are noting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has seemingly shifted his view of using terms like "raid" to describe a lawful search by federal agents.

In December 2020, DeSantis aggressively pushed back when a reporter used the term "raid" to describe the search of a former state employee who was under federal investigation.

"It's not a raid, with all due respect," DeSantis said, after a reporter used the term. "What you just said is editorializing."

He continued: "I'm not gonna let you get away with it. These people did their jobs. They've been smeared as the Gestapo for doing their jobs. They did a search warrant ... They went, they followed protocol ... It was not a raid, they were serving valid process, in accordance with the laws and constitution of the United States and the state of Florida."

RELATED: 'Donald Is Furious Yet Scared': Movement in FBI Investigation Complicates Trump's Plans

In the days since Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was visited by the FBI executing a federal search warrant on Monday, DeSantis has seemingly shifted his tone, using the same word — "raid" — to describe a valid search process conducted in accordance with the laws of the U.S.

"The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," the governor wrote on Twitter last week. "Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic."

What DeSantis — a former attorney who graduated from both Yale University and Harvard Law School — didn't note is that the search was carried out with a subpoena by the FBI, which is removed from the president and directly overseen by the Department of Justice.

RELATED: What It Takes to Get a Federal Search Warrant Like the One the FBI Executed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Home

Many Republicans have seemingly followed a similar script — one that criticizes the FBI and frames the search as a fight between the Biden administration and Republicans — despite the fact that the search warrant was carried out by the Department of Justice, not the White House.

Others have used even more incendiary rhetoric, talking about a "civil war," and using phrases like "banana republic" and — as DeSantis pushed against years earlier — "Gestapo" to describe federal agents who served the warrant.

Trump himself has accused the FBI of "breaking into" his safe, despite that they obtained a warrant, which was approved by a judge, to conduct the search.

RELATED: Trump Suspected of Violating Espionage Act, According to Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant

On Friday, the search and seizure warrant along with the signed receipt from the search were unsealed by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

An inventory of the items taken in the search shows 11 sets of classified documents. Some were marked as top secret, which the Wall Street Journal notes should only be available in special government facilities.

Among the many boxes of items taken were binders of photos, an unspecified handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for former Trump aide Roger Stone. The three-page list of items also showed that information about the president of France was collected.

The receipt was signed by Trump attorney Christina Bobb.

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Politico reports that the warrant reveals the FBI is investigating Trump for "removal or destruction of records, obstruction of an investigation, and violating the Espionage Act." Conviction of those statutes, notes the outlet, "can result in imprisonment or fines."