COLUMNISTS

Democrats so badly want Trump to go away, but FBI's Mar-a-Lago search is helping him stay

People on both sides of the political aisle lost their minds over the FBI's search of the former president's Florida home.

The Democrats just gave former President Donald Trump another excuse to rally his troops

People on both sides of the political aisle are losing their minds over Monday’s FBI search on Trump’s Florida home at the Mar-a-Lago resort. 

Yet, at this point we still know little about what led to the warrant and what may have been recovered, although it's reportedly tied to classified documents Trump might have taken with him from the White house.

This won’t stop the breathless speculation and giddiness on the left that perhaps this time this will be what makes the former president go away.

Good luck with that. 

Too much political theater? 

Trump announced the news on social media that federal agents had "raided” his “beautiful home,” a move that allowed him to take control of the narrative right away.

Now what:FBI searching Mar-a-Lago may be a sign of things to come

Sure, such a search on the home of a former president is unprecedented. It’s a big deal. But now it’s up to the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department to prove that they had good reason to do it. 

The FBI damaged its credibility throughout Trump’s presidency, and even before, when it all too willingly bought into false Russian collusion claims brought by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. 

The collusion hoax is what Democrats seized on to undermine Trump from the beginning and gave rise to his first impeachment. 

Supporters of former President Donald Trump rally near his home at Mar-a-Lago resort on Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.

The political theater created by searching Trump’s home in such dramatic fashion also happened to fall on Aug. 8, the same date former Republican President Richard Nixon announced his resignation in 1974.

One observer on Twitter said this “has a certain poetry to it.”

It also doesn't appear to be an accident. Just as it wasn’t a coincidence that the FBI chose to raid the home of Michigan Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ryan Kelley and arrest him for his alleged actions on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol. That FBI raid took place the same day the congressional Jan. 6 hearings into the riot began in June

More Ingrid Jacques:Jan. 6 was awful. But conservatives have good reasons to question these hearings.

Trump pivots to Democrats' failures

Love him or hate him, Trump is adept at shaping the conversation. Shortly after the news broke, Trump released what looks very much like a campaign video, focusing on how the country is in a state of “decline.”

“We are a failing nation," Trump says in the ad. "We are a nation that has the highest inflation in over 40 years. Where the stock market just finished the worst half of the year in more than five decades. We are a nation that has the highest energy cost in its history, and we are no longer energy independent or energy dominant, which we were just two short years ago.” 

Trump is taking what Democrats want to be a damning incident and spinning it in his favor. He’s shifting the focus to what most Americans are worried about now – their ability to provide for their families. 

The truth?:A lot can still go wrong, but FBI search on Trump's Mar-a-Lago was cathartic.

Don't get me wrong. Plenty of Republicans would like the party to move past Trump, and it would be best for the GOP and the country to have a new leader of the party.

Yet, Democrats are so desperate to take the focus off their own failures, they are laser-focused on painting Trump as a criminal. 

In doing so, they risk playing into the former president’s hand. 

Ingrid Jacques is a columnist at USA TODAY. Contact her at ijacques@usatoday.com or on Twitter: @Ingrid_Jacques