NY Times Reporter Contradicts Himself on FBI Lethal Force in Mar-a-Lago Raid

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New York Times reporter Alan Feuer repeatedly called Donald Trump’s assertion that the FBI was authorized to use lethal force against him during its 2022 raid of Mar-a-Lago false, while ultimately acknowledging that the claim was in fact true.

Feuer wrote in an article Wednesday, “Mr. Trump’s baseless statements about the search are among the starkest examples of the ways in which he has sought to gain political advantage.” He continued his attack on the former president, stating that Trump “falsely accused Mr. Biden of having ‘authorized the FBI to use deadly (lethal) force’ during the search.”

But just before that portion of his article, Feuer directly contradicted himself. When referring to the Mar-a-Lago raid, he said, “In this case, the [Justice Department] order said, lethal force could be employed only if there was ‘imminent danger of death or serious physical injury’ to the agents themselves or to any others who were on the ground that day.”

According to Newsweek, federal agents on the scene had planned to bring weapons, which included firearms, ammo, handcuffs, and large-size bolt cutters.

Journalist Eddie Scarry pointed out Feuer’s glaring contradiction on social media, saying, “NYTimes: Use of lethal force in the Mar-A-Lago raid was authorized because that’s how things go, duh. Also NYTimes: It’s false to say use of lethal force was authorized.”

Feuer nonetheless punctuated his article with his baseless opinion that Trump was somehow misleading the public for personal gain. “The former president’s lies about the F.B.I. being prepared to kill him during the search of Mar-a-Lago took his attacks on the justice system and the rule of law to another level,” the article’s subheading said. Feuer further wrote that Trump “tried to flip the facts,” and was “twisting the meaning of boilerplate instructions to the agents.” He also characterized Trump’s factual assertion as “blatantly false” and “baseless.”

In his testimony on Tuesday in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Merrick Garland, who personally signed off on the Mar-a-Lago raid, echoed the lie that the FBI did not have authorization to use lethal force against Trump if necessary, stating, “The allegation is false.” Garland attacked the former president, saying his claims were “baseless,” then in the same breath uttering it is standard protocol for the FBI to authorize the use of deadly force in search warrants.

According to the released document, agents had explicit authorization to use deadly force on the former president and staff at the officers’ discretion. The FBI’s Mar-a-Lago team also included a medic to tend to any injuries and had directions to the nearest trauma center.

Arianna Villarreal
Arianna Villarreal
Intern. Arianna Villarreal is a junior at Southern Methodist University majoring in Economics and International Studies.

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