Republicans Go Radio Silent After Affidavit Release

The members of the GOP that must face the electorate are a bit more careful than those who do not in responding to the Mar-a-Lago affidavit. More specifically, according to the New York Times, Republican politicians went dark. From the New York Times:

In the minutes and hours after the F.B.I.’s search of former President Donald J. Trump’s residence in Florida this month, his supporters did not hesitate to denounce what they saw as a blatant abuse of power and outrageous politicization of the Justice Department.

But with the release of a redacted affidavit detailing the justification for the search, the former president’s allies were largely silent, a potentially telling reaction with ramifications for his political future.

“I would just caution folks not to draw too many conclusions,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, a Republican, said on Fox News. It was a starkly different admonition from his earlier condemnations of what he said were “politically motivated actions.”

The politicians understand how serious this is. Members of Congress have the requisite clearance to view Top Secret material simply by holding office, but each one of them is well aware of what happens to any of them that leak or mishandle such material. They have all surely had a crash course in what can and can’t be done with different levels of classification. Some are likely stunned by the sheer brazenness and volume of materials Trump held. Others are likely very concerned about the ultimate question, “Why did he want those files.”

It would be awkward to leap to Trump’s support over this terrible “raid” over “nothing but files,” only to find out later that the FBI can prove that Trump was selling state secrets.

But even more to the point, Trump is now the guy who loses elections for Republicans. Trump helps Republican candidates win primaries, but in any purple state or district, Trump is now an anchor. Every minute that the Republicans spend defending Trump and his files is a minute that they’re not spending talking about inflation or Biden.

So, the inability to see the future and how “bad” this might get for Trump and Republicans generally, along with the fact that Republicans would like to press a different political case, results in a lot of silence. Don’t worry. Trump will more than make up for it with his anger and histrionics. Trump will also surely put out a demand for more vocal support. That is when we’ll really get a sense of whether he’s really on his own.