This article was originally published in the New York Times on August 21, 2022. You can read the full opinion piece here.

Debate about the search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence has settled into well-worn grooves. Mr. Trump and many Republicans have denounced the act as illegitimate. Attorney General Merrick Garland is staying mostly mum. And Democrats are struggling to contain their enthusiasm.

Liberal excitement is understandable. Mr. Trump faces potential legal jeopardy from the Jan. 6 investigation in Congress and the Mar-a-Lago search. They anticipate fulfilling a dream going back to the earliest days of the Trump administration: to see him frog-marched to jail before the country and the world.

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