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August 09, 2022 10:41 AM UTC

Joe O'Dea Built a Box He Can't Escape

  • by: Colorado Pols
Joe O’Dea

The big political news today is the stunning report that federal agents on Monday raided Mar-a-Lago in search of documents that former President Trump may have been hiding in violation of federal law. As The Washington Post reports:

Trump said Monday that the FBI had raided his Mar-a-Lago Club and searched his safe — activity related to an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents, according to two people familiar with the probe.

One of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss its details, said agents were conducting a court-authorized search as part of a long-running investigation of whether documents — some of them top-secret — were taken to the former president’s private golf club and residence instead of sent to the National Archives when Trump left office. That could be a violation of the Presidential Records Act, which requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.

Searching a former president’s property to look for possible evidence of a crime is highly unusual and would require approval at the top levels of the Justice Department. It represents a historic moment in Trump’s tortured relationship with the Justice Department, both in and out of the White House.

Trump-loving Republicans — including many high-ranking elected officials — are absolutely furious for reasons that are both sadly predictable and wholly irresponsible. Not all Republicans are lashing out in blind fury, however; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been notably quiet thus far.

Here in Colorado, Republican State Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) quickly attacked the FBI. Gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl was among those who followed KBB’s lead in scrambling to stand behind Trump’s ample backside:

Other Colorado Republicans, such as right-wing talk show hosts “Chuck and Julie,” turned their eyes toward Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea:

This is more Trump trouble for O’Dea, who just days ago was flopping around all over the place on questions about his support for Trump. After initially making headlines for saying that he hoped Trump wouldn’t seek the Presidency again in 2024, O’Dea felt compelled to walk back his criticism and reiterate something he already pledged in a Senate debate back in June: That he would STILL support Trump in 2024:

O’Dea did issue a statement of his own today, which probably won’t make the MAGA crew very happy and doesn’t exactly square with his previous declarations of Trump’s innocence in regard to Trump’s involvement with the Jan. 6 insurrection:


O’Dea is obviously trying really, really hard to find a middle-ground between blindly backing Trump and pretending that he cares about things like laws. The problem for O’Dea, beyond his own waffling statements about Trump, is that Colorado Republican headliners such as Ganahl and Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert are going all-in on their defense of Trump.

Sooner or later, O’Dea is going to have to answer questions about whether he agrees with calls to “Defund the FBI” and whether he would support Congressional action (under a potential Republican majority) to investigate the Department of Justice for doing its job. Such an investigation could get really weird, particularly when you remember that FBI Director Christopher Wray was nominated to the job in 2017 by none other than Donald Trump himself.

What will O’Dea say when he gets pressed on the topic, and how can he possibly provide a straight answer that doesn’t contradict something he’s already said about Trump? Any discussion about a partisan investigation into the Department of Justice severely undercuts O’Dea’s “unicorn” message and pulls him ever closer into the same political orbit of former U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, the last Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Colorado. Based on everything O’Dea has said about Trump to date — and his comments that he would have supported all of the recent Supreme Court nominees — you’d have to conclude that O’Dea would have been a vote to acquit Trump…just like Gardner.

If O’Dea is just like Gardner, that makes him unelectable in a post-Trump Colorado. And that is a very bad box to be stuck inside.


6 thoughts on “Joe O’Dea Built a Box He Can’t Escape

  1. I have little doubt that O'Dea will cycle through every variation of possible responses to the question before this is finished.

  2. DOJ doesn't and shouldn't put its cards on the table, Joe.  This is an active investigation and as far as I know, there's been no grand jury indictment yet.  If a grand jury indicts, then the criminal process will move forward against the indicted defendants and DOJ will be required to present its proof at trial.  Unless, Joe, you'd like to bypass the Fifth Amendment's grand jury requirement.

  3. If Trump wants to clarify, he can put out the warrant and no doubt have his attorneys press for and release the statement given to the judge who issued the warrant.

    So far … that's not happening.  Just shouts of "politicized" and "witchhunt" without any content.

    1. "and no doubt have his attorneys press for and release the statement given to the judge who issued the warrant."

      The affidavit submitted to get the warrant will probably remain sealed – not by Trump's request but by the DOJ – until they have completed their investigation.


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