George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said Friday that the no-knock FBI warrant executed on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home was “excessive” and “very troubling.”
“I actually think people are a little bit too thrilled to see [a] Trump associate subject to a no-knock warrant. I’ve been a critic of no-knock warrants for years,” Turley said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s very troubling. I think it was gratuitous, I think it was excessive.”
Turley added that no-knock warrants are usually reserved for violent offenders or drug traffickers. “It is not the norm to have a no-knock warrant in a white collar crime case. No-knock warrants were designed primarily for dangerous drug dealers,” he said.
“Federal judges have completely refused to carry out their duty to restrict this. I mean what did they think he was going to do? Try to flush his laptop down the toilet or meet them at the door with a Glock?” Turley asked.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough pushed back, saying it’s impossible to know for certain if the raid was gratuitous. Turley responded that the issue wasn’t with the validity of the warrant, but rather with the manner in which it was carried out.
“The point is there there was no basis, it’s excessive, to do the no-knock. To come barging in, pre-dawn as if he’s a physical danger or he would destroy evidence,” Turley replied.
“Do you think he’s going to start swallowing thumb drives? All they have to do is knock on the door, if he doesn’t open it they take the door down. The point is this seemed to be a bit gratuitous in showing up at his bedroom door on a no-knock,” Turley said.
“This may be a small point but many of us on the civil liberties side have been arguing against no-knocks for years,” he concluded.
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