U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a statement Thursday on...

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a statement Thursday on the recent FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home from the Justice Department in Washington. Credit: EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/JIM LO SCALZO

On FBI’s search of Trump’s home

Newsday’s editorial “Garland makes plain sense” [Opinion, Aug. 12] is correct in stating about the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search, “We must be informed of what evidence the Justice Department offered to substantiate the claim that federal laws may have been broken.” Unfortunately, that will not happen if only the search warrant is revealed, because search warrants are brief court orders that specify what location may be searched and what evidence may be seized. Only the underlying affidavit would reveal what evidence was brought before the court to establish probable cause for the search. When will we see that?

In addition, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated “when possible” the least intrusive method would be used, citing the subpoena served in June. This is correct, especially in a politically sensitive case. Normally, a prosecutor not satisfied with the response to a subpoena will seek to enforce it in court, if necessary, by a contempt hearing. As former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has asked, “Why was that not possible here?”

These questions should be answered. Soon.

— Kevin J. Crowley, Middle Island

The writer is a retired Suffolk County district court judge.

For those supporters of former President Donald Trump, whose reflexive reaction to the FBI’s entering Mar-a-Lago is to see it as an outrageous example of governmental overreach, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a difference between what’s unprecedented and what’s unconstitutional [“GOP unifies for Trump,” News, Aug. 10].

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable, but not all, searches and seizures. To obtain the warrant, the FBI agents were required to convince a federal judge that there was probable cause that a crime had been committed and that the evidence is on the premises. By contrast, what is unconstitutional is for a president to violate Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution requiring the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The laws concerning the retention and disposition of federal documents appear to be the focus of the Justice Department’s investigation.

Similarly important for Trump’s supporters to keep in mind is that they are not aware of all that’s included within the seized documents. They can’t be sure of what may be behind doors 1, 2 and 3.

— Chuck Cutolo, Westbury

I take offense to comments made by former President Donald Trump about the search of his Florida home [“Mar-a-Lago searched,” News, Aug. 9]. He asks why is this happening?

Has he ever willingly turned over any records or documents? If he didn’t take home 15 boxes of classified government documents, there would not have been a search warrant issued.

He stated, “These are dark times for our Nation” when his home “is currently under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

What about the siege, attack and occupation of the Capitol on Jan. 6? Guess he can’t take what he dishes out.

— Howard Litwak, Melville

If an executive is ousted from his or her job and leaves on bad terms (refuses to acknowledge the successor and does not support any transition) and is suspected to have absconded with sensitive company documents — whether innocent or guilty — that person should expect a knock on the door from a law enforcement agency. That’s business as usual in the corporate world. So, spare me the narrative about political persecution.

— Joe Innace, East Islip

Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been claiming he is a victim of “the weaponization of the justice system” and “political persecution.” Recall, please, that this man’s first presidential bid boasted the ubiquitous slogan “lock her up.” Oh, FBI Director Christopher Wray was a Trump nominee and is a Republican.

— Eric Robert Nolan, Ridge

Cut out middleman with police contracts

The problem with the large police payouts on Long Island, as compared with other municipalities outside New York State, is the lack of accountability [“Pruning police payouts,” Editorial, Aug. 7].

The Taylor Law, enacted in 1967 as the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, governs public sector labor negotiations. It was implemented to prevent strikes in New York City.

In the case of uniformed employees, it took away the final decision-making from elected officials and gave it to a so-called neutral arbitrator if no agreement could be reached.

The solution recommended by the editorial does not recognize the historical empirical realities this process has had on police salaries on Long Island.

The neutral arbitrator has not been neutral. Both sides, management and union officials, must agree on which neutral arbitrator will be assigned to the negotiations.

Elected officials come and go, but union officials keep tabs on which arbitrators are more favorable to unions. New York City had to discontinue binding arbitration in the 1970s when it almost declared bankruptcy.

Since police salaries are totally supported by local taxpayers, the decision-making should reside with local elected officials in direct negotiations with the union representation. Accountability cannot be delegated.

— Ed Boughal, Sayville

The editorial on the excessive pay of the Nassau and Suffolk county police departments does not mention the additional $3,000 per year (growing from $1,000 in three years in Suffolk) awarded to each officer who wears a body camera.

The fact that this bonus was approved unanimously by the Republican-controlled Nassau Legislature and 16-1 by the Democrat-controlled Suffolk Legislature should be considered as evidence that our politicians are in the pocket of these public sector unions.

— Stephen Sullivan, West Babylon

This editorial is another anti-police position by Newsday’s editorial board. Those very large payouts are few and far between.

Every day, police officers leave their loved ones never knowing if they will come home. Anyone can take the test to become a police officer, but it takes a special person to commit to a job that comes with so much danger.

— Eileen Hynes, Lynbrook

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