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史无前例:FBI搜查特朗普住宅的争议与风险

Never Before in American History: The F.B.I. Searches a Former President’s Home
史无前例:FBI搜查特朗普住宅的争议与风险

WASHINGTON — The fight between former President Donald J. Trump and the National Archives that burst into the open when F.B.I. agents searched Mr. Trump’s Palm Beach estate has no precedent in American presidential history.

华盛顿——在联邦调查局(FBI)特工对特朗普的棕榈滩庄园进行美国总统历史上前所未有的搜查之时,前总统特朗普与国家档案馆之间的争斗被陡然公之于众。

It was also a high-risk gamble by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland that the law enforcement operation at Mar-a-Lago, the former president’s sprawling home in Florida, will stand up to accusations that the Justice Department is pursuing a political vendetta against President Biden’s opponent in 2020 — and a likely rival in 2024.

这也是司法部长梅里克·加兰的一场高风险赌博,他赌的是对前总统的佛罗里达州大宅马阿拉歌的执法行动能够顶住指责——有人在说,司法部正在对拜登总统2020年的对手以及2024年的可能对手进行政治报复。
 

前总统特朗普在任四年期间对FBI和司法部的妖魔化,加大了这些机构展开调查的难度。

Mr. Trump’s demonization of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department during his four years in office, designed to undermine the legitimacy of the country’s law enforcement institutions even as they pursued charges against him, has made it even more difficult for Mr. Garland to investigate Mr. Trump without a backlash from the former president’s supporters.

在任四年期间,特朗普对FBI和司法部的妖魔化旨在破坏美国执法机构的合法性,即便这些机构在对他发起指控,这让加兰在调查特朗普时更容易遭到前总统支持者的反击。

The decision to order Monday’s search put the Justice Department’s credibility on the line months before congressional elections this fall and as the country remains deeply polarized. For Mr. Garland, the pressure to justify the F.B.I.’s actions will be intense. And if the search for classified documents does not end up producing significant evidence of a crime, the event could be relegated by history to serve as another example of a move against Mr. Trump that backfired.

此时距离今年秋天的国会选举还有几个月时间,美国仍处于严重的两极化状态,周一下令进行搜查的决定让司法部的信誉面临风险。对加兰来说,为FBI的行动辩护的压力将是巨大的。而且,如果对机密文件的搜查最终未能提供犯罪的重要证据,这一事件可能会被历史所淡化,成为针对特朗普却适得其反的又一个例子。

Mr. Trump faces risks of his own in rushing to criticize Mr. Garland and the F.B.I., as he did during the search on Monday, when he called the operation “an assault that could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries.” Mr. Trump no longer has the protections provided by the presidency, and he would be far more vulnerable if he were found to have mishandled highly classified information that threatens the nation’s national security.

周一的搜查行动后,特朗普迅速发出对加兰和FBI的职责,这本身也是有风险的,当时他称这次行动是“本来只会发生在乱糟糟的第三世界国家的袭击”。特朗普如今不再享有总统职位所提供的保护,如果他被发现对威胁国家安全的高度机密信息处理不当,将处于十分不利的境地。

A number of historians said that the search, though extraordinary, seemed appropriate for a president who flagrantly flouted the law, refuses to concede defeat and helped orchestrate an effort to overturn the 2020 election.

一些历史学家表示,这次搜查虽然非同寻常,但对于一位公然藐视法律、拒绝承认败选、参与策划推翻2020年大选的总统来说,似乎是合适的。

“In an atmosphere like this, you have to assume that the attorney general did not do this casually,” said Michael Beschloss, a veteran presidential historian. “And therefore the criminal suspicions — we don’t know yet exactly what they are — they have to be fairly serious.”

“在这样的氛围下,你不得不假设司法部长的这个决定不是轻易做出的,”资深总统历史学家迈克尔·贝施洛斯说。“因此,犯罪嫌疑——我们还不知道具体是什么——必须相当严重。”

In Mr. Trump’s case, archivists at the National Archives discovered earlier this year that the former president had taken classified documents from the White House after his defeat, leading federal authorities to begin an investigation. They eventually sought a search warrant from a judge to determine what remained in the former president’s custody.

在特朗普的案件中,美国国家档案馆的档案管理员今年早些时候发现,这位前总统在败选后从白宫拿走了机密文件,这导致联邦当局开始调查。他们最终向一名法官申请了搜查令,以确定前总统还保管着哪些东西。

Key details remain secret, including what the F.B.I. was looking for and why the authorities felt the need to conduct a surprise search after months of legal wrangling between the government and lawyers for Mr. Trump.

关键细节仍被保密,包括FBI在寻找什么,以及政府和特朗普的律师进行了数月的法律争吵后,当局为什么觉得有必要进行突然搜查。

The search happened as angry voices on the far-right fringe of American politics are talking about another Civil War, and as more mainstream Republicans are threatening retribution if they take power in Congress in the fall. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader in the House, warned Mr. Garland to preserve documents and clear his calendar.

行动发生时,美国政坛极右翼的愤怒声音正在谈论的是内战的再度爆发,而越来越多的主流共和党人威胁说,如果他们今年秋天在国会掌权,将进行报复。加州众议员、众议院共和党领袖凯文·麦卡锡警告加兰把文件保存好,并在自己的日程里留出时间。

“This puts our political culture on a kind of emergency alert mode,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. “It’s like turning over the apple cart of American politics.”

“这让我们的政治文化进入了一种紧急警报模式,”莱斯大学研究总统问题的历史学家道格拉斯·布林克利说。“扰乱了美国政治。”

Critics of Mr. Trump said it was no surprise that a president who shattered legal and procedural norms while he was in the Oval Office would now find himself at the center of a classified documents dispute.

特朗普的批评者表示,一位曾在椭圆形办公室任职期间打破法律和程序规范的总统现在置身一场机密文件纠纷的中心,这并不奇怪。

For nearly 35 years, the tug of war over presidential records — and who controls them — has been a largely bureaucratic one waged in the halls of the National Archives and debated among lawyers in courtrooms.

近35年来,关于总统档案以及由谁控制这些档案的拉锯战在很大程度上是官僚事务,主要发生在国家档案馆的厅堂之中,并在法庭上由律师们进行辩论。

Former President Richard M. Nixon spent nearly four years after Watergate fighting for control over millions of pages of presidential records and hundreds of hours of the audiotapes that helped force his resignation. Mr. Beschloss said that Nixon initially reached a deal with President Gerald R. Ford that would have given him control over his papers as well as the ability to destroy them. But an act passed by Congress after Nixon left office in August 1974 forced him to take his fight to court. He eventually lost in the Supreme Court, in a 7-to-2 decision.

在水门事件之后,前总统尼克松花了近四年的时间,争夺迫使他辞职的数百万页总统记录和数百小时录音带的控制权。贝施洛斯说,尼克松最初与福特总统达成了一项协议,让他得到了对自己文件的控制权以及销毁它们的能力。但1974年8月尼克松卸任后,国会通过了一项法案,迫使他诉诸法庭。他最终在最高法院以七比二败诉。

The dispute led to the passage in 1978 of the Presidential Records Act, which for the first time made it clear that White House records are the property of the federal government, not the president who created them. Since then, presidents from both parties have haggled over how and when the archives may release those documents to the public.

这一争议导致了1978年通过的《总统档案法》,该法案首次明文规定,白宫记录是属于联邦政府的财产,而不是归创建这些记录的总统。从那时起,两党总统就档案馆如何以及何时向公众开放这些文件争论不休。

Presidents and their aides have also been subjected to other laws concerning the handling of classified information. Over the years, a handful of top federal officials have been charged with illegally handling classified information.

总统及其助手也受到其他有关处理机密信息的法律的约束。多年来,一些联邦高级官员遭到了非法处理机密信息的指控。

David H. Petraeus, the Army general who served as C.I.A. director under former President Barack Obama, admitted in 2015 that he provided his highly classified journals to his lover, pleading guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, a misdemeanor.

2015年,曾在奥巴马总统任内担任中央情报局局长的陆军上将戴维·彼得雷乌斯承认,他把高度机密的笔记给了情人,并对一项未经授权删除和保留机密材料的轻罪表示服罪。

Sandy Berger, who was national security adviser for former President Bill Clinton, paid a $50,000 fine after pleading guilty to removing classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 to prepare for his testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

克林顿时期担任国家安全顾问的桑迪·伯格承认,他在2003年为了准备在9·11事件调查委员会的作证而将一些机密文件从国家档案馆删除,为此被处以5万美元的罚款。

But there has never been a clash between a former president and the government like the one that culminated in Monday’s search, said Lee White, the executive director of the National Coalition for History.

不过,全国历史联盟的执行董事李·怀特说,前总统和政府之间还从未发生过像周一的搜查行动那样的冲突。

Mr. White, who has met frequently over the years with officials at the National Archives, said they usually work hard to resolve disagreements about documents with former presidents and their advisers.

多年来,怀特经常与国家档案馆的官员会面,他说他们通常会努力解决与前总统及其顾问在档案方面的分歧。

“They tend to be deferential to the White House,” Mr. White said of the lawyers at the National Archives. “You know, these questions come up about presidential records and they are like, ‘Look, our job is to advise the White House.’ But they are not, by nature, an aggressive group of attorneys.”

“他们对白宫往往毕恭毕敬,”怀特在谈到国家档案馆的律师时说。“你知道,当有人提出关于总统档案的问题时,他们就会说,‘你要明白,我们的工作只是提出建议供白宫参考。’不过他们本质上并不是一群咄咄逼人的律师。”

Mr. Beschloss and Mr. Brinkley both said the search of Mr. Trump’s house had the potential to become a flash point in the struggle between those investigating the former president’s actions and the forces who supported Mr. Trump’s frantic efforts to stay in office.

贝施洛斯和布林克利都表示,对特朗普住所的搜查事件可能导致一场冲突的最终爆发,冲突的一方试图调查这位前总统的所作所为,另一方则曾经支持他为了留任而采取的疯狂行动。

But they said there were also risks for Mr. Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill, who on Monday rushed to attack Mr. Garland and the F.B.I. in the hours after the search.

但他们也表示,特朗普和他在国会的盟友同样面临着风险,后者周一在搜查结束几个小时后立即对加兰和FBI发起了攻击。

“You now have Kevin McCarthy — something else we’ve never seen before in history — making ugly threats to an attorney general, obviously trying to intimidate him,” Mr. Beschloss said.

“现在,凯文·麦卡锡对司法部长发出了丑陋的威胁,显然是想恐吓他,这也是历史上从未见过的事情,”贝施洛斯说。

Mr. Trump’s defenders did not wait to find out what evidence the F.B.I. found or even sought before using the search to ratchet up longstanding grievances that the former president stoked throughout his time in office. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, quickly distributed a short video on Twitter accusing the Biden administration of acting like the regime of a dictator in a third-world country.

特朗普的辩护者甚至等不及搞清楚FBI究竟发现了什么或者要寻找什么证据,就迫不及待地利用这次搜查行动来激化这位前总统在位期间一直煽动的那种不满情绪。佛罗里达州共和党参议员马可·卢比奥很快就在Twitter上发布了一段短视频,指责拜登政府的行为就像一个第三世界国家的独裁政权。

“This is what happens in places like Nicaragua,” Mr. Rubio said in the video. “Where last year every single person that ran against Daniel Ortega for president, every single person that put their name on the ballot, was arrested and is still in jail.”

“这是尼加拉瓜那样的地方才会发生的事情,”卢比奥在视频中说。 “去年,每一个跟丹尼尔·奥尔特加竞选总统职位的人,每一个出现在选票上的人,都被捕了,现在还在监狱里。”

“You can try to diminish it, but that’s exactly what happened tonight,” Mr. Rubio said.

“你可以试图淡化它,但今晚发生的正是这样一件事,”卢比奥说。

The historians said the events are a test of the resilience of American democracy when it is under assault.

两位历史学家表示,这些事件是对美国民主在受到攻击时恢复能力的考验。

“We are in the middle of a neo-civil war in this country,” Mr. Brinkley said. “This is a starkly unprecedented moment in U.S. history.”

“我们正处于这个国家的新内战之中,”布林克利说。“这是美国历史上从未有过的时刻。”
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