Definition Of A Raid/Siege: This Was Not That

It’s time to Break It Down!

I am impelled to write about this. There are no citations, no source materials, just my opinion. It’s straight forward; there is really, not a lot to say.

Over the past 48 hours, much discourse has ensued regarding Monday’s FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. I have noticed numerous outlets, especially those that tilt conservative, characterize the encounter using terms such as raid, or siege. These terms carry a negative connotation, and are rightfully, understandably, received as trigger words.

Some non-conservative outlets have also used the term raid in connection with the FBI’s search. From my vantage point, there is one simple, but huge problem with that characterization. Let’s begin by defining raid. 

Raid (Merriam-Webster)


A hostile or predatory incursion

A surprise attack by a small force

A brief foray outside one’s usual sphere

A sudden invasion by officers of the law

A daring operation against a competitor

The recruiting of personnel from competing organizations

The act of mulcting public money

An attempt by professional operators to depress stock prices by concerted selling


To conduct or take part in a raid

To make a raid on

When Trump, who was the first to share the news of the FBI’s visit and search, announced it, he engaged in rhetorical escalation, claiming his estate was under siege, when he declared, “My beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” He added, for effect, I’m sure, “They even broke into my safe.”

For further elucidation, let’s also define siege.

Siege (Oxford Languages)


“A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.”

“An operation in which police or other forces surround a building and cut off supplies, with the aim of forcing an armed person to surrender.”

“A prolonged period of misfortune.”

What it was. The FBI obtained a search warrant authorizing it to secure presidential records and or any classified material. In January, the National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes documents and other items that Archives officials said should have been turned over when Trump left the White House. While archivists continued to seek additional records, his advisers indicated Trump resisted relinquishing the materials for months.

One person who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity, 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 Mar-a-Lago. 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.

By all accounts, the visit did not entail, as one conservative commentator maintained, “kicking the doors in.” The agents knocked, were admitted into the estate, and upon the authority granted them by the warrant, performed their investigation. The encounter was said to last roughly from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. There were no reports, unlike January 6, of anyone being gored, shot, or killed, or of the premises having been ransacked. “Definition Of A Raid/Siege: This Was Not That!”

I’m done; holla back!

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