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Meet the Little-Known Florida Blogger Who Snapped the Trump Mar-a-Lago Raid Without Even Knowing It

Jjust after 6:30 p.m. on Monday evening, FloridaPolitics.com publisher Peter Schorsch landed the biggest scoop of the year.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation today executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, two sources confirm to Florida Politics,” he posted.

“I don’t know what the search warrant was about. TBH, I’m not a journalist strong enough to track this down, but it’s real.

News that Mar-a-Lago was the target of an FBI search warrant quickly exploded onto cable TV and national news sites, and was confirmed by Donald Trump in a statement released minutes later. .

It was a major blow for a little-known digital news platform whose previous stories had been about a school board race and the campaign for state agriculture commissioner.

Recalling how he landed the story, Mr. Schorsch said The Independent it started when he received a text from an old political friend in Florida saying he was sitting on a “huge” story – intentionally employing the former president’s speaking style.

“I was a little reluctant at first, I was like ‘is this going to be like Donald Trump talking in a car wash’.”

Mr. Schorsch called the source and they caught up on the gossip for about 20 minutes, until the contact casually dropped a bombshell: FBI agents were at Mar-a-Lago.

“I thought, ‘wait, we’ve been talking for 20 minutes and you just mentioned this now?'”

Mr. Schorsch, who has covered the former president since 2015, immediately phoned a senior contact in the Trump world.

“I said, ‘hey you’re not going to like this but the FBI is attacking Mar-a-Lago’ and they were like, ‘Oh f***’.”

Peter Schorsch, founder of FloridaPolitics.com, worked his sources to bail out the national press on the story of the Mar-a-Lago raid

(Courtesy of Peter Schorsch)

A few minutes later, the source called back to say, “They just left.”

“I knew I had the scoop at this point, but I wanted to make sure he didn’t die,” Mr. Schorsch said. The Independent.

“I was at the top of the diving board and just wanted to make sure I was going to land properly.”

Donald Trump: Aerial footage shows FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago estate

To make sure the story didn’t get lost in the whirlwind of social media, he reached out to a few veteran journalist friends to give them a whim, then sent the tweet to his 46,000 followers.

The tweet went viral, and within minutes breaking news alerts and cable news chyrons began to appear.

Aware of the inbound traffic heading his way, he contacted his ISP to get extra capacity and ensure the website didn’t crash in its heyday.

FBI investigating whether Donald Trump illegally took classified documents when he left the White House

(Associated Press)

He was heartened to see major news outlets, including CNN, the Associated Press, the New York Times and others attributed the story to his tweet.

As media requests began to pour in, Schorsch said he had to turn down a few requests to appear on cable news because it would conflict with his favorite TV show. You better call Saul.

“You have to have priorities. I thought he would still be here tomorrow morning.

Mr. Schorsch, a former political operative, says he started blogging as a way to share gossip and help his clients navigate the hectic world of Florida politics.

He founded Florida Politics a decade ago, a nonpartisan organization, and has since transformed the “Mom and Pop” organization into a thriving digital news site.

Based in St. Petersburg, it works up to 18 hours a day and employs 17 journalists who focus exclusively on national and local political elections, campaigns and shenanigans, publishing around 40 to 50 articles a day.

With some of the most expensive local election campaigns in the world, where millions of dollars are often spent on statewide races, Schorsch said The Independent there is no shortage of news to follow.

The competition between Ron DeSantis and Trump is ‘the most fascinating dynamic in American politics right now’

(AP)

Mr Schorsch says the raid throws an intriguing twist in the battle between Mr Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as they vie for the Republican nomination in 2024.

“It’s the greatest game of chicken ever played in politics, when one of them says he’s not going to run against the other.”

“It’s the most fascinating dynamic in American politics right now.”

Mr DeSantis fired at the FBI on Tuesday morning, echoing conservative outrage and calling the raid an “escalation in the militarization of federal agencies”.

But Ms Schorsch says it could be a ploy by the governor to stay in favor of Mr Trump.

And he suspects that Mr. Trump, as he has done so many times, could turn the bad news seemingly to his advantage.

“I think Trump is very angry this morning. I hate to say it, but he has the ability to turn bad things into good things for him. I think he might be able to turn that into good things for him.