- Donald Trump said his Mar-a-Lago home was raided by the FBI
- ‘These are dark times for our Nation, as 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 said in shocking statement
- The investigation is said to be focused on material that Trump brought with him to Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House
- In January, the National Archives removed 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago that they said Trump should not have taken with him from the White House
- The boxes reportedly included classifed information, which the DoJ was probing
- Trump returned the records to Archives in January 2022
- Agents looking to see if Trump had even more records in his Florida home
- ‘They even broke into my safe!’ the former president said of the raid
Donald Trump was spotted leaving Trump Tower in New York on Monday night after announcing his Mar-a-Lago home had been raided by the FBI, reportedly as part of an investigation into whether the former president took classified documents with him when he left the White House.
He waved and gave his signature thumbs’ up to the gathered, but didn’t comment on the investigation as he got into his SUV, surrounded by Secret Service agents.
Trump, in his dramatic announcement of the raid, didn’t say specifically what the federal agents were looking for, just that his Florida home was ‘under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.’
‘They even broke into my safe!’ the former president complained.
But the investigation is focused on material that Trump brought with him to Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House, the New York Times reported, specificially if he has classified information in his private possession, which would be a violation of federal law.
Trump took 15 boxes of material with him in January 2021 after he left Washington D.C. The boxes were returned to the National Archives a year later in January 2022 but agents on Monday were looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at his South Florida estate, the AP reported.
The search focused on the area of the club where Trump’s offices and personal quarters are, CNN reported, noting Trump’s personal attorney Christinia Bobb was present during the search.
Eric Trump said he was the one that got the call on the raid and told his father about it.
‘I was the guy who got the call this morning and I called my father and let him know it happened, and I was involved all day,’ he told Fox News host Sean Hannity. ‘Welcome to politics in the 2020s.’
‘To have 30 FBI agents — actually more than that — descend on Mar-a-Lago, give absolutely, you know, no notice, go through the gates, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet — you know, they broke into a safe. He didn’t even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break.’
He charged President Joe Biden’s White House as the force behind the raid.
‘This didn’t come from a local FBI field office in Palm beach, Florida. You know this came from?This came from one place and one building, and that is the White House in Washington, D.C. They want to attack a guy who they view as his greatest threat, Biden’s greatest threat,’ Eric Trump said.
Biden’s White House had no heads up on the matter. Senior White House officials found out about it via Twitter, the New York Times reported.
Lara Trump told Fox News ‘look, my father-in-law, as anybody knows, who’s been around him a lot, loves to save things like newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photographs, documents that he had every authority … to take from the White House.’
She called the raid an attempt to hurt him as ‘he’s going to announce any day that he’s running for president in 2024.’
The raid comes as Donald Trump is considering another bid for the presidency and his actions after the 2020 election, where he tried to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory, are under investigation by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
It began Monday morning and took several hours. It is highly unusual for a federal raid to take place at the residence of a former commander in chief.
‘These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,’ Trump said in shocking statement released on Monday night.
‘After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.’
Trump, in his lengthy statement blasting the raid, called it ‘prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.
The Justice Department wouldn’t say whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search but it’s highly unlikely a raid on a former president would take place without the AG giving it the stamp of approval.
The FBI gave US Secret Service agents at Mar-a-Lago advance notice and they cooperated letting them into the property, NBC News reported. The Secret Service agents but did not take part in investigation or search.
This meant the FBI did not have to break into the property or bust down any doors.
A search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected but it would have to be court authorized.
Garland and his DoJ are under heavy political pressure of their own – from Democrats who want the former president indicted to Republicans who will blast any probe as election-year politics.