As the legal inquiries into the former US president dramatically intensified, Donald Trump claimed that the FBI invaded his Florida property. In a lengthy statement, Mr. Trump claimed that a “large gang” of FBI investigators had broken into a safe at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. According to reports, the search is related to a probe into how he handled sensitive and confidential information. The Department of Justice and the FBI have not yet responded.
The Secret Service was alerted just before the warrant was served at around 10:00 local time (14:00 GMT), according to an anonymous law enforcement official. Agents guarding Mr. Trump also assisted the FBI investigators. The source stated that several boxes were removed, but no doors were broken, and the search was over by late afternoon. According to some sources, the FBI operation, which Mr. Trump called an “unannounced raid,” may have been related to a probe into whether the former president carried critical documents and classified information out of the White House and brought them to Mar-a-Lago.
The management of National Archives (NA) records that were brought to the Florida home after his father left office is under review, according to Eric Trump, the second-oldest son of the president, who spoke to Fox News about the matter. The Presidential Records Act (PRA) mandates that US presidents surrender all of their papers and correspondence to the NA. When Mr. Trump left the White House, he was supposed to turn over 15 boxes of records, which the government agency claimed it had recovered from Mar-a-Lago in February. Later, it informed Congress that the boxes contained items labeled as sensitive national security information and requested an investigation from the Justice Department. At the time, Mr. Trump dismissed allegations that he had improperly handled government records as “fake news.”
A judge must sign a federal search warrant, and according to legal experts, this warrant was likely approved at the highest echelons of the Justice Department. Law enforcement authorities must first show that there is a chance that illegal activity may be detected, even though a warrant of this kind does not imply that criminal charges are anticipated. Both the Justice Department and the FBI rarely make public statements regarding ongoing investigations.
As Mr. Trump, who was in New York at the time, gets ready for a potential second run for president in 2024, the search represents a significant uptick in the months-long inquiry into the handling of secret documents. He said in his statement that the unannounced raid on his residence was neither necessary nor acceptable because he had cooperated with all pertinent federal entities. Some of Donald Trump’s fans have risen in response to news of the search. While others have made their way to Trump Tower in New York, a handful of people gathered outside Mar-a-Lago to wave flags and voice their outrage.
Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, vented their rage in large numbers. Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, declared: “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.” The FBI’s search in Florida was unnoticed by the administration of President Joe Biden, a senior White House official said. To avoid any suggestion of political pressure or improper behavior, the White House has stated that it is restricting its interactions with Justice Department personnel.