Former US President Donald Trump said on Monday, August 8, that FBI agents had searched his Mar-a-Lago club and residence in Palm Beach, Fla., and opened his safe.
The FBI and Department of Justice declined to comment, although Eric Trump said Monday night that he was told the search was related to the possible mishandling of government secrets the Justice Department is known to be investigating after the National Archives retrieved White House records from Mar-a-Lago.
The former president’s son said;
The purpose of the raid was, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession.
And my father has worked so collaboratively with them for months. In fact, the lawyer that’s been working on this was totally shocked. He goes, ‘I have such an amazing relationship with these people and all of a sudden, on no notice, they send 20 cars and 30 agents?’
The younger Trump said he got a call about the search being executed on Monday morning and informed his father.
The search, which would have required a court order from a federal judge, signals the former president is under greater scrutiny from federal investigators than was previously known.
In a statement put out by his political action committee, Trump said Mar-a-Lago was “under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
The statement read;
After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.
Trump went on to blame Democrats who don’t want him to run for president in 2024 for the incident, and said the same people also want to stop Republicans from winning in the midterm elections.
While there is no indication that prosecutors are on the verge of charging Trump, or that he will ultimately be charged, the search marks a significant step. In order to get a warrant, investigators would have had to demonstrate to a judge that there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed and that evidence of the crime was at Mar-a-Lago.
A search of a former president’s home would likely need to be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department.
Earlier this year, the National Archives and Records Administration said it had recovered 15 boxes of White House records and other items from Trump’s Florida club, sparking a Justice Department investigation.
Trump’s announcement of the search sparked a firestorm on the right, with Republicans accusing Democrats of weaponizing the federal bureaucracy.