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Former President Donald Trump revealed on Monday that his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida was raided by a “large group” of FBI agents.
The FBI’s unannounced raid was allegedly tied to boxes of classified information that Trump had supposedly taken to his Florida estate.
The New York Times reported:
The search, according to two people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on material that Mr. Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club, and residence after he left the White House. Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents, according to a person familiar with their contents.
Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of the material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action being taken to retrieve them.
Trump was not in attendance at the time of the raid.
The search was at least in part for whether any records remained at the club, the person familiar with the search said. The reported search came at a time when the Justice Department has also been stepping up questioning of former Trump aides who had been witnesses to discussion and planning in the White House of Mr. Trump’s efforts to remain in office after his loss in the 2020 election.
“They were not being judicious about what they took,” the source tells Fox News.
— Sean Langille (@SeanLangille) August 9, 2022
Trump released a powerful statement immediately after the raid.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said.
“It is 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,” he added.
Fox News reported an image of Trump on Monday after the alleged raid:
“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before,” Trump said, alleging that the FBI agents broke into his safe.
“What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee?” he said. “Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.”
Fox News reported:
Multiple sources tell Fox News the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago is related to the materials Trump allegedly brought to his private residence after his presidency concluded. That matter was referred to the Justice Department by the National Archives and Records Administration, which said it found classified material in 15 boxes at the residence.
Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though it is possible that Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.
“They were not being judicious about what they took,” the source told Fox News.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, one of many criticizing the raid, called it “an unprecedented political weaponization of the Justice Department.”
“They’ve been after President Trump as a candidate, as President, and now as a former President,” Noem tweeted. “Using the criminal justice system in this manner is un-American.”
The FBI raid on President Trump’s home is an unprecedented political weaponization of the Justice Department. They’ve been after President Trump as a candidate, as President, and now as a former President. Using the criminal justice system in this manner is un-American.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) August 9, 2022
“Trump was in New York City when the raid was carried out and is now headed to Florida, Fox News has learned. An FBI source confirmed that FBI agents from Washington, D.C. who are on the bureau’s Evidence Response Team conducted the raid and notified the Miami Field Office just before. Per standard protocol, FBI Director Wray and Attorney General Garland were aware of the raid even if shortly before and would have been fully briefed,” Fox News added.
“Per sources familiar with the matter, the FBI raid is related to the alleged taking of potential classified information upon leaving Washington on January 2021 – not the January 6th investigation,” the report added.