OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Attorneys for former President Donald Trump have spoken about the raid on his Mar-a-Lago home and they have some details.
One of his attorneys, Christina Bobb, said that when she arrived on the scene she was given a warrant but it was partially sealed.
“When I arrived and kind of announced myself as the legal representation for President Trump. I asked to see a copy of the warrant,” she said.
“Initially they refused and said, ‘You know, we don’t have to show it to you.’ And there was a little bit of an exchange about whether it was appropriate to withhold the warrant when you’re searching the residence of the former president, who’s likely to be the Republican nominee in the next election, though they conceded and let me see it, they did not give me a copy of it right away, but they did let me see it,” she said.
“It was very, I would say, thin. And as you can tell from public records, the affidavit, the supporting documentation of what the probable cause was to obtain the warrant has been sealed,” she said.
“So we’re not allowed to see that. We have to go to court to request the judge to release that which, you know, may or may not happen. So we don’t know what the probable cause is, why they were allowed to search, but they did,” the attorney said.
“They also said that they were looking for classified documents, evidence of a crime as far as classified documents go,” she said.
“So they were looking for both classified information that they think should not have been removed from the White House as well as presidential records,” she said but said that the president could declassify documents as he wants to.
“It doesn’t really make any sense. And the same thing with any potential classified information, which I don’t believe there was any down there. We had done a search of it before and didn’t find anything noteworthy yet. I’m sure that they’re claiming that there was something terribly egregious, that a grave matter of national security. But we’ll find out,” she said.
Another of the former president’s attorneys, Lindsey Halligan, described what she witnessed at the search, CBS News reported.
Over the next eight hours, Halligan said 30-40 FBI personnel conducted the search. There were a handful dressed in suits, but most wore t-shirts, cargo pants, masks, and gloves. Halligan estimates 10-15 FBI vehicles went in and out of the property, including a Ryder truck.
Halligan says she and Bobb were barred from going inside the complex, forced to remain outside, between the ballroom and residence, on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago.
According to Halligan, the FBI divided up the search into three areas: a bedroom, a storage area, and an office.
She said she spoke with Trump who expressed shock about the FBI search. He said he thought he’d complied with investigators’ requests. He told Halligan that the Justice Department has an open line to his attorneys and said that he’s instructed them to turn over responsive documents if they have them. She said that the former president raised concerns about abuse of power by the Biden administration.
“Halligan said the search warrant was sealed, and because she had not been party to this aspect of Trump’s legal portfolio until Monday, did not know what kinds of documents the FBI might be looking for nor what kinds of documents the former president keeps with him at Mar-a-Lago,” CBS said.
She said that the search “was an appalling display of abuse and power — complete overkill.” And said that “if they needed documents, they could have asked. There’s never been an issue with compliance.”