Tuesday 9 August 2022 09:22 AM FBI raids Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home trends now
Trump - who was in New York at the time of the raid - revealed the news himself late Monday, saying 'my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago... is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.'
The ex-President said that agents had searched his office and even opened his safe, in what son Eric said was an attempt by the Biden administration to discredit his 'biggest threat' ahead of the 2024 election.
But a spokesman for the Biden White House said they had been given no advanced knowledge of the raid and found out about it on Twitter.
The FBI has not said anything about the operation, but sources briefed that it was in connection with official records that Trump is accused of taking with him illegally when he left the White House.
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
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
Back in January, Trump's lawyers handed over 15 boxes of documents that should have been transferred to the National Archive when his term ended but found their way to Mar-a-Lago instead.
Under the Presidential Records Act, all documents related to the president's duties should be handed over to the National Archive one his term is over.
Trump's lawyers excused the breach as a mistake at the time - saying his team had packed in a 'hurry' because he was busy contesting the result of the 2020 vote and did not want to appear to be conceding to Biden by clearing his office.
The National Archive subsequently confirmed that classified documents had been found among the boxes they retrieved, and - somewhat tellingly - said Trump's team were 'continuing to search' for other records.
Among the papers handed over are thought to have been letters between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and a letter left for Trump by outgoing leader Barack Obama.
Though the raid is not evidence of criminality in itself, the FBI will have needed to convince a judge there is 'probable cause' to believe a crime was committed in order to get a warrant to go in.
Top officials at the bureau and Justice Department would almost certainly have had to sign off on the move as well.
Investigations into the records are just one of a number of probes that Trump is facing over his time as president, his refusal to concede the 2020 race to Biden, and the January 6 storming of the Capitol Building by supporters convinced the election had been stolen.
The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the events of January 6, has charged hundreds of people with breaching the Capitol that day, and is said to be probing Trump's involvement in it.
Meanwhile the House Select Committee in Congress is conducting a series of hearings into the lead-up to January 6, and is interviewing high-ranking members of the Trump administration about attempts to overturn the election result.
Mike Pompeo, Trump's former Secretary of State and an ally while in office, is due to speak this week alongside Douglas Mastriano, Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor who helped lead efforts to challenge that state's election result.
The state of Georgia is also conducting a separate grand jury investigation into Trump's efforts to challenge the election outcome there, while two separate investigations in New York are looking into Trump's finances.
Eric Trump, who was spotted at Trump Tower on Monday, said he was the one that got the call on the raid and told his father about it.
Eric Trump, who was spotted at Trump Tower on Monday, said he was the one that got the call on the raid and told his father about it
While appearing on Hannity Monday, Eric Trump raged against Democrats as he detailed his involvement in letting his father Donald know of the FBI raid
'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.
Donald Trump was also spotted leaving Trump Tower on Monday night, waving and giving a thumbs up to supporters gathered outside.
The search is said to have focused on the area of Mar-a-Lago where Trump's offices and personal quarters are, CNN reported, noting Trump's personal attorney Christinia Bobb was present during the search.
And, during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Trump's attorney showed federal investigators documents that were being kept on site, including some that were marked classified, the network noted.
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 amid concerns her father-in-law may '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 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 material; above workers move boxes out of the Trump White House on January 14, 2021
Armed Secret Service agents stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday night
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