According to former President Donald Trump, on Monday FBI agents searched his Mar-a-Lago club and home in Palm Beach, Florida, and opened his safe. The former president called the search an “assault.” Neither the FBI nor the Justice Dept. would comment on the news, but the president’s son, Eric Trump, said on Monday night that the raid was related to a Justice Dept. investigation of possible mishandling of government material that the former president had brought with him to his Florida residence.
“My father has worked so collaboratively with them for months,” Eric Trump told Fox News. “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?'”
Federal law prohibits the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, although President Trump had the authority to declassify those documents.
The New York Times noted that senior government officials are only rarely charged in connection with mishandling classified information, but noted two exceptions: Gen. David H. Petraeus, and President Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger.
Prof. Alan Dershowitz questioned the Justice Dept’s move on Newsmax, saying: “A raid is supposed to be a last resort, but this administration has used the weaponization of the justice system against its political enemies. “It has arrested people, denied them bail, put them in handcuffs – used all kinds of techniques that are not usually applied to American citizens, and I just hope this raid has a justification. If it doesn’t have a justification, the material seized in it will be suppressed,” Dershowitz said.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement saying, “I’ve seen enough. … The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.” He added: “Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar,” meaning once the GOP wins the House back in November, the AG will be investigated.
A similar, though even more combative statement was issued by Florida state lawmaker Anthony Sabatini, who is running for Congress, who tweeted: “It’s time for us in the Florida Legislature to call an emergency legislative session and amend our laws regarding federal agencies. Sever all ties with DOJ immediately. Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight.”
Former President Trump issued a statement on his social media network Truth Social, saying his home was “raided, and occupied,” and “currently under siege.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” the former president added. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
Trump blamed the raid on the Democrats, who want to stop him from running for president in 2024, and stop Republicans from winning in the midterm elections.
The National Archives and Records Administration discovered classified material in 15 boxes at Trump’s Florida home earlier this year and alerted the FBI, whose agents executed a search warrant Monday looking for additional presidential documents.