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Former President Trump on Thursday said his team was “cooperating fully” in the Justice Department’s investigation into his alleged improper handling of classified records when he left office, stressing that the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Lago was “out of no where and with no warning.”
Moments after Attorney General Merrick Garland made a rare public statement from the DOJ, announcing that he personally approved the warrant to search the former president’s private residence in Palm Beach, Florida, to search for classified materials he allegedly took with him from the White House when he left office, Trump posted to his TRUTH Social.
“My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established,” Trump posted. “The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it.”
“They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area – DONE!” He continued. “Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.’”
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He added: “They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!”
Trump, in another post, wrote: “Just learned that agents went through the First Lady’s closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items.”
“Surprisingly, left area in a relative mess,” Trump wrote. “Wow!”
Trump’s comments came after Garland announced that the Justice Department had filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal the search warrant and property receipt from the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago, amid “substantial public interest” in the matter.
The raid was related to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) effort to collect records and materials the former president took with him from Washington, D.C., to Mar-a-Lago, a matter the agency referred to the Justice Department.
“Since I became attorney general, I have made clear that the Department of Justice will speak through its court filings and its work just now,” Garland said. “The Justice Department has filed a motion in the southern district of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court approved search that the FBI conducted earlier this week. That search was a premises located in Florida belonging to the former president.”
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Garland noted that the Justice Department did not make any public statements on the day of the search, but that Trump “publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right.”
Garland said copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt “were provided on the day of the search to the former president’s counsel, who was on site during the search.”
“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” Garland said, adding that “the property receipt is a document that federal law requires law enforcement agents to leave with the property owner.”
Garland said the Justice Department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt “in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
“All Americans are entitled to the even-handed application of the law to due process of the law and to the presumption of innocence,” Garland stressed.
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Garland said that much of the department’s work “is, by necessity, conducted out of the public eye.”
“At this time, there are, however, certain points I want you to know,” Garland said.
“First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland said.
“Second, the department does not take such a decision lightly,” Garland said. “Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
Garland then addressed “recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors.”
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In the Justice Department’s motion to unseal the warrant, officials wrote that Trump should have an opportunity to respond to the motion and “lodge objections, including with regard to any ‘legitimate privacy interests’ or the potential for other ‘injury’ if these materials are made public.”
It is unclear if Trump will object in any way to the unsealing of the warrant and property receipt.
Trump’s office received a grand jury subpoena this spring for classified documents he allegedly took from the White House when he left office in 2021, a source close to Trump told Fox News, saying the former president cooperated with the subpoena by turning over documents to the FBI.
According to the source, a subpoena was issued to a “custodian of the president,” and was related to the materials that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was trying to collect after claiming Trump improperly took those classified records with him from Washington D.C. to Mar-a-Lago.
The source close to Trump told Fox News that Trump has been cooperating in the investigation into the NARA records for a year.
On June 3, the FBI visited Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the requested documents in the subpoena, which Trump complied with, the source told Fox News.
Those investigators toured the area of the Florida resort where some documents were stored, then briefly viewed and took custody of a small amount of potentially sensitive material. Separate sources told Fox News that federal investigators had spoken with at least one person who relayed the possibility of more sensitive national security material in that storage room and other areas of the property.
FBI officials, that day, asked to see a storage facility where the records were located. The FBI asked that staff put a lock on the storage room, which they later did.
This source said Trump and his staff were, and are, committed to being in compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which requires presidential administrations to preserve certain documents.
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Trump received that subpoena two months prior to the FBI’s unprecedented raid on a former president of the United States’ private residence—which took place early Monday morning.
The source questioned whether the federal magistrate judge who signed off on the warrant for the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago Monday was aware of Trump’s “past compliance with the subpoena,” adding that, if the FBI was looking for additional documents, another subpoena could have been issued, as Trump and his team were “cooperative” and turned over documents and records responsive to the subpoena issued in the spring.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-says-mar-a-lago-raid-from-left-field-no-warning-says-cooperating-fully-fbi