FBI agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Monday in a raid believed to be part of the ongoing probe into his handling of classified information and presidential records.
The search was made public in a dramatic statement released by Trump himself, who was reportedly alerted by his son, Eric.
— Bloomberg (@business) August 9, 2022
“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” the statement read. “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,” it continued.
Trump added that the agents had even broken into his safe. He compared the raid to Watergate.
Voters were seen gathered outside the Mar-a-Lago estate in demonstration of support for the former President following the raid.
Motorists show support for President Trump outside his Florida residence following FBI raid pic.twitter.com/ak7jh2OLd9
— Jayne Zirkle (@JayneZirkle) August 9, 2022
Reactions to Trump estate raid
The Department of Justice has two known active investigations connected to former President Trump. One relates to the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the January 6, 2021, insurrection while the other is related to the handling of classified documents.
According to The Guardian, the FBI obtained the search warrant because they were able to establish probable cause that Trump was unlawfully holding official White House records at his residence in Florida.
The fifteen boxes of material that Trump had reportedly taken with him in January 2021 after leaving the White House were retrieved by the National Archives a year later, but agents on Monday were looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or classified documents at his Palm Beach estate, the AP said.
Republican governors came to Trump’s defense on social media after news of the raid emerged, echoing the former President’s claims of “weaponization of the Justice Department” and asking for the affidavit for the raid to be made public.
The search at Mar-a Lago of a former President is unprecedented & alarming. We must see the probable cause affidavit before making a judgment. Normally that would be under seal but since Trump announced the raid then the probable cause should be made public.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) August 9, 2022
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
In a statement published on Twitter, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, called off Attorney General Garland, warning him to “preserve his documents and clear his calendar.”
Attorney General Garland: preserve your documents and clear your calendar. pic.twitter.com/dStAjnwbAT
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 9, 2022
Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity, Eric Trump accused the Biden administration of orchestrating the raid.
White House officials denied possessing previous knowledge of the raid, The New York Times says, and only learned about it from news reports.