The FBI on Monday searched the Mar-a-Lago estate of former President Trump, a dramatic step that has increased speculation about the former president being in legal jeopardy.
The FBI entered Mar-a-Lago after securing a search warrant from a federal magistrate judge after demonstrating probable cause supporting their suspicion of criminal activity. While Trump did not say what the warrant sought, he complained that agents who searched his property “even broke into my safe.”
The execution of a search warrant on a former president’s home is unprecedented and comes as the Justice Department investigates the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol and actions Trump took to attempt to deprive Joe Biden of his 2020 election victory.
The search, which reportedly focused on the retention of classified material, comes as Trump is under scrutiny in a flurry of investigations.
The former president is also the subject of criminal probes related to his campaign to pressure officials in Georgia to alter the election results and his business dealings in New York.
A judge ordered Rudy Giuliani to appear before the special grand jury in Fulton County; his lawyers got a medical delay and are seeking a further delay
New York Attorney General Letitia James took legal action to compel the former president, and his children—Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump—to appear for sworn testimony as part of the office’s ongoing civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.
The New York Attorney General (OAG) has collected significant additional evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.
The valuations of his residence in Trump Tower were based on the assertion that the triplex apartment was 30,000 square feet in size. However, the actual size of the unit was 10,996 square feet, and documents confirming that fact were signed by Trump himself in 2012.
It also comes against the backdrop of Trump considering a White House bid in 2024.
Members of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) are planning to visit former President Donald Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey, today, according to Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) overtly threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland, saying that if Republicans take back the chamber after November’s midterm elections, ” we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.”
Banks, who serves as chair of the RSC, the largest congressional caucus on Capitol Hill, said the group visited Trump at his New Jersey residence last year and had scheduled another visit long before the FBI executed search warrants in Florida on August 8.
Radio host Hugh Hewitt speculated that the Department of Justice is stepping up the investigation into Trump’s role in the failed coup d’etat on Jan. 6 but the New York Times reported that the FBI’s search appeared to center on classified materials illegally denied to the National Archives.
“January 6th was the culmination of an attempted coup,” said Bennie Thompson, chair of the House of Representative’s select committee investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol.
“President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” added his vice-chair, Liz Cheney.
The political and legal implications could be devastating, just as the Watergate hearings were for President Richard Nixon half a century ago.
But today America, and its media, are bitterly divided, and Trump, who once boasted that he could shoot someone and not lose voters, has repeatedly shown that he has no respect for the laws that apply to everyone else in the country.
The probe in connection with Trump’s failure to turn over some presidential records at the end of his term, instead taking them to his Florida home, led authorities to previously retrieve from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of documents that included classified materials.
The National Archives also reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate after authorities found classified materials among the boxes recovered from Trump’s Florida home in January.
The documents include a letter to Trump from President Barack Obama, as well as Trump’s self-described “love letters” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, according to The Washington Post.
All of those records should have been handed over to the National Archives directly from the White House once Trump left office, as required by the Presidential Records Act.
Former Trump administration officials have said the former president often disregarded protocols for maintaining classified documents.