News ID: 323368
Published: 0224 GMT August 13, 2022

Trump says FBI searched estate in major escalation of probe

Trump says FBI searched estate in major escalation of probe
TERRY RENNA/AP
Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former US president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.

The FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, people familiar with the matter said Monday, a move that represents a dramatic and unprecedented escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of the former president.

Trump, disclosing the search in a lengthy statement, asserted that agents had opened up a safe at his home and described their work as an “unannounced raid” that he likened to “prosecutorial misconduct,” AP reported.

The search intensifies the months-long probe into how classified documents ended up in boxes of White House records located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. It occurs amid a separate grand jury investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and adds to the potential legal peril for Trump as he lays the groundwork for another run.

Familiar battle lines, forged during a four-year presidency shadowed by FBI and congressional investigations, quickly took shape again Monday night. Trump and his allies sought to cast the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democratic-driven effort to keep him from winning another term in 2024 – even though the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge of it, and the current FBI director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department.

“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,” Trump wrote. “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,” Trump said in his statement.

Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search, including about whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized it.

 

 

 

   
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