FBI Raids Trump’s Mar A Lago Residence
BY HABIBI BRIDGES
Things are becoming increasingly dicey for Donald Trump. On Monday, the FBI exercised a search warrant for former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, as part of an investigation regarding the handling of classified presidential documents that may have been present at the property. Trump confirmed that the FBI searched the property, and “they even broke into my safe,” he claimed. “My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” lamented Trump when giving a statement regarding the incident on Monday evening. While he’s clearly being dramatic (under “siege”? Are they shooting up the place?),three sources close to the former POTUS have confirmed the raid. Trump was said to be staying at the Trump Tower in New York as the raid took place.
The raid occurred early Monday morning, mainly around a particular area on Trump’s property where most of his offices and private quarters are located.
The Justice Department is elevating their investigation of the former President as he continues fending off several legal battles. As of now, the Justice Department has two open investigations into Trump’s former actions as president, one concerning the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021, and the other concerning the possible mishandling of classified documents, which is considered a federal crime.
The raid occurred early Monday morning, mainly around a particular area on Trump’s property where most of his offices and private quarters are located. According to a private source, the FBI search examined where Trump kept classified documents, taking several boxes of documents from the property. The FBI intended to leave nothing behind, as this raid follows the National Archives’ recovery of documents from Mar-A-Lago in the months taking place since Trump left the White House.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, Eric Trump claimed that “the purpose of the raid, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to, you know, corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession.”
The National Archives, the agency entrusted with the archiving and preservation of presidential documents, acknowledged that 15 boxes of documents were recovered from Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort back in February 2022. Some of these documents were classified material. Later, in June, investigators visited the property after it was brought to their attention that there was a possibility that classified material left the White House during Trump’s tenure there, and was taken to his Mar-A-Lago residence. The four investigators who visited also met with two of Trump’s attorneys and were shown where the documents were stored. They subsequently left without incident.
However, five days later, Trump’s attorneys received a letter asking to secure the room, so Trump’s aides added a padlock to the door. Yes, a padlock.
In the following months, Trump’s aides at Mar-A-Lago were interviewed by the FBI regarding the handling of presidential records.
One of the two attorneys that met with the FBI prior to the raid, Christina Bobb, claimed that “the FBI did conduct an unannounced raid and seized papers” on Monday “despite” Trump and his legal team having “been cooperative with FBI and DOJ officials every step of the way.” While Trump being “cooperative” is not something we’re used to hearing, it is also wise to note that a raid would not be necessary if the former POTUS were truly assisting the Justice Department with their investigation and did not have a problem with putting the law above his own personal interests.
The US Secret Service and FBI were in communication before the raid, permitting the FBI to access the property without complications. A White House official contacted regarding the incident said that they weren’t notified of the raid, and that President Joe Biden was not aware of the raid until it was already circulating the news. To be fair, it is totally possible that he was previously told and had completely forgotten–as the seemingly sleepy and forgetful President has also been recovering from COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Despite all this, it is predicted that Trump will announce to run for president once more in the 2024 election. However, it will be interesting to see how this episode pans out for Trump, as the raid seems to have been strategically conducted 92 days prior to midterm elections, staying in the clear of the Justice Department’s 90 day rule to not conduct any politically sensitive moves that may interfere with an upcoming election. As for what this means for Trump, and whether or not he will be accountable for his numerous political and personal transgressions, we shall see.