In a Florida raid, the FBI smashed into a safe at Donald Trump’s opulent Mar-a-Lago resort.
In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump claimed that his house had been occupied, plundered, and was presently under siege.
According to reports, FBI investigators were looking for potentially illegal sensitive materials that Trump may have taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after his administration ended.
In 15 boxes at the property, the National Archives and Records Administration claimed to have discovered classified documents earlier this year and notified the FBI. To search for more presidential records that Trump could have moved to his Florida resort, the investigators carried out a search warrant on Monday.
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 posted on Truth Social.
However, in this situation, experts said it would have had to come from the highest levels. Any search of a private property would have to be granted by a judge after police officials presented probable cause that a search was necessary.
The Justice Department’s criminal investigation into attempts to rig the 2020 presidential election is looking into Trump’s conduct at the time of the raid. The department’s examination into his handling of sensitive documents is unrelated to that investigation.
Federal law prohibits the movement of confidential materials to unapproved sites, notwithstanding the possibility that Trump would try to claim that, in his capacity as president, he had the last say on declassification.
There are several laws safeguarding classified material, including one that makes it illegal to remove such data and keep them at an unapproved place and is punished by up to five years in jail.
The deliberate or extremely negligent handling of classified records is prohibited under another law.
Trump has now been charged with trying to obliterate presidential records.
According to the National Archives, some of the documents the former president returned to them had been ripped up.
While a Trump spokeswoman refuted reports that he attempted to flush the papers, Axios photos purport to show ripped White House documents in the bottom of a toilet.
Trump criticized the raid as a politically motivated action by Democrats who oppose his reelection in 2024 late on Monday.