FBI Agents Visited Mar-a-Lago 2 Months Before Raid, Said ‘It All Makes Sense’: Lawsuit

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
August 23, 2022 Updated: August 23, 2022

A recent legal motion from former President Donald Trump on Monday said the 45th president invited FBI agents to come to Mar-a-Lago two months before the raid on his property.

The agents, the filing said (pdf), were greeted by Trump lawyers when they arrived on June 3 to retrieve documents. The agents were shown a basement storage room with boxes of documents and memorabilia from when Trump was president.

The filing also claimed that after one FBI agent saw the storage room, they told Trump’s team: “Thank you. You did not need to show us the storage room, but we appreciate it. Now it all makes sense.”

In the Mar-a-Lago storage room, there were “boxes, many containing the clothing and personal items of President Trump and the First Lady,” the complaint added. Department of Justice official Jay Bratt asked the Trump team to secure that storage room and the former president “directed his staff to place a second lock on the door,” it said.

“Counsel for President Trump then closed the interaction and advised the Government officials that they should contact him with any further needs on the matter,” the filing said.

Trump’s lawyers wrote that the former president even personally greeted Bratt and FBI agents in Mar-a-Lago’s dining area.

“Before leaving the group, President Trump’s last words to Mr. Bratt and the FBI agents were as follows: ‘Whatever you need, just let us know,’” the motion said.

“Responsive documents were provided to the FBI agents. Mr. Bratt asked to inspect a storage room. Counsel for President Trump advised the group that President Trump had authorized him to take the group to that room,” Trump’s lawyers added. “The group proceeded to the storage room, escorted by two Secret Service agents. The storage room contained boxes, many containing the clothing and personal items of President Trump and the First Lady.”

Elsewhere in the complaint, Trump’s lawyers asserted that the more than two dozen boxes of documents that were taken by the FBI in the Aug. 8 raid were covered by executive privilege.

The motion demanded that federal investigators stop looking into the material that was taken at Mar-a-Lago until a special master can be appointed to review the records.

‘Immediately STOP the Review’

“We are now demanding that the Department of ‘Justice’ be instructed to immediately STOP the review of documents illegally seized from my home. ALL documents have been previously declassified,” Trump said in an accompanying statement on his Truth Social platform.

Epoch Times Photo
Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump in West Palm Beach, Fla. drive around the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building & Courthouse as the court on Aug.18, 2022 holds a hearing to determine if the affidavit used by the FBI as justification for the raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate should be unsealed. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

The former president said he would have handed over the documents without FBI agents carrying out the raid on his home, implying that the search was politically motivated. The documents, he added, would have been given to the National Archives until they are required by the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.

The filing is Trump’s first since the unprecedented raid on his Florida home. Other legal activity connected to the FBI case involved media outlets and third-party entities filing motions to release the search warrant, property receipt, and affidavit in the case—and the former president is not a party in those cases.

On Monday morning, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who approved the FBI search warrant, suggested that the affidavit would be released to the public. He again reiterated that the Department of Justice is ordered to submit the affidavit with proposed redactions by 12 p.m. Thursday.

Because of the “intense” public interest in the investigation and case, Reinhart explained that the document should not be entirely sealed. Department of Justice officials and lawyers argued that releasing it—even in its redacted form—would harm the agency’s investigation.

The Department of Justice has not immediately responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit’s statement about FBI agents having visited Mar-a-Lago in June.

A spokesman for the Justice Department, Anthony Coley, issued a statement following Trump’s filing Monday.

“The Aug. 8 search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” his statement said. “The Department is aware of this evening’s motion. The United States will file its response in court.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.