Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon revealed more details on the circumstances surrounding the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.
“In early June, the DOJ and FBI asked my legal representatives to put an extra lock on the door leading to the place where boxes were stored in Mar-a-Lago – We agreed,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social on Aug. 10, in an apparent reference to boxes that may have been used to store presidential records in Mar-a-Lago. “They were shown the secured area, and the boxes themselves.”
“Then on Monday, without notification or warning, an army of agents broke into Mar-a-Lago, went to the same storage area, and ripped open the lock that they had asked to be installed. A surprise attack, POLITICS, and all the while our Country is going to HELL!” Trump said.
The former president’s Wednesday statements, if true, throw further questions on the justification and appropriateness of the raid which was reportedly carried out in relation to a Department of Justification (DOJ) probe into whether Trump took presidential records with him after he left office. The DOJ and FBI have declined to comment on the matter, and the search warrant is currently under seal.
“Nothing had been hidden and nothing had been kept secret from them, which makes this all the more ridiculous,” Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb told The Epoch Times on Tuesday. Bobb confirmed that the federal agents were looking for presidential records at Mar-a-Lago during the raid.
“Donald Trump didn’t commit a crime,” she said. “They would have to lay the foundation that Donald Trump actually packed up his own office, and Donald Trump was actually the custodian of these records, and that he actually moved them.”
Cooperating with NARA
According to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Trump’s representatives had been cooperating in transferring presidential records, including handing over 15 boxes containing presidential records, in the past year following the conclusion of Trump’s presidency.
While the Presidential Records Act of 1978 stipulates that an administration must transfer to the U.S. Archivist (head of the National Archives) certain classified records related to the president’s duties by the end of the president’s term, few former presidents have done so in a short period of time, and none have been prosecuted as a result.
Republicans in Congress and allies of Trump, for this reason, have been questioning whether a political motive underlies the raid, the details of which remain under court seal leaving legal experts unable to comment on the appropriateness of the action.
“NARA’s singling out of President Trump’s handling of official records stands starkly in contrast to the way NARA has treated far clearer violations committed by politicians and officials who are not Republicans,” 20 Republicans, including numerous Committee ranking members, wrote in an Aug. 10 letter addressed to U.S. Acting Archivist Debra Wall, first published by Politico.
“The seeming weaponization of the federal government against President Biden’s political rivals cannot go unchecked, and if NARA is working to further these efforts, it will be only the latest agency to lose its credibility in the eyes of the American people under the Biden Administration,” the Republican lawmakers wrote.
On Tuesday, the magistrate judge who reportedly approved the search warrant ordered the Department of Justice to file a response to a motion asking for the DOJ to unseal the warrant no later than Aug. 15.