Trump Returns to Mar-a-Lago for 1st Time Since FBI Raid

By Frank Fang
Frank Fang
Frank Fang
journalist
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers US, China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
September 19, 2022 Updated: September 20, 2022

Former President Donald Trump has returned to Florida for the first time since FBI agents searched his home there early last month and says he will provide updates on his Truth Social platform.

“Arrived in Florida last night and had a long and detailed chance to check out the scene of yet another government ‘crime,’ the FBI’s Raid and Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago,” Trump posted on Truth Social early on Sept. 19. “I guess they don’t think there is a Fourth Amendment anymore, and to them, there isn’t. In any event, after what they have done, the place will never be the same.

“It was ‘ransacked’ and in far different condition than the way I left it. Many Agents – And they didn’t even take off their shoes in my bedroom. Nice!!!”

The former president had written on his Truth Social social media platform a day earlier: “It has already been proven that so much has been wrongfully taken, it is not a ‘pretty thing.’ So sad!

“I will keep the American public informed on TRUTH!”

Trump was in New York City when about 30 FBI agents raided his Florida residence on Aug. 8. That day, the agents also searched former First Lady Melania Trump’s closet and her personal items, as well as his 16-year-old son Barron’s room, according to Trump.

The raid concluded with the FBI seizing a total of 11,179 documents and other materials that weren’t marked classified, along with 103 documents marked classified including some marked as top secret, according to an inventory released earlier this month.

Trump has claimed that he had declassified the documents found at Mar-a-Lago that were marked as classified.

Special Master

On Sept. 15, Florida-based U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon named retired Judge Raymond Dearie as an independent arbiter, also called a special master, to review the materials seized by the FBI. One of Dearie’s tasks is to determine whether any documents are privileged and should be off-limits to federal investigators.

Cannon also rejected a U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) request to allow investigators to continue a criminal investigation into the seized materials. A day later, the DOJ filed a motion asking an appeals court to issue a partial stay on Cannon’s order.

Dearie was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and later became chief judge for the Eastern District of New York. He retired in 2011 and is now a senior judge in the district.

According to a court document, Dearie will hold a “preliminary conference” with lawyers for Trump and the DOJ at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse at 2 p.m. local time on Sept. 20.

Following Dearie’s appointment, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) called the decision a “Huge Trump Victory.”

“The FBI can’t operate in the shadows ANY LONGER!! We’ll soon find out just how CORRUPT this whole WITCH HUNT really is!!” Jackson wrote on Twitter.

At a rally to support Republican candidates in Ohio on Sept. 17, Trump claimed that the FBI raid was the result of the “unprecedented weaponization” of the DOJ.

“For six straight years, I’ve been harassed, investigated, defamed, slandered, and persecuted like no other president—and probably like no one in American history,” he said. “Yet all I have ever wanted and all we’ve ever fought for is to simply, very simply, make America great again.”

Frank Fang
journalist
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers US, China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.