Greg Shaffer, a retired FBI agent for the elite hostage rescue team, said that the agency’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Aug. 8 was “completely and totally unprecedented.”
During the raid, Trump’s attorneys on the site were not allowed to watch what the FBI agents were doing, which Shaffer said was also unprecedented.
Shaffer said that during most of the search warrants he executed as an FBI agent, the owner of the property usually watched over the agents to monitor what they were doing as they looked for the items included in the warrant.
The ex-FBI agent said that a subpoena, which could have been done behind the scenes without embarrassing the Trump family or the Trump organization, would have been a “much better course of action.”
Government Reacts to Public OutrageOn Aug. 11, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked a federal court to make the materials of the search warrant public.
“I think that this is an attempt by the Department of Justice—who may have underestimated the reaction to this through this raid—to try to get out a little bit ahead of it by saying, ‘Oh, see, what we did here was perfectly on the up and up,'” Malcolm said.
In the NTD interview, Shaffer said the FBI must have special permission to seize the property of members of Congress, members of the clergy, attorneys, and other individuals who deal with privileged information.
“For an FBI agent to go walk up to a sitting congressman and take his cell phone … that had to be approved at the highest level at the FBI and DOJ,“ Shaffer said. ”That is very, very difficult to do. Unprecedented.”
Shaffer said that in his opinion, the seizure of Perry’s phone was nothing more than a “show of force” from the Biden administration.