Trump Says FBI Seized ‘Privileged’ Records in Raid, Wants Them ‘Immediately Returned’

Trump Says FBI Seized ‘Privileged’ Records in Raid, Wants Them ‘Immediately Returned’
Former President Donald Trump waves while walking to a vehicle outside of Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 10, 2022. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Former President Donald Trump said Sunday that privileged material was taken during the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago property and demanded it back.

“Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken,” the former president wrote on Truth Social, as he posted a Fox News article that cited anonymous sources for the claims.

Attorney-client privilege makes reference to a legal privilege that allows communications between a client and their attorney confidential.

“By copy of this TRUTH (post), I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!” Trump also wrote Sunday morning.

The FBI said it took classified records from Trump’s Florida residence during an unprecedented raid last week, which was announced by the former president himself. It’s not clear what the documents entailed.

According to a property receipt that was unsealed on Aug. 12 by a judge in the case, some of those documents were marked top secret, and a warrant in the case said Trump is being investigated for possibly violating provisions under the Espionage Act as well as obstruction of justice.

Since the raid was announced on Aug. 8, both the FBI and Department of Justice have remained mostly tight-lipped about what the FBI was searching for and why.


It wasn’t until the afternoon of Aug. 11 that Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a terse statement during a news conference, saying he personally authorized the raid. He did not elaborate on the FBI’s investigation. The affidavit in the case has not been unsealed—only the warrant and property receipt.

“First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland said during the press conference. “Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”

Former President Donald Trump's residence in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 9, 2022. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump's residence in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 9, 2022. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)

The warrant and receipt were unsealed on Aug. 12 by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart after several news outlets and transparency watchdogs requested that it be released to the public.

“The locations to be searched include the ‘45 Office,' all storage rooms, and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by FPOTUS and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate,” the warrant stated.

The warrant also provided agents the authority to take “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed” that violate the U.S. Code. That includes classified documents and materials with presidential seals created throughout the entirety of Trump’s presidency.

The FBI and Department of Justice have not returned requests for comment.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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