FBI agents would not allow Trump lawyers to watch as they raided Mar-a-Lago, former President Trump’s Florida residence, on Monday morning, a source told Fox News.
Trump was in New York City while his home in Palm Beach, Florida, was raided.
A source with information about the raid claimed that the warrant for the raid was related to the National Archives and Records Administration’s effort to collect records and documents that Trump took with him from Washington when he left office in January of 2021. In January of this year, 15 boxes worth of documents were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago.
“This was a NARA issue,” the source close to the former president told Fox News, adding, Trump has been “cooperating.”
“There is no need for any of this,” the source said, adding the FBI “wouldn’t let the attorneys come in to watch the raid. They told them to leave.”
The source alleged that when NARA visited Mar-a-Lago in January, Trump and his team “gave them what they wanted.”
“It was all provided to them,” the source said. “This is absurd.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI executed the search warrant “in part because they believed additional classified information remained at the private club.”
The report said that federal agents removed over 10 boxes of material from the property, which is being sorted at a local FBI field office. The boxes contain assorted documents and materials that were found in the house, and a source told Fox News that “they were not being judicious about what they took.”
NARA calls itself “the nation’s record keeper,” saying on their website that, “Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever.”
The National Archives’ initial investigation was done in conjunction with the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which requires presidents and presidential administrations to preserve certain documents.
The law states that White House staff must copy or forward any presidential records created on nonofficial electronic messaging accounts to their official electronic messaging account within 20 days of leaving office.
A 2017 memorandum issued by the White House counsel’s office under the Trump administration read, “any employee who intentionally fails to take these actions may be subject to administrative or even criminal penalties.”
Trump said in a statement after the 15 boxes were initially recovered, “The National Archives did not ‘find’ anything, they were given, upon request, Presidential Records in an ordinary and routine process to ensure the preservation of my legacy and in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.” The former president added that Democrats “are in search of their next scam.”
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