Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago because they believed that Trump still had classified information that was supposed to be returned to the National Archives in January of this year, according to new reports.
The former president had delayed the return of 15 boxes of material that contained some documents that were classified and marked as top secret until there was serious risk of legal action being taken against him.
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.”
Agents were reportedly at the property the entire day and were dressed in plain clothes leading staff to believe that they were U.S. Secret Service agents, which is why news of the executed search warrant did not leak.
Trump’s Secret Service agents were notified of the raid moments before it began, and the former president had lawyers present while he was at his residence in New York City.
Federal prosecutors had opened a grand jury investigation back in May into Trump over whether classified material that ended up at his home in Mar-a-Lago was mishandled.
These types of investigations are usually for federal authorities and are primarily focused on determining if classified material was compromised. Intelligence officials can then take steps to protect sensitive sources and methods. Prosecutors will seek to learn every aspect of the documents’ handling from when they left the White House until they were returned to the National Archives.
In order for prosecutors to prove that a crime was committed, they would need evidence proving that the involved parties knew that removing the documents was against the law and that the involved parties were aware the documents were classified.
In addition, raids in these scenarios are almost never conducted, and as such it is unprecedented for a former president to have been raided in such a way.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said in a statement. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.