Former President Donald Trump purports to have taken the high road regarding releasing video of the famed Aug. 8 raid of his Mar-a-Lago home by 31 FBI agents.
Trump officials have complained that the FBI ordered security cameras to be turned off while searching his home. Trump associates and staff refused, leaving Trump in possession of video profiling different aspects of the raid.
Though many Republicans have asked Trump to post the video on his Truth Social platform, he has thus far declined, saying he does not want to compromise the safety of the agents involved.
“They would rather not have me [release the footage] because of the safety of the FBI agents that swarmed the place,” Trump said Tuesday on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.”
In the interview, Trump indicated that though he prefers not to, because of leaks by the FBI and a barrage of slanderous comments in the media, he now feels compelled to release the video to set the record straight.
Trump said: “I have a great relationship with people in the FBI … and for the safety of the people that are in the footage, they’ve asked us not to, not to put it out. But we do have it.”
“It’s not a pretty picture, either. It looks like a military coup,” Trump added.
Last month the Western Journal reported that Donald Trump’s son Eric said his father would release the damning footage when the time was right.
The FBI and Department of Justice is under significant criticism for their handling of the raid, the leaking of information and the mixed and contradictory statements made by FBI, DOJ and White House officials.
Trump has slammed the “unprecedented raid” as a “partisan witch hunt.”
Several GOP senators have publicly called the DOJ “utterly corrupt.”
Adding to the furor, following the raid on Trump’s home the FBI issued more than 40 subpoenas on Trump associates and seized two phones, including the phone of a sitting member of Congress.
That move prompted Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to write:
“Joe Biden’s FBI and Department of Justice have been fully weaponized against their political opponents. It is an absolute outrageous abuse of power and unAmerican for these agencies to raid the home of President Trump and seize the cell phone of a sitting Member of Congress. Attorney General Garland, Director Wray, House Democrats, and most of all Joe Biden will absolutely be held accountable.”
According to the Western Journal, Trump has also referred to the raid on his home as an invasive raid, complaining that “multiple FBI agents rifled through the private belongings of his wife, former first lady Melania Trump, and their 16-year-old son, Barron.”
Trump said: “You walk in and you say these people were in here and in your bedroom, and they were in Barron’s room and Melania’s room,” “I mean, when you think, how terrible it is.”
The Western Journal also noted that the “FBI abuse was made all the worse because the agents left Mar-a-Lago in shambles after they ransacked the house.”
“And it wasn’t left the way they found it. … I think it’s a disgrace that a thing like this could happen,” the former president said.
Two constitutional law attorneys who worked in the administrations of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have gone on record stating the FBI search warrant was inappropriate.
In their Aug. 22 Wall Street Journal piece, David Rivkin Jr. and Lee Casey said the FBI “had no legally valid cause for the raid,” noting the authority of a president to declassify materials supersede all laws the agency cited in its warrant.
“The PRA explicitly guarantees a former president continuing access to his papers,” Rivkin and Casey wrote, adding that “[Trump’s] possession of them is entirely consistent with that right, and therefore lawful, regardless of the statutes the FBI cites in its warrant.”
Rivkin and Casey concluded:
“Thus, if the Justice Department’s sole complaint is that Mr. Trump had in his possession presidential records he took with him from the White House, he should be in the clear, even if some of those records are classified.”
Trump has indicated he feels compelled to “drain the swamp” and confront this injustice because “if the FBI and this White House can do this to me, they can do this to anyone.”
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