The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s search of former President Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club appears to be part of an investigation into the removal of official presidential records from the White House to the Florida resort.
In a statement Monday night, the former president claimed, without providing evidence, that the raid on his Palm Beach residence was “prosecutorial misconduct” and the “weaponization of the justice system” intended to prevent him from running for president in 2024.
“Such an attack can only take place in devastated third world countries. “Unfortunately, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt on a level never seen before,” the statement said.
Speaking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the former president’s son Eric Trump said the attacks involved boxes of documents his father brought with him from the White House.
He added that the father has been cooperating with the National Archives on the case for several months.
“The purpose of the raid, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to confirm whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession,” Eric Trump told Fox News.
A source familiar with the matter also confirmed Reuters that the raid appeared to be linked to Trump’s removal of classified records from the White House.
Trump and his allies have been the subject of an investigation into the riot at the Capitol in January. The Justice Department is famously tight-lipped about the investigation, and so far the agency has not released a statement about the raid.
The department is investigating whether Trump or any of his aides violated federal law by mishandling classified documents, which ended up at his home in Florida instead of being returned to the National Archives at the end of the term.
In April, alongside the investigation by the congressional committee investigating the January 6 riot, it emerged that the National Archives had recovered several boxes of official papers that Trump had transported to his Mar-a-Lago residence.
In accordance Washington Post, the documents were retrieved from his Florida residence in March, raising further concerns about Trump’s potential violation of the Presidential Records Act — legislation that requires administrations to retain nearly all documentation produced and circulated during a president’s time in office.
Christina Bobb, Trump’s lawyer, told CNN that the FBI seized documents during Monday’s raid.
“President Trump and his legal team have cooperated with FBI and DOJ officials throughout. The FBI conducted an unannounced raid and seized paper, she said.
According to Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, he only removed memorabilia that he was legally authorized to take.
“Look, my father-in-law, as everyone knows who’s been around him, loves to save things like newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photographs, documents that he had every authority to take from the White House,” she said.
The Biden administration has denied any knowledge of Monday’s raid in advance.
A White House official said The independent: “We were not notified of the reported action and will refer you to the Ministry of Justice for further information.”