FBI agents raided my Florida home, broke open a safe – Trump

0
129

FORMER US President Donald Trump has said his Florida home was raided by the FBI, and that agents broke open a safe.

Uba Group

Mr Trump said in a statement that Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents”.

Monday’s search was reportedly connected to an investigation into Mr Trump’s handling of official papers.

“These are dark times for our nation,” Mr Trump’s statement said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before.”

Neither the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) nor the justice department have commented on the reported search.

An unnamed law enforcement official told CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, that the Secret Service was notified shortly before the warrant was served around 10:00 local time (14:00 GMT), and that agents protecting Mr Trump helped the FBI investigators.

Several boxes were taken away, the source said, adding that no doors were kicked down and that the raid had concluded by the late afternoon.

A federal search warrant must be signed by a judge. Though such a warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are expected, law enforcement agencies must first demonstrate the possibility that evidence of illegality will be found.

There has never been a search warrant quite like this in American history, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told the BBC, describing it it as “a big deal”.

American presidents are required by the Presidential Records Act (PRA) to transfer all of their letters, work documents and emails to the National Archives (NA).

There are also other federal laws regarding the handling of classified documents.

In February, the National Archives said it had retrieved 15 boxes of papers from Mar-a-Lago, which Mr Trump should have turned over when he left the White House.

The agency later told Congress the boxes included “items marked as classified national security information”.

Mr Trump’s lawyer, Christina Bobb, told NBC News that some papers had been seized during the search.

The dramatic escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of Mr Trump comes as the Republican prepares for a possible further presidential run in 2024.

News of the search has mobilised some of Donald Trump’s supporters. A group of fans gathered outside Mar-a-Lago to wave flags and express their anger.

House of Representatives Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy said: “I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponised politicisation.”

Meanwhile, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, tweeted: “Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships.”

“CBN"

Mr Trump said he had co-operated with all relevant government agencies and so the “unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate”.

He said it amounted to “prosecutorial misconduct” and “the weaponisation of the justice system” to prevent him from running for the White House again.

“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World countries,” he said. “Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.

“They even broke into my safe!”

The former president was in Trump Tower in New York City at the time of the reported raid.

– BBC