A car guards the entrance to the Donald Trump Golf Club in Mar in Largo, Florida. Photo: Reuters
Republicans went out furious to denounce this Tuesday political persecution hours after Donald Trump himself reported Monday night that the FBI was at his home in Mar-a-Largo, Florida, while Joe Biden’s government claimed to have heard of the raid from social networks.
What do we know about the unprecedented raid so far? What did the FBI look for at Trump’s Palm Beach mansion?
According to the New York Times on Tuesday, the research, according to several people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on the material that Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, when he left the White House. Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents.
Police car at Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago. Photo: EFE
What information did those documents contain? The Times says they would include, among other things, classified material that Trump shouldn’t have taken otherwise, delivered to the historical archive as required by law.
Republicans like Marco Rubio have denounced an abuse of power by the Democratic administration just as Trump tries to revive the presidential campaign in 2024.
“Until tonight, we’ve never seen those who assume power to use that power for chase your opponents past or future politicians, “Senator Rubio said in a video released after the event was known.
Situations like this, he added, “happen in places like Nicaraguawhere last year all the people who lashed out at Daniel Ortega for the presidency, all the people who put his name on the ballot, were arrested and are still in prison. “
Security forces in Mar-a-Largo. Photo: EFE
“Send to 30 FBI agents to a raid like this for a purpose. This is trying to politically harm and intimidate your political opponents. That’s what it is “, added Rubio, who assured that the situation is” dangerous “because” one day someone else will be in power and now you have created the precedent to do this to you “.
Rubio demanded that Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director General Christopher Wray be held accountable “for accepting something so undemocratic, unconstitutional and utterly destructive and dangerous to our Republic.”
But the FBI had a court order for the trial, giving the whole thing a cloak of legality.
Federal law enforcement officials get search warrants when they need to move quickly in a criminal investigation or are concerned about sensitive materials they need risks being moved, hidden, altered or destroyed.
Trump supporters support his re-election in 2024. Photo: Reuters
A search warrant request is made by a federal law enforcement agency if officials conclude that information, often documents or electronic devices, related to a criminal investigation can be found in the residence, company, car or someone else’s property.
A search warrant is not in itself an indication either accusation of guilt of the subject.
However, the use of such an order indicates a sense of procedural urgency, and is used only when “it appears that the use of a citation, request, or other less intrusive alternative means of obtaining the materials it would substantially compromise the availability or usefulness of the materials sought”, According to the United States Manual of Justice, which is the official guide to criminal procedures for the Department of Justice.
In a lengthy statement on the raid, Trump told agents they opened a safe at his residence and described the event as an “unannounced raid” which he described as “abuse of the charge”.
The way the secret documents ended up in Mar-a-Lago, in the archives of the White House earlier this year, has been under investigation for months.
Aerial view of Trump’s residence in Palm Beach. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images / AFP
Meanwhile, in a separate case, a grand jury is investigating attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, adding Potential legal dangers for Trump at a time when he is laying the foundations for a candidacy for re-election.
Trump and his allies have sought to portray the raid as a political abuse of the criminal justice system and a democratic attempt to prevent him from winning a new term in 2024.
However, President Joe Biden’s administration said they were unaware of the event and the current director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, has been nominated by Trump five years ago and was a senior Republican-led Justice Department official.
“These are dark times for our nation when my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is under siege, ransacked and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump wrote. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States.”
“After working and collaborating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home it was neither necessary nor appropriateTrump said in his statement.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Dena Iverson declined to comment on the incident or whether the Attorney General, Merrick Garlandhe had personally authorized the operation.
trump did not go into details on the basis of research.
The FBI during the Monday night raid. Photo: Giorgio Viera / AFP
The Department of Justice is investigating possible mishandling of classified information after the National Archives and Records Administration said it received from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of White House filesand even documents containing secret information at the beginning of the year.
National archives said Trump should have turned over those files upon termination of the assignment and asked the Justice Department to investigate.
The handling of secret files and government documents is subject to several lawssome of which penalize the transport of that material in an unauthorized location.
National Archives found in January that by the end of his tenure Trump had brought home 15 boxes of White House documents containing government documents, memorabilia, gifts and letters.
The boxes included material subject to the Presidential Records Act, which requires that all documents and records relating to official business be turned over to the archives.
After Trump return the boxes to the National Archives, its archivists found documents containing “items marked as classified national security information“the agency told Congress in February.
In April, federal authorities appeared to be in the preliminary stages of investigating the handling of classified documents.
They initiated a grand jury investigation and issued a subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration for the boxes, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It was a subpoena from a series of requests the Justice Department had made to the Trump administration’s registration agency, the two people said.
With information from the Associated Press and the New York Times