Former President Donald Trump said Monday that FBI investigators took his passports when they raided his Florida home last week in search of classified documents that he may have held onto illegally after leaving office.
“In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social. “This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!”
Former President Donald Trump said the FBI took his passports when it raided his Mar-a-Lago property. (Photo: Truth Social)
It’s not clear why the FBI may have taken his passports or why he apparently has three of them. Trump said one was expired; it’s possible that he has a regular non-expired passport in addition to a second special issuance passport as a former U.S. president.
Trump has loudly condemned the FBI ever since the bureau executed a search warrant to comb his Mar-a-Lago property last Monday. His criticisms incited his extremist base of supporters to threaten and attack FBI officials ― and resulted in top Republicans in Congress instigating violence and mocking the Justice Department.
The FBI can’t reveal many details about its search since it is part of an ongoing investigation, but agents were reportedly searching for highly sensitive documents related to nuclear weapons. A warrant released Friday showed that Trump is under investigation for possibly violating the Espionage Act, among other potential crimes. Their probe is also entirely legal, as a federal judge signed off on a search warrant before the raid took place.
For all his accusations of the FBI investigating him for political reasons, Trump has not mentioned that FBI director Christopher Wray is a Republican, that he appointed Wray to his post and that Senate Republicans unanimously voted to confirm him.
Later Monday, a Justice Department official said the FBI had returned the former president’s passports.
The FBI said in a subsequent statement that its standard procedure is to return items collected during the execution of a search warrant that are not required in the investigation, though it didn’t specifically reference Trump’s passports.
“In executing search warrants, the FBI follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes,” the bureau said.
This article has been updated to include the FBI’s return of Trump’s passports.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.