Federal agents have executed a search of Donald Trump’s property at Mar-a-Lago. The former president broke the news himself in a statement, decrying that his “beautiful home” was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
Trump — who is under congressional investigation by the Jan. 6 committee, which has laid out a devastating case that he knowingly unleashed violence on the U.S. Capitol in a final, desperate bid to cling to power following an election he knew he lost — claimed to be the victim of “lawlessness” and “political persecution” by “Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”
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The federal raid of the former president, which indeed appears to be unprecedented, surprised Trump in its thoroughness. “They even broke into my safe!” the former president lamented.
Trump’s team is also none too pleased. People close to the ex-president reacted with a mix of horror, fear, and anger. Four sources close to Trump or who still work for him tell Rolling Stone that they’re concerned about what the Biden DOJ might do to him next. Two of the sources say it made them worried that it could make it more likely the notoriously mercurial former president acts out aggressively in ways that would worsen, not improve, his potential legal jeopardy and criminal exposure. “I mean, good God,” a person close to Trump said Monday night.
Another source close to the former president says that Trump has recently started asking if it’s likely that the FBI or Biden DOJ have tapped his phones.
Federal authorities have yet to comment on the matter. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the events Trump described.
Trump was previously embroiled in controversy with the National Archives after he reportedly took 15 boxes of presidential material, some of them marked “classified,” to his Palm Beach resort residence. The New York Times reported that the raid appeared to be focused on this material, citing two sources familiar. The Times added that the raid took place Monday morning, and that federal agents were still there hours after it commenced.
While many Americans will see this action by the FBI as an important, and overdue, step in blind justice being served, Trump compared the episode to the signature political scandal of the 1970s. “What is the difference between this and Watergate?” Trump asked. “Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.”
Read Trump’s full statement below.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
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