Former President Donald Trump said Monday that his home at Mar-a-Lago had been raided by the FBI, saying that it was “under siege" and "occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
In a lengthy statement, the Republican leader called the raid unnecessary and “unannounced.” He said the law enforcement officials “broke into” his safe at Mar-a-Lago, a sprawling resort owned by Trump and located in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump, who has been the subject of several investigations, said he had been “cooperating with the relevant Government agencies.” He did not elaborate.
Federal prosecutors have been investigating Trump’s handling of classified information, as well as his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to a source familiar with the matter.
A source close to the investigation confirmed the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday but said the documents targeted in the action were not related to the Jan. 6 investigation in Washington.
If the raid was related to the former president’s handling of presidential records, it is likely that the records in question were important, said Norm Eisen, ethics czar under former President Barack Obama and co-counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during Trump’s first impeachment in 2020.
“This search warrant would not have been approved at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice, and sanctioned by a federal judge, for minor transgressions or even for bad conduct,” Eisen said. “We’re very likely looking at an extraordinary volume and scope and intentionality of document removal.”
An FBI official declined to comment on the raid. A Justice Department official also declined to comment.
The White House did not know about the FBI’s action ahead of time, according to a White House official, who referred all additional questions to the DOJ. The former president called the raid “prosecutorial misconduct.”
“I stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people, and truly delivered for our Country, like we have never seen before,” he said in his statement. “The establishment hated it. Now, as they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories, and see my dominance in all polls, they are trying to stop me, and the Republican Party, once more. The lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt must be exposed and stopped.”
Trump’s statement cited both of his impeachments by the U.S. House, Russia, Watergate, and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, of whom he said “nothing has happened to hold her accountable.”
CNN reported Monday that Trump was not at Mar-a-Lago at the time of the raid, instead in New York.
The nearly century-old Mar-a-Lago was a frequent destination for Trump when he held office, often used a weekend getaway for the former president.
During his presidency, Trump declared a domicile on the grounds of the resort as his primary place of residence.
Omar Rodriguez Ortiz contributed to this story.
This is a breaking news item and will be updated.
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