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FBI searches Trump's Mar-a-Lago home as inquiry into former president intensifies

Alex Roarty, Michael Wilner and Jay Weaver, Miami Herald on

Published in Political News

FBI agents on Monday searched the Florida home of former President Donald Trump, an extraordinary development in what sources say is an investigation into the Republican leader’s handling of classified documents.

Experts called it one of the most significant actions in the law enforcement agency’s history — and one that immediately ignited a political firestorm nationwide.

In a statement Monday, Trump said that his home at Mar-a-Lago, a sprawling resort owned by Trump and located in Palm Beach, was “under siege,” and “occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

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 second source close to the investigation confirmed the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. The source said FBI agents obtained a search warrant from a federal magistrate judge in West Palm Beach to gather dozens of boxes containing alleged classified materials that President Trump had taken with him when he left the White House in January 2021.

 

Federal agents were able to establish probable cause for the warrant because Trump and his lawyers had already turned over some classified documents that had been sought by the National Archives and Records Administration, the source said. Agents suspected that Trump was unlawfully holding other classified documents from his presidency in his private club and residence at Mar-a-Lago, which is the crux of the investigation led by the FBI and Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

During Monday’s raid, FBI agents worked in “taint” teams while gathering and separating the alleged classified materials to ensure that none was privileged correspondence between Trump and his lawyers, which would be off limits to investigators and prosecutors.

The FBI raid focused only on Trump’s possession of boxes containing alleged classified materials and was unrelated to the ongoing Jan. 6 federal grand jury investigation of right-wing extremists who assaulted the U.S. Capitol.

The grand jury is also probing the former president and some in his inner circle for their possible roles in conspiring to incite the insurrection and stop Congress’ certification of the Electoral College votes that put President Joe Biden in the White House.

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