By CHRIS ENLOE | August 10, 2022
Law enforcement sources and an attorney for former President Donald Trump are making eyebrow-raising accusations as more details about the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago are sifted through the media. The New York Post reported Tuesday the purpose of the raid was to retrieve “presidential records and evidence of classified information being stored there.”
Sources further alleged that FBI agents barred Trump’s attorneys — who arrived at Mar-a-Lago shortly after the raid began — from witnessing the search, which is unusual. Once a judge approves a search warrant, authorities have the ability to execute the warrant without consent from the person whose property is being searched, thus attorneys or the person being searched are typically allowed to witness the search. Shockingly, sources even alleged FBI agents demanded surveillance cameras be switched off, but Trump’s employees did not comply with the request.
After searching Trump’s property for nearly 10 hours, the FBI removed boxes of documents and personal mementos that Trump collected during his presidency. It is not clear what other items the FBI confiscated, the Post reported. However, sources told the Post that FBI agents searched every room — including Melania Trump’s wardrobe — and repeatedly boasted to Trump’s lawyers, “We have full access to everything. We can go everywhere.”
Secret Services agents who are stationed at Mar-a-Lago reportedly granted the FBI access to the property after likely receiving instructions from U.S. Secret Service attorneys.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a Trump lawyer confirmed the FBI confiscated about 12 boxes of documents from a basement room. The documents were reportedly taken from the same room that FBI investigators, according to CNN, had already inspected in June.
Trump attorney Christina Bobb — one of the attorneys who responded to Mar-a-Lago after the FBI arrived — confirmed that agents were looking for documents in compliance with the Presidential Records Act and allegedly classified documents. She also described the warrant as “thin” and explained that she does not yet know the probable cause for the warrant because the affidavit remains sealed.
In another interview, Bobb suggested the search is related to other matters and the DOJ’s purported attempts to prosecute Trump.
“I think this is clearly a situation where they’re looking for a way that they can easily prosecute President Trump,” Bobb claimed. “They want to do it under a national security-type guise because they can hide things from the public and they can say, ‘Oh, we can’t tell you. We can’t give you the details because it’s confidential information, subject to national security concerns, so we can’t tell you, but we’re just going to prosecute [Trump].
“They’re trying to shield what they’re doing,” she charged.
Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired under the Trump administration, agrees the aggressive nature of the raid suggests it was about something more than documents.
“This is such a bold, such a disruptive, such an aggressive move,” McCabe said on CNN. “The idea they would do this simply because they weren’t getting the sort of compliance they were looking for out of securing the room with the documents, things like that, seems really unimaginable to me. It seems like they must have — I hope they have more than just that.”