Donald Trump has again criticized the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago that revealed classified materials, calling the court-approved search a “hoax and a hoax.”
Like all the other hoaxes and hoaxes they have used to try to silence the vast majority of the American people, I have the truth on my side, and when you have the truth, you will eventually win, Trump wrote Saturday in a post on his Truth Social network.
A public search warrant on Friday showed Trump is under federal investigation for potential violations of the Espionage Act, which makes it illegal to misuse classified information, including sharing it with people not authorized to receive it.
FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago earlier this week and removed 11 batches of classified documents, including some designated Top Secret, according to the Justice Department.
Trump addressed the FBI’s search for Mar-a-Lago in a post on his Truth Social
Donald Trump has again slammed the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago that revealed classified materials, calling the court-approved search a “hoax and a hoax”
An aerial view of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was seen earlier this week. The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his residence in Florida.
Earlier Saturday, a report claimed that Trump’s attorney signed a statement in June that said all classified materials held at Mar-a-Lago had already been returned to the government.
The New York Times reported that Trump’s legal team gave assurances after Jay Pratt, the Justice Department’s counterintelligence chief, visited Trump’s beach club in South Florida on June 3.
The newspaper said Pratt met with two of Trump’s lawyers to discuss the handling of classified information during the visit.
Apparently by signing a declaration that all confidential documents had been removed from Mar-a-Lago, his attorneys triggered the Justice Department’s decision to conduct the search on Monday.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The former boss insisted on Friday that everything at Mar-a-Lago had been “declassified” and that agents “didn’t need to confiscate anything.”
Trump returned 15 boxes of the materials in January this year, with his lawyers telling the Justice Department that all of the materials had been returned to the government in June after a meeting with officials.
Some of the documents have been marked “top secret” and are meant to be kept in specialized government facilities, according to a copy of the memo.
The FBI needed to establish a reasonable suspicion that Trump committed a crime in holding onto the documents — the criminal statutes cited in the memo include espionage, records removal and obstruction of justice.
It appears that by signing a declaration to remove all documents, his attorneys triggered the Justice Department’s decision to conduct the inspection on Monday.
In an effort to resolve the dispute, Pratt and other officials visited the Florida home and spoke with Trump and two of his attorneys — Evan Corcoran and Christina Pope.
Last year, it was discovered that Trump took dozens of government documents and materials with him when he left office in January 2021.
The material was supposed to be sent to the archives under the provisions of the Presidential Records Act.
Then he returned 15 boxes of materials in January this year, which were checked and found to be classified information.
That sparked an investigation with the Justice Department and the FBI, and Trump was advised to return any other documents he kept.
His team then signed a declaration declaring all material removed in June, before an FBI raid on Monday that found more documents.
A spokesman for the former president, Taylor Bowditch, said on Saturday, “Just like every trumped-up witch hunt by Democrats, the waters of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid are being moved by media willing to grapple with suggestive leaks and anonymous sources of hard facts.”
The search warrant stated that FBI agents conducted the search to look for evidence relating to potential violations of the Espionage Act.
Violations of the Espionage Act can include: the harboring or concealment of persons, the collection, transmission, or loss of defense information, the collection or delivery of defense information to assist a foreign government, or the disclosure of classified information.
The 11 sensitive items included various documents described as “secret”, “top secret” and “secret”.
The agents recovered 20 chests in total from the Florida property, with the remainder including handwritten notes, photo folders, a pardon grant to Roger Stone and a dossier containing information on the President of France.
DailyMail.com obtained a copy of the warrant and receipts before a Florida Justice of the Peace opened them on Friday afternoon.
The order gave FBI agents permission to search Trump’s office and all storage areas in the building, and stated that four sets of top secret documents, three sets of classified documents, and three sets of classified documents were recovered.
Trump’s lawyers now also claim that former President Trump declassified the documents before he left office.
The president has the power to declassify any document, but there is strict federal procedure for doing so.
A Secret Service member was seen outside former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, the day after the resort was searched.
Trump announced Friday afternoon that everything in his possession had been declassified.
He claimed that agents could have obtained the documents “a long time ago” if they had just asked, adding: “Number one, everything was declassified. Second, they didn’t need to ‘grab’ anything.”
They could have had it any time they wanted without politicking and barging in Mar-a-Lago. It was in secure storage, with an additional padlock put in as per their request.
They could have had it anytime they wanted — and that includes long ago. All they had to do was ask.”
The search and seizure order, signed by Judge Bruce Reinhart, authorized a search of “Office 45” and “all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available for use by (the former President) and his employees and of any boxes or documents that may be stored, Including all structures or buildings on the estate.
The warrant was signed on August 5, and the raid was carried out three days later on August 8.
The memo further reads that “property to be seized” includes “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other things unlawfully acquired in violation.”
Any physical documents with hashtags, along with any containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are locations, as well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found along with said documents and containers/boxes above “.
The warrant broadly authorizes the seizure of any official record of Trump’s presidency.
Although the arrest warrant has been issued, the government has no plans yet to release the affidavit used to apply to the warrant, which they fear could reveal more information about the ongoing investigation.