Trump says FBI 'raided' his Mar-a-Lago estate

Former US president says 'unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate'

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The FBI have raided Donald Trump's Florida home of Mar-a-Lago, in what the former US president has denounced as “the weaponisation of the justice system”.

US law enforcement agencies had yet to comment on Tuesday morning but Mr Trump has faced mounting accusations of deleting private communications amid continuing investigations into his alleged role in the storming of the Capitol building on January 6 by his supporters.

In February, the US National Archives and Records Administration also accused Mr Trump of taking a trove of classified documents from the White House, leading to speculation that the missing documents could be the focus of the raid.

Although a search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected, federal officials looking to obtain one must demonstrate that they have probable cause that a crime occurred.

“After working and co-operating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Mr Trump said.

The discovery of classified information at Mar-a-Lago was referred to the Justice Department by the National Archives and Records Administration, which said it found classified material in 15 boxes at the residence.

Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorised locations, although it is possible that Mr Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.

Mr Trump revealed that he did possess some government records and said he had planned to return them to the National Archives, calling it “an ordinary and routine process”. He also claimed the archives “did not 'find' anything”.

Lara Trump, the former president's daughter-in-law, said he only removed mementos that he was legally authorised to take.

“Look, my father-in-law, as anybody knows who's been around him a lot, loves to save things like newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photographs, documents that he had every authority to take from the White House,” she told Fox News.

Updated: August 09, 2022, 3:25 PM
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