The FBI seized about 10 boxes of material from Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
The search was part of the Justice Department’s investigation into how the former president handled sensitive documents at the end of his administration.
It is unrelated to DOJ’s separate inquiry into the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, a probe that is reportedly also focusing in part on the former president.
The raid comes two months after Justice Department lawyers visited the residence in connection with the investigation, according to the Journal report.
In January, the National Archives and Records Administration seized 15 boxes of sensitive White House material that it said was improperly taken to Mar-a-Lago, going against strict processes in federal law for archiving presidential documents.
The Tuesday search on Mr Trump’s Palm Beach club indicates that the FBI proved to the judge who approved its search warrant that the agency had probable cause to believe a crime had been committed, and that a search of Mar-a-Lago might yield evidence, The New York Times reports.
The raid was likely approved by top law enforcement officials like Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, and FBI chief Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee.
The White House said on Tuesday it wasn’t warned in advance of the raid.
“The president and the White House learned of this FBI search from public reports, we learned just like the American public did,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.
Mr Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb was present at the club for the search.
The former president maintained that the search was a politically driven attempt to derail his potential political comeback.
“After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Mr Trump wrote in a statement on Monday. “Such an assault could only take place in broken, third-world countries.”
“They even broke into my safe!” he added.
Photo Credit: Getty