The FBI executed a search warrant Monday at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. — a move Trump railed against in a lengthy statement that called the search “not necessary or appropriate.”
“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” he said in a statement. He wasn’t in Florida at the time.
Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson said the agency had no comment when asked whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search.
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said in a statement. “They even broke into my safe!”
Trump left Trump Tower in Manhattan Monday night, blowing off questions.
His daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, reportedly claimed “he’s as shocked as anybody,” asserting “everybody’s been cooperating with the FBI” about “documents that have been in question.”
“They are terrified he’s going to announce any day that he’s running for president in 2024, and this is a very convenient way to just throw a little more mud on Donald Trump, as though they haven’t already done enough,” she said.
The Justice Department has been investigating the discovery of boxes of records containing classified information that were taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump’s presidency had concluded. The National Archives and Records Administration referred that matter to the Justice Department, which said it had found classified material in 15 boxes at the residence.
Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though it is possible that Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.
It was not clear whether the FBI search was connected to that probe.
A separate investigation related to efforts by Trump allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has also been intensifying in Washington.