Donald Trump said the FBI raided Mar-A-Lago as it executed a search warrant on the property.
It is unclear exactly why the FBI obtained the search warrant. Still, The New York Times reported that it was related to an investigation of boxes of classified material brought to Mar-A-Lago after Trump’s presidency ended rather than turned over to the National Archives.
The Justice Department also has been investigating Trump’s conduct related to January 6th, The Washington Post reported last month.
The news quickly dominated coverage on cable news. Typically, for a judge to sign off on a search warrant, there has to be probable cause that a crime was committed, senior legal analyst Elie Honig said on CNN.
Trump said in a statement, “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”
He said, “after working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
Trump railed against the FBI’s action while claiming that “they even broke into my safe.”
“What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democratic National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States.”
Earlier on Monday, Axios published photos of toilets with torn-up messages in the bowl. The pictures were obtained by The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, whose upcoming book will include a detail that White House staff sometimes found the wads of paper in the toilet, believed to be thrown in there by Trump.
There have been increasing indications that the Justice Department has been ramping up its investigation of January 6th and the role of Trump and his key advisers. Prosecutors reportedly have been questioning witnesses before a Grand Jury, including some figures who have appeared before the January 6th Committee.
According to the Associated Press, the DOJ has been investigating the discovery of boxes of classified records that were taken to Mar-A-Lago.