According to the Wall Street Journal, federal agents conducted a search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach after receiving information from an informant that the president might be keeping classified documents there.
Federal law enforcement officials reportedly visited Mar-a-Lago two months before Monday’s search to discuss the boxes of government documents being stored there.
With the execution of the warrant, FBI agents implied that their investigation into Trump is a criminal one.
Trump supporters have voiced their disapproval of the FBI’s search for and reports of an informant in or near Trump’s inner circle, framing the search in partisan terms and using it to rally support for the president in the run-up to the election in November.
Attorney General Merrick Garland responded to Republican pressure on Thursday by holding a brief press conference in which he revealed that he had personally authorized the decision to seek a search warrant of Trump’s home.
He added that the US Department of Justice had filed a motion to have the court unseal the warrant the FBI used to search Trump’s Florida mansion.
When or if the warrant request to unseal the documents would be granted was not immediately clear. Donald Trump will also have an opportunity to raise objections.
Georgia Republican congresswoman and extreme right-wing extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene slammed any potential informants as “traitors” after hearing their claims.
“We now know that there was an FBI informant at Mar-a-Lago; who is that and how many other FBI informants are around President Trump on a daily basis, working at his clubs, working at Mar-a-Lago, maybe Bedminster, or on his staff?” Newsweek quotes what Greene supposedly said on her web show.
The Journal article detailed the conversations that took place between justice department officials and Trump’s attorneys regarding these documents. To “discuss boxes with government records sitting in a basement storage room along with suits, sweaters, and golf shoes,” three FBI agents and a high-ranking official from the Department of Justice visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago on June 3.
A few days later, the FBI wrote to request that a more robust lock be installed on the door to the storage area. After a few weeks, however, “someone familiar with the stored papers told investigators there may be still more classified documents at the private club,” the Journal reported.
An attorney for Trump reportedly said the warrant for this search made reference to the Presidential Records Act and a potential violation of statute governing classified records. Trump has been silent on the subject of the warrant and the records that were seized by federal agents.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, recently expressed his dismay at what he called “an intolerable state of weaponized politicization” within the Justice Department. McCarthy has warned Merrick Garland, the attorney general, to “preserve your documents and clear your calendar” because the Republicans will conduct oversight of the justice department if they regain control of the House.
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