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Mar-a-Lago raid live updates: Garland personally signed off on search warrant

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2022-08-11

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Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.
  • The FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm.
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland said he personally signed off on the warrant used in the raid.
  • In its wake, Trump allies fear that a possible informant is in Mar-a-Lago, per Rolling Stone .
Trump talked his way into the Justice Department releasing records from the Mar-a-Lago search
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Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.

The warrant used to search Donald Trump's property at Mar-a-Lago will be unsealed, thanks in part to Trump's own publicizing of the raid, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Garland told reporters Thursday that the Justice Department doesn't usually comment on cases, and that the Monday search "attracted little or no public attention" while it was taking place.

But after Trump publicly denounced the raid and as Republicans call for more transparency, Garland said the DOJ has filed a motion to unseal the court records.


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Cohen says he 'would not be surprised' if FBI informant was one of Trump's kids or Jared Kushner
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Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Barron Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are seen at the funeral of Ivana Trump on July 20, 2022 in New York City.

Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen suspects that the informant involved in the FBI's raid on the former president's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida is one of his own kids or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"It's definitely a member of [Trump's] inner circle," Cohen told Insider on Thursday.

"Who else would know about the existence of a safe and the specific contents kept inside?" he added.

Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple felonies committed while he was Trump's attorney and has since become a vocal critic of his former boss.


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Merrick Garland defends Justice Department after Trump and GOP lawmakers attacked the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago: They 'are patriotic public servants'
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Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the FBI and the Justice Department in the face of fierce attacks from Donald Trump and his allies, who accused federal agents of targeting Trump for political reasons.

"I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," Garland told reporters at the Justice Department on Thursday. "The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants."


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Attorney General Merrick Garland personally signed off on the warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago
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United States Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed Thursday that he personally signed off on the search warrant used to raid Trump's Mar-a-Lago property.

Garland also announced the Department of Justice filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and an FBI property receipt.


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Documents that Trump had were so sensitive, DOJ had to approve raid: report
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Then President Donald Trump throws hats to supporters during a Make America Great Again rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport November 2, 2020, in Avoca, Pennsylvania.

Former President Donald Trump allegedly kept classified documents that contained such sensitive information that federal officials felt they had no choice but to raid Mar-a-Lago to get them back, The New York Times reported .

It's unclear what documents Trump was suspected of holding or what information they contained that would merit the unprecedented search of a former president's property.


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The DOJ tried subpoenaing Trump to turn over sensitive documents before it sent the FBI to raid Mar-a-Lago
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Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

A grand jury subpoenaed former President Donald Trump for classified documents he took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago before the FBI took the dramatic step of searching his home, The New York Times reported .

Legal experts say the process of obtaining the search warrant likely started weeks ago and that it was approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department, including FBI Director Christopher Wray — who Trump appointed in 2017 after firing James Comey — and Attorney General Merrick Garland.


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FBI director calls threats against agents 'deplorable'
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FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray condemned violent rhetoric and threats against his agency and federal agents after the FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago property.

Wray said in the last few years, "we've had an alarming rise in violence against law enforcement."

He called the threats against the FBI "deplorable and dangerous."


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Trump could release FBI's search warrant, but is choosing not to
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Donald Trump arrives at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on November 5, 2018.

Former President Donald Trump has denounced the FBI's raid on his Mar-a-Lago property as part of a political attack by Democrats and Republicans have demanded more information be released about the circumstances of the raid.

But Trump himself has many of the answers since he has a copy of the search warrant the FBI used to search his Florida home; so far, he's refused to release it.

"No, we're not releasing a copy of the warrant," a source close to Trump told NBC News, saying the Department of Justice should do it.


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DOJ's Garland under pressure to break 'no comment' norm as Trump amps up attacks
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Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Even as Republicans call for more information into the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago and Trump steps up his attacks on federal agents, the Justice Department has remained tight-lipped.

But Attorney General Merrick Garland is facing increasing pressure to buck the agency's norms and comment on the investigation into the former president.

Legal experts told Insider the Justice Department is in a "very delicate dance" to manage a high profile investigation without jeopardizing the probe.


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Michael Cohen: Trump likely feels 'trapped'
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Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said the former president likely feels "trapped" and "alone" after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home.

Cohen also said Trump would be most worried that the informant who tipped off the feds has more incriminating information to share.

"One thing for certain, Donald is not so much concerned that the FBI came to Mar-a-Lago," Cohen told CNN in an interview that aired Thursday. "What he's concerned about is he knows what information exists in the boxes that were taken."


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DOJ and FBI officials are arguing among themselves about whether to explain the raid on Mar-a-Lago: report
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The FBI and the IRS criminal investigation field office in Washington D.C. worked with authorities in Cyprus and Latvia to dismantle the organization.

Some Department of Justice and FBI officials are pushing for the FBI to explain its raid on former President Donald Trump's Florida Mar-a-Lago report, CNN reported .

They argued within the Department of Justice and FBI that the lack of statements or explanation hurt the two bodies, and is not in the public interest, CNN reported.

This is partly because Trump and his allies have been so vocal about the search, per CNN.


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Trumpworld is said to be roiling with finger-pointing and suspicion over a possible informant in Mar-a-Lago
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Some in Trump's orbit have, per Rolling Stone, been trying to contact him to warn him not to speak to certain people.

People close to President Donald Trump are consumed with suspicion and finger-pointing over the possibility of there being an informant in Mar-a-Lago, per Rolling Stone .

One of Rolling Stone's sources — an unnamed Trump advisor — said that some close to Trump have been asking for warnings to be passed on to the former president not to trust some of those around him.

The messages, per the source, encouraged Trump to question specific people to see if they were in touch with the FBI.

"I'm getting a lot of messages saying, 'This guy must be the informant,' and others calling for the president to start doing phone checks of his staff," the advisor told Rolling Stone.

"To be honest, a lot of it feels like people trying to screw over the ones they don't like."


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The FBI was tipped off by an informer close to Trump who guided them to where documents were kept, according to reports
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Officials told Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal this individual told investigators about the documents.

An informant tipped off the authorities about possible documents at Mar-a-Lago and where they could find them, per reports from Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal .

Newsweek spoke to two anonymous senior government officials with knowledge of the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago. These officials told Newsweek that an individual revealed to law enforcement what documents Trump still had in his possession and where they were.

The report from Newsweek was corroborated by reporting from The Journal.

The Journal spoke to anonymous sources familiar with the matter, who said that an individual who knew where the papers were stored had been in touch with investigators. According to The Journal, this individual told investigators there were more classified documents at Mar-a-Lago that were not among the 15 boxes that the National Archives retrieved from Trump's residence back in February.


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Trump has become deeply suspicious of being surveilled and that those close to him could be wearing wires: report
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Even before the FBI raid, Donald Trump was nervous that he was being monitored by the "feds" or that Republicans coming to see him were wearing wires.

Even before the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, former President Donald Trump was getting paranoid about the possibility that he might be monitored by the authorities or that the people close to him are wearing wires, per a new Rolling Stone report.

"He has asked me and others, 'Do you think our phones are tapped?'" said one source to Rolling Stone.

According to the source, Trump brought the idea of being wiretapped up as a serious consideration but has also joked that people close to him should "be careful" about what they say on the phone.

Two sources close to Trump also told Rolling Stone that the former president has also grown suspicious of the Republican figures coming to see him at his clubs, wondering if they could be "wearing a wire." These sources also told Rolling Stone that Trump and his advisers are in search of a "mole" or a "rat," who might be working with law enforcement against Trump.


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Donald Trump did himself a favor announcing the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home, allowing him to energize his base and reclaim the spotlight, experts on political and media framing said
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Then-President Donald Trump pauses during an event in the Oval Office announcing guidance on constitutional prayer in public schools on January 16, 2020 in Washington, DC.

"Trump, with his statement, sought to flip the script — to change the story from being 'He's under a cloud of suspicion and he's in trouble with law enforcement' to 'He's the victim,'" Evan Nierman, CEO of the global crisis PR firm Red Banyan , told Insider. "And I'd say the Republican political establishment has quickly fallen into line echoing Trump's side of things."

In the hours following Trump's announcement of the FBI search warrant, Republicans and right-wing groups leaped on the opportunity to use the raid as a fundraising point , with some GOP players throwing their support behind the former president. Trump supporters also swarmed the Mar-a-Lago resort to protest the execution of the search warrant .


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Trump's lawyer said she wasn't allowed to observe the Mar-a-Lago search
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Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Christina Bobb, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, said she was "not allowed" to observe FBI agents as they searched Trump's Palm Beach estate, Mar-A-Lago, on Monday. Bobb said she arrived at the scene during the raid but was not allowed to enter the facilities to observe.

A retired FBI agent told Insider the FBI is not under any obligation to allow attorneys to oversee a search, although agents must be able to show a copy of the search warrant.

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January 6 defendant says 'this is war' after Mar-a-Lago raid
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Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Multiple Capitol riot defendants took to the internet with incendiary messages in the aftermath of the Monday FBI raid at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago compound — even as some of those offenders await sentencing for their role in the January 6 attack.

Anthime Gionet, a YouTuber known as Baked Alaska, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge related to his role in the insurrection. While discussing the raid during a livestream on Tuesday, Gionet said: "We need to win the midterms or literally die."

"This is war, this is absolute war," he said. "It's insane what they're doing to Donald Trump. If they can do it to him, they can do it to anyone. You've seen them do it to me." Read Full Story

Trump could be penalized under a law he signed
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Former President Donald Trump.

In 2018, Trump signed a sweeping national security bill that ramped up penalties for those who mishandle classified information.

But that legislation — which was passed after Trump's attacks on former foe Hillary Clinton and the security of her emails — may soon be used against Trump himself.

FBI agents on Monday raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida as part of an investigation into whether Trump wrongly kept hold of classified material after he left office.

National-security attorney Bradley P. Moss told Insider that Trump could face five years in prison if he's found guilty under the legislation he signed.


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FBI raid will test Garland's vow to treat everyone equally under the law
United States Attorney General Merrick Garland

In interviews with Insider, former Justice Department officials said any consideration of charges against Trump will involve murky questions of law layered on top of the political sensitivities around prosecuting a former president.

As for Attorney General Merrick Garland, the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago and its aftermath will test his pledge to treat no one as above the law, even as Republicans vow to investigate and even defund federal agencies who participated.


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Mar-a-Lago raid adds to Trump's terrible week
Former President Donald Trump speaks at CPAC on August 6, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

This week may have been Donald Trump's worst since leaving office.

On Monday, the FBI searched his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago, kicking off a firestorm of speculation over what possible violations federal agents could be investigating.

A day later, a federal court ruled against Trump, finding that Congressional lawmakers could review his long-withheld tax returns.

And on Wednesday, Trump arrived for a court-ordered deposition in New York's probe into his business dealings. Trump pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions, saying in a statement that the inquiry was part of a larger "witch hunt" against him.


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FBI searched Mar-a-Lago because officials suspected Trump never gave back some material sought by the National Archives: report
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Police presence outside Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.

The FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago took place because officials suspected Trump held on to some records he was meant to return, The Washington Post reported .

Trump took boxes full of documents back to his Florida home when he left office in 2021, leading the National Archives and Records Administration to request them back.

Earlier in 2022, Trump returned 15 boxes .

But, per anonymous sources speaking to The Post, officials suspected that this did not cover all the material he was supposed to return.

They were also said to have suspected that Trump's staff were "not truthful at times" about the material.


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Chris Christie said the FBI searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence and safe was 'fair game'
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A file photo showing Donald Trump (left) and Chris Christie.

Christie said in a radio interview with Sirius XM host Julie Mason that he believed the FBI agents had sufficient facts on hand to convince a judge to grant them the right to search Trump's property.

"It's fair game, and you just have to display probable cause to a federal judge that … there are contents in that safe that would assist in proving a violation of the law," said Christie, a former federal prosecutor.

"It's not anything that's out of bounds to go into a safe, and it happens frequently in federal law enforcement," Christie said.


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An author who helped Donald Trump ghostwrite his book speculates Trump may have taken White House documents to one day sell as presidential memorabilia
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A man who helped Donald Trump write his book in the 90s speculates that Trump may have taken documents from the White House to one day sell as collectors' items.

Charles Leerhsen, who worked with the former president in the 90s on his book, "Surviving at the Top," weighed in on the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday.

"As a former Trump ghostwriter (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) I feel obligated to point out that Trump may have taken documents that he intended to sell as presidential memorabilia," Leerhsen wrote on Facebook.

"If there's a grift to be grifted, he's gonna grift it," Leerhsen later told Newsweek. "He has this very basic sense that he might be able to pawn it off on someone."


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A dozen House Republicans rallied around Trump a day after the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid, encouraging him to run for POTUS in 2024.

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that a dozen House Republicans went to see Trump at the former president's Bedminster home on Tuesday. According to Banks, Trump was in high spirits during the dinner they had together.

"I've never seen President Trump as fired up as what he was tonight. He is not deterred, he's not fazed at all by what the DOJ has done to him," Banks said.

Banks said the House Republicans were there to "tell President Trump we stand with him."

"And when Kevin McCarthy is Speaker of the House, Jim Jordan will be the right man at the right time and the right place, as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to hold the Department of Justice accountable for these actions," Banks added.

Banks said as well that the Republicans who visited Trump encouraged him to run again for the 2024 nomination and get started as soon as possible.

"Everyone in the room encouraged President Trump to run for president again. And the sooner he gets out and starts campaigning, the better," Banks said.

Read more about the dinner House Republicans had with Trump here:

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From 'Defund the FBI' hats to 'But Her Emails' swag, Democratic and GOP figures alike are jumping at the opportunity to hawk Mar-a-Lago raid merch
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Marjorie Taylor Greene and Hillary Clinton are both hawking merch related to the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Democratic and Republican figures alike are seizing the opportunity to sell merchandise inspired by the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for one, was one of the first Republican figures to call for the FBI to be defunded after the agency searched Mar-a-Lago. A day later, Greene promoted "Defund the FBI" merchandise on her official Telegram channel.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Hillary Clinton, too, is selling merchandise related to the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid. Clinton posted an image of a new piece of merchandise on her Twitter account, which bore the slogan "But Her Emails" — a reference to a scandal about her use of a private email server for official communications that the GOP seized upon during the 2016 election.


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The Mar-a-Lago FBI raid serves as a reminder of a 'lawless president,' a Democratic strategist says
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People walking outside Mar-a-Lago in March 2017

The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home puts Trump at the center of midterm elections debates, ensuring voters will hear about his legal problems from now until November.

Republican and right-wing groups are already using the raid for fundraising and calling for defunding the FBI while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged to investigate the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland if Republicans take back the House.

As they rally support for Trump, Democrats say the FBI's reported search for classified materials that Trump allegedly brought to his home from the White House will serve as yet another reminder of his scandals and massive legal problems for voters.

"This raises the stakes in the midterms as people see how dangerous the GOP has become," said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist. "This isn't about political advantage for one party or the other, it's a reminder of what happens if a lawless President is allowed to take power, aided and abetted by MAGA Republicans in Congress."

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FBI seizes cell phone of Trump ally and Pennsylvania Republican Scott Perry, lawmaker claims
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Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., takes a question from a reporter at a news conference held by the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Aug. 23, 2021.

A key ally of former President Donald Trump is claiming that federal agents seized his cell phone a day after they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, though it is not known if the two are connected.

In a statement provided to Insider, Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said that on Tuesday morning, "while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone."

Perry denounced the alleged seizure, first reported by Fox News , but did not say what reason the FBI gave him for taking the phone.

"I'm outraged — though not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland's DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress," he stated.

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Trump supporters protest FBI raid on a bridge outside Mar-a-Lago: 'It is us against the government'
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Trump supporters gather on Monday on a bridge leading to Mar-a-Lago.

Following the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, several dozen Trump supporters gathered Tuesday on a bridge that extends outside the private estate.

Just a small crowd of supporters had gathered as of 2 p.m. Several people who said they were part of Club 45 — an independent Trump-supporting organization — said more people would assemble from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., after people were done working for the day. Traffic was becoming more backed up by 3 p.m. By 5 p.m., about 60 people had gathered on the bridge.

Several Trump supporters told Insider they'd heard that Trump would be driving by himself later in the day to get back into Mar-a-Lago and assess his belongings, though a local police officer refuted the rumor to Insider.

In interviews, Trump supporters said they thought the FBI raid was politically motivated and would ultimately grow Trump's support, but said they weren't concerned about a civil war. Many repeated false claims that there was widespread fraud during the 2024 election.

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Here's what it's like to traverse the members-only grounds of Mar-a-Lago, from a reporter who's been there
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Insider DC bureau chief Darren Samuelsohn in March 2017 at Mar-a-Lago, while working as a White House reporter for Politico. Also pictured is the backyard of Donald Trump's private club.

Memories of Mar-a-Lago came flooding back Monday night when the news broke that the FBI had executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's permanent residence.

My visits there as a White House reporter for Politico more than five years ago came during the earliest days of Trump's presidency. They gave me an up-close look into all of the controversy and celebrity hoopla that surrounded a man who just months earlier had become the most powerful person on the planet.

In all, I made three trips in March 2017 to go inside Trump's exclusive South Florida resort.

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Mitch McConnell declined to comment on the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago as conservatives increasingly call out his silence
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

With former President Donald Trump fuming over an FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence , the American people have yet to receive comment from the most powerful elected Republican in Washington: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell has yet to issue a statement on Monday's raid, and he dodged a question about it at a Tuesday press conference related to flooding in Eastern Kentucky .

"I'm here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood," he said when asked for his reaction to the raid.

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What's in Trump's search warrant? A grab-bag of potential federal charges, a longtime DOJ prosecutor predicted
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Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

The feds knew they had only one chance to search Mar-a-Lago — so they carried a big net, Gene Rossi, for three decades a federal prosecutor out of northern Virginia, predicted.

The search warrant that got them inside the waterfront Palm Beach estate of former President Donald Trump may have only been one-page long — but the warrant would have authorized FBI agents to seize evidence related to multiple federal statutes, Rossi said.

"I would be shocked," Rossi told Insider if the search warrant did not list the federal statutes for insurrection , for sedition , and for obstruction — three charges Trump could potentially face for alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021 siege on the Capitol.


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Republicans revive false claim that DOJ called parents 'terrorists' after Mar-a-Lago raid
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Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio

Republicans who are furious with the FBI after the agency's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence are reviving a false talking point that pits the Department of Justice against parents.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called the raid "stunning" in a tweet and said, "This same DOJ labeled parents in Loudoun County as terrorists."

On Fox News, Rep. Jim Jordan, the House Judiciary Committee's highest-ranking Republican, made a similar claim about Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Since last year, Republicans hoping to use culture wars to boost their chances in the midterm elections have said that the Biden administration and Democrats have branded parents who protest at school board meetings as domestic terrorists.


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Mar-a-Lago raid prompts elected Republicans to openly acknowledge that Trump will likely run for president again

While Republicans slam the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago, many are also finally admitting in public that Trump is likely to run for president again in 2024.

Trump has hinted at the prospect for months now, leaving Republicans reluctant to comment or speculate on the matter.

"President Trump is likely going to run again in 2024," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, wrote on Twitter.

"Joe Biden is trying to use the FBI to subdue his top political opponent because they are afraid of him running in 2024," Republican Rep. Diana Harshbarger wrote on Twitter.


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Pence defends Trump and expresses 'deep concern' over FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid
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Then-President Donald Trump shakes then-Vice President Mike Pence's hand after a 2019 rally.

Former Vice President Mike Pence defended Donald Trump after FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago.

"I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump," Pence wrote on Twitter.

He continued: "After years where FBI agents were found to be acting on political motivation during our administration, the appearance of continued partisanship by the Justice Department must be addressed."


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Trump nominated the FBI Director who led Mar-A-Lago search: 'He will make us all proud'
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Former President Donald Trump nominated Christoper Wray for FBI Director in 2017.

Christopher Wray, the FBI director who authorized the Mar-a-Lago search was picked for the gig by then-President Donald Trump in 2017.

Trump, at the time, called Wray a man of "impeccable credentials."

"We will have a great FBI director. I think he's doing really well and we're very proud of that choice. I think I've done a great service to the country by choosing him," Trump said in a speech during a 2017 visit to France. "He will make us all proud, and I think someday we'll see that and hopefully someday soon."

Now, Wray is feeling pressure from GOP lawmakers in the wake of Monday's raid.


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Republicans are fundraising off the FBI's raid of Trump's 'beautiful Florida home' at Mar-a-Lago

Shortly after the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Republicans and right-wing groups used the opportunity to boost political fundraising efforts.

A volley of emails from GOP lawmakers, political action groups, and other organizations denounced the FBI's search warrant and slammed the Biden administration.

"Biden's FBI raided President Trump's beautiful Florida home," the Republican National Committee wrote in a fundraising email, adding that "it's hard to believe it but it's true."


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Lindsey Graham says 'nobody's above the law' after FBI raid, but added that he's 'suspicious' of the investigation
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham voiced a balanced reaction in response to the FBI's search warrant of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home compared to some of his colleagues.

"We're a nation of laws. Nobody's above the law. That's for darn sure," the Republican told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

The Trump ally said, however, that he's "suspicious" of the Justice Department's investigation and called it "dangerous territory."


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Ex-RNC chairman calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'shitforbrains' Republican for demanding the FBI be defunded
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia

Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, slammed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for saying the FBI should be defunded.

After the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Greene tweeted "DEFUND THE FBI!"

Steele quoted her tweet and said: "Trump failed to return classified docs requested by the National Archives. A federal judge issued a search warrant for probable cause of a crime. This is not some rando move by the FBI so you shitforbrains Republicans calling for 'defunding the FBI' for once try to be less stupid."


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Trump family members react to FBI search, calling it 'political persecution'
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Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.

Members of the Trump family took to Twitter and Fox News to voice their response to the FBI's search of former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

"Biden's out of control DOJ is ripping this country apart with how they're openly targeting their political enemies," Donald Trump Jr. wrote. "This is what you see happen in 3rd World Banana Republics!!!"

Eric Trump told Fox News on Monday night that he was the "guy who got the call," that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, calling it "political persecution."

"Every day, we get another subpoena," he said.


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A dozen House Republicans plan to dine with Trump in Bedminster on Tuesday

Former President Donald Trump is hosting a dozen of the most conservative House Republicans at his New Jersey golf club Tuesday night for a dinner meeting.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks is reportedly leading the group, set to meet just one day after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago.


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Trump talked about his 'strange day' while calling into a tele-rally for Sarah Palin hours after the FBI raid
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Former President Donald Trump campaigns for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9, 2022.

After the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former president Donald Trump called into a tele-rally for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a long-time political ally who is now seeking an open House seat in the state's August 16 special election.

"Another day in paradise. This is a strange day. You probably all read about it," Trump said during a roughly 15-minute call, according to the Anchorage Daily News .

Palin thanked Trump for checking in, despite the news of the raid.

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Pelosi says FBI raid on Trump was a major step and that 'no person is above the law'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home as a major step, and said that not even a former president is "above the law."

She is the highest-ranking Democrat to comment on the search, which took place on Monday.

Pelosi was interviewed about the Monday raid on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, where she was asked by host Savannah Guthrie if the search struck her as a "pretty serious step" for the Department of Justice to take.

Pelosi replied: "Yes I think it does."

She said later in the interview that Democrats "believe in the rule of law, and that's what our country is about and no person is above the law, not even the president of the United States, not even a former president of the United States."


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Michael Cohen was jubilant after the FBI searched Trump's home, says he is finally being 'held accountable'
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Michael Cohen in July 2018 in New York City.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, posted a celebratory video after FBI agents conducted a search of the ex-president's property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

As news broke of the raid Cohen posted a selfie of himself grinning on Twitter, and in a video later posted on TikTok spelled out what he thinks the development could mean for his former boss.

"I can promise you only one thing, that whatever information that it is that they took from him, it's information he didn't want exposed," he said.

He said Trump would frequently stash away compromising information in places he thought it was "impervious."

"Let's just all rejoice the fact that this man who has avoided, legitimately avoided, any responsibility for anything is now going to be held accountable," said Cohen. "And it goes right back to the democratic adage 'no one is above the law.'"


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Mary Trump says her uncle is panicked by FBI raid and never believed the DOJ would take action
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Mary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022

The niece of former President Donald Trump, Mary Trump, said that he is in "panic" after the FBI raided his home in Florida late on Monday.

Trump "may have been told it was coming," but he would not have believed that the FBI would actually do it, Mary Trump told MSNBC on Monday .

She has for years been a vocal critic of her uncle, who has attacked her in turn.

Mary said that the raid would have been "a bit of a shock" to Trump, citing what she, a psychologist, called his "narcissism and sense of entitlement."

"He may have known, been told it was coming, but he could not possibly believe it was coming, because it never has. So I think that's where that panic is coming from."


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Kevin McCarthy threatens to investigate DOJ over Trump FBI raid if Republicans retake the House
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to investigate the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, using powers the Republican Party would gain if it retakes the House in November.

In a statement Tuesday, McCarthy denounced the search conducted by FBI agents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

"I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy said in a statement .

"When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned."

"Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar," McCarthy said.


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A law forbidding presidents from destroying or mishandling records could be why FBI agents searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home
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Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.

The FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House.

The search appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House. That decision spurred a federal investigation, and likely the search on Monday, linked to the Presidential Records Act.

Under the act, presidential records are public property and presidents are obliged to store them properly, and not to destroy them.


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These GOP lawmakers say they're pro law-enforcement but voted against giving congressional medals to police. Now they're excoriating the FBI on Trump's behalf.
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Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational on July 30, 2022.

In June 2021, 21 Republican lawmakers stood in opposition to legislation that would have awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who risked their lives at the Capitol during the January 6 riot.

On Monday, a number of these GOP lawmakers joined a chorus of voices asking for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

Here's what these lawmakers said about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago — and how it contrasts with their pro-law enforcement stance.


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Republicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded
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Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.

The far-right faction of the Republican party is up in arms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the agency to be defunded and destroyed.

Trump ally and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the first to tweet her disapproval of the search, posting on Twitter: "DEFUND THE FBI!"

Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert tweeted that she wanted the GOP to "set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI's politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government."

House Republicans' calls to defund and destroy a law enforcement organization stands in contrast to legislation their party introduced in May 2021 to "back the blue" in opposition to a progressive push to defund the police. As recently as May 2022, top-ranking Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik were still pushing the "back the blue" slogan — something that both Greene and Boebert have themselves staunchly supported.


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Lawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago
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Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.

Months before the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former President Donald Trump's lawyers recieved instructions to "secure the room" in which he stored his documents, sources told CNN.

The sources told CNN Trump aides added a padlock to his basement after investigators met with his lawyers at the Florida resort.


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Eric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago
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Eric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.

Trump — speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity — said he was "the guy that got the call this morning."

"I called my father and let him know that it happened," Trump said. "So I was involved in this all day."

After the search, Eric Trump complained to Hannity that he thought there is "no family in American history that has taken more arrows in the back than the Trump family."

"Every day, we get another subpoena," Trump said. "That's what this is about today, to have 30 FBI agents — actually, more than that —descend on Mar-a-Lago give absolutely, you know, no notice. Go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet. You know, they broke into a safe. He didn't even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break."


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Feds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts say
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Former President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.

For months, as new details emerged about the end of the Trump administration, the Justice Department confronted criticism over its slow, cautious approach to investigating the former president.

Again and again, Attorney General Merrick Garland met that criticism with what has almost become his personal mantra: The Justice Department, he says, will follow the "facts and the law."

On Monday, the facts and the law led FBI agents to former President Donald Trump's home .


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Trump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivated
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.

Trump's potential rivals for a 2024 ticket quickly came to his defense on Monday night after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals in a 2024 GOP primary, tweeted his support for the former president around an hour after Trump's statement about the FBI search dropped on Truth Social.

"The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis tweeted , adding that he thought the US was becoming a "banana republic."

DeSantis was referencing an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's finances. Biden has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing .


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Trump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquarters
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Supporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.

After the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, supporters of the former president gathered outside the Florida resort and FBI headquarters to protest.

Though it was initially unclear which of several pending investigations into the former president the warrant was related to, ABC News cited sources saying it was in connection to 15 boxes of potentially classified documents Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency.


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Trump was perched in Trump Tower as he decried 'unauthorized raid on my home' at Mar-a-Lago resort: CNN
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Trump Tower in Manhattan

Former President Donald Trump was in the comfort of his Trump Tower in New York City as federal agents executed a search warrant on his home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida, according to CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins.

The search warrant was carried out in the early hours of Monday morning and was first reported by Florida Politics . Trump confirmed the search warrant in a statement, calling it an "unauthorized raid on my home."

"Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," his statement said. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."


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The Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social media
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Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.

The Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home , White House officials said.

The former president accused the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct in a statement and suggested the search was part of a politically motivated plot to stop him from running for president in 2024.

A senior White House official told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that the Biden administration wasn't made aware of the search warrant until Trump released his statement about it.

"No advance knowledge," the official said. "Some learned from old media, some from social media."


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Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.
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Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.

During former President Donald Trump's time in the White House, his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach presidency exclusive resort was often referred to as "the winter White House."

Now, it's just his house.

Following the end of his presidential term, Trump decamped to the ornate resort.

Mar-a-Lago has hosted a number of high-powered visitors over the years, as it has seemingly always served as the Trump family's gilded weekend getaway. Mar-a-Lago has served as a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its elaborately decorated halls. It was built to impress.

Case in point: the property was closed for 57 days amid the coronavirus pandemic after visitors like the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century , where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.
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Trump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'
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Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.

Former President Donald Trump said the FBI went through his safe when they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday.

"They even broke into my safe!" Trump said in a Monday statement confirming the search.


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The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home
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Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen states

Federal agents descended on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, Trump announced in a statement.

The former president denounced the raid as politically motivated, although he himself appointed the FBI's director, Christopher Wray.


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Comments / 47

Pat
08-09

The FBI has been Weaponized and Compromised ever since Obama administration when they conspired with the DNC on the Russia hoax.

Reply(4)
17
Uncle Fester 60
08-09

& Pelosi saying " no one is above the law" Im waiting for her to throw Paul under the Bus or Porche for her own importance🤔😳🤣

Reply
9
Viva Satire!
08-09

According to Staff at Trump's National Golf Club Bedminster, the Former President has requested new boxer shorts and pants from his room several times since the FBI Raid.

Reply
7

Comments / 0