FBI Raids Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate

Ex-CIA agent says fallout over raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resembles the lead up to the January 6 Capitol attack and predicts there will be another ‘catastrophic event’

January 6

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Jon Cherry/Getty Images



A former official who served in the FBI and CIA said the fallout from the Mar-a-Lago raid resembles the events that led up to the January 6 attack on the Capitol — and predicted there could be another “catastrophic event.”

“When I followed extremists overseas, I never anticipated we would see this in America. We are,” Phil Mudd, a CNN counterterrorism analyst, said during an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta.

“They require leadership to tell them that what they’re thinking is okay. And they require validation from that leadership to suggest to them that violence is okay,” he said.

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Former homeland security adviser for Mike Pence said she once ‘found classified documents in the ladies’ room’

Olivia Troye, a former homeland security adviser to VP Mike Pence, speaks on MSNBC.

Olivia Troye, a former homeland security adviser to VP Mike Pence, speaks on MSNBC.


MSNBC



A former homeland security adviser during the Trump administration said she once found classified documents “in the ladies’ room” at the White House. 

Olivia Troye, who served as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, shared the anecdote on MSNBC on Sunday. 

“I found classified information in the ladies’ room of the White House one time in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,” Troye said. “I was not expecting to walk into the ladies’ room and find a document like that.”

Troye told Insider that she found the documents on a shelf in the bathroom sometime pre-pandemic, and she “thought it was odd that someone put them down and forgot them.”

On MSNBC, she said she immediately reported the classified documents to security but that it would concern anyone with security clearance. 

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GOP Gov. Larry Hogan says the Mar-a-Lago raid ‘was actually a win’ for Trump

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland.

Brian Witte/AP



Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, one of former President Donald Trump’s sharpest GOP critics, said on Sunday that so far, the FBI’s search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence has been a “win” for the ex-commander-in-chief.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” two-term governor and potential 2024 presidential contender opined that the search would only strengthen the former president’s standing among core supporters just as he is expected to launch a third presidential candidacy in the coming months.

“There’s a lot more that has to come out. I would say this week it was actually a win for Donald Trump,” Hogan told co-anchor Jonathan Karl. “It seemed to motivate his base and people were rushing to his defense and feeling as if he was being picked upon and martyred.”

“But I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the story yet,” he added.

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White House says Biden was not briefed on Mar-A-Lago FBI raid: ‘We do not interfere’

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 09: White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on August 09, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jean-Pierre avoided answering a number of questions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Monday raid of former President Donald Trump's home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Holds Daily Briefing

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images



White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday said that the White House was not briefed about the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s property in Mar-a-Lago or the status of the ongoing investigation conducted by the Department of Justice. 

“We do not interfere. We do not get briefed. We do not get involved,” Jean-Pierre told Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.”

She added: “We have learned about all of this the same way the American people have learned about this, through public reports, through your reporting, and every other reporter who has talked about this, that is how we learned about what is happening.” 

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Former GOP advisor says Trump has to be charged or Garland must resign after Mar-a-Lago raid: ‘There’s no going back now’

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Kimberly Leonard/Insider


A former GOP advisor said “there’s no going back now” after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. 

“I sort of felt this week like we’re all at the cirucus. We’re all under the big top. And this can only end in one of two ways: he’s got to be indicted or Merrick Garland has to resign,” conservative commentator Scott Jennings told CNN. 

Trump is reportedly being investigated for violating three laws, including the Espionage Act. The FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret during the raid. 

Jennings said there’s no way the Attorney General could raid the former president’s house, say they think he’s violating three laws and then not press any charges. 

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says Republicans ‘need to pull back on casting judgment’ on the FBI after Mar-a-Lago search for classified documents

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says that fellow GOP members need to “pull back on casting judgment” on the FBI after the agency’s search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, host Brianna Keilar asked Hutchison if Trump and “some Republicans putting the lives of the FBI’s men and women at risk?”

 

“Well, if the GOP is going to be the party of supporting law enforcement, law enforcement includes the FBI,” Hutchinson responded. “As a United States attorney, I work with the FBI, the DEA, the federal law enforcement agencies. Those folks on the ground do extraordinarily heroic efforts to enforce our rule of law, which is fundamental to the Republican Party and to our democracy.”

Hutchinson continued: “The FBI is part of that. And so, yes, we need to pull back on casting judgment on them. No doubt that they have higher-ups in the FBI has made mistakes. They do it. I have defended cases as well. And I have seen wrong actions.

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GOP Rep. Mike Turner says ‘Donald Trump is not above the law’

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 12: Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) speaks during a news conference with members of the House Intelligence Committee at the U.S. Capitol August 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. The lawmakers addressed the FBI's recent search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Republicans Hold News Conference To Discuss FBI Raid On Trump Residence

Drew Angerer / Getty Images



GOP Rep. Mike Turner on Sunday said former President Donald Trump and Attorney General Merrick Garland are not above the law, following concerns about documents seized by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago home. 

“Clearly, no one is above the law, Donald Trump is not above the law, and Attorney General Garland is not above the law either, and Congress has the powers of oversight he needs to comply,” Turner told Dana Bush, host of CNN’s Face the Nation. “We’ve seen material like this before, we seen material that have been submitted to courts for warrants, this is not unprecedented, his actions are unprecedented in history, and he has a lot of questions to answer.” 

Turner said he had a number of issues over the DOJ investigation, particularly whether Trump violated the Espionage Act after the FBI recovered classified documents from his home in Mar-a-Lago.

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Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe says Trump has been ‘basically at war’ with the Iaw enforcement agency since 2016

Andrew McCabe

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images


Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on Friday said that former President Donald Trump has been “basically at war” with the law enforcement agency since 2016 and warned of the risks posed to agents after the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence was searched by federal officials last week.

During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” McCabe — who first joined the FBI in 1996 and rose through the ranks to become deputy director in 2016 under then-director James Comey — remarked that Trump’s sustained broadsides against the department took a toll on the “trust” that is necessary to work successfully in such an environment.

“There’s no question that the work environment for FBI people has been getting tougher and tougher. Tougher over the last five or six years, right?” he said.

He continued: “Trump has been basically at war with the FBI since we opened a case on his campaign in July of 2016. That has a corrosive effect on the ability of FBI agents and professional support staff to develop the sort of trust that they need to get their job done.”

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Marjorie Taylor Greene is trying to impeach Merrick Garland, saying the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid was a ‘a blatant attempt to persecute a political opponent’

Left: Merrick Garland in a suit and tie; right: Marjorie Taylor Greene in an office chair

Left: Merrick Garland; right: Marjorie Taylor Greene

Left: AP Photo/Susan Walsh; right: AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool, File


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday said she has filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland. 

Greene’s remarks come amid an FBI probe into the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

Greene in the articles of impeachment wrote that Garland’s “personal approval to seek a search warrant for the raid on the home of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, constitutes a blatant attempt to persecute a political opponent.”

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Trump’s initially ‘upbeat’ mood about the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid turned dark when GOP support began to wane, report says

Former President Donald Trump stares into the crowd from the stage while addressing attendees of an American Freedom Tour rally in Austin, Texas.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center on May 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump was initially “upbeat” about the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence, but his mood at times turned dark when GOP support started waning, according to a report.

Sources told The Washington Post that Trump believed the FBI raid would benefit him as it looked like the Justice Department had overreached.

“He feels it’s a political coup for him,” one friend who had spoken with the former president multiple times told The Post, speaking under the condition of anonymity.

Trump believed the raid would cause Republicans to rally around him, the report says, and would create more support for a potential presidential bid in 2024.

While Republicans initially spoke out strongly against the raid, their public support became more muted when records unsealed on Friday revealed that the FBI had seized 11 sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago. The Washington Post reported that the bureau searched for classified documents about nuclear weapons.

Reports suggest Republicans are now struggling to respond to the revelations, and some Trump allies are starting to distance themselves.

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Ex-White House chief of staff said Trump stashed records at Mar-a-Lago because ‘he didn’t believe in the classification system’

Donald Trump, John Kelly, Jared Kushner

President Donald Trump (C) delivers remarks at the beginning of a meeting with his son-in-law and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L), Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and other government cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room at the White House January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff on Saturday said he took top secret documents to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida because he “didn’t believe” in the White House classification system. 

“His sense was that the people who are in the intel business are incompetent, and he knew better,” John Kelly, told The Washington Post.

“He didn’t believe in the classification system,” he added.

Kelly’s remarks come amid an FBI probe into the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. The FBI on Monday conducted a raid on his Florida property, and unsealed court documents reveal that the probe was part of an investigation into whether Trump had violated three laws related to the handling of government documents. 

Among those laws is the Espionage Act, which could come with a 10-year prison sentence if Trump is convicted. 

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Mar-a-Lago raid gave Trump a 10-point boost over DeSantis with Republican primary voters, poll shows

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis

Former President Donald Trump, left, and Governor Ron DeSantis, right, in a composite image.

Getty Images


The Mar-a-Lago raid gave former President Donald Trump a 10-point boost over possible 2024 rival Gov. Ron DeSantis among Republican primary voters, further widening his already significant lead, according to a new poll.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted on August 10 — after federal agents searched the Florida property on Monday, but before Friday’s unsealing of the search warrant and property receipt revealed that the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents.

The poll found that 57% of registered voters would back Trump if he chose to run and if the Republican presidential primary were held that day. That’s a four-point increase on the 53% who said they would vote for the former president last month, per the POLITICO/Morning Consul’s July 15-17 National Tracking Poll.

Meanwhile, DeSantis, who could be Trump’s fiercest competition should they both choose to run, dropped from 23% to 17%. The events of this week, albeit without the revelations of the unsealed search warrant, gave Trump a 10-point boost over DeSantis.

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Intelligence officials withheld sensitive information from Trump while he was in office because they feared the ‘damage’ he could do if he knew: report

closeup of FBI on back of jacket

Victor Escalon, Regional Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety South, speaks during a press conference on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images


Intelligence officials sometimes purposely withheld information from former President Donald Trump out of fear of the “damage” he’d do if he knew, according to a report from the New York Times. 

Douglas London, who was a top CIA counterterrorism official during the Trump administration, told the Times that intelligence aides were cautious about the kind of information they’d share with the former president.

“We certainly took into account ‘what damage could he do if he blurts this out?'” he said. 

While in office, Trump has shared classified information with the public multiple times. 

He, for example, had been briefed in August 2019 of an explosion at an Iranian space facility, and he wanted to post a satellite image shown to him on his personal Twitter account. Aides pushed back against the move, arguing it might give insight into US surveillance capabilities. But he posted it to his account anyway.

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Trump sent cryptic message to Merrick Garland before warrant was unsealed: ‘The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?’

Garland face

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump attempted to convey a cryptic message to Attorney General Merrick Garland following the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, a report says.

According to The New York Times, Trump wanted Garland to know that he had been speaking with people around the country and that they were enraged by the FBI search.

“The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?” was the message Trump wanted to be conveyed to Garland, a person familiar with the exchange told the paper.

A person close to the former president reached out to a Justice Department official to give Garland the message, the paper reported. It is not clear if the message reached him.

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Rand Paul calls for repeal of Espionage Act amid Justice Department investigation into Trump taking classified documents to Mar-a-Lago

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul in Washington, DC, on July 20, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images


Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called for the repeal of the Espionage Act after it was revealed that the Justice Department is investigating if former President Donald Trump potentially violated a key facet of it.

“The Espionage Act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI,” tweeted Paul. “It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment.”

The Espionage Act of 1917 dates back to World War I. Insider reported that it was introduced to prohibit sharing information that could harm the US or advantage foreign adversaries.

Following the Mar-a-Lago raid, the DOJ is looking into whether Trump violated Section 793 of the Espionage Act and potentially broke two other laws, according to the warrant unsealed by the department on Friday.

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Armed Trump supporters protest outside FBI office in Phoenix following Mar-a-Lago raid

FBI field office in Phoenix, Arizona.

FBI field office in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Supporters of former President Donald Trump protested outside the FBI’s field office in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday morning.

Some were armed with handguns and “assault-style weapons,” CNN reported. Others, in protest of the Mar-A-Lago raid, held “honor your oath” and “Abolish FBI” signs, per local media.

An FBI spokesperson told CNN that the Phoenix protest, which around 25 people attended, was lawful and disbanded by around noon

But the agency is keeping an eye out for trouble. A joint intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland security warned of “violent threats” in the coming days and weeks, CNN reported. 

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Ex-official who investigated Hillary Clinton’s emails said the documents recovered by the FBI at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago were particularly ‘stunning’ and ‘egregious’

Donald Trump with MAGA hats.

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.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images


According to a search warrant released by the Department of Justice, one set of Top Secret information recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was designated as Sensitive Compartmented Information — the highest level of sensitivity a classified document can be. 

“The fact that he had SCI material out in the wild, so to speak, at risk is particularly stunning and particularly egregious,” David Laufman, the former chief of the Department of Justice’s counterintelligence division that oversaw the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, told anchor Erin Burnett on CNN.

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Mary Trump speculates that Jared Kushner could be the ‘Mar-a-Lago mole’ after reports say an informant close to Trump guided FBI agents to the documents

President Trump in the Oval Office with Jared Kushner speaking behind him.

President Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.

Andrew Harnik/AP Photo


Mary Trump said she thinks the person who may have given the FBI information about documents held at Mar-a-Lago by her uncle, former President Donald Trump, could be Jared Kushner.

“We need to start with who would have access to this stuff. I don’t think Mark Meadows would have access to it,” Mary Trump said during a radio interview on Friday with The Dean Obeidallah Show.

“I think we need to look very hard at why Jared got $2 billion,” she said, referring to an investment into Kushner’s private equity firm by a fund led by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. “We need to look very hard at why he has been so quiet for so many months now.”

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A group that wants to eliminate nuclear weapons says the FBI’s seizure of documents at Mar-a-Lago highlights vulnerabilities in global security: ‘We really have no idea what was going on inside Trump’s head’

US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018.

US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images



An international group that wants to eliminate nuclear weapons says the FBI’s seizure of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, which could contain nuclear information, highlights the vulnerability of global security.

“I think we really have no idea what was going on inside Trump’s head and that’s all the more terrifying because at one point he had control over all of the US’s nuclear weapons. So I think it shows that we can’t rely on anybody to control weapons that can destroy the world 10 times over,” Alicia Sanders-Zakre, a policy research coordinator with The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), told Insider. 

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Classified government documents like the ones the FBI took from Trump have distinctive covers that are tough to miss. Here’s what they look like.

A man holds a folder marked 'Top Secret'

JPMorgan Chase executives have chosen to become more secretive about their workplace data-collection efforts following an Insider investigation in late May.

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images


Classified information concealed by the government comes with colorful cover sheets. At least that’s according to documents unearthed by the Federation of American Scientists as a part of its Project on Government Secrecy.

The cover sheets — which come in colors such as blue, red, and orange — are meant to keep classified information from “inadvertent disclosure,” according to the National Archives Code of Federal Regulations.

The sheets are intended to be attached to the document until it is reclassified or destroyed.

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Trump frantically packed up documents to take with him in the last days of his presidency after finally accepting he was leaving the White House, report says

Former President Donald Trump prepares to take the stage during a rally in Perry, Ga., on Sept. 25, 2021.

Former President Donald Trump prepares to take the stage during a rally in Perry, Ga., on Sept. 25, 2021.

Ben Gray/AP


Amid the chaos and the realization that every election challenge was failing during his final days in office, Trump began instructing aides to pack up documents he planned to take with him to Mar-a-Lago, according to an NBC News report published Saturday.

Two unnamed sources told the outlet that aides had been rushed to pack up documents and additional materials into banker boxes that were then shipped to Mar-a-Lago.

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Trump’s lawyer signed a statement months ago saying all classified documents had been turned over, report says. The FBI found more during its raid on Mar-a-Lago.

Former US President Donald Trump waves to photographers camped outside Trump Tower as he leaves to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022 in New York City.

Former US President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022 in New York City.

James Devaney/GC Images


A lawyer for former President Donald Trump signed a statement in June telling the Justice Department that all classified materials had been returned — but the FBI found more during its search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday.

While 15 boxes of documents were returned to the National Archives in February, the FBI uncovered 11 more boxes with classified material.

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Trump lawyer says she’s told him all investgations ‘will stop’ if he announces he’s not running for office in 2024

Alina Habba, left, and Michael Madaio, attorneys for former president Donald Trump, in Midtown Manhattan on May 9, 2022.

Alina Habba, left, and Michael Madaio, attorneys for former president Donald Trump, in Midtown Manhattan on May 9, 2022.

Matthew Cronin / Insider


A lawyer for Donald Trump said all investigations into the former president would stop if he were to announce he won’t run for president in 2024. 

“If he’s not leading in the polls – I’ve sat across from him, every time he gets frustrated, I say to him: ‘Mr. President, if you would like me to resolve all your litigation, you should announce that you are not running for office, and all of this will stop,'” Trump attorney Alina Habba said on Real America’s Voice on Friday. “That’s what they want.” 

She added that Trump was “honestly not surprised” after the Department of Justice executed an FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, seeking classified documents taken from the White House. 

“I hope he runs,” Habba said. “I told him this is going to actually increase your support in your base because they just always take it a little too far. The Democratic party, they can’t get out of their own way sometimes.”

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Rudy Giuliani says Trump will ‘raid every one of Biden’s houses’ if the former president wins the 2024 presidential election

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference June 7, 2022, in New York.

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press


Rudy Giuliani earlier this week said former President Donald Trump would “raid” President Joe Biden’s homes if he were to win the White House in 2024, with the ex-personal lawyer to the former president arguing that the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club was a “political act.”

Giuliani, a former New York city mayor and longtime Trump loyalist, told The New York Post that Trump could use the FBI to retaliate against Biden if he were to head back to the Oval Office.

“Breaking into the home of a former president is a political act — particularly since you’re breaking precedent. All of a sudden, you’re the first president of the United States who introduced the banana-republic process of prosecuting your predecessor. We’ve avoided it for 240 years. Trump didn’t do it to Hillary. Ford didn’t do it,” he told the newspaper.

“If Trump gets elected, the first thing he’ll do is raid every one of Biden’s houses,” he added.

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Trump’s allies are reportedly alarmed and starting to ‘go dark’ amid Mar-a-Lago search warrant revelations

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Allies of former President Donald Trump, alarmed and shocked by the details in the unsealed Mar-a-Lago search warrant and receipt of goods, are starting to distance themselves and “go dark” in recent days, according to The Washington Post political investigative reporter Josh Dawsey.

“Alarm has grown in recent days when you talk to advisers of the former president,” said Dawsey, speaking on MSNBC on Friday night, per HuffPost.

Some of them are now “trying to go dark,” refusing to defend Trump, and hope to “stay as far away from this as they can,” Dawsey said.

Dawsey said that certain advisers expressed “shock” when the Mar-a-Lago raid took place on Monday. But, as more details emerged about the extent of what Trump was keeping there, that shock turned to alarm, he added.

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‘Utter baloney’: Intelligence community rubbishes Trump’s claim of ‘standing order’ to declassify documents

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT).

Rep. Jim Himes, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images


Rep. Jim Himes, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that Donald Trump’s claims that he had a “standing order” to declassify any documents he took are “utter baloney.”

Himes told MSNBC that while the president is a declassifying authority, there is a “really elaborate documented process for declassification,” which can often take months.

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Trump’s latest defense is everyone ‘brings home their work from time to time’

Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump said that everyone takes work home sometimes, as he sought to develop a new line to explain why top secret government documents were stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

“As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different,” said the statement from Trump’s office on Friday night read out on Fox News.

Trump also claimed that he had a “standing order” to declassify documents when he left the White House.

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Former Hillary Clinton aide implies that the ‘President of France’ file found during Mar-a-Lago raid could be valuable to Russian President Vladimir Putin as ‘kompromat’

Jennifer Palmieri

Jennifer Palmieri speaks at the Newseum in Washington on April 12, 2017.

Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo


The FBI seized “info re: President of France” during the raid on Mar-a-Lago, the home of former President Donald Trump, per a list of items seized and unsealed by a federal magistrate on Friday.

Jennifer Palmieri, who was the director of communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, referred to the file as “kompromat” — embarrassing or damaging information that can be used to blackmail or discredit public figures.

“Racking my brain here,” Palmieri tweeted. “Which world leader would find Kompromat on Macron valuable?”

The tweet appears to imply that the information could be valuable to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Palmieri did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for clarification.

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Though Trump had a reputation for avoiding briefings and flushing meeting notes, he would ask officials for documents: ‘Can I keep this?’

U.S. President Donald Trump talks about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with House Republicans in the Cabinet Room of the White House on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with House Republicans in the Cabinet Room of the White House on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images



During his presidency, Donald Trump developed a reputation for being difficult to brief and may have destroyed meeting notes by flushing them down the toilet. But, according to members of his staff, he would also ask officials to keep documents he received.

“From time to time, the president would say ‘Can I keep this?'” Trump’s former Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday. Mulvaney also said that the administration formed “entire teams” of people that focused on reconstruting and preserving official documents. 

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From tapes to emails, here are the ways federal officials from Donald Trump to Richard Nixon and Hillary Clinton have been accused of mishandling government records

Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump; Richard Nixon

Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump; Richard Nixon

Matt Rourke/Associated Press; Julia Nikhinson/Associated Press; Associated Press


It’s relatively rare, but not unheard of, for the Department of Justice to investigate and even bring charges against federal officials accused of mishandling government records, including some that are considered classified or top secret.

Documents, emails, and audio tapes are among some of the mishandled records.

Aside from former President Richard Nixon and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the list includes Sandy Berger — national security adviser to President Bill Clinton — and at least 11 lower-profile federal officials who are more commonly charged.

 

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Trump had access to national security information not seen by most American citizens. Here are the different levels of security clearances and who is allowed to have them.

Donald Trump portrait

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Scott Olson/Getty Images


FBI officials found that Donald Trump had classified documents not meant to be seen by most Americans.

As president, Trump didn’t need access to security clearance to view classified documents. The same goes for the Vice President, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and many other elected officials.

But other individuals working in the fields of national security, defense, and other sensitive areas of government would need to gain clearance by putting in an application and a background check, according to the CRS report.

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The DOJ is investigating if Trump broke 3 federal laws, including the Espionage Act. Here’s what the Espionage Act is.

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images


The Department of Justice is investigating whether former President Donald Trump broke three laws — one of them being a key facet of the Espionage Act — according to the warrant unsealed by the department on Friday.

The Espionage Act of 1917 was established during World War I— making the spread of sensitive information that could harm the country or otherwise give an advantage to others, according to the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Violating the Espionage Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, according to a report by The Guardian.

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The FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Here’s what classified documents are.

Top Secret document stock image edited next to a photo of former President Donald Trump in a blue suit and red tie showing a thumbs up sign

Top Secret document stock image edited next to a photo of former President Donald Trump in a blue suit and red tie showing a thumbs up sign

Getty Images // James Devaney/GC Images


Federal agents seized 11 sets of classified documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence after executing a search warrant on Monday, some of which were reportedly marked top secret.

Classified documents are divided into three separate categories based on the sensitivity of the information:

      1. Confidential
      2. Secret
      3. Top secret

Trump, however, claimed in a Friday statement that “it was all declassified.”

 

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Trump allies insist FBI raid, potential Espionage Act investigation only strengthen his standing in a 2024 Republican presidential primary

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump.

AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File


Former President Donald Trump is being investigated for potential crimes related to his handling of documents that could threaten US national security — a fact that may well strengthen his desire to run for a second term in 2024 and make him “unbeatable” in a Republican primary, according to allies and GOP strategists.

But after years of priming his supporters to believe he’s the target of a “deep state” cabal, Trump has been able to exploit the latest investigation into his actions to rake in money. He also now has a chorus of elected Republicans, including potential competitors for the 2024 presidential nomination, quick to join him in dismissing the allegations, without evidence, as a politically motivated sham.

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This is the warrant used to search Trump’s home and the list of items the FBI seized

The Mar-a-Lago search warrant



Department of Justice


A federal court unsealed the warrant used to allow the FBI to search Trump’s property at Mar-a-Lago, as well as a list of items the federal agents seized in the raid.

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The DOJ is investigating if Trump broke 3 federal laws when he took classified documents to Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump speaks in Washington, DC

Former President Donald Trump speaks during the America First Agenda Summit on July 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


The Justice Department is investigating if former President Donald Trump violated three federal laws involving the handling of national security information when he moved government records from the White House to Mar-a-Lago upon leaving office.

Breitbart reportedly obtained the warrant the FBI used to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in south Florida.

Feds are looking into whether Trump broke laws against gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information; the destruction, alteration, or falsification of records; and the concealment, removal, or mutilation of records.

One of those violations is a part of the Espionage Act.

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FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents — including some that were marked top secret — from Mar-a-Lago: WSJ

Donald Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Allison Joyce/Getty Images


Federal agents took 11 sets of classified documents, including some that were marked top secret, from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The Journal, which reviewed an inventory list of the items seized in the raid, said the FBI recovered a handwritten note and Trump’s order commuting the GOP strategist Roger Stone’s prison sentence; information about the “President of France”; and binders of photos, among other things.

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Trump once revealed that the US had a new secret nuclear weapons system, according to Bob Woodward’s book.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


In Bob Woodward’s 2020 book “Rage,” the journalist detailed a conversation with Trump in 2019 in which the then-president boasted about a secret nuclear weapons system he credited himself with creating. 

“I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before. There’s nobody — what we have is incredible,” Trump reportedly said. 

Woodward wrote that sources confirmed the new weapons system existed, but were “surprised Trump had disclosed it.” 

It’s not clear what kind of nuclear weapons Trump was referring to.

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Trump didn’t deny reports that the FBI was looking for nuclear documents at Mar-a-Lago. Instead, he baselessly attacked Obama.

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump speaks at CPAC on August 6, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images


In a new statement released Friday, former President Donald Trump didn’t deny a Washington Post report that the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents that contained nuclear information.

Instead, he again tried to shift focus to former President Barack Obama, falsely accusing him of illegally keeping classified documents.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified,” Trump said in the statement. “How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!”

Asked whether Trump’s statement appeared to confirm that nuclear documents were uncovered in the Mar-a-Lago raid, one former DOJ official replied: “Sounds like it.”

The former official, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss the topic, added, “‘Word is…’ Love that. Word from who? His barber?”

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Fox News airs digitally altered photo replacing Jeffrey Epstein with the judge who signed the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago.

A digitally altered photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell that replaced Epstein's body with the judge who approved Trump's search warrant

A digitally altered photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell that replaced Epstein’s body with the judge who approved Trump’s search warrant

@what.i.meme.to.say / Twitter


Fox News aired a digitally altered photo that replaced an old image of Jeffrey Epstein getting a foot rub from Ghislaine Maxwell with the body and face of the federal judge who signed off on the warrant allowing FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. 

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider on Friday.

The bizarre altered photo was broadcast during “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday while Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade was serving as guest host. 

Fox News’ Sean Hannity called out the photo being altered during the broadcast. 

“I think that’s actually a picture of Jeffrey Epstein with somebody putting [Reinhart’s] head on there,” Hannity told Kilmeade, adding, “I’m guessing, I don’t know.”

The judge has reportedly received violent and antisemitic threats by far-right extremists since signing off on the warrant.

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Merrick Garland called Trump’s bluff by moving to unseal Mar-a-Lago search warrant

Merrick Garland vs Donald

Attorney General Merrick Garland (left) and former President Donald Trump (right).

Sean Rayford/Alex Wong/Getty Images


Attorney General Merrick Garland at a press conference Thursday dealt a serious blow to former President Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine the FBI after its search of Mar-a-Lago. 

Trump and his allies have sought to discredit Monday’s raid by pushing conspiracy theories that the FBI planted evidence and claiming the search was done without solid justification. They called for more transparency about the search, railing against the Department of Justice’s policy not to comment on ongoing investigations.

Then, Garland called Trump’s bluff, commenting on the raid and announcing that the DOJ would move to unseal the warrant.

He also alluded to the fact that Trump had been in a position the whole time to release the warrant himself. And though Trump himself personally said he wouldn’t oppose the release, Trump’s lawyers have until Friday afternoon to object.

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A man shot dead trying to breach an FBI office appears to have made furious Truth Social posts about the Mar-A-Lago raid

Ohio FBI attack

Clinton County employees sit in their vehicles blocking the road that leads to the scene where an armed man was shot and killed by police after breaching the FBI’s Cincinnati field office Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Wilmington, Ohio.

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete


A man who was shot dead by police after trying to breach a Cincinnati FBI branch on Thursday was identified by media outlets as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer.

He appears to have regularly used Truth Social and to have posted angry messages about the Mar-A-Lago raid.

An account with the same name posted a call to “kill” federal officers after the raid. A later message from the same account appears to have been posted after a failed attempt to get into the FBI building. 

Shiffer’s death comes amid anger from Trump supporters at the raid, some of whom have explicitly called for political violence, as Insider’s Camila DeChalus reported. 

Investigators also told The Associated Press that they were looking into whether Shiffer was a member of The Proud Boys and if he was present at the Capitol riot. 

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Former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says FBI informant could be one of 6 to 8 people in Trump’s inner circle

Mick Mulvaney

Mick Mulvaney.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters


Former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has speculated that if an FBI informant in Trump’s camp did exist, they would likely be one of the six to eight people closest to the former president.

Mulvaney spoke to CNN on Thursday about the FBI’s Monday raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. He said that he thought the informant whose tip-off sparked the raid was likely someone deeply embedded in Trump’s orbit and “really close” to him.

Citing sources, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that someone had told the authorities that classified government documents might have been improperly stored at Mar-a-Lago.

“I didn’t even know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago, and I was the chief of staff for 15 months,” Mulvaney said. He added that the informant would be someone “very close to the president” who handled day-to-day affairs and knew “where the documents were.”

“My guess is there’s probably six or eight people who had that kind of information,” said Mulvaney.

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Watergate whistleblower scoffs at Trump’s comparison of the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid to the Nixon scandal

John Dean

John Dean served as White House counsel for former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images


Watergate whistleblower John Dean has slammed former President Donald Trump’s comparison of the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago resort to Richard Nixon’s 1972 scandal.

“It’s pathetic. It shows he has no knowledge of what happened with Watergate,” Dean told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday evening.

“Watergate was much more than a break-in of course. There was a cover-up and really it brought forth the evidence of Nixon’s abuse of power,” he added.

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Trump and his family watched the FBI search Mar-a-Lago via the property’s security feed, says the former president’s lawyer

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump and his family watch from New York as the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago on Monday.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump’s attorney said Trump watched from New York as the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Monday.

Christina Bobb, one of Trump’s lawyers, made this comment during a Thursday appearance on the right-wing media network Real America’s Voice. Bobb told host Gina Loudon that, contrary to rumors that the security cameras had been turned off, the property’s security feeds were on for most of the FBI’s search. 

“I think the folks in New York — President Trump and his family — they probably had a better view than I did. Because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch,” Bobb said. 

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Trump has until Friday afternoon to decide whether to fight the release of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant

Donald Trump portrait

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Scott Olson/Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump could unilaterally release the warrant that federal agents used to search his resort and residence at Mar-a-Lago.

But news reports suggest that Trump and his allies are still trying to decide whether or not to fight the Department of Justice’s motion to unseal the document — and the list of goods that were confiscated.

According to The New York Times, Trump’s allies are “discussing the possibility of challenging” the release of the documents and have “contacted outside lawyers” to discuss the matter.

CNN reported Thursday evening that the former president and his team “have not yet reached a decision.” One source told the outlet Trump’s team is considering challenging the motion to unseal the warrant. Both outlets reported that his team is consulting with outside attorneys.

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Meet Judge Bruce Reinhart, the magistrate who approved the FBI search warrant into Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home receiving threats from MAGA supporters

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Kimberly Leonard/Insider


The FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago has drawn attention to Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed off the search warrant.

MAGA supporters were incensed by the raid, calling for protests at FBI field offices and gathering outside of Mar-a-Lago.

Reinhart has also received violent and antisemitic threats since approving the warrant.

The judge’s official bio has been removed from the US District Court Southern District of Florida website — likely because of the threats he’s received, according to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.

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FBI was looking for classified documents about nuclear weapons, report says

Former President Donald Trump's Palm Beach estate, Mar-A-Lago was searched by the FBI Monday evening.

Former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate, Mar-A-Lago was searched by the FBI Monday evening.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images, Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images


Classified documents related to nuclear weapons were among the items the FBI was searching for during a raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the investigation.

The people, who were unnamed, did not provide details on whether the documents concerned nuclear weapons belonging to the US or other nations. It’s unclear if the documents were recovered in the search. Read Full Story

Police killed gunman who tried to enter Cincinnati FBI office, officials say

A crest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is seen 03 August 2007 inside the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, DC.

The FBI and the IRS criminal investigation field office in Washington D.C. worked with authorities in Cyprus and Latvia to dismantle the organization.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


Police fatally shot the armed man who tried to breach an FBI office in Cincinnati on Thursday morning, Lt. Nathan Dennis of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said in a press conference.

Lieutenant Dennis told reporters that officers tried to negotiate with the suspect and made efforts to take him into custody with “less-than-lethal tactics,” but fatally shot the man after he produced a gun.

Authorities declined to identify the suspect or offer speculation about his possible motive. NBC News reported that the man was in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021. 

Though it’s unclear if the suspect’s actions are related to the FBI raid at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, it comes as Trump supporters and allies condemn the bureau and the Department of Justice for the search warrant.

During a press conference Thursday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the DOJ after Trump and GOP lawmakers attacked the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago.

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Liz Cheney says she’s ‘ashamed’ her fellow Republicans are putting the lives of FBI agents at risk with their post-Mar-a-Lago raid attacks

Liz Cheney

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).

Win McNamee/Getty Images


Rep. Liz Cheney on Thursday blasted her fellow Republicans for putting “the lives of patriotic public servants” at risk following the immense criticism of the FBI after agents raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

“I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search,” Cheney wrote on Twitter. “These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk.”

Cheney did not name specific Republicans that she was calling out. This marks her first major comments since the FBI’s search of Trump’s property earlier this week. Agents were reportedly investigating whether Trump still had classified material that should have been turned over to the National Archives. 

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Cohen says he ‘would not be surprised’ if FBI informant was one of Trump’s kids or Jared Kushner

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, 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.

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images


Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen suspects that the possible 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’

Garland by flag

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a press conference announcing a significant firearms trafficking enforcement action and ongoing efforts to protect communities from violent crime and gun violence at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2022.

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo


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

Donald Trump with MAGA hats.

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.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images


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

Donald Trump portrait

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Scott Olson/Getty Images


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’

Christopher Wray with hands on face

FBI Director Christopher Wray

AP Photo/Susan Walsh


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

Trump

Donald Trump arrives at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on November 5, 2018.

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images


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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Michael Cohen: Trump likely feels ‘trapped’

Michael Cohen.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images


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

A crest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is seen 03 August 2007 inside the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, DC.

The FBI and the IRS criminal investigation field office in Washington D.C. worked with authorities in Cyprus and Latvia to dismantle the organization.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images


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

Former President Donald Trump motions after speaking at an event with Joe Lombardo, Clark County sheriff and Republican candidate for Nevada governor, and Republican Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, Friday, July 8, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Some in Trump’s orbit have, per Rolling Stone, been trying to contact him to warn him not to speak to certain people.

John Locher/AP Photo


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

Donald Trump

Officials told Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal this individual told investigators about the documents.

AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File


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

Trump

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.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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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January 6 defendant says ‘this is war’ after Mar-a-Lago raid

January 6

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Jon Cherry/Getty Images



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

Donald J. Trump, seen through a window, watches a television in the press office as newscasters talk about him moments after he was speaking with members of the coronavirus task force during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (

Former President Donald Trump.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


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 speaks during a press conference announcing a significant firearms trafficking enforcement action and ongoing efforts to protect communities from violent crime and gun violence at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2022.

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo


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

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump speaks at CPAC on August 6, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images


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

Police presence outside Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Police presence outside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee


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’

Donald Trump and Chris Christie.

A file photo showing Donald Trump (left) and Chris Christie.

LM Otero/AP



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

Former President Donald Trump tosses a MAGA hat into the crowd at a rally in Arizona.

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.

Mario Tama/Getty Images


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

A composite image of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Hillary Clinton's campaign merch

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Hillary Clinton are both hawking merch related to the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

Marjorie Taylor Greene on Telegram; Hillary Clinton Onward Together PAC


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

People walking outside Mar-a-Lago in March 2017

People walking outside Mar-a-Lago in March 2017

Darren Samuelsohn


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

Scott Perry in front of microphones

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.

AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades


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’

Trump supporters gather on Monday on a bridge leading to Mar-a-Lago.

Trump supporters gather on Monday on a bridge leading to Mar-a-Lago.

Kimberly Leonard/Insider


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

Side-by-side collage of Insider's Darren Samuelsohn at Mar-a-Lago and the backyard of Donald Trump's private club.

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.

Darren Samuelsohn


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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What’s in Trump’s search warrant? A grab-bag of potential federal charges, a longtime DOJ prosecutor predicted

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.

Kimberly Leonard/Insider


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

Jim Jordan

Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images


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

Donald Trump and Mike Pence shake hands

Then-President Donald Trump shakes then-Vice President Mike Pence’s hand after a 2019 rally.

Zach Gibson/Getty Images


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’

Former President Donald Trump nominated Christoper Wray for FBI Director in 2017.

Former President Donald Trump nominated Christoper Wray for FBI Director in 2017.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images, MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


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

Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Ting Shen – Pool/Getty Images


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

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


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’

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump sit next to each other.

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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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Trump talked about his ‘strange day’ while calling into a tele-rally for Sarah Palin hours after the FBI raid

Former President Donald Trump campaigns for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9, 2022.

Former President Donald Trump campaigns for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9, 2022.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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’

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen in July 2018 in New York City.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


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

Mary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022

Mary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022

MSNBC


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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