Former President Trump said Monday that the FBI was searching his estate in Florida. Trump, who dismissed the raid as "political persecution," was not in Florida at the time. "My beautiful home Mar A Lago in Palm Beach, Florida is currently under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents," Trump's statement said, per the Hill. "They even broke into my safe," it added. A raid, and especially breaking open the personal safe of a former president, would represent a major escalation in the investigations of Trump, per the AP.
The Justice Department has been investigating the discovery of boxes of records containing classified information that were taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump's term ended, and the New York Times reports that material appears to be the focus of the search. Trump previously for months delayed the return of 15 boxes of material the National Archives had requested. The Presidential Records Act requires that all memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes, and other written communications connected to a president’s official duties be preserved.
The department also is investigating a fake elector scheme to keep Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate," Trump said in his statement. The search of Mar-a-Lago was approved by a court, per the Washington Post. White House officials said they were not notified of the raid ahead of time. "Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” Trump said in his statement.
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