Garland: I 'Personally Approved' Mar-a-Lago Search

Attorney General asks court to unseal the warrant
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2022 2:32 PM CDT
Merrick Garland: I Approved Search of Trump Residence
Attorney General Merrick Garland.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered his first public comments since Monday's surprise search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence by federal agents, though he shed little immediate light on the reasons behind it. Garland did, however, say that he "personally approved" the decision to a seek a search warrant, which was approved by a federal court, adding that his Justice Department doesn't take such decisions lightly. "Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken," Garland said, per CNN.

Earlier, the New York Times reported that Trump received a subpoena in the spring about presidential documents at his Florida residence, suggesting that the Justice Department did indeed try avenues "short of a search warrant" in regard to the material. It's possible more answers might be coming soon: Garland said the Justice Department has asked a court to unseal the search warrant because of the "substantial public interest in this matter," per the AP. The attorney general added that he made the decision to try to have the warrant unsealed because Trump himself confirmed the search the day it happened. It was not immediately clear if or when that might happen.

"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy," said Garland. "Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor." He also condemned recent threats of violence against federal agents in the wake of the search. "I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said. "The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants." (Read more Merrick Garland stories.)

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