FBI agents removed about a dozen boxes of administration materials from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, according to The Washington Post.
Trump earlier this year turned over 15 boxes of White House materials, including classified information, to the National Archives. But investigators believed that he did not turn over all of the materials they sought and engaged in talks with his legal team for months.
Agents on Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and took about 12 more boxes of materials, Trump attorney Christina Bobb told the Post.
The search warrant indicated that agents are investigating potential violations of the Presidential Records Act and other laws related to the handling of classified materials.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich called the search “not only unprecedented, but completely unnecessary.”
“President Trump and his representatives have gone to painstaking lengths in communicating and cooperating with the appropriate agencies,” Budowich told the Post. “In the Democrats’ desperate attempt to retain power, they have unified and grown the entire conservative movement.”
Long time coming:
Officials became suspicious that Trump or his aides “held on to key records” after he turned over the first 15 boxes.
Officials held months of talks with Trump’s team and became suspicious that they were also “not truthful at times.”
FBI officials first traveled to Mar-a-Lago this spring and inspected a basement room where the documents were held. Officials expressed concern that the documents should be in government custody and instructed Trump’s team to secure the room.
Bobb and another Trump lawyer met with DOJ counterintelligence chief Jay Britt to review the boxes.
Trump not sweating raid:
One adviser who spoke to Trump after the raid told the Post that the former president “sounded buoyed by the development” and bragged about how many Republicans defended him publicly.
Trump believes the search would help him politically, the adviser said.
Former Trump spokesman Jason Miller agreed that “it furthers his inclination to run and galvanizes the Republican base on his behalf.”
Some Trump advisers even urged him to move up his announcement of a 2024 presidential bid following the raid.