Mar-a-Lago raid live updates: Federal officials released a heavily redacted version of the affidavit used to search Trump's home

Trump, Mar-a-Lago
Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
  • The FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8.

  • On Friday the DOJ released a heavily redacted version of the affidavit used in the search.

  • A judge ordered the document's release after signing off on redactions.

'People are likely going to jail for this conduct'

Legal experts said the redacted version of the FBI affidavit is a damning blow to Trump as he's criminally investigated over his handling of official government records.

Norm Eisen, the ethics czar under former President Barack Obama, wrote, "People are likely going to jail for this conduct."

Some national security veterans went a step further, directly calling out the 45th president and suggesting there may be a first-ever criminal case against a former chief executive.

"I have seen enough, folks," Bradley Moss, a prominent Washington, DC, national security lawyer, wrote on Twitter. "Donald Trump will be indicted in the classified documents matter. I'm placing my marker."


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Trump's lawyer said the transfer of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago to the NARA was a 'voluntary and open process'

Evan Corcoran
Evan Corcoran also represents a former Capitol police officer charged in connection with January 6.Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

Trump's lawyer Evan Corcoran asked in a letter to the Department of Justice that the investigation into the "leader of the Republican Party" not "involve politics."

He said the boxes of classified documents were "unknowingly included among the boxes brought to Mar-a-Lago by the movers."

The letter to the DOJ was included in in the 38-page affidavit released Friday by the DOJ which provided reasoning for the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.


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Affidavit mentions an Obama-era executive order about classified national security information

The redacted affidavit mentions Executive Order 13526, which then-President Barack Obama issued in December 2009.

A White House statement accompanying the 2009 order said its aim was to create a "uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism."


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The DOJ released a redacted version of the affidavit supporting the search of Mar-a-Lago

Garland by flag
Attorney General Merrick GarlandChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The redacted version of the affidavit laid out the reasons why the FBI sought to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in South Florida.

Several portions of the affidavit are blacked out to conceal identities and sensitive details about the investigation into Trump's handling of government records.

The release of the affidavit came after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said the redactions were "narrowly tailored to serve the government's legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire affidavit."


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Trump swatted away White House officials who tried to return documents from Kim Jong-un and Barack Obama

Donald Trump (left) and Barack Obama (right)
Then-U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets then-President-elect Donald Trump at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Trump as president on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.Carlos Barria/File Photo/Reuters

Former President Donald Trump resisted returning official materials from his presidency, including communications with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and former President Barrack Obama, even as the National Archives spent much of 2021 trying to retrieve the government property, according to The New York Times.

 


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The FBI found some White House documents in a closet at Mar-a-Lago

Federal investigators found batches of sensitive, official White House records in the basement of Mar-a-Lago and in the closet in Donald Trump's office, according to The New York Times.


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Federal judge who signed off on Mar-a-Lago search 'carefully reviewed' FBI affidavit and considers its facts 'reliable'

Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022. - Former US president Donald Trump said August 8, 2022 that his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida was being "raided" by FBI agents in what he called an act of "prosecutorial misconduct." (Photo by Giorgio Viera / AFP) (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)
Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022.GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

In a court order released Monday, Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said he found the evidence in the FBI's affidavit seeking a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago was "reliable," but he has still not determined how much of the document to release to the public.

The affidavit, which was used to secure a search warrant of former president Donald Trump's Florida residence where 11 sets of classified materials were recovered, contains "critically important and detailed investigative facts: highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques," the Department of Justice argued in a motion published by Politico.

As conservative organizations and journalism outlets have submitted legal challenges arguing the affidavit is in the public interest and should be unsealed, Reinhart said in a ruling last week that he is considering releasing portions of the document, but must consider the integrity of the DOJ's ongoing criminal investigation before determining what details can be safely released.


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Trump files suit for a 'special master' to review seized docs

Trump red
Donald Trump is suing the US government over who should be looking at the documents seized during the Mar-a-Lago raid.James Devaney/GC Images

Attorneys for Donald Trump made good Monday on a threat they've been teasing for days by filing a lawsuit that would halt the Justice Department's review of records seized during the search of Mar-a-Lago.

The new lawsuit asks a federal judge to appoint a so-called special master to be "protect the integrity of privileged documents" found at the former president's South Florida home. It also seeks a much more detailed inventory of the materials that the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search.


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Trump's biggest legal threat: Jan. 6

Ty Cobb
Then-White House lawyer Ty Cobb walks to his car at the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 17, 2018.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid has put much of the focus around Donald Trump's legal liability for how he handled documents after leaving the White House.

But a former top Trump lawyer told Insider's Sonam Sheth that we shouldn't forget about the Justice Department's criminal probe into the Capitol insurrection.

"No matter what, the most serious case he faces is the January 6 investigation," said Cobb, who served as White House special counsel in 2017 and 2018.. "Not necessarily because of January 6 alone but coupled with the fake electors scheme and the interference alleged in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere."

"That's the case that has him at the most risk and is more at the heart of what the Justice Department would take seriously," he added.


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Extremists — and some GOP candidates — ramp up violent threats after Mar-a-Lago raid, prompting lawmakers to demand action from social media sites hosting calls for 'civil war'

Trump courthouse
Trump supporters drive by courthouse in West Palm Beach on August 18, 2022.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly two weeks after the FBI executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, threats against federal agents have spiked online — and among some Republican politicians.

On social media platforms such as Gab, Telegram, and Facebook, researchers saw a significant uptick in references to violence and references to "civil war" increased by 106% after the Mar-a-Lago raid, Insider's Laura Italiano reported.

"In these right-wing and extremist spaces, they interpret the Mar-a-Lago search not as a legitimate legal process but as the first shots of a war by the federal government," Alex Friedfeld, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, told Insider. "So consequently, you're seeing calls for people to arm up, to lock and load, and to be ready to use real bullets to defend themselves."


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Adam Schiff warns about potential consequences of unsealing Mar-a-Lago search affidavit, saying it could give Trump's lawyers a 'road map' to derail the investigation

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

Amid calls for the Department of Justice to unseal the affidavit that laid out the rationale to search Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, some officials have cautioned that revealing too much information about the ongoing legal proceedings could damage the investigation and benefit former President Donald Trump's defense.

In a Sunday interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Rep. Adam Schiff said there is significant "public interest" in a copy of the affidavit being released, but that an unredacted version could put sources of information "at risk" for retaliation by the former president.


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Trump's ex-chief of staff said it's hard to understand how such highly classified documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago and that they are 'not accidentally moved anywhere'

From left, President Donald Trump and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, sit together during a meeting with Caribbean leaders at Mar-A Lago, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla.
President Donald Trump and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney sit together at Mar-A Lago, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla.Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

A former chief of staff to President Donald Trump said it's hard to understand how some the classified documents that were said to have been seized from Mar-a-Lago ended up there.

Mick Mulvaney, who served as Trump's acting chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020, appeared on CNN Friday to discuss the materials that were seized during the August 8 raid on Trump's Florida residence. According to court records, the FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents.


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Mike Pence says he didn't leave office with classified materials, calls for 'unprecedented transparency' from the DOJ on the Mar-a-Lago raid

Former Vice President Mike Pence.
Former Vice President Mike Pence.Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said he didn't take any classified documents with him after leaving office in January 2021, according to The Associated Press.

Pence made the remarks during an interview with the news organization nearly two weeks after former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was raided by the FBI, where federal officials retrieved several boxes of classified and top secret materials.


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Donald Trump hints at legal action over Mar-a-Lago raid. Lawyers are already finding fault with his Fourth Amendment defense.

Trump speaks at CPAC
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump hinted at legal action concerning the Mar-a-Lago raid, but lawyers say his Fourth Amendment defense will likely fail.

In a post on Truth Social, on Friday night, Trump said that a "major motion" related to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, will soon be filed.


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Former Trump campaign official says Trump has already moved on from the Mar-a-Lago raid: 'It's business as usual for him'

Former President Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump.Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump may be airing his grievances about the Mar-a-Lago raid on social media, but sources who have interacted with him recently claim he's moved past it and is looking towards the future — as in, a 2024 run for president.

"He's already moved on. It's business as usual for him," Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign and administration official, told NBC. Caputo served as the assistant secretary of public affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services under Trump.


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Legal insiders warn that Trump could soon face criminal charges he can't talk his way out of

As former President Donald Trump continues publicly attacking the Justice Department and the FBI following the raid, people who have been close to his inner circle told Insider that they think he could be in serious legal trouble.

One lawyer familiar with the Trump team's thought process said in an interview that the ex-president "likes to run the show" and is a "big believer in the public relations assault," but that he could soon face criminal charges he can't talk his way out of.

"He should be worried about all these investigations," the lawyer added. "I think he's a target of all of them and I think he'll get indicted."


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Newly unsealed documents from the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago put Trump in even worse legal peril, experts say

Former President Donald Trump has offered a shifting array of defenses in response to the August 8 FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which uncovered a trove of secret documents.

Among them is the claim that they were all declassified by him while in office under the president's sweeping powers over national secrets.

But procedural documents unsealed by federal judge Bruce Reinhart Thursday, including the cover sheet of the warrant used in the search, revealed that this defense may not be as effective as Trump hoped, per legal experts.


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Senior White House official calls Trump's 'standing order' to declassify documents 'total nonsense'

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

More government officials are casting doubt on Donald Trump's claim that he had a standing order allowing him to remove classified documents from the White House.

The claim is "total nonsense," one senior White House official said, according to CNN.

"If that's true, where is the order with his signature on it," the official told CNN. "If that were the case, there would have been tremendous pushback from the Intel Community and [the Department of Defense], which would almost certainly have become known to Intel and Armed Services Committees on the Hill."


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Ex-official said there would be evidence if Trump declassified documents: 'It can't just be an idea in his head'

Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A former Department of Justice official has pushed back on Trump's claim that he had broadly declassified all the documents held at Mar-a-Lago, saying if that were the case there would be evidence to back it up.

Trump made the claim after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida last week. The search was part of a Justice Department investigation into potential violations of three laws related to the handling of government records. Court documents showed that 11 sets of classified materials were seized during the search.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and said he had a standing orderto declassify documents that were removed from the Oval Office and taken to his residence. Presidential records, classified or not, are public property and by law are managed by the National Archives when a president leaves office.

David Laufman, a former chief of the Justice Department's counterintelligence division, dismissed the idea of the standing order or broad declassification.


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The New York Times' Maggie Haberman: Trump could have taken documents related to the Mueller probe

The New York Times' Maggie Haberman speculated this week that former President Donald Trump — who she has covered for decades — could have taken documents pertaining to the FBI's Russia investigation when he left the White House.

Haberman, who broke the news about Trump's habit of ripping up and flushing documents down White House toilets, was asked Tuesday what she thought Trump might have taken when he left office.

She said on the "Hacks on Tap" podcast that the former president had a habit of keeping materials if he thought "something was cool" or "personally advantageous."


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'Civil war' mentions doubled in extremist online spaces after the Mar-a-Lago raid, experts say

"We saw a significant uptick," said Elizabeth Neumann of Moonshot, a London-based agency that analyzes and counters online extremism, noting a 106% increase in the term "civil war" in certain online spaces between the August 8 search warrant and the week that followed.


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Trump denies report that he's desperately trying to find experienced lawyers

Donald Trump speaking
A trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump denied a Washington Post report that he was struggling to find lawyers who will represent him.

"The WAPO story that 'Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers' to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS," Trump wrote on Truth Social, his social-media page, early Thursday morning.


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Trump aides worry that releasing the DOJ's affidavit could backfire: Washington Post

Since the FBI conducted a search on former President Donald Trump's Palm Beach, Florida estate, Mar-A-Lago, Trump and his allies have been adamant about getting the search warrant affidavit released to the public, but legal aides are concerned this could backfire, the Washington Post reported.


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DOJ officials were alarmed by surveillance footage of the Mar-a-Lago room where classified info was being stored, report says

Former US President Donald Trump's residence in Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022. - Former US president Donald Trump said August 8, 2022 that his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida was being "raided" by FBI agents in what he called an act of "prosecutorial misconduct."
Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on August 9, 2022.GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

Federal agents were prompted to request a warrant to search Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate after reviewing new footage of a hallway outside a storage facility where classified information was being kept, The New York Times reported. 

The Times reported that the National Archives and Records Administration had contacted Trump's legal team earlier this year after discovering that key documents were missing from the Trump administration's records.

Trump's team had handed over several boxes of materials in January. Justice Department then returned to Mar-a-Lago in June to collect several more documents that had been marked as classified, which had not been handed back following the original request.

Having obtained surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago via a subpoena, agents saw something that alarmed them in recordings of a hallway outside a storage room, The Times reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.


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Trump resisted requests to return stash of documents at Mar-a-Lago, saying 'it's not theirs, it's mine,' NYT reports

Trump
Former US President Donald Trump waves while walking to a vehicle outside of Trump Tower in New York City on August 10, 2022. -STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump railed against attempts by the National Archives and Records Administration to retrieve a trove of documents, saying "it's not theirs, it's mine," according to The New York Times.

That is the response that several advisors told the paper that Trump gave to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin. It is not clear when Trump said this.


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Trump is struggling to find good lawyers who are still willing to represent him, report says

Former President Donald Trump is having trouble finding a good lawyer to represent him, per a new report from The Washington Post.

The Post spoke to several lawyers who commented under the condition of anonymity on Trump's struggle to find seasoned counsel to defend him. "Everyone is saying no," a Republican lawyer told The Post.

Several people told The Post that Trump was an impossible client, and worried if they would be compensated for their work.


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Michael Cohen says Trump likely kept classified documents at Mar-a-Lago as a 'bargaining chip' to avoid any potential jail time

Donald Trump portrait
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.Scott Olson/Getty Images

Michael Cohen, who was once former President Trump's personal lawyer, believes Trump kept top-secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence as potential bargaining chips that he could leverage if he were ever at risk of going to jail.

"My belief is that he was going to use it as a bargaining chip, as a get-out-of-jail-free card," Cohen said on CNN.

"The second that they put him in handcuffs, he'll turn around and say, 'You don't seem to understand. I have the documentation showing, for example, where our nuclear launchpads are, or other information — sensitive national security information," he added.

Cohen painted a scenario in which Trump would threaten to have his "loyal supporters" release the classified information he had kept to Russia, Iran, or "whoever it might be." He added that he didn't believe Trump "cared about this country."


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Donald Trump's offers to help 'reduce the heat' are 'pure malice and a threat,' former White House special counsel says

Donald Trump puckers his face
Then-President Donald Trump pauses during an event in the Oval Office announcing guidance on constitutional prayer in public schools on January 16, 2020 in Washington, DC.Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump is "dripping with crocodile tears" as he offers to help reduce the country's temperature, all while attacking law enforcement for searching his Mar-a-Lago home, Norm Eisen, a former White House special counsel, told Insider.

Trump has been making offers to "help the country" in recent days while also issuing warnings about the anger he has helped incite with baseless claims about the FBI, accusing them of breaking into Mar-a-Lago and alleging that they could have "planted anything."

Instead, two legal experts, including Eisen, told Insider that Trump's offer to help, which came after agents recovered top secret and other classified documents at his home, should be viewed as a threat.

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Michael Cohen's advice for Trump's current legal team: 'Lawyer up'

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, exits the Loews Regency hotel and walks toward a taxi cab, July 27, 2018 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Donald Trump's ex-personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen has some advice for the former president's current legal team in the aftermath of the FBI's unprecedented raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate: get yourselves a lawyer.

"Lawyer up; you're going to need representation," Cohen told Insider on Tuesday when asked if he had any tips for Trump's attorneys.

Cohen, who served as Trump's personal lawyer and confidant for almost a decade before he ultimately turned on his former boss, told Insider that Trump "has no one to turn to and knows his days are numbered."

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Man charged with threatening to kill FBI agents as calls for violence ramp up after Mar-a-Lago raid

Trump flag outside Mar-a-Lago
A supporter of former President Donald Trump drives past the Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

A man was arrested and charged with threatening to kill FBI agents as calls for violence and civil war increased after the raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Adam Bies, 47, from Mercer, Pennsylvania, was charged with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal law-enforcement official, an FBI affidavit released on Monday said. He was arrested on Friday and remains in custody pending a detention hearing, the Justice Department said.

Bies posted multiple threatening messages on Gab, the social-media platform frequently used by the far right, between August 10 and 11, the affidavit said.

"Every single piece of shit who works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director down to the janitor who cleans their fucking toilets deserves to die," one of Bies' posts said, according to the affidavit. "You've declared war on us and now it's open season on YOU."

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Trump was so distracted by grievances that he never got around to returning secret documents the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago: NYT

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

Former President Donald Trump omitted to return sensitive documents to the US government whe he left office because he was so obsessed with settling personal grudges, The New York Times reported. 

Citing two sources with knowledge of the situation, The Times reported that any efforts to give back classified material fell by the wayside in the tumultuous final days of his presidency.

Per the sources, Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, were consumed by "settling political grievances and personal grudges" and ignored the task of passing sensitive documents to the National Archives.

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Michael Cohen says Trump's next move in the Mar-a-Lago probe would be to find a scapegoat — Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani, left, and former President Donald Trump, right, in a composite image.
A composite image of Rudy Giuliani and former President Donald Trump.AP Photo

Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump's one-time personal lawyer, said he thought Trump was likely trying to find a scapegoat for any potential criminal charges from the Mar-a-Lago probe.

Speaking to CNN host Don Lemon on Monday, Cohen was asked what he thought Trump's next moves would be in view of the Justice Department's investigation into whether Trump had broken any federal laws by keeping classified documents at his Florida residence.

"I believe the next scapegoat is going to be Rudy 'Collude-y' Giuliani," Cohen told Lemon.


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Trump attacks DOJ and Florida judge hours after saying that anger around the Mar-a-Lago raid had gone too far

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry Gash

Trump attacked the Department of Justice and the Florida judge who approved the FBI raid of his Florida home, hours after he said that anger over the raid had gone too far.

Trump warned on Monday morning that there needed to be less anger over the Mar-a-Lago raid, or else "terrible things" would happen.

Hours later, he resumed his attacks on the judge and the DOJ over the raid.

In a 11:54 p.m. post on Truth Social, his social-media platform, he said there was "no way to justify the unannounced RAID of Mar-a-Lago."

He also said that the federal magistrate who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, should recuse himself from the case without giving further specifics.


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Trump's shifting explanations after Mar-a-Lago raid match how he kept changing his story about Jan. 6, Adam Kinzinger says

Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger on July 21, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger said that Trump's changing claims around the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property mirror the way his account of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot shifted over time — and shows that he is not telling the truth.

Kinzinger addressed the raid in an interview on CNN's "Situation Room" on Monday, where host Wolf Blitzer asked Kinzinger about the explanations Trump has offered about why secret documents were found in the search.

Kinzinger — one of two Republicans on the House Jan. 6 committee and a vocal Trump critic — linked the search to Trump's approach to January 6.

Kinzinger said: "The explanations from Donald Trump fearing stuff was planted, to all of a sudden saying he just, like, mentally declassified this stuff to saying, well, people take work home all the time, I mean, just like anything, just like Jan. 6, when it started as an Antifa operation, then it was the FBI, and then it was really just a bunch of tourists, and then it was a bunch of people that were misunderstood."


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Former CIA director says Trump ally's claim that he could instantly declassify documents is 'pretty much BS'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) logo displayed on a mobile phone with former President Donald Trump in the background.
The FBI logo displayed on a mobile phone with former President Donald Trump in the background.Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The former CIA director dismissed a claim by a Donald Trump ally that the former president had the power to instantly declassify government documents, calling it "pretty much BS."

Leon Panetta, who served as defense secretary and CIA Director under the Obama administration, told CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday that there is a process for declassifying confidential government information and requires sign-off from other agencies.

"There is nothing that I'm aware of that indicates that a formal step was taken by this president to in fact declassify anything. Right now, this is pretty much BS," he added.


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Eric Trump says the Trumps will share surveillance tapes of the Mar-a-Lago raid 'at the right time'

Eric Trump stands at a podium.
Eric Trump pre-records his address to the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium on August 25, 2020.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Eric Trump says his family has the footage of the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago and is planning to release it "at the right time."

Trump — the son of former president Donald Trump — was asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night if his family had the footage of the search.

"Will you — you still have the surveillance tape, is that correct? Will you — are you allowed to share that with the country?" Hannity said.

"Absolutely, Sean. At the right time," Trump said, adding that all law enforcement officers should wear body cameras for "transparency."


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Merrick Garland mulled over decision to approve Trump search warrant at Mar-a-Lago for weeks, highlighting his 'extremely careful' nature, report says

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.
Attorney General Merrick GarlandREUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

In the weeks leading up to the FBI's August 8 search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Attorney General Merrick Garland debated whether or not to sign off on the warrant, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Garland met with Justice Department and FBI officials for weeks before making the decision to personally approve the warrant application, sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick told the WSJ that Garland is "extremely careful" and "understands the critical role of an attorney general in these circumstances."

"He appreciates the context in which this is occurring," Gorelick told the WSJ. "I don't think he considers politics at all, but I do think he recognizes the seriousness of actions against a former president.


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Department of Justice asks court to keep search warrant affidavit sealed citing 'highly sensitive information' about government witnesses, concern for national security

Justice Department building
Prosecutors charged two men with giving gifts to ingratiate themselves with federal law enforcement officers.Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Justice Department prosecutors on Monday asked the court to block all efforts to unseal the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit, warning that public disclosure of information in it and related documents would "cause significant and irreparable damage" to the ongoing investigation.

The DOJ, however, said it would not object to the unsealing of several other related documents in the case, including cover sheets associated with the search warrant application, the government's motion to seal, and the court's sealing order.

The FBI last week executed an unprecedented search warrant on former President Donald Trump's South Florida resort and home. The government on Friday moved to unseal the search warrant and related documents, inlcuding a summary of the materials retrieved during the search.

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John Bolton says Trump is 'almost certainly' lying that he declassified documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Minsk, Belarus on August 29, 2019.
Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Minsk, Belarus on August 29, 2019.Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump's claim that he declassified documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago is "almost certainly a lie," his former national security adviser told The New York Times.

"I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in," John Bolton — a former ally who has become an outspoken Trump critic — said.


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Trump warns 'terrible things are going to happen' if the country's temperature isn't cooled

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

Donald Trump told Fox News Digital that "terrible things are going to happen" if the political temperature isn't brought down in America — but also baselessly accused the FBI of a "sneak attack" and claiming without evidence that they could have planted documents during federal agents' raid of Mar-a-Lago last week.

Trump's comments come as his supporters online have called for "civil war" and to abolish the FBI.


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Giuliani: Trump boasted about crowd size after Mar-a-Lago raid

Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City mayor and Trump ally Rudy GiulianiMary Altaffer/Associated Press

Trump's first reaction after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home was to marvel at how many supporters were crowded outside to protest, according to longtime ally Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani, a former New York mayor and Trump lawyer, told Newsmax that Trump said the raid is "going to help me."

"You see the number of people in front of Mar-a-Lago already? This is gonna turn around, American people have common sense, they've gone too far now," Giuliani recalled Trump telling him.


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MAGA Republicans boo candidate opposed to abolishing the FBI

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

A Republican New Hampshire Senate hopeful was booed after he said he wouldn't support abolishing the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago.

Kevin Smith was shouted down at a debate in which New Hampshire Republicans tried to out MAGA one another.


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Former US intel officer says Mar-a-Lago is 'nightmarish environment' for secret documents and that they needed to be taken back

The Trump Mar-a-Lago swimming pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in March 2017.
The Trump Mar-a-Lago swimming pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in March 2017.Darren Samuelsohn

Security and intelligence experts weighed in on Mar-a-Lago's security in the wake of the raid, saying that it was an obvious target for spooks.

An unnamed former intelligence officer told Reuters that it is a "nightmarish environment for a careful handling of highly classified information."

Meanwhile, former CIA counterterrorism analyst Aki Peritz described the sprawling 126-room club as a "porous" place ripe for exploitation.

"If you were any intelligence service, friendly or unfriendly, worth their salt, they would be concentrating their efforts on this incredibly porous place," he told CNN.

Mar-a-Lago has famously been the site of more than one security breach during Trump's presidency.

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Trump demands document return in Truth Social post

Donald Trump (left) and a phone displaying his social media app, Truth Social.
Donald Trump (left) and a phone displaying his social media app, Truth Social.Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump over the weekend made a demand for documents taken by the FBI to be returned to him — but via a Truth Socialpost rather than his lawyers.

The post was seemingly worded as though Trump expected it to have legal force.

"Oh great!," Trump wrote. "It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged 'attorney-client' material, and also 'executive' privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!"

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Fox News host wonders aloud if Trump could have tried to sell or share highly classified material with the Russians or Saudi Arabians

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

A Fox News host on Sunday wondered aloud if former President Donald Trump might have attempted to sell the classified documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago to Russia or Saudi Arabia.

Speaking during a live broadcast on Fox News on Sunday, Eric Shawn raised one possibility about what Trump could have done with the classified documents the FBI found during their search of Trump's Florida residence.

"And more questions are being raised this morning. Did former President Trump try to sell or share the highly classified material to the Russians or to the Saudis, or others?" Shawn asked.

"Or were the documents innocently mishandled and stored because he thought he had a legal right to have them?" he added.


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The FBI and Homeland Security warned of a spike in threats against federal agents following the Mar-a-Lago raid

People walking outside Mar-a-Lago in March 2017
People walking outside Mar-a-Lago in March 2017Darren Samuelsohn

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned on Friday of a rise in violent threats to federal agents and their families — including calls for "civil war" and "armed rebellion" — following the August 8 raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

In a joint bulletin, first reported by ABC News' Aaron Katersky, both agencies referenced a recent spike in violent threats against federal law enforcement officials and even the federal judge who issued the warrant for the search.

According to CBS, which published excerpts of the bulletin's text, the notice said the threats included one to "place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters" along with "issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion.'"


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Ron Johnson 'not overly concerned' about top secret information being leaked from classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks during a panel discussion titled COVID 19: A Second Opinion in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 24, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Ron Johnson also sits on the Senate's homeland security and foreign relations committees.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has weighed in on the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago, saying he was not "overly concerned" about the possibility of top-secret information having been leaked from the documents found at former President Donald Trump's Florida residence.

While speaking to Wisconsin ABC affiliate WISN News on Friday, Johnson was asked if he was concerned about potential national security breaches.

"First of all, I think Mar-a-Lago is a pretty safe place. It has Secret Service protection, sounds like these documents might have been in a safe," Johnson said.

"So no, I'm not overly concerned about some top-secret information getting leaked out," he said.


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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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Trump calls on FBI to return 'executive' and 'privileged' documents seized by FBI from Mar-a-Lago search

Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former President Trump on Sunday called on the FBI to return the documents seized from his estate in Mar-a-Lago, claiming some of them to be privileged, attorney-client material.

"Oh great!" Trump wrote on Truth Social, according to The Hill. "It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged 'attorney-client' material, and also 'executive' privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken,"

"By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken," Trump added, per The Hill.

Federal agents took 11 sets of classified documents during the raid on the former President's Mar-a-Lago estate, some of which were marked as top secret and only meant to be stored in special government facilities, and a handwritten note granting Roger Stone clemency.

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 BriefingChip 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 circus. 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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If Trump gets convicted of the Espionage Act, he faces a 10-year prison sentence, legal analyst says

Trump
Former US President Donald Trump waves while walking to a vehicle outside of Trump Tower in New York City on August 10, 2022. -STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

A legal analyst said former President Donald Trump could receive a 10-year prison sentence if he's convicted of violating the Espionage Act, a law that dates back to World War I.

The statute "that puts him in the most danger is far as I know right now, is 18 U.S.C. §§ 793, that's a portion of The Espionage Act, for which each violation carries a maximum penalty of 10 years," said Lisa Rubin, legal analyst with the Rachel Maddow Show.

The law essentially bars anyone from sharing or disseminating information that could potentially harm or disadvantage the US.


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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 ResidenceDrew 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 GreeneLeft: 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 GarlandAnna 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.Google Maps

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 investigations '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 reconstructing 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 NixonMatt 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 signGetty 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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Trump agrees to unsealing the FBI warrant and list of items seized in the Mar-a-Lago search

Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Donald Trump signed off on the unsealing of records related to the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago, the Justice Department said Friday, setting the stage for the public release of the warrant and list of items seized during the unprecedented search.

In a court filing, the Justice Department told a judge that it conferred with Trump's lawyers, who raised no objection to unsealing the records.

The Justice Department's filing came as multiple news organizations reported — citing a copy of the search warrant — that the FBI raid related to possible violations of the Espionage Act and laws governing the mishandling of government documents, including classified materials.

Trump has been calling for the release of the records since the search, though he could have released the copies he had.


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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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Trump says he won't oppose the release of documents related to the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.
Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence seen one day after the FBI raid.Kimberly Leonard/Insider

Former President Donald Trump said on Thursday night that he would not oppose the Department of Justice's intended release of documents related to the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid.

In a series of posts on Truth Social, Trump continued to rage against the investigation while addressing the DOJ's motion to unseal the search warrant.

"Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the un-American, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents," the former president wrote.


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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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Trump critics fly $1,800 banner that said 'HA HA HA' to 'mock' protestors at Mar-a-Lago residence following FBI raid

Trump critics flew a banner that read "HA HA HA HA HA HA" above protestors at his Mar-a-Lago residence after his house was raided by the FBI.
Trump critics flew a banner that read "HA HA HA HA HA HA" above protestors at his Mar-a-Lago residence after his house was raided by the FBI.Thomas Kennedy

Earlier this week, the FBI searched Trump's home in Palm Beach, Florida, gathering about 12 boxes worth of documents from his residence in a historic raid.  The search is unprecedented and came after the former president refused a DOJ subpoena to turn over classified documents from his presidency.

Trump supporters have gone into an uproar over the raid — threatening those who made the decision, protesting outside of the Mar-a-Lago resort and the FBI, and pushing for war.

But Thomas Kennedy, a Miami organizer and Trump critic, told local South Florida outlet WTVJ that he and some friends purchased a banner for $1,800 to "ridicule and mock" the MAGA fans.

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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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Wild conspiracy theories swirling online attempt to tie the late Ivana Trump to her ex-husband's legal issues

ivana trump funeral
The casket of Ivana Trump is brought out of St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church after her funeral in New York City, on July 20, 2022.Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Team Ivana is weighing in on former President Donald Trump's legal issues and searching for connections after the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Absent more information on the FBI's search for classified documents, people on social media are floating some wild and dark conspiracy theories about Trump's first and recently deceased ex-wife, Ivana Trump, who was buried last month at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

There is no evidence that these theories are anything but games, the result of boredom, or just Twitter doing what it does.

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Trump talked his way into the Justice Department releasing records from the Mar-a-Lago search

Donald Trump speaks at rally in Wyoming
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.Chet Strange/Getty Images

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

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

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


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

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 GarlandChip 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 GarlandREUTERS/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 WrayAP 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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DOJ's Garland under pressure to break 'no comment' norm as Trump amps up attacks

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at the Justice Department a day before the January 6, 2021, anniversary.
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC.Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images

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

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

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


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Michael Cohen: Trump likely feels 'trapped'

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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Donald Trump did himself a favor announcing the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home, allowing him to energize his base and reclaim the spotlight, experts on political and media framing said

Donald Trump puckers his face
Then-President Donald Trump pauses during an event in the Oval Office announcing guidance on constitutional prayer in public schools on January 16, 2020 in Washington, DC.Win McNamee/Getty Images

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

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


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Trump's lawyer said she wasn't allowed to observe the Mar-a-Lago search

Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.
Mar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.Kimberly Leonard/Insider

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

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

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

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 GarlandREUTERS/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 2017Darren 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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Mitch McConnell declined to comment on the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago as conservatives increasingly call out his silence

Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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, 2022MSNBC

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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


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A law forbidding presidents from destroying or mishandling records could be why FBI agents searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

A police officer, police car, and police lights outside of Mar-a-Lago
Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.AP Photo/Terry Renna

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

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

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


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These GOP lawmakers say they're pro law-enforcement but voted against giving congressional medals to police. Now they're excoriating the FBI on Trump's behalf.

Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational
Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational on July 30, 2022.Jared C. Tilton/LIV Golf via Getty Images

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

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

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


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Republicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded

Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona at a press conference at the Capitol on  December 7, 2021.
Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

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

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

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

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


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Lawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump shouts at rally
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.Scott Olson/Getty Images

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

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


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Eric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago

Eric Trump stands at a podium.
Eric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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

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

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

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


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Feds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts say

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry Gash

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

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

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


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Trump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivated

Then-President Donald Trump greets then-Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during a campaign rally at the Hertz Arena on October 31, 2018 in Estero, Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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

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

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

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


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Trump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquarters

Supporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
Supporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

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

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


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

A view of Trump Tower in Manhattan
Trump Tower in ManhattanSpencer Platt / Getty Images

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

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

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


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The Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social media

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

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

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

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

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


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Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.

trump mar-a-lago
Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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

Now, it's just his house.

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

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

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

Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century, where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.
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Trump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.Brandon Bell/Getty Images

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

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


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The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

trump mar a lago
Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen statesJohn Moore/Getty Images

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

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


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