Monday morning, around 10 a.m., 30 to 40 FBI agents entered the former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and searched the property for no less than 8 hours. Per the statements by people familiar with the investigation, the search warrant was executed as a part of an investigation into the handling of presidential documents, including classified documents, that may have been brought there.
The National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes of records, some of which contained classified material, from Mar-a-Lago in mid-January. Monday’s search appears to be part of that Justice Department investigation.
The FBI’s search was conducted just when many think that former President Donald Trump is going to announce he will launch another bid for the White House in 2024, something that should take place in the upcoming months. That’s why the far-right media and Trump supporters believe that the FBI’s search has nothing to do with the investigation into the handling of classified documents, but it’s a pressure against Trump to not run for president in 2024.
So far, the FBI hasn’t provided an official statement about Monday’s search at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. The search was focused on three areas of the club where Trump’s offices and personal quarters are located, but one of Trump’s attorneys, Florida-based lawyer Lindsey Halligan, who arrived at Trump’s home an hour after FBI agents entered the property, was even more specific and confirmed that agents focused on Trump’s bedroom, his office, and a storage area.
Per Halligan’s claims, a total of 10-15 vehicles went into the property, and 30-40 FBI agents conducted the search. When she arrived, about an hour after the call that the FBI was executing a search warrant, she was not permitted to enter the properties. Another of Trump’s lawyers, who had arrived even prior to Halligan’s arrival, was also not allowed to enter the areas that the FBI agents were searching.
Since both of Trump’s attorneys and everyone else was held outside the property, no one can confirm if boxes with documents were taken by the FBI agents. According to Halligan, she did not dispute FBI investigators took material from Mar-a-Lago — she just didn’t see it.
“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said in a statement Monday evening. “They even broke my safe,” he added. When the FBI conducted the search, Trump was reportedly at Trump Tower in New York.
Right after the story broke out, many slammed Trump, saying this is finally the end for him, but so far, nothing indicates that the FBI found something that will lead to criminal prosecution.
Halligan said the search warrant was sealed, and because she had not been party to this aspect of Trump’s legal portfolio until Monday, she did not know what kinds of documents the FBI might be looking for nor what kinds of documents the former president keeps with him at Mar-a-Lago.
Nonetheless, she insisted that the government’s search “was an appalling display of abuse and power — complete overkill.” She also asserted that “if they needed documents, they could have asked. There’s never been an issue with compliance.” Halligan said the search came as a “huge surprise.”
The search teams wrapped up their work at about 6:30 p.m.