‘Oh great! 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,’ the former president lamented on Truth Social, referencing a recent Fox News report.
He said that the FBI should consider his post on the alternative social media site his formal request that the documents be returned to his Palm Beach estate.
‘By copy of this TRUTH,’ Trump wrote on Sunday, ‘I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!’
Before Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday made his first public statement on the raid, a person close to Trump reached out to a Justice Department official to pass along a message from the former president, according to The New York Times.
‘The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?’ was the message Trump wanted portrayed, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
Donald Trump demanded via Truth Social on Sunday that the FBI return to him documents they seized during the Monday raid of Mar-a-Lago that contained ‘attorney-client’ and ‘executive privileged’ material
Referencing a recent Fox News report, Trump said that the FBI seized materials ‘they knowingly should not have taken’. The report notes this material was found in boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33. Pictured: An image of the property seized in the search of Mar-a-Lago, signed by Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb
The New York Times reports that Trump got someone to portray a message to Attorney General Merrick Garland (pictured) before his public statement Thursday on the raid: ‘The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?’
Sources familiar with the investigation into the documents Trump took from the White House when he left office told Fox News that the former president’s team was informed several documents seized in the raid contained attorney-client privilege information.
Specifically this type of information was found in boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33.
The report also notes that the FBI seized records that potentially could fall under executive privilege.
The sources told Fox that the Justice Department opposed requests from the former president’s lawyers that they appoint an independent team to review the records.
Trump claimed Monday morning in a Truth post: ‘The FBI has a long and unrelenting history of being corrupt.’
After airing a series of grievances with the bureau and DOJ, including the ‘Russia hoax’, Trump lamented the raid.
‘NOW THEY RAID MY HOME, ban my lawyers and, without any witnesses allowed, break the lock that they asked us to install on the storage area that we showed them early on,’ Trump posted to his social media site.
He added that the area they raided ‘held papers that they could have had months ago for the asking, and without the ridiculous political grandstanding of a ‘break in’ to a very storied, important, and high visibility place, just before the Midterm Elections.’
‘The whole World was watching as the FBI rummaged through the house, including the former First Lady’s closets (and clothing!), alone and unchecked,’ Trump added. ‘They even demanded that the security cameras be turned off (we refused), but there was no way of knowing if what they took was legitimate, or was there a ‘plant?’ This was, after all, the FBI!’
The warrant and property receipt for the Monday raid were unsealed Friday after complaints emerged from Trump world that the FBI would not hand over a copy of the warrant.
Authorities stand watch outside Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence Tuesday, August 9, 2022 – the day after the raid
AG Garland announced Thursday that he personally authorized the decision to seek a warrant for search of Trump’s property.
Eric Trump told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that his father’s lawyer Christina Bobb was denied a copy of the warrant, only shown the document from 10 feet away and was forced to stand at the end of the Mar-a-Lago driveway during the FBI search.
In the unsealing of records related to the raid, it was revealed that the FBI seized classified records from Trump’s Florida home, including some marked as one of the top levels of classification – TS-SCI, which stands for Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information.
Trump, however, is still disputing the classifications of the materials he took and that the bureau seized, claiming any records in his possession that were previously marked classified have all been declassified.
The Presidential Records Act established that a president’s records and material from his time in office belongs to the people and not the office holder. It requires that all presidents preserve their records and hand them over to the National Archives upon leaving office.
Despite Trump insisting his documents were not classified, that does not change the fact that he did take material from the White House and bring it to his Florida residence.
Earlier this year, Trump handed over 15 boxes of material to the National Archives that he took from the White House.
The Archives asked the Justice Department in February to investigate whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act.