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Donald Trump has lashed out again in response to the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, which revealed classified material, calling the court-approved search a “hoax and scam.”
“Like all the other Hoaxes and Scams they have used to silence the voice of a vast majority of the American people, I have TRUTH on my side, and if you have TRUTH, you will prevail in the end,” Trump said. . wrote in a post on his Truth Social network on Saturday.
Trump is under federal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act, making it illegal to mishandle classified information, including sharing it with people not authorized to receive it, a search warrant released Friday showed.
FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago earlier this week and removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some classified as top secret, the Justice Department said.
Trump addressed the FBI search for Mar-a-Lago in a post on his Truth Social website
Donald Trump has lashed out at the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago that revealed classified material, calling the court-approved search a “hoax and scam”
Earlier this week, an aerial view of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was shown. FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he brought classified documents from the White House to his Florida residence
Earlier on Saturday, a report claimed Trump’s attorney signed a statement in June stating that all of the classified material held at Mar-a-Lago had already been returned to the government.
Trump’s legal team gave assurances after Jay Bratt, the Justice Department’s counterintelligence chief, visited Trump’s South Florida beach club on June 3, the New York Times reported.
Bratt met with two Trump attorneys during the visit to discuss handling classified information, the paper said.
It appears that in signing a statement that all classified documents had been removed from Mar-a-Lago, his lawyers prompted the Justice Department’s decision to conduct the search on Monday.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The former president insisted on Friday that everything in Mar-a-Lago had been “declassified” and that agents “were not required to confiscate anything.”
Trump returned 15 boxes of material in January of this year, with his lawyers telling the DOJ that all of the material had been returned to the administration by June after meeting officials.
Some of the documents were marked “top secret” and are intended to be kept in specialized government facilities, according to a copy of the warrant.
The FBI would have had to prove reasonable suspicion that Trump committed a crime by holding the documents — criminal laws listed in the warrant include espionage, deletion of records and obstruction of justice.
It appears that in signing the affidavit that all documents had been removed, his lawyers prompted the DOJ’s decision to conduct the search on Monday.
In an effort to resolve the dispute, Bratt and other officials visited the Florida home and spoke with Trump and two of his attorneys — Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb.
Last year, it was discovered that Trump had taken dozens of documents and government materials with him when he left in January 2021.
The material was allegedly sent to the archives under the terms of the Presidential Records Act.
Then, in January of this year, he returned 15 boxes of material, which were examined and found to be classified information.
That led to the investigation with the DOJ and the FBI, and Trump was advised to return any other documents he had kept.
His team then signed the statement that all material had been removed in June, before a raid by the FBI on Monday that found further documents.
A spokesman for the former president, Taylor Budowich, said on Saturday: “Like any witch hunt previously fabricated by Democrats, the waters of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid are being carried by a media willing to run with suggestive leaks, anonymous sources and no hard facts.’
The search warrant stated that FBI agents conducted the search for evidence related to possible Espionage Act violations.
Violations of the Espionage Act may include harboring or concealing individuals, collecting, transmitting, or losing defense information, collecting or providing defense information to aid a foreign government, or releasing classified information.
The 11 sensitive items include various documents labeled ‘secret’, ‘top secret’ and ‘confidential’.
Agents recovered a total of 20 boxes from the Florida estate, the rest including handwritten notes, photo folders, Roger Stone’s pardon, and a file containing information about the president of France.
DailyMail.com got a copy of the warrant and receipts before it was unsealed Friday afternoon by a Florida magistrate.
The warrant authorized FBI agents to search Trump’s office and all storage areas on the property, and states that four sets of top secret documents, three sets of classified documents and three sets of confidential documents have been recovered.
Trump’s lawyers are now also alleging that former President Trump released the documents before leaving office.
A president has the power to release any document, but there is a strict federal procedure to do so.
A member of the Secret Service was seen Tuesday outside the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, the day after the resort was searched
Trump stated Friday afternoon that everything in his possession has been released.
He claimed that officers could have had the documents “LONG ago” if they just asked, adding: “Number one, it was all released. Number two, they didn’t have to ‘get’ anything.
“They could have had it whenever they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secure storage, with an extra lock at their request.
“They could have had it whenever they wanted – and that included LONG ago. THEY HAVE TO ASK EVERYTHING.’
The search and seizure warrant, signed by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, authorized a search of “the 45 office” and “all storerooms and any other rooms or spaces within the property used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including any structures or buildings on the estate.’
The order was signed on August 5 and the raid was carried out three days later on August 8.
The order further states that ‘property to be seized’ includes: ‘All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime or other items that are illegally infringed.
“All physical documents with classification markings, along with all containers/boxes (including any other contents) containing such documents, as well as all other containers/boxes stored or found together with the above-mentioned documents and containers/boxes.”
The order then broadly permits the seizure of any official record of the Trump presidency.
Although the warrant has been released, the government has no plans yet to release the affidavit used to request the warrant, fearing it could reveal much more information about the ongoing investigation.