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FBI 'raids' former US president Trump's house

07:15 09 August 2022 Author :  

FBI raid is "prosecutorial misconduct" and "attack by Radical Left Democrats" who don't want him to run for president in 2024, former President Trump said.

Former President Donald Trump said in a statement on Monday that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate.

"These are dark times for our Nation, as 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.

The circumstances were not immediately clear. Spokespeople for the FBI and the Justice Department did not return messages seeking comment Monday evening.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said.

The Justice Department has been investigating the discovery of boxes of records containing classified information that were taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump's presidency had concluded.

It was not clear whether the FBI search was connected to that probe.

"It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections," Trump said in the statement.

Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search, including about whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search.

A person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the search happened earlier Monday and agents were also looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at the estate.

The Justice Department has been investigating the presence of classified records inside 15 boxes that were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago by the National Archives and Records Administration earlier this year.

The Archives then referred the matter to the Justice Department.

Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though it is possible that Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.

There are multiple statutes governing classified information, including a law punishable by up to five years in prison that makes it a crime to remove such records and retain them at an unauthorized location.

Another statute makes it a crime to mishandle classified records either intentionally or in a grossly negligent manner.

The probe is hardly the only legal headache confronting Trump. A separate investigation related to efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has also been intensifying in Washington.

And a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia is investigation whether Trump and his close associates sought to interfere in that state's election, which was won by Democrat Joe B iden.

Source: agencies

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