Mar-a-Lago, the primary residence of former U.S. President Donald Trump, in Palm Beach, Florida, was searched by federal agents on Monday evening, an unprecedented move that has sparked outrage among U.S. conservatives who have accused the FBI of acting politically.
“These are dark times for our nation,” former Republican president, Donald Trump, wrote in a statement published on Monday, as he revealed that his Mar-a-Lago home was “under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” Trump added, calling the move unnecessary and inappropriate.
Trump, who is expected to run again for the presidency in 2024, accused the federal agency of “prosecutorial misconduct,” and claimed the raid was an “attack by Radical Left Democrats” who fear his candidacy in 2024 and will do anything “to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.”
“I stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people, and truly delivered for our Country, like we have never seen before. The establishment hated it. Now, as they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories, and see my dominance in all polls, they are trying to stop me, and the Republican Party, once more. The lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt must be exposed and stopped.”Statement by former President Donald J. Trump
It has been reported by various U.S. media outlets the raid was connected to an investigation into Trump’s handling of official papers during his presidency, and whether he took classified records from the White House.
In his statement, Trump highlighted the hypocrisy of such a reason being used to justify a raid on his primary residence when “Hillary Clinton was allowed to delete and acid wash 33,000 e-mails after they were subpoenaed by Congress,” claiming that “absolutely nothing has happened to hold her accountable.”
Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg told media the search is unprecedented and would have gone through many “layers of review,” while Trump’s son, Eric, told Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade that the “outrageous” operation “has to have come from Joe Biden and/or someone in the White House.”
This was an example of “Biden’s out of control Department of Justice (DOJ) ripping this country apart” and “openly targeting their political enemies,” something reminiscent of “third world banana republics,” according to Donald Trump Jr.
According to NBC News, spokespersons at the Department of Justice headquarters and the FBI field offices in both Washington and Miami all declined to comment on the raid, while the White House insisted it was not forewarned of the operation, and by implication, did not order the action.
“We did not have notice of the reported action and would refer you to the Justice Department for any additional information,” a White House official said.
Republican Leader in the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy tweeted that he had seen enough, and vowed to “conduct immediate oversight of the department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.”
“The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization… Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar,” he added.