Former FBI special agent Stuart Kaplan, former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes and Article III Project President Mike Davis discuss the legal implications of the FBI warrant and affidavit on ‘Fox News @ Night.’
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After a federal judge gave the Justice Department a deadline to determine whether former President Donald Trump supports or opposes unsealing the search warrant and property receipt used by the FBI to search his Mar-a-Lago home Monday, the former president said he heartily supports the move.
“Release the documents now!” Trump wrote on TRUTH Social at 11:40 p.m. ET Thursday, just hours after the judge’s decision was announced.
In a pair of posts, Trump called the raid on his Florida estate “unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary” and said he approved of the “immediate release” of the warrant.
“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents,” the former president wrote, “even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years.
Trump also said the raid was a part of an “unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement” and suggested it could be an effort to keep him from re-seeking office.
“My poll numbers are the strongest they have ever been, fundraising by the Republican Party is breaking all records, and midterm elections are fast approaching. This unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement is inappropriate and highly unethical,” he said. “The world is watching as our Country is being brought to a new low, not only on our border, crime, economy, energy, national security, and so much more, but also with respect to our sacred elections!”
The pair of posts come just hours after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart wrote an order on the DOJ’s motion to unseal the warrant and property receipt.
“The United States shall immediately serve a copy of its Motion on counsel for former President Trump,” Reinhart wrote Thursday. “On or before 3:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 12, 2022, the United States shall file a certificate of conferral advising whether former President Trump opposes the Government’s motion to unseal.”
The judge’s decision came just after Attorney General Merrick Garland broke his days-long silence over the decision for the FBI to execute a search warrant on the home of a former president. This has never been done in U.S. history.
During a press conference on Thursday, Garland said he “personally approved” the FBI to execute the warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, where agents spent hours searching on Monday.
“Just now, the Justice Department has filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the FBI conducted earlier this week,” Garland said. “That search was a premises located in Florida belonging to the former president.”
He added: “The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
It is not immediately clear if Trump or his legal representation currently has a copy of the warrant or the property receipt.
While the FBI did not specifically use the word “raid” — which has been used by Trump and many others including major news outlets — to describe their search warrant on Trump’s estate, it has yet to clarify what property was retrieved during the search and why it was executed in the first place.
The release of the search warrant, which was signed by Reinhart, and the property receipt will reveal that information.
Prior to Monday’s search warrant, Trump’s legal team communicated with and returned 15 boxes of White House records from Mar-a-Lago to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, including documents that contained classified information.
“My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established. The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it,” Trump said. “They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area – DONE! Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.'”
The former president also said in a separate post that the agency “rummaged through” closets and personal items of former first lady Melania Trump and “left area in a relative mess.”
Trump added: “They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!”