After a search of the property of former US President Donald Trump in the US state of Florida, more and more details about the background of the action become known. According to media reports, the authorities concluded that the Trump team did not return all the documents the former president took with him from the White House after the end of his term of office. Therefore, the missing documents should be of importance for national security. Meanwhile, Republican Trump continued to attack the search, calling it a “coordinated attack” by the Democrats. He was supported by many high-ranking party colleagues.
On Monday, the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. The background apparently was Trump’s handling of paperwork during his term. At the beginning of the year, it turned out that the state archives responsible for storing presidential correspondence suspected several boxes with secret materials, incl. at a private Trump club. Trump finally handed over several papers to the agency in January. Investigators are said to have visited Trump’s mansion in the spring to talk to his team about the taken government documents, US media reported.
This was followed by another exchange of views between investigators and Trump’s lawyers. Officials eventually suspected Trump or his team were still holding important papers, the Washington Post wrote, citing anonymous sources. The FBI is said to have taken twelve boxes during the search. According to broadcaster CNN, the former president’s security services, the Secret Service, were informed an hour before the search. The Secret Service finally granted access, but did not actively help with the search for documents. Trump was not on his property during the operation.
On Tuesday, he continued to talk about the web search he co-founded, Truth Social. “A terrible thing that happened in Mar-a-Lago yesterday. We are no better than a third world country, the banana republic, ”he wrote. He also accused US President Joe Biden of having been informed of the action in advance. The White House rejected such allegations. “The president was not informed and he did not know anything about it. (…) Nobody in the White House was forewarned, ”said Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. She declined to comment on the investigation.
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At the same time, powerful Republicans backed Trump. “Our cities are teeming with criminals, but the politicized Justice Department Garland is targeting President Trump and members of Congress,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland, Republican minority leader in the Republican House, Kevin McCarthy. Powerful Republican Mitch McConnell, whom Trump himself has repeatedly slandered as an “old crow,” has demanded that the Justice Department investigate the events without delay. Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made a similar statement.
And even former Trump deputy Mike Pence has backed Trump. “Yesterday’s actions undermine public confidence in our legal system,” he said. The appearance of bias on the part of the Ministry of Justice must be removed. Pence recently distanced himself from Trump. He is said to have ambitions to run for president in 2024. Trump is also flirting with the candidacy but has yet to officially announce it.
Many Democrats recently called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump over new arrangements for the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. Critics accused Garland of being too hesitant. All the more surprising was the search of Trump’s assets during the missing documents scandal. Recently, however, there have also been indications that the Justice Department is looking more closely at Trump’s behavior around January 6 and the 2020 presidential election.
The news site Axios said Tuesday evening (local time) that the FBI had confiscated the cell phone of Trump’s ally Rick Perry. This process should have nothing to do with your current search and documents. Rather, Perry was part of the team surrounding Trump that was actively working to overturn the 2020 election result.