The former US president claims that federal agents "occupied" his Mar-A-Lago residence.
On Monday, FBI officers conducted a raid at Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago, Florida, home, which the former US president referred to as "political persecution." Several major US news organizations said the raid may have been connected to boxes of sensitive information Trump took with him from the White House, citing "persons familiar" with the situation. However, the Justice Department has not formally commented on the operation.
In a statement issued at around 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, Trump said, "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." He added that "nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before."
The raid was "unannounced," and the officers "even broke into my safe," according to Trump. He criticized it as a "weaponization" of the legal system by Democrats who "desperately" don't want him to run for president in 2024, calling the operation "neither necessary nor proper."
What distinguishes this situation from Watergate...? Trump questioned, alluding to the burglary in 1972 at the Washington office of the DNC. President Richard Nixon was ultimately forced to resign due to the scandal.
Trump was not there when the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago, according to the New York Times. The site stated, citing unnamed sources, that the "search" happened on Monday morning. The same sources claimed that it was concentrated on 15 boxes of things that Trump took with him after leaving the White House in January 2021, including "several pages of secret documents." The White House was not informed about the search, an official told CNN.
Although the former president made no specific reference to any documents, he did mention that Hillary Clinton, a former first lady of the US, had stolen "antique furniture, and other items from the White House" and had been cleared of charges for deleting more than 30,000 emails despite being served with a subpoena.
He said that the Democratic-controlled US "establishment," which includes all three parts of the government, is out to get him and the Republican party through "lawlessness, political persecution," and a "witch hunt."
Maggie Haberman, who earlier in the day touted her upcoming book on Trump by alleging that he had torn official documents and ordered their flushing down the toilet, was one of the authors of the NYT article. According to emails from team manager John Podesta released by WikiLeaks, Haberman was the journalist referred to by Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign staff as a "friendly journalist."
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