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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Former President Donald Trump said FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday and broke into his safe, coming amid a US Justice Department investigation of Trump’s removal of official presidential records to the Palm Beach, Florida, club.
The Justice Department declined to comment on the raid, which Trump in a statement said involved a “large group of FBI agents.” The FBI’s headquarters in Washington and its field office in Miami both declined comment.
The search appeared to concern boxes of documents that Trump brought with him from the White House to the Florida club, the New York Times reported, citing two unnamed people familiar with the investigation.
Trump said the estate “is currently under siege, raided, and occupied.” He did not say why the raid took place.
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said, adding: “They even broke into my safe!“
CNN reported that Trump was not at the estate at the time of the raid and that the FBI had executed a search warrant to enter the premises. CNN said the search was tied to classified documents, citing unnamed sources.
Trump, who has made his club in Palm Beach his home since leaving the White House in January 2021, has generally spent summers at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, because Mar-a-Lago typically closes in May for the summer.
The Justice Department launched an early-stage investigation into Trump’s removal of records to the Florida estate, a source familiar with the matter said in April.
The investigation comes after the US National Archives and Records Administration in February notified Congress that it had recovered about 15 boxes of White House documents from Trump’s Florida home, some of which contained classified materials.
The US House of Representatives Oversight Committee at that time announced it was expanding an investigation into Trump’s actions and asked the Archives to turn over additional information.
Trump previously confirmed that he had agreed to return certain records to the Archives, calling it “an ordinary and routine process.”
The alleged raid would add to the former president’s legal woes, which include a congressional probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault by Trump supporters on the US Capitol and accusations that Trump tried to influence Georgia’s 2020 election results.
In addition, the US Attorney in Washington, D.C., is probing a scheme by Trump’s allies to submit slates of fake electors in a failed bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
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