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Sealed search warrant from Trump raid just before release

#Sealed #search #warrant #Trump #raid #release

Sealed search warrant from Trump raid just before release

Washington (AFP) –

Chris Lefkow, Chris Lefkow and Michael Mathes

U.S. Justice officials on Friday stood ready to release a sealed warrant explaining the unprecedented raid on Donald Trump’s Florida home that sparked allegations of political persecution by the former president and his supporters.

The 76-year-old Trump supported the issuance of the search warrant, although he has had a copy of the document for days and could have previously disclosed its contents himself.

Monday’s search was believed to have focused on classified papers Trump may have removed from the White House, with a report suggesting they contained documents related to nuclear weapons.

The highly unusual move to unseal the search warrant and receipt detailing property seized by FBI agents was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland – the country’s top law enforcement official – who said he caught the dramatic crackdown on Trump’s march 2020 “Personally Approved”. -a-largo holiday home.

The Republican former president and his legal team have until 3:00 p.m. (1900 GMT) Friday to object to Garland’s court motion if they wish. But in late night social media posts, Trump insisted he actively encourages making them public.

“Release the documents now!” he wrote on his platform Truth Social, describing the raid on his home as “political arming of law enforcement.”

Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department official, said Garland “called Trump’s bluff” by putting the onus on the former president to oppose or consent to the release of the document.

The Justice Department’s request to unseal the warrant included — and did not deny — statements by Trump’s officials that the FBI was searching for presidential records and potentially classified material.

According to US media, the search related to a possible misuse of classified documents that were brought to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House in January 2021.

The Washington Post on Thursday quoted anonymous sources close to the investigation as saying classified documents related to nuclear weapons were among the papers sought by FBI agents during the raid.

Trump himself appeared to dispute the claim, posting that the “nuclear weapons issue was a hoax” and claiming the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have placed “information” at his home.

– Political Firestorm –

The FBI raid sparked a political firestorm in an already bitterly divided country and comes as Trump weighs another White House run in 2024.

In a statement Thursday, Trump said his attorneys “fully cooperated” and “the government could have had what it wanted if we had it.”

Leading Republicans have rallied around Trump, and some members of his party have slammed the Justice Department and FBI, accusing them of partisanship in targeting the ex-president.

Garland criticized what he described as “baseless attacks on the professionalism of FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors.”

In the hours prior to Garland’s comments, a gunman attempted to storm an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, in an attack that appeared to be a direct response to the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.

The attacker, who was shot dead by police after an exchange of gunfire and an hour-long pause, has been identified as Ricky Shiffer.

The New York Times said a person who posted on Truth Social under that name wrote, “I tried to attack the FBI,” and said he hoped his actions would serve as a “call to arms.”

The Justice Department does not typically confirm or deny when it investigates anyone, and Garland took pains to stress that the law was fairly applied to Trump.

“Fidelity to the rule of law is the fundamental principle of the Justice Department and our democracy,” he said. “The rule of law means applying the law equally, without fear or favoritism.”

In addition to investigations into his business practices, Trump faces legal scrutiny over his efforts to overturn the results of the election and his supporters’ January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

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#Sealed #search #warrant #Trump #raid #release

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