The FBI Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, a Florida resort that former US President Donald Trump owns and uses as a residence. In a statement, Trump labelled the unannounced action a “raid”. FBI agents reportedly entered the premises and broke open a safe.
The FBI and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have not commented on the search or the reason behind it. However, some US media outlets are speculating that it may be related to official records requested by the National Archives and Records Administration that Trump took to Florida after he left office. In order for the search to have been judicially approved, the FBI needed to show a judge “probable cause.”
In his statement, Trump said:
Nothing like this has happened to a President of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate. It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024[.]
While the FBI has never searched the home of a former US president before, in 2001 it did investigate a series of pardons made by former President Bill Clinton during his last day in office, finding that Clinton never broke the law. The FBI also famously played a role in the Watergate investigation of the 1970s, which saw President Richard Nixon resign for trying to cover up a politically-motivated break-in at Washington DC’s Watergate Hotel.