Former President Donald Trump said Monday night that the FBI had “raided” his home in Mar-a-Lago, claiming they even “broke into [his] safe.”
The raid appears to be related to boxes of materials Trump brought back with him to his resort in Florida after leaving office, sources confirmed to the New York Times and CNN. The National Archives and Records Administration said presidential records in 15 boxes obtained from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year were marked as classified national security information. The agency also noted that the Justice Department had been notified.
“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,” Trump said in a statement Monday evening. “Nothing like this has ever 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.”
Trump added: “The political persecution of President Donald J. Trump has been going on for years, with the now fully debunked Russia, Russia, Russia Scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and so much more, it just never ends. It is political targeting at the highest level!”
The Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment. The FBI notified Secret Service that a warrant would be executed and Secret Service agents facilitated access to the resort though did not take part in the search itself, per NBC News. A senior White House official told CBS News the president's team had no prior notice of the raid with some West Wing staff learning of it on social media.
Trump has recently been in Bedminster, New Jersey, and was at Trump Tower in New York City when the raid took place, a source told CNN.
Presidential records improperly kept at Trump's resort were collected by the National Archives in January, after the agency had identified records from the Trump White House that was not in its possession.
The boxes reportedly contained correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a letter left by President Barack Obama for Trump, and other mementos and letters from world leaders, according to the Washington Post. Trump advisers denied at the time that the records were kept for nefarious reason.
“The National Archives did not 'find' anything, they were given, upon request, Presidential Records in an ordinary and routine process to ensure the preservation of my legacy and in accordance with the Presidential Records Act. If this was anyone but 'Trump,' there would be no story here. Instead, the Democrats are in search of their next Scam,” Trump said in a statement at the time released by his Save America PAC.