President Joe Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, announced Thursday afternoon that he personally approved the FBI search warrant on the home of former President Donald Trump this week and that the Department has moved to unseal the search warrant.
Showing up more than 30 minutes late, Garland did not answer any questions and gave very little information.
The announcement comes after federal law enforcement officials raided Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago Monday morning to retrieve documents related to the National Archives.
Newsweek reported that the FBI specifically targeted three rooms at the residence — a bedroom, an office, and a storage room — and that the information used to obtain the warrant “was based largely on information from an FBI confidential human source.”
The report said that the confidential informant told the bureau what documents were taken and where the documents were located.
The report said that federal officials waited until Trump was out of state to execute the search warrant at the property because they wanted to be as low-key as possible. Agents were reportedly at the property the entire day and were dressed in plain clothes, leading staff to believe that they were U.S. Secret Service agents, which is why news of the executed search warrant did not leak.
“What a spectacular backfire,” a DOJ official told the publication. “I know that there is much speculation out there that this is political persecution, but it is really the best and the worst of the bureaucracy in action. They wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones, and yet [they] got exactly the opposite.”
Another senior U.S. official told the publication that the FBI “created the very firestorm they sought to avoid” by “ignoring the fallout.”
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