Federal law enforcement officials were allegedly searching for highly classified documents on “nuclear weapons” when they raided former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida earlier this week, according to a report.
The Washington Post claimed in a report that those familiar with the matter did not offer any specific details on whether the alleged documents on nuclear weapons were about weapons that were possessed by the United States or a foreign nation, and they did not disclose what was recovered during the search.
“If that is true, it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at Mar-a-Lago may have been classified at the highest classification level,” said David Laufman, the former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section, which investigates leaks of classified information. “If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible.”
Investigators reportedly recovered classified material, some of which was labeled “top secret.”
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that he personally approved the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago and that the Justice Department was moving to unseal the warrant.
“Just now the Justice Department has filed a motion in the southern district of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the F.B.I. conducted earlier this week” at Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, Garland said. “The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland later added. “Second, the department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
Trump responded to Garland’s remarks by saying that the FBI raid was not needed because his legal team had been cooperating with the Justice Department.
“My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established,” Trump said in response to the press conference. “The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it. They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area – DONE! Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.’ They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!”
“Just learned that agents went through the First Lady’s closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items,” Trump continued. “Surprisingly, left area in a relative mess. Wow!”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.