The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has raided the home of former President Donald Trump in Florida.
The news comes after a federal grand jury subpoenaed former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump Deputy Counsel Patrick Philbin earlier this month as part of a criminal investigation into the events that led up to the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“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. “After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
The investigation is “focused on material that Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, after he left the White House,” The New York Times reported. “Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents.”
Multiple reports later confirmed that the raid was connected to the missing White House records.
The report said that Trump delayed returning more than a dozen boxes of material to the National Archives which included documents that were “marked as classified national security information.”
Trump claimed that the raid was an attempt by Democrats to weaponize the Justice System to stop him from running for president again in 2024 and to hurt Republicans in the upcoming midterms.
“They even broke into my safe!” Trump said. “It is political targeting at the highest level!”
The announcement from Trump comes after The Washington Post reported late last month that the DOJ’s investigation into Trump was part of “its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.”
The report said that there were two areas that the DOJ is broadly looking at that could end up ensnaring Trump in some way, including “seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding,” which are what some of the rioters were charged with; and charges involving potential fraud with using fake electors or trying to pressure government officials to falsely claim the election was rigged.
Prosecutors have reportedly questioned former White House officials in front of a grand jury about any conversations that Trump or his advisers may have allegedly had about trying to replace electors in states that Biden won with pro-Trump electors.
Prosecutors have also reportedly asked about Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election and any instructions that Trump may have given his legal team about fake electors.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said during an interview with NBC News Tuesday evening that the criminal investigation into the events of January 6 was “the most wide ranging investigation in its history,” and there will be things that the DOJ finds that the House Select January 6th committee “haven’t found.”
When asked by anchor Lester Holt about whether indicting Trump would “tear the country apart,” Garland responded, “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable.”
“That’s what we do,” he continued. “We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”
When asked if Trump announcing another campaign for president would impact how the DOJ would proceed with the case, Garland responded, “I’ll say again that we will hold accountable anyone who was criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate, lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.