Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago because they reportedly believed that Trump held back turning over all the classified information that was supposed to be sent back to the National Archives earlier this year.
The former president delayed returning 15 boxes of material, which included documents marked as “top secret,” until there was a serious risk of legal action being taken.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI executed the search warrant “in part because they believed additional classified information remained at the private club.”
The report said that federal agents removed more than 10 boxes of material from the property, which is being sorted at a local FBI field office.
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. “They were not being judicious about what they took,” a source told Fox News.
Trump’s Secret Service agents were notified about the raid only moments before it occurred. Trump had lawyers present during the raid while he was at his residence in New York City.
Federal prosecutors opened a grand jury investigation back in May into Trump over whether classified material that ended up at his home in Mar-a-Lago was mishandled.
The main purpose of these types of investigations is usually for federal authorities to determine if any classified material was compromised so that intelligence officials can take steps to protect sensitive sources and methods. Prosecutors are seeking to learn every aspect of how the documents were handled from the time the documents left the White House until they were returned to the National Archives.
For prosecutors to be able to prove that a crime was committed, they would need evidence showing that the parties involved in removing the documents from the White House knew that the documents were classified and knew that removing them would violate the law.
“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.”
“They even broke into my safe!” Trump said. “It is political targeting at the highest level!”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.