As improbable as it may seem that the Department of Justice would execute a search warrant on a former president and political opponent of the administration without Biden’s knowledge, that’s what New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin tweeted Monday night. Trump was not home during the raid at the mansion known as Mar-a-Lago.
“Senior White House officials found out about the FBI’s Mar a Lago raid on Twitter, had no notice, per source familiar,” Martin tweeted.
Senior White House officials found out about the FBI’s Mar a Lago raid on Twitter, had no notice, per source familiar
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) August 8, 2022
CBS News reporter Ed O’Keefe said a top Biden official told him the same thing.
“No advance knowledge. Some learned from old media some from social media,” O’Keefe quoted a senior administration official when asked about the raid.
The dramatic raid was initially announced by Trump himself, in a lengthy statement decrying what he characterized as a political move.
“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 wrote. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”
Other conservatives, including many not aligned with the 45th president, said the raid sets a dangerous precedent.
The search was reportedly for material that Trump brought with him to Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House in 2021, according to reports. Trump allegedly delayed returning more than a dozen boxes of material to the National Archives which included documents that were reportedly marked as classified.
Republican strategist Scott Jennings, on a CNN panel hours after the raid, said the political implications of Biden’s Justice Department raiding his predecessor cannot be ignored.
“I mean, they’ve raided the guy’s house,” said Jennings. “There’s no reconciliation here when you raid somebody’s house. And so because of the political implications of that, I’m curious to know about what did the White House know?”
David Axelrod, former top adviser to President Obama, said Attorney General Merrick Garland has gone beyond the point of no return, at least politically.
“He has crossed a rubicon here — if you are going to prosecute a former President of the United States, you’d better be pretty darn sure that you have an open-and-shut case,” Axelrod said.