The former president complained that “an unannounced breakin into my home was neither necessary nor appropriate”
Photo: Getty Images / BBC News Brazil
Former US President Donald Trump said Monday (8/8) that his Florida mansion was the target of an operation by US Federal Police (FBI) agents and that they even broke into a safe in his home.
In a statement, Trump said the MaraLago residence in Palm Beach was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” The former president was in New York at the time of the surgery, CBS News reported.
According to sources, the search was part of an investigation into official documents that may have been violated by the former Republican president. But both the FBI and the US Department of Justice have not commented on the operation reported by Trump.
“These are dark times for our nation. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States in the past,” the former president said in a statement, adding that he had been cooperating with all relevant authorities and hence the “unannounced incursion.” in my residence was not necessary or appropriate”.
Trump said it was “chargeable misconduct” and “a facility of the justice system” to prevent him from potentially running for the White House in 2024.
“Such an attack could only take place in failed third world countries,” said the Republican. “Unfortunately, America has become one of those countries, corrupt at an unprecedented level. They even broke into my safe!”
CBS News claimed that the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on Trump’s property was related to an investigation into Trump documents and the National Archives.
Former US presidents are required under the Presidential Records Act (PRA) to submit all of their letters, working documents, and emails to the National Archives, the US government agency that holds the president’s records.
An unnamed source told CBS that the Secret Service which protects the former president was notified shortly before the warrant was served around 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) Monday and that agents were helping FBI investigators.
Experts say that for such an operation to receive court approval, there must be some suspicion of a crime, but that doesn’t mean there will be charges.
Several boxes were taken away, the source said, adding that no doors were broken down and that the operation was complete by late afternoon.
In February, the National Archives asked the Justice Department to investigate Trump for possible irregularities in the former president’s retention of official documents.
The National Archives say it recovered 15 boxes in MaraLago, some of which contained confidential records, in an operation in February.
The National Archives claim to have found boxes containing confidential documents at MaraLago
Photo: Getty Images / BBC News Brazil
The agency told Congress that Trump’s boxes “contain items marked as sensitive national security information.”
Trump is also accused of illegally tearing up many documents.
According to the state authority, some pieces of film had to be glued back together. At the time, Trump said the accusation was “fake news.”
An unnamed senior Trump aide confirmed to CBS Monday that the FBI search was linked to records from the president.
The source added: “You [agentes do FBI] simply gone, and gone with very little”.
In a forthcoming book Confidence Man, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman claims that White House officials have occasionally found scraps of paper clogging toilets and believed Trump to be responsible.
The journalist received photos that she said show papers in a White House restroom.
Source says her picture shows a White House dresser on the left
The image on the right is from a Trump overseas trip https://t.co/6opWty4kjd
Mike Allen (@mikeallen) August 8, 2022
The surgery at Trump’s mansion comes amid news that the Republican is preparing to run for president again in 2024.
News of the FBI operation mobilized some of Trump’s supporters. A group of supporters of the former president gathered outside MaraLago to protest the operation.
House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said: “It’s over the line. The Justice Department has reached an intolerable state of war politicization.”
Another Trump supporter, Republican, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, tweeted, “The use of government power to persecute political opponents is something we’ve seen too often in Third World Marxist dictatorships.”
A senior White House official told CBS that President Joe Biden’s administration was not briefed on the FBI search.
“No prior knowledge,” said the official, who was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter. “Some found out about it through the press, others through social media.”
The White House said it is limiting its interactions with Justice Department officials to avoid any hint of political pressure or bias.
Biden vowed to stay out of White House affairs during his White House campaign. The Democratic president and his family are awaiting a decision from federal prosecutors on possible charges against his son Hunter Biden on tax evasion and other charges.
This text was originally published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional62473682