The world was shocked at the unexpected FBI raid on President Donald Trump's house in Mar-a-Lago in Florida on August 8, 2022. Many people on both sides of the political aisle are spectating about why the FBI was raiding the home of the former US president. Many theories are being spread around, so I will break down the facts about what we know so far about the FBI raid. On January 20, 2021, President Trump left the White House and took dozens of boxes with him, just like most presidents do when they leave office, for example, President Obama, President Bush, President Carter, etc. It's important to note that at the time, Trump was allowed to take those documents to his post-presidential home at Mar-a-Lago, and the president had the authority to declassify any document at any time without any process. For the remainder of 2021, President Trump's lawyers and the National Archives have constantly communicated about missing records. In January 2022, 15 boxes were sent to the National Archives from Mar-a-Lago.
On February 18, 2022, the House Oversight Committee was informed in a letter that "classified national security information" was discovered in boxes they received from Mar-a-Lago back in January. The Justice Department was notified that there might be potential violations of the Presidential Records Act. It is important to note that President Trump & his representatives have been willfully participating and complying with the demands of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI throughout the process. On June 3, 2022, officials from the DOJ and the FBI arrived at Mar-a-Lago with a grand jury subpoena. President Trump and his representatives continued to willfully participate in the investigation; during an interview with Morning Wire with one of President Trump's lawyers, it was said that Trump was shaking hands with FBI agents. They were shown the basement storage room where all the White House-related documents were kept, and President Trump's attorneys gave documents marked as "top secret" to the officials. On June 8, 2022, the Justice Department counterintelligence chief requested that President Trump put a more robust lock on the storage room to ensure the boxes were safe and ordered them to stay there. On June 22, 2022, the Federal government served a subpoena for the surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, to which President Trump complied.
On August 5, 2022, US Attorney General Merrick Garland signed off a sealed search warrant on Mar-a-Lago; three days later, on August 8, the FBI, dressed in plain clothes, showed President Trump's representative the sealed warrant. However, they forced her off the property during the raid; it was only after they left 9.5 hours later, with the remaining boxes, that they gave her the full copy of the warrant. The FBI focused their search on a bedroom, the former first lady's wardrobe, and a safe that they broke into.
It is important to note that 1) a former president has never been raided, 2) the FBI is concerned with the Presidential Records Act, which, according to their protocol, would only necessitate a raid if documents were being shredded or someone was in imminent danger. President Trump was in New York City while the raid was taking place.
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