Federal agents conducted searches at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, former President Donald Trump said.
In a lengthy and bombastic post on his social network TRUTH Social, Trump said that “a large group of FBI agents” was searching his Florida residence.
The publisher of Florida Politics, a local news website, first reported the searches, saying that agents departed Mar-a-Lago in the evening.
Trump appended a fundraising appeal to his message, saying that Mar-a-Lago was “under siege, raided, and occupied.”
Trump did not release a copy of the search warrant in his statement, or offer any details on the aim of the agents’ search.
The New York Times reported that the searches relate to classified records that Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office.
That, the paper reported, encompassed 15 boxes of records that the National Archives wanted back.
The search also comes as federal prosecutors have been investigating Trump’s inner circle for various attempts to subvert the 2020 election results, including the creation of fake elector slates. Trump referenced that his attorneys had started discussions with the DOJ in recent weeks in his statement.
The former President expressed horror at the search. “They even broke into my safe!” he wrote.
An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the searches to TPM.
Per multiple reports, Trump was not at Mar-a-Lago at the time of the searches.
Trump’s decision to bring boxes of records to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office – and to flush other records down the toilet – was seen as among the most brazen allegations of lawbreaking leveled against him.
Under federal law, records created during a president’s tenure do not belong to the person, but to the government. Destroying federal records and mishandling classified material are criminal offenses.
Trump said in his statement that “nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”
It’s accurate, as Trump remains the only President to face the level, detail, and scope of accusations of wrongdoing that have beset him. The searches are a watershed moment for the DOJ, launching an overt investigative act against a former chief executive.
Recent history is enough to show that searches themselves do not preordain any specific outcome in an investigation. Federal prosecutors seized Rudy Giuliani’s electronic devices in 2021 as part of their investigation into his Ukraine dealings, and now appear unlikely to press for charges in that matter.
Stephanie Grisham, a former Trump press secretary, recalled seeing the former President destroy documents.
“I watched him do it,” she said in an interview on CNN as the news broke, adding that Trump would “go through documents, throw some away, rip some up, and put some in his pocket.”
Trump’s allies on the far-right immediately snapped into action, with some – like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) calling to dismantle the FBI. Others made thinly veiled references to the searches stoking a civil war.
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) signaled his support for Trump by saying the DOJ had “reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.”
“When Republicans take back the House we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned,” he wrote.
Russ Vought, who directed the Office of Management and Budget under Trump and now runs a MAGA think tank called the Center for Renewing America, tweeted that the searches showed that the FBI was “weaponized against the American people and their self-government.”
Vought’s group seeks to fire thousands of federal employees in a potential future Trump administration, replacing them with loyal cohorts.
“The FBI must be broken into a thousand pieces,” he wrote on Twitter. “Investigated, defunded, abolished, rent asunder. And the GOP must wake up & fight!”
Christina Bobb, a former OAN host and current Trump attorney, told CNN that she was present for the search.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.