President Trump released a statement late Thursday night calling for the release of the “documents” involved in the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago Monday. Trump was responding to Attorney General Merrick Garland saying earlier the Justice Department was filing in court to unseal the search warrant and inventory of seized items but not the supporting affidavits for the search warrant.
– August 11, 2022 –
Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America
Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents, even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years. My poll numbers are the strongest they have ever been, fundraising by the Republican Party is breaking all records, and midterm elections are fast approaching. This political weaponization of law enforcement is appropriate and highly unethical. The world is watching as our Country is being brought to a new low, not only on our border, crime, economy, energy, national security, and so much more, but also with respect to our sacred elections!
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Release the documents now!
Trump’s statement was posted to Truth Social and reported on Twitter:
The second half reads, “My poll numbers are the strongest they have ever been, fundraising by the Republican Party is breaking all records” … “Release the documents now!” pic.twitter.com/2bc52umqfx
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) August 12, 2022
CBS News reported Thursday night Trump’s legal team is considering releasing their copies of the search warrant and inventory before Friday afternoon’s deadline for a response to the DOJ court filing (excerpt).
Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is weighing whether to release the search warrant and inventory of material seized at Mar-a-Lago before a federal judge rules on the matter, according to a Florida-based attorney for Trump, Lindsey Halligan.
Earlier Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal the warrant and related documents, “absent objection from the former president.” Trump has until 3 pm Friday to respond.
…The former president’s legal team has a copy of the search warrant and what it called a “vague” accounting of what was taken, according to the two sources. The search warrant was described to CBS News by the sources as a “bare bones” document that provides few details about why it was or what the FBI sought issued.
Many items seized in the search were listed generically as “boxes” or “documents” — for instance, “Box 1 – documents.”
The president’s attorneys plan to ask the government for a detailed accounting of what was removed, as well as what arguments the government made to the federal magistrate to justify a warrant.
Transcript of Garland’s statement made to reporters Thursday (via DOJ):
Good afternoon. Since I became Attorney General, I have made clear that the Department of Justice will speak through its court filings and its work.
Just now, the Justice Department has filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the FBI conducted earlier this week.
That search was of premises located in Florida belonging to the former President. The Department did not make any public statements on the day of the search. The former President publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right.
Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former President’s counsel, who was on site during the search.
The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause.
The “property receipt” is a document that federal law requires law enforcement agents to leave with the property owner.
The Department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former President’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.
Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy.
Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is exactly what the Justice Department is doing.
All Americans are entitled to the evenhanded application of the law, to due process of the law, and to the presumption of innocence.
Much of our work is by necessity conducted out of the public eye. We do that to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations.
Federal law, long Department rules, and our ethical standing obligations preventing me from providing further details as to the basis of the search at this time. There are, however, certain points I want you to know.
First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.
Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.
Third, let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors. I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked.
The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants.
Every day, they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism, and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves.
I am honored to work alongside them.
This is all I can say right now. More information will be made available in the appropriate way and at the appropriate time. Thank you.