According to a newspaper report, the US federal police were looking for secret documents in the former US President's estate. The justice minister defends the raid.
When searching the property of former US President Donald Trump, the Federal Police FBI is said to have searched for secret documents about nuclear weapons, according to a media report. The Washington Post reported that the newspaper's unidentified sources did not say what the specific information was, or whether the information concerned the United States or other countries. The sources also did not provide any information as to whether relevant documents had been found during the search.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the request for a search warrant against criticism from Trump and those around him. "I personally endorsed the decision to seek a search warrant," Garland said in a late-night address in Washington. "The search warrant was granted by a federal court following the required determination of reasonable suspicion." Garland added, "The Department does not take such a decision lightly. Wherever possible, less intrusive means will be sought as an alternative to a search, and any search will be strictly limited." The federal police FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in the US state of Florida last Monday.
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The process is considered unprecedented in US history. The pressure on Garland had since grown to take a stand. Trump was not at his home during the search. He and other Republicans have criticized the search and accused Democratic US President Joe Biden of politicizing the FBI. According to the White House, Biden did not know in advance about the search of the Trump property.
Garland requests the search warrant be released
Trump wrote on the social network he co-founded, Truth Social, that he had given the government whatever it wanted. Then it came "out of nowhere and without warning" to the FBI search. The ex-president continued to write that items belonging to former first lady Melania Trump were also affected. "I just learned that agents searched the first lady's closets and ransacked her clothing and personal belongings." In general, the truthfulness of Trump's statements is disputed. The Washington Post 's fact-checkers had proven Trump made more than 30,000 false or misleading statements during his tenure.
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Garland said he could not comment on the details of the search. However, given the public interest and Trump's confirmation of the incident, his department has petitioned a federal court to release the search warrant and receipt for confiscated items. Garland stressed, "All Americans have the right to equitable application of the law, due process, and the presumption of innocence."
The background to the search was apparently Trump's handling of documents from his tenure. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the National Archives, which is responsible for storing presidential correspondence, suspected several boxes of confidential material were in Mar-a-Lago. Trump finally handed over several documents to the agency in January.
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"Unfounded attacks on agents' professionalism"
After that, according to US media reports, there was a further exchange between investigators and Trump's lawyers. Officials suspected Trump or his team were continuing to withhold important documents, the Washington Post wrote , citing anonymous sources. The FBI is said to have taken twelve boxes.
At his appearance on Thursday, Garland warned against questioning the professionalism of his employees. "I would like to address the recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors: I will not stand by while their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said.
After the Trump raid in Florida, law enforcement officials were sometimes heavily criticized. Concerns about violent attacks also grew. "Violence against law enforcement agencies is not a solution - no matter what or who someone is angry about," said FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska.
A gunman tried to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday. When the police confronted him, he fled, the FBI said. Nothing was initially known about the man's motives. According to the authorities, the attacker was shot dead by the police.
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