‘Secret documents’ drama led to Mar-a-Lago searches
The US Department of Justice has asked a judge to make public the search warrant for the raid on the home of former president Donald Trump. It is also planned that the receipt with things that the FBI has taken from Trump’s golf resort Mar-a-Lago will be made public.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the request at a press conference on Thursday. Garland has personally given permission to ask a judge for a search warrant for Trump’s Florida residence.
He wants the search warrant and the list of items taken to be made public, because that is in the “public interest”. A third document, which explains the FBI’s concrete suspicions, is not made public.
Finally, the minister stressed that his ministry acted in accordance with the law. He did not want to disclose anything else. Garland also did not respond to questions from journalists.
The request to make the search warrant and list public can be seen as a response to the way Trump speaks about the search. The former president describes it as a raid without any reason. Garland noted that since the search, Trump and his lawyers have been in possession of both the warrant and the list and could have made those themselves public. They didn’t.
Trump received a summons last year.
On Thursday, it was also announced that Trump had already received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice last spring. With the subpoena, the department tried to get back the documents taken from the White House without having to make a raid. This is reported by The New York Times on the basis of three initiates.
The subpoena may provide more context to Monday’s raid, the paper writes. The fact that Trump was subpoenaed first proves that the department first looked for alternatives to a raid.
During a visit by officials of the ministry to Trump’s house in June, some secret documents were already taken. On Monday, the FBI went on a raid, because there would be more documents in the golf resort in Florida. According to The New York Times, the documents were highly sensitive and related to national security.
Such an unannounced incursion is politically extremely sensitive and is a means that is not quickly used. Monday’s attack was the first ever by a former US president.
Trump chose not to return the documents
Trump took some boxes of White House documents to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort after his election defeat in 2020. In the following months, the National Archives attempted to retrieve the material.
The former president returned fifteen boxes only after months of time-stretching. Inside the boxes were some ‘secret documents’. The archives then informed the Department of Justice. The ministry then discovered that secret material was still being sought.
Trump had the opportunity to return the secret documents since leaving the White House, but did not do so.