Several unexpected “guests” showed up at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla. on August 8, 2022, possibly in search of some classified White House documents. The group of people, which have been identified as FBI agents, entered Trump’s home and conducted a search while the former president was at Trump Tower in NYC.
Here’s what we know about the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago and what Trump had to say following the surprise search.
FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago, possibly looking for boxes containing White House documents.
On August 9, 2022, just hours after FBI agents raided Trump's estate in Palm Beach, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins shared details on the search, helping the public to understand why it was carried out. It appears the search may have something to do with the 15 boxes of classified documents Trump departed the White House with.
According to Collins, after Trump left his post as president (with the boxes), he returned to his Mar-a-Lago home. An investigation was later opened after the National Archive wasn't able to get Trump to return the boxes, which are presumed to still be at Mar-a-Lago.
FBI agents may have received authorization to carry out the search in fear Trump would destroy certain documents.
Trump was accused of mishandling classified documents in the past.
Haberman told Axios that "Mr. Trump was discarding documents this way was not widely known within the West Wing, but some aides were aware of the habit, which he engaged in repeatedly.” The author also shared that this was “a long-term habit” of the former president and that it violated the terms of the Presidential Records Act.
Perhaps the photos gave the FBI everything they needed to carry out the search of Trump’s estate in Florida.
Trump’s response to the Mar-a-Lago raid reveals FBI agents “broke into his safe.”
Although Trump wasn’t the first to hear about the FBI visit to his Mar-a-Lago property, NPR says someone close to the former president was. After Eric Trump learned that a search was being executed on his father’s property, he let the former president know about the unsettling news.
Collins later confirmed Trump issued a statement after the search began. The former president said, “...my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” Trump added that the search was “not necessary or appropriate” given he had been compliant “with the relevant government agencies.”
In addition to entering and searching his property without him being present, Trump reportedly confirmed that the FBI agents had broken into his safe.
Some Republicans believe the Mar-a-Lago search is meant to interfere with Trump running for president.
According to Collins, Trump is under the impression that the FBI’s recent actions serve as an “effort to stop him from running for president in 2024.” Florida Senator Rick Scott tweeted, “The FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago is incredibly concerning, especially given the Biden admin’s history of going after parents and other political opponents. This is 3rd World country stuff.”
Scott also demanded that the FBI provide answers now and “explain what they were doing and why.”