Attorneys for former President Donald Trump will not fight an effort by the government to unseal a search warrant executed earlier this week at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, according to officials.
Authorities seized what appeared to be highly classified documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday as part of an investigation into whether the 45th president obstructed an investigation or violated the Espionage Act, according to multiple reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that officials removed 11 sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago on Monday, including some that had been deemed top secret. A list obtained by the newspaper showed federal agents also took “around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grand of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone,” according to the Journal.
In a statement obtained by the Journal, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich called Monday’s search a “botched raid” and said that authorities sized “the President’s picture books, a ‘hand written note,’ and declassified documents.”
“This raid of President Trump’s home was not just unprecedented, but unnecessary,” he said, according to the newspaper.
On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said prosecutors had moved to unseal the search warrant, citing the president’s public confirmation of the search and the public interest. In a post on social media, Trump said that he would not oppose the release but instead encouraged it.
Garland declined to specify what prompted Monday’s search, citing “federal law, longstanding department rules and our ethical obligations.” The former president has decried the search as politically motivated. On Friday, he insisted that any information taken from Mar-a-Lago was declassified and that authorities could have accessed the records if they had asked him instead of executing a search warrant.
Months before Monday’s search, the 45th president was served a subpoena aiming to recover documents that authorities believed he had failed to turn over earlier in the year, according to The New York Times.
Officials served Trump with the subpoena in spring, the Times reported, citing unidentified sources. Authorities believed Trump failed to turn over documents that were so sensitive that it required the Justice Department to step in, according to the newspaper.
Officials with the National Archives and Records Administration said earlier this year that they arranged in January to get 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago that contained presidential records that should have been turned over to officials at the end of Trump’s presidency in January 2021.
Check back for more on this developing story.
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