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- The FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last Monday, sparking a firestorm.
- Agents were prompted to request the search after being alarmed by surveillance footage inside the club, per the NYT.
- And Trump reportedly resisted returning documents from Mar-a-Lago, saying “it’s not theirs, it’s mine.”
DOJ officials were alarmed by surveillance footage of the Mar-a-Lago room where classified info was being stored, report says
Federal agents were prompted to request a warrant to search Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate after reviewing new footage of a hallway outside a storage facility where classified information was being kept, The New York Times reported.
The Times reported that the National Archives and Records Administration had contacted Trump’s legal team earlier this year after discovering that key documents were missing from the Trump administration’s records.
Trump’s team had handed over several boxes of materials in January. Justice Department then returned to Mar-a-Lago in June to collect several more documents that had been marked as classified, which had not been handed back following the original request.
Having obtained surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago via a subpoena, agents saw something that alarmed them in recordings of a hallway outside a storage room, The Times reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.
Trump resisted requests to return stash of documents at Mar-a-Lago, saying ‘it’s not theirs, it’s mine,’ NYT reports
Former President Donald Trump railed against attempts by the National Archives and Records Administration to retrieve a trove of documents, saying “it’s not theirs, it’s mine,” according to The New York Times.
That is the response that several advisors told the paper that Trump gave to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin. It is not clear when Trump said this.
Trump is struggling to find good lawyers who are still willing to represent him, report says
Former President Donald Trump is having trouble finding a good lawyer to represent him, per a new report from The Washington Post.
The Post spoke to several lawyers who commented under the condition of anonymity on Trump’s struggle to find seasoned counsel to defend him. “Everyone is saying no,” a Republican lawyer told The Post.
Several people told The Post that Trump was an impossible client, and worried if they would be compensated for their work.
Michael Cohen says Trump likely kept classified documents at Mar-a-Lago as a ‘bargaining chip’ to avoid any potential jail time
Michael Cohen, who was once former President Trump’s personal lawyer, believes Trump kept top-secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence as potential bargaining chips that he could leverage if he were ever at risk of going to jail.
“My belief is that he was going to use it as a bargaining chip, as a get-out-of-jail-free card,” Cohen said on CNN.
“The second that they put him in handcuffs, he’ll turn around and say, ‘You don’t seem to understand. I have the documentation showing, for example, where our nuclear launchpads are, or other information — sensitive national security information,” he added.
Cohen painted a scenario in which Trump would threaten to have his “loyal supporters” release the classified information he had kept to Russia, Iran, or “whoever it might be.” He added that he didn’t believe Trump “cared about this country.”
Donald Trump’s offers to help ‘reduce the heat’ are ‘pure malice and a threat,’ former White House special counsel says
Former President Donald Trump is “dripping with crocodile tears” as he offers to help reduce the country’s temperature, all while attacking law enforcement for searching his Mar-a-Lago home, Norm Eisen, a former White House special counsel, told Insider.
Trump has been making offers to “help the country” in recent days while also issuing warnings about the anger he has helped incite with baseless claims about the FBI, accusing them of breaking into Mar-a-Lago and alleging that they could have “planted anything.”
Instead, two legal experts, including Eisen, told Insider that Trump’s offer to help, which came after agents recovered top secret and other classified documents at his home, should be viewed as a threat.
Michael Cohen’s advice for Trump’s current legal team: ‘Lawyer up’
Donald Trump’s ex-personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen has some advice for the former president’s current legal team in the aftermath of the FBI’s unprecedented raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate: get yourselves a lawyer.
“Lawyer up; you’re going to need representation,” Cohen told Insider on Tuesday when asked if he had any tips for Trump’s attorneys.
Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant for almost a decade before he ultimately turned on his former boss, told Insider that Trump “has no one to turn to and knows his days are numbered.”
Man charged with threatening to kill FBI agents as calls for violence ramp up after Mar-a-Lago raid
A man was arrested and charged with threatening to kill FBI agents as calls for violence and civil war increased after the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Adam Bies, 47, from Mercer, Pennsylvania, was charged with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal law-enforcement official, an FBI affidavit released on Monday said. He was arrested on Friday and remains in custody pending a detention hearing, the Justice Department said.
Bies posted multiple threatening messages on Gab, the social-media platform frequently used by the far right, between August 10 and 11, the affidavit said.
“Every single piece of shit who works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director down to the janitor who cleans their fucking toilets deserves to die,” one of Bies’ posts said, according to the affidavit. “You’ve declared war on us and now it’s open season on YOU.”
Trump was so distracted by grievances that he never got around to returning secret documents the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago: NYT
Former President Donald Trump omitted to return sensitive documents to the US government whe he left office because he was so obsessed with settling personal grudges, The New York Times reported.
Citing two sources with knowledge of the situation, The Times reported that any efforts to give back classified material fell by the wayside in the tumultuous final days of his presidency.
Per the sources, Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, were consumed by “settling political grievances and personal grudges” and ignored the task of passing sensitive documents to the National Archives.
Michael Cohen says Trump’s next move in the Mar-a-Lago probe would be to find a scapegoat — Rudy Giuliani
Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s one-time personal lawyer, said he thought Trump was likely trying to find a scapegoat for any potential criminal charges from the Mar-a-Lago probe.
Speaking to CNN host Don Lemon on Monday, Cohen was asked what he thought Trump’s next moves would be in view of the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Trump had broken any federal laws by keeping classified documents at his Florida residence.
“I believe the next scapegoat is going to be Rudy ‘Collude-y’ Giuliani,” Cohen told Lemon.
Trump attacks DOJ and Florida judge hours after saying that anger around the Mar-a-Lago raid had gone too far
Trump attacked the Department of Justice and the Florida judge who approved the FBI raid of his Florida home, hours after he said that anger over the raid had gone too far.
Hours later, he resumed his attacks on the judge and the DOJ over the raid.
In a 11:54 p.m. post on Truth Social, his social-media platform, he said there was “no way to justify the unannounced RAID of Mar-a-Lago.”
He also said that the federal magistrate who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, should recuse himself from the case without giving further specifics.
Trump’s shifting explanations after Mar-a-Lago raid match how he kept changing his story about Jan. 6, Adam Kinzinger says
GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger said that Trump’s changing claims around the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property mirror the way his account of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot shifted over time — and shows that he is not telling the truth.
Kinzinger addressed the raid in an interview on CNN’s “Situation Room” on Monday, where host Wolf Blitzer asked Kinzinger about the explanations Trump has offered about why secret documents were found in the search.
Kinzinger — one of two Republicans on the House Jan. 6 committee and a vocal Trump critic — linked the search to Trump’s approach to January 6.
Kinzinger said: “The explanations from Donald Trump fearing stuff was planted, to all of a sudden saying he just, like, mentally declassified this stuff to saying, well, people take work home all the time, I mean, just like anything, just like Jan. 6, when it started as an Antifa operation, then it was the FBI, and then it was really just a bunch of tourists, and then it was a bunch of people that were misunderstood.”
Former CIA director says Trump ally’s claim that he could instantly declassify documents is ‘pretty much BS’
The former CIA director dismissed a claim by a Donald Trump ally that the former president had the power to instantly declassify government documents, calling it “pretty much BS.”
Leon Panetta, who served as defense secretary and CIA Director under the Obama administration, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday that there is a process for declassifying confidential government information and requires sign-off from other agencies.
“There is nothing that I’m aware of that indicates that a formal step was taken by this president to in fact declassify anything. Right now, this is pretty much BS,” he added.
Eric Trump says the Trumps will share surveillance tapes of the Mar-a-Lago raid ‘at the right time’
Eric Trump says his family has the footage of the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago and is planning to release it “at the right time.”
Trump — the son of former president Donald Trump — was asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night if his family had the footage of the search.
“Will you — you still have the surveillance tape, is that correct? Will you — are you allowed to share that with the country?” Hannity said.
“Absolutely, Sean. At the right time,” Trump said, adding that all law enforcement officers should wear body cameras for “transparency.”
Merrick Garland mulled over decision to approve Trump search warrant at Mar-a-Lago for weeks, highlighting his ‘extremely careful’ nature, report says
In the weeks leading up to the FBI’s August 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, Attorney General Merrick Garland debated whether or not to sign off on the warrant, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Garland met with Justice Department and FBI officials for weeks before making the decision to personally approve the warrant application, sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ.
Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick told the WSJ that Garland is “extremely careful” and “understands the critical role of an attorney general in these circumstances.”
“He appreciates the context in which this is occurring,” Gorelick told the WSJ. “I don’t think he considers politics at all, but I do think he recognizes the seriousness of actions against a former president.
Department of Justice asks court to keep search warrant affidavit sealed citing ‘highly sensitive information’ about government witnesses, concern for national security
Justice Department prosecutors on Monday asked the court to block all efforts to unseal the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit, warning that public disclosure of information in it and related documents would “cause significant and irreparable damage” to the ongoing investigation.
The DOJ, however, said it would not object to the unsealing of several other related documents in the case, including cover sheets associated with the search warrant application, the government’s motion to seal, and the court’s sealing order.
The FBI last week executed an unprecedented search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s South Florida resort and home. The government on Friday moved to unseal the search warrant and related documents, inlcuding a summary of the materials retrieved during the search.
John Bolton says Trump is ‘almost certainly’ lying that he declassified documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago
Former President Donald Trump’s claim that he declassified documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago is “almost certainly a lie,” his former national security adviser told The New York Times.
“I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in,” John Bolton — a former ally who has become an outspoken Trump critic — said.
Trump warns ‘terrible things are going to happen’ if the country’s temperature isn’t cooled
Donald Trump told Fox News Digital that “terrible things are going to happen” if the political temperature isn’t brought down in America — but also baselessly accused the FBI of a “sneak attack” and claiming without evidence that they could have planted documents during federal agents’ raid of Mar-a-Lago last week.
Trump’s comments come as his supporters online have called for “civil war” and to abolish the FBI.
Giuliani: Trump boasted about crowd size after Mar-a-Lago raid
Trump’s first reaction after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home was to marvel at how many supporters were crowded outside to protest, according to longtime ally Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani, a former New York mayor and Trump lawyer, told Newsmax that Trump said the raid is “going to help me.”
“You see the number of people in front of Mar-a-Lago already? This is gonna turn around, American people have common sense, they’ve gone too far now,” Giuliani recalled Trump telling him.
MAGA Republicans boo candidate opposed to abolishing the FBI
A Republican New Hampshire Senate hopeful was booed after he said he wouldn’t support abolishing the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago.
Kevin Smith was shouted down at a debate in which New Hampshire Republicans tried to out MAGA one another.
Former US intel officer says Mar-a-Lago is ‘nightmarish environment’ for secret documents and that they needed to be taken back
Security and intelligence experts weighed in on Mar-a-Lago’s security in the wake of the raid, saying that it was an obvious target for spooks.
An unnamed former intelligence officer told Reuters that it is a “nightmarish environment for a careful handling of highly classified information.”
Meanwhile, former CIA counterterrorism analyst Aki Peritz described the sprawling 126-room club as a “porous” place ripe for exploitation.
“If you were any intelligence service, friendly or unfriendly, worth their salt, they would be concentrating their efforts on this incredibly porous place,” he told CNN.
Mar-a-Lago has famously been the site of more than one security breach during Trump’s presidency.
Trump demands document return in Truth Social post
Former President Donald Trump over the weekend made a demand for documents taken by the FBI to be returned to him — but via a Truth Socialpost rather than his lawyers.
The post was seemingly worded as though Trump expected it to have legal force.
“Oh great!,” Trump wrote. “It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!”
Fox News host wonders aloud if Trump could have tried to sell or share highly classified material with the Russians or Saudi Arabians
A Fox News host on Sunday wondered aloud if former President Donald Trump might have attempted to sell the classified documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago to Russia or Saudi Arabia.
Speaking during a live broadcast on Fox News on Sunday, Eric Shawn raised one possibility about what Trump could have done with the classified documents the FBI found during their search of Trump’s Florida residence.
“And more questions are being raised this morning. Did former President Trump try to sell or share the highly classified material to the Russians or to the Saudis, or others?” Shawn asked.
“Or were the documents innocently mishandled and stored because he thought he had a legal right to have them?” he added.
The FBI and Homeland Security warned of a spike in threats against federal agents following the Mar-a-Lago raid
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned on Friday of a rise in violent threats to federal agents and their families — including calls for “civil war” and “armed rebellion” — following the August 8 raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
In a joint bulletin, first reported by ABC News’ Aaron Katersky, both agencies referenced a recent spike in violent threats against federal law enforcement officials and even the federal judge who issued the warrant for the search.
According to CBS, which published excerpts of the bulletin’s text, the notice said the threats included one to “place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters” along with “issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion.'”
Ron Johnson ‘not overly concerned’ about top secret information being leaked from classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has weighed in on the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, saying he was not “overly concerned” about the possibility of top-secret information having been leaked from the documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
While speaking to Wisconsin ABC affiliate WISN News on Friday, Johnson was asked if he was concerned about potential national security breaches.
“First of all, I think Mar-a-Lago is a pretty safe place. It has Secret Service protection, sounds like these documents might have been in a safe,” Johnson said.
“So no, I’m not overly concerned about some top-secret information getting leaked out,” he said.
Ex-CIA agent says fallout over raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resembles the lead up to the January 6 Capitol attack and predicts there will be another ‘catastrophic event’
A former official who served in the FBI and CIA said the fallout from the Mar-a-Lago raid resembles the events that led up to the January 6 attack on the Capitol — and predicted there could be another “catastrophic event.”
“When I followed extremists overseas, I never anticipated we would see this in America. We are,” Phil Mudd, a CNN counterterrorism analyst, said during an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“They require leadership to tell them that what they’re thinking is okay. And they require validation from that leadership to suggest to them that violence is okay,” he said.
Trump calls on FBI to return ‘executive’ and ‘privileged’ documents seized by FBI from Mar-a-Lago search
Former President Trump on Sunday called on the FBI to return the documents seized from his estate in Mar-a-Lago, claiming some of them to be privileged, attorney-client material.
“Oh great!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, according to The Hill. “It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken,”
“By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken,” Trump added, per The Hill.
Federal agents took 11 sets of classified documents during the raid on the former President’s Mar-a-Lago estate, some of which were marked as top secret and only meant to be stored in special government facilities, and a handwritten note granting Roger Stone clemency.
Former homeland security adviser for Mike Pence said she once ‘found classified documents in the ladies’ room’
A former homeland security adviser during the Trump administration said she once found classified documents “in the ladies’ room” at the White House.
Olivia Troye, who served as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, shared the anecdote on MSNBC on Sunday.
“I found classified information in the ladies’ room of the White House one time in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,” Troye said. “I was not expecting to walk into the ladies’ room and find a document like that.”
Troye told Insider that she found the documents on a shelf in the bathroom sometime pre-pandemic, and she “thought it was odd that someone put them down and forgot them.”
On MSNBC, she said she immediately reported the classified documents to security but that it would concern anyone with security clearance.
GOP Gov. Larry Hogan says the Mar-a-Lago raid ‘was actually a win’ for Trump
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, one of former President Donald Trump’s sharpest GOP critics, said on Sunday that so far, the FBI’s search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence has been a “win” for the ex-commander-in-chief.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” two-term governor and potential 2024 presidential contender opined that the search would only strengthen the former president’s standing among core supporters just as he is expected to launch a third presidential candidacy in the coming months.
“There’s a lot more that has to come out. I would say this week it was actually a win for Donald Trump,” Hogan told co-anchor Jonathan Karl. “It seemed to motivate his base and people were rushing to his defense and feeling as if he was being picked upon and martyred.”
“But I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the story yet,” he added.
White House says Biden was not briefed on Mar-A-Lago FBI raid: ‘We do not interfere’
White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday said that the White House was not briefed about the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s property in Mar-a-Lago or the status of the ongoing investigation conducted by the Department of Justice.
“We do not interfere. We do not get briefed. We do not get involved,” Jean-Pierre told Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.”
She added: “We have learned about all of this the same way the American people have learned about this, through public reports, through your reporting, and every other reporter who has talked about this, that is how we learned about what is happening.”
Former GOP advisor says Trump has to be charged or Garland must resign after Mar-a-Lago raid: ‘There’s no going back now’
A former GOP advisor said “there’s no going back now” after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
“I sort of felt this week like we’re all at the circus. We’re all under the big top. And this can only end in one of two ways: he’s got to be indicted or Merrick Garland has to resign,” conservative commentator Scott Jennings told CNN.
Trump is reportedly being investigated for violating three laws, including the Espionage Act. The FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret during the raid.
Jennings said there’s no way the Attorney General could raid the former president’s house, say they think he’s violating three laws and then not press any charges.
If Trump gets convicted of the Espionage Act, he faces a 10-year prison sentence, legal analyst says
A legal analyst said former President Donald Trump could receive a 10-year prison sentence if he’s convicted of violating the Espionage Act, a law that dates back to World War I.
The statute “that puts him in the most danger is far as I know right now, is 18 U.S.C. §§ 793, that’s a portion of The Espionage Act, for which each violation carries a maximum penalty of 10 years,” said Lisa Rubin, legal analyst with the Rachel Maddow Show.
The law essentially bars anyone from sharing or disseminating information that could potentially harm or disadvantage the US.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says Republicans ‘need to pull back on casting judgment’ on the FBI after Mar-a-Lago search for classified documents
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says that fellow GOP members need to “pull back on casting judgment” on the FBI after the agency’s search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents.
During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, host Brianna Keilar asked Hutchison if Trump and “some Republicans putting the lives of the FBI’s men and women at risk?”
“Well, if the GOP is going to be the party of supporting law enforcement, law enforcement includes the FBI,” Hutchinson responded. “As a United States attorney, I work with the FBI, the DEA, the federal law enforcement agencies. Those folks on the ground do extraordinarily heroic efforts to enforce our rule of law, which is fundamental to the Republican Party and to our democracy.”
Hutchinson continued: “The FBI is part of that. And so, yes, we need to pull back on casting judgment on them. No doubt that they have higher-ups in the FBI has made mistakes. They do it. I have defended cases as well. And I have seen wrong actions.
GOP Rep. Mike Turner says ‘Donald Trump is not above the law’
GOP Rep. Mike Turner on Sunday said former President Donald Trump and Attorney General Merrick Garland are not above the law, following concerns about documents seized by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago home.
“Clearly, no one is above the law, Donald Trump is not above the law, and Attorney General Garland is not above the law either, and Congress has the powers of oversight he needs to comply,” Turner told Dana Bush, host of CNN’s Face the Nation. “We’ve seen material like this before, we seen material that have been submitted to courts for warrants, this is not unprecedented, his actions are unprecedented in history, and he has a lot of questions to answer.”
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe says Trump has been ‘basically at war’ with the Iaw enforcement agency since 2016
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on Friday said that former President Donald Trump has been “basically at war” with the law enforcement agency since 2016 and warned of the risks posed to agents after the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence was searched by federal officials last week.
During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” McCabe — who first joined the FBI in 1996 and rose through the ranks to become deputy director in 2016 under then-director James Comey — remarked that Trump’s sustained broadsides against the department took a toll on the “trust” that is necessary to work successfully in such an environment.
“There’s no question that the work environment for FBI people has been getting tougher and tougher. Tougher over the last five or six years, right?” he said.
He continued: “Trump has been basically at war with the FBI since we opened a case on his campaign in July of 2016. That has a corrosive effect on the ability of FBI agents and professional support staff to develop the sort of trust that they need to get their job done.”