On Monday, FBI agents spent nine hours inside the personal home of Donald Trump, Mar-a-Lago. Since President Trump announced the raid, people have camped out in Palm Beach near the estate, GOP party members, and a swath of Americans have cried foul. While the Department of Justice has yet to make comments about the raid, a few details have trickled out to the public. Newsweek published an exclusive article on Wednesday reporting that an informant had provided information on what – and where – President Trump was allegedly hiding classified documents at his home in Florida.
According to Newsweek, two senior government officials, who spoke under the promise of anonymity, told reporters that the “confidential human source” was “able to identity what classified documents the former president was “hiding” and where on the grounds they could be found.
Newsweek says that the anonymous officials “have direct knowledge of the FBI’s deliberations.” The officials shared that the raid was timed deliberately so that President Trump would be away when the raid was executed.
Fox News is reporting that the informant is “presumably a part of Trump’s inner circle.” Twitter has a few viral posts about the information that might be allegedly contained in the documents – so far, the only documents that Americans know about are letters to President Trump from Barack Obama and Kim Jung Un as well as a dinner menu and a cocktail party napkin. Some are speculating that the documents might have something to do with Operation Crossfire Hurricane, which was the investigation spurred by the now-debunked Steele dossier.
The House Oversight Committee has written a letter demanding a briefing on the details that led up to the raid. The agencies involved have until Monday to reply.
Reports hold that the agents asked for a diagram of Mar-a-Lago, and they also allege that the agents also asked for the security cameras to be turned off; however, Eric Trump says that the staff at Mar-a-Lago refused.
Details are also emerging that in the negotiations with NARA (the National Archives) the agency asked that the Trump legal team was asked to put a “stronger” lock on the basement where the remaining boxes of documents were stored; this request was fulfilled. Fox News is reporting that over the summer the investigating agency asked for surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago and this request was also fulfilled.
Ironically, the planned timing of the raid was done so that Trump “(would be denied an) opportunity to grandstand or directly affect the operation.”
A senior Justice Department spoke with the New York Post, saying the raid was “a spectacular backfire.” The source also told the Post that the Bureau “wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones . . .they were seeking to avoid any media circus.” Instead, many Americans – on both sides of the political aisle – are decrying the unprecedented raid of a former president’s home.
Even embattled former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called for transparency by the FBI and Department of Justice in regards to the raid. Cuomo is no fan of President Trump; the two sparred regularly at the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020.
The American people are left perplexed; some have already condemned the former president, while others have vehemently flung their support behind Donald Trump. Many GOP political leaders are saying that the raid has had the opposite effect the FBI, DOJ and other law enforcement agencies intended – some are seeing Trump as a victim, and they want him to run now more than ever.
Trump has yet to announce whether he’ll run for president in 2024, but CPAC straw poll results last week showed a majority of those attending the conference wanted Trump to do so.
As of Thursday morning, the same magistrate who signed the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, has ruled that the Department of Justice must unseal the search warrant; he has given the agency until Monday to respond.