When FBI agents raided the former First Family’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday morning, they combed Melania Trump’s wardrobe and Donald Trump’s private office, breaking open his safe and searching drawers.
According to the Post, the FBI’s search warrant to enter the Palm Beach property focused exclusively on presidential records and evidence of classified information. Since Trump’s attorneys were not allowed to observe the operation, which lasted more than nine hours, an individual close to the former president expressed concerns that FBI agents or DOJ lawyers may have “planted stuff.”
In addition to the Trump family’s 3,000-square-foot private quarters, the raid also included an office and safe and a locked basement storage room containing 15 cardboard boxes of material from the White House, which more than 30 plainclothes agents raided. The agents came from the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
It was 9 a.m. when the federal agents arrived and 6:30 p.m. when they left.
The FBI did not provide an itemized list of items taken in the raid, but an eyewitness said that all of the boxes were confiscated by federal agents Monday. It is reported that the boxes contain documents and mementos from Trump’s presidency, including letters from Barack Obama and Kim Jong Un.
When Trump left office in January 2020, the General Services Administration packed the boxes and shipped them to Mar-a-Lago.
A source said that Trump’s attorneys, led by Evan Corcoran, cooperated fully with federal authorities on the return of the documents to the National Archives and Records Administration.
FBI agents searched through boxes in Mar-a-Lago’s windowless storage room in May for several hours. An individual there says Trump stopped by the basement to say hello at one point.
Currently, the Trump family is spending the summer at the Trump golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey. A skeleton staff, including groundskeepers, was present during Monday’s raid at Mar-a-Lago, which is closed for the season.
US Secret Service (USSS) agents with M4 carbines are believed to have granted access to the 20-acre club. Lawyers for the former president, who were caught off guard by the raid, arrived an hour later.
According to a retired high-ranking USSS agent, the FBI would not have executed a warrant without notifying the Secret Service first. In the air-conditioned, marble-clad private quarters owned by Trump, agents searched every room. At the same time, Trump’s lawyers instructed shocked staff to unlock doors and give the FBI access to every room, including Melania’s lavish Versailles Master Bedroom.
Another group of agents, including a professional safecracker, searched Trump’s office and safe in a separate part of the Spanish stucco building.
According to one eyewitness, the three DOJ lawyers who accompanied the FBI appeared arrogant and repeatedly told Trump representatives: “We have full access to everything. We can go everywhere.”
Federal agents refused to allow Trump’s lawyers to shelter inside a cool lobby Monday or to observe the search in any way, instead leaving them outside in the baking sun near a parking lot. The feds ordered Trump’s representatives to turn off the security cameras, but they refused.