U.S. attorney general says he personally approved FBI raid on Trump home
Sylvie Claire / August 12, 2022
In the midst of a political storm in the United States between Democrats and Republicans, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that he personally approved the spectacular search conducted Monday by the FBI at the home of former President Donald Trump in Florida.
At a special press conference, Merrick Garland did not reveal the reasons for or the results of the search, but he did say that it had been approved by a federal judge.
The department does not take this kind of decision lightly
Faced with the wave of indignation raised by this raid among Republicans, the minister condemned unfounded attacks against his department and the federal police.
I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant for this case, Garland said in a short and very rare televised appearance.
The department does not make this kind of decision lightly, he assured.
This unprecedented search by the FBI at the home of a former U.S. president took place Monday in the luxury residence of Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Outraged, the 45th U.S. president suggested Wednesday on his social network Truth Social that the FBI may have planted evidence against him during this operation.
Never a former tenant of the White House had been concerned by justice in this way.
Does the federal police search have anything to do with the many boxes Donald Trump took with him when he left the White House in January 2021? Is it related to the investigation into his responsibility for the assault on the Capitol? Or does it relate to the suspicions of financial fraud that the Trump Organization is facing in New York?
In seeking to lift the warrant's confidentiality, the Justice Department referred to, but did not contradict, statements by Trump officials indicating that the FBI was seeking archival White House documents, possibly classified as defense secrets.
According to the Washington Post on Thursday night, some of the documents being sought involve nuclear weapons.
The Justice Department was under political and media pressure this week to speak out about the search.
Republican tenors have stood shoulder to shoulder with their former president, who has not conceded defeat in 2020 and plans to run again in 2024.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, himself a possible rival to Donald Trump in two years, expressed deep concern after the FBI raid.
The Republican billionaire was also subjected to a hearing under oath, Wednesday, in the office of the Attorney General of New York.
But he invoked for four hours more than 440 times his right not to answer questions, under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to U.S. media.
New York State's highest magistrate, Letitia James, has been investigating the civil case since 2019 on suspicions of financial and tax fraud within the Trump Organization family group.
According to one of Donald Trump's lawyers, Ron Fischetti, quoted by NBC television, the only response his client made was to give his name.
Contacted by AFP, neither the services of Ms. James, nor Mr. Trump's lawyers have so far responded.