In a Thursday press briefing, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed that he "personally approved" of the FBI raid at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, and announced that the Justice Department has filed a motion to unseal the search warrant.
Garland told the public that "I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter," noting that the Justice Department "does not take such a decision lightly."
Garland said that the search warrant" was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause."
Garland also announced that "the Justice Department has filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the FBI conducted earlier this week. That search was a premises located in Florida, belonging to the former president."
"The Department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter," he added.
"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department, of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor. under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing," said Garland.
"All Americans are entitled to the even-handed application of the law, to due process of law, and to the presumption of innocence. Much of our work is by necessity conducted out of the public eye. We do that to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations," he continued.
Garland also addressed "recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors," saying that "I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked."
"The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated patriotic public servants every day. They protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them," Garland continued.
The Attorney General concluded the briefing by saying that this is all the information he can reveal at the moment, and left without taking any questions from the press.
On Monday, over two dozen FBI agents raided Trump's Palm Beach residence, taking a reported 12 boxes of materials from the residence.
On Monday evening, Trump confirmed the raid, writing: "These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before."
"After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate," he said.
"It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections," Trump continued.
"Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States."
In a statement released the following day on Truth Social, Trump suggested that FBI agents may have "planted" evidence in the residence.
"The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago," Trump said.
"Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting,'" he added.
"Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out? Obama and Clinton were never 'raided,' despite big disputes!"
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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