"Release the documents now!" former President Donald Trump demanded on Thursday, only hours after a federal judge gave the Justice Department a deadline to determine if the former president supports or opposes unsealing the search warrant and property receipt used by the FBI to search his Mar-a-Lago home Monday.
"The United States shall immediately serve a copy of its Motion on counsel for former President Trump. On or before 3:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 12, 2022, the United States shall file a certificate of conferral advising whether former President Trump opposes the Government's motion to unseal," Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart wrote in the order. This in response to media requests to unseal the warrant.
The judge’s decision followed Attorney General Merrick Garland's press conference Thursday afternoon addressing the decision for the FBI to raid the home of a former president which has never been done in US history. Garland said he "personally approved" of the FBI executing the warrant at Trump’s home, which agents spent hours searching on Monday.
"Just now, 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," Garland said.
"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.
Trump called the raid on his Mar-a-Lago home "unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary" and said he approved of the "immediate release" of the warrant.
Trump wrote, "Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years."
Trump added that the raid was a part of an "unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement" suggesting it was possibly an attempt to keep him from running for the presidency again.
He added, "My poll numbers are the strongest they have ever been, fundraising by the Republican Party is breaking all records, and midterm elections are fast approaching. This unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement is inappropriate and highly unethical. The world is watching as our Country is being brought to a new low, not only on our border, crime, economy, energy, national security, and so much more, but also with respect to our sacred elections!"
Trump also said, "My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established. The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it. They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area - DONE! Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even 'safecrackers.'"
According to Fox News, before Monday’s search warrant was executed, Trump’s legal team had already returned 15 boxes of White House records from Mar-a-Lago to the US National Archives and Records Administration, including documents that contained classified information.
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