Washington, Aug 11 (EFE).- The attorney general of the United States said Thursday that he approved the application for a warrant to search the Florida home of former President Donald Trump and announced that the Justice Department is asking the courts to unseal the warrant.
“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,” Merrick Garland told reporters.
“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 said.
Trump’s lawyers, who were provided with the warrant and receipt at the time of the search, have until 3:00 pm Friday to submit an objection to the Justice Department’s request.
Garland said that while he could not share additional details about the basis of the search, he wished to clarity certain aspects of the process.
“First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” the attorney general said. “Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
Monday’s search at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump described as a “raid,” was part of an effort to recover official documents he removed improperly from the White House at the end of his term in January 2021.
The former president handed over 15 boxes of documents earlier this year, but the Justice Department was apparently convinced that he was still hanging on to sensitive material.
Lawyers for Trump said that the FBI agents who carried out the search left Mar-a-Lago with around a dozen boxes.
In a post on his Truth Social media platform that followed Garland’s comments, the former president gave no indication of his position on whether the warrant should be unsealed, while arguing that the search was unnecessary.
“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,” Trump wrote. “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.’ They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!”