An informant familiar with Mar-a-Lago and the whereabouts of classified documents former President Donald Trump potentially stored there tipped off the FBI before it executed a search warrant on Monday, according to reports from Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.
The National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of documents from the Palm Beach, Florida, residence in February before asking the Justice Department to investigate Trump’s potential crimes in violating the Presidential Records Act by storing government materials at his home.
On Monday, the FBI searched the residence and private club, reportedly as part of an investigation into whether Trump mishandled classified documents.
The raid didn’t transpire without inside help.
Two senior government officials, who requested to stay anonymous but had information about the search, told Newsweek that one individual guided authorities to documents at Mar-a-Lago and that the raid was set to occur when Trump was out of town to avoid a galvanizing photo-op.
The Wall Street Journal corroborated those claims, speaking with anonymous sources who said the informant knew the location of these classified documents and that Trump stored many more at Mar-a-Lago than the 15 boxes retrieved in February.
The former president made it a felony to mishandle classified documents in 2018.
Local law enforcement officers stand guard in front of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago property on Aug. 9.
GIORGIO VIERA via Getty Images
Outraged Republicans, including Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), have rallied around the former president by suggesting the Biden administration weaponized the Justice Department against Trump. The former president spread a conspiracy theory Wednesday on his Truth Social platform that the FBI planted documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“Monday’s brazen raid was not just unprecedented, it was completely unnecessary,” Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich told the Journal. “President Trump and his representatives have gone to painstaking lengths in communicating and cooperating with all the appropriate agencies.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray, who denounced threats against the agency by Trump’s loyalist supporters, was appointed in 2017 by Trump himself.
Sources close to Trump told Rolling Stone he is now so paranoid he’s worried about being wiretapped — and trying to root out the FBI “rat.”
“He has asked me and others, ‘Do you think our phones are tapped?’” one source told Rolling Stone. “Given the sheer volume of investigations going on into the (former) president, I do not think he’s assuming anything is outside the realm of possibility.”
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