FBI searches Trump's Florida home as part of White House records investigation

FBI searches Trump's Florida home as part of White House records investigation
Credit: Belga / Benoit Doppagne

FBI agents have raided the Florida home of former United States President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into the alleged removal of official documents from the White House.

The unprecedented search of a former president's home marks an escalation into the investigation of Trump's records and is one of several probes examining Trump's time in office and his business affairs.

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There has been no comment from the FBI or the US Justice Department. Donald Trump, who was in New York at the time, said in a statement that his home in Florida was "under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents."

"After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate," Trump said, adding that: "They even broke into my safe!"

His son, Eric Trump, later said the search concerned official records that Trump brought with him when he left the White House, and that his father had cooperated with the National Archives for several months.

The National Archives said in February it has recovered 15 boxes from Trump's estate, including what is meant to be  classified information.

A justified search

US federal law requires that the documents should have been returned by the end of his term as president. Any search of a private residence would need to be signed off by a judge, after law enforcement showed that a search was justified.

The search is likely to have been approved by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who had been appointed by Trump, as well as his director, Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Joe Biden appointee.

Democratic supporters have disparaged Garland for his cautious approach to investigating Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump supporters descended on Trump's Mar-A-Lago home in the hours following the search. 'Thousands' promised to come after the unprecedented actions by the FBI, while social media show showed many of his supporters arriving by car at the resort.

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