Trump says he will not oppose release of FBI search warrant for Mar-a-Lago
Former President Donald Trump said late Thursday night that he will not oppose the Department of Justice's motion to unseal the search warrant approved by a federal judge for the FBI's raid on his south Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.
“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid…I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents,” Trump said in a statement.
His comments come after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland held a press conference on Thursday to announce the filing of the motion, which he said was a decision the department does not take “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,” Garland said of the U.S. government's extraordinary search of the 45th president's resort home.
While the former president has touted his willingness to make the warrant public, the Justice Department has until 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday to file a notice of conferral, which signals whether Trump’s counsel plans to object to the motion.
The five-page motion seeks the search warrant approved by the court on Aug. 5, as well as a redacted “property receipt,” which lists what FBI agents seized from the former president’s home.
Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart is presiding over the matter in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The judge already greenlighted a motion to intervene filed by The New York Times, which was later joined by The Washington Post, CNN, CBS News, NBC News, Scripps, and The Palm Beach Post.
Up until Thursday, the Justice Department refused to comment on the search that, “apparently attracted little or no public attention as it was taking place,” but stirred speculation over what FBI agents were looking for at the resort home of the 45th president.
Given Trump’s public statements about the search, coupled with his attorney, Christina Bobb, telling The New York Times that agents were searching for “presidential records or any possibly classified material,” the Justice Department argues in the motion that the “occurrence of the search and indications of the subject matter involved are already public.”
Garland said Thursday that the warrant should be made public, “in light of the former president's public confirmation with the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a press conference on Friday that “if the nature of these documents is what it appears to be — this is very serious.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has vowed to launch an investigation of the Justice Department and the attorney general if Republicans take back the chamber in November.
“The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” the California Republican said in a statement on Monday.
During Garland’s Thursday press conference, he also spoke out against "unfounded attacks on the professionalism" of FBI agents, DOJ prosecutors and other officials, whom he said, "are dedicated, patriotic public servants."
"I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said, referring to public scrutiny against officials over the raid.
A few hours later on Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray echoed Garland’s sentiments in a statement decrying “unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI,” which he said, “erode respect for the rule of law.”
Wray, who was appointed to lead the bureau in 2017 by then-Attorney General William Barr under the Trump administration, said violence and threats “are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans.”