Trump: Release the Documents Now! Garland: No Problem
"The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and [property] receipt in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter," Garland said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland stated on Thursday that the government made the unusual decision to ask a court to unseal information about the government's Monday search of former President Trump's Florida residence because of the intense public interest in the reported seizure of sensitive materials that Trump had removed from the White House. Garland explained that the government made this decision because of the intense public interest in the reported seizure of sensitive materials by the Justice Department.
Overnight, Trump issued a demand for the "prompt" public publication of the government's warrant and the reception of papers collected following the FBI's search of his house. Both of these items are in possession of both Trump and his legal team.
The attorney general made an unannounced appearance on Thursday at the Justice Department, where he read from prepared statements stating that he personally authorized the decision to search Trump's property and secure a warrant for the search.
As a response to the political and news media firestorm that was stoked by Trump and his supporters this week, as well as the subsequent accusations that the administration is playing politics, Garland, a cautious former judge of the federal appeals court, forcefully defended the work that the FBI and Justice Department employees do as well as their professionalism.
"When they are being unjustly targeted for their honesty, I will not remain quiet. "The men and women who work for the FBI and the Justice Department are devoted public servants who have a deep sense of patriotism," stated the attorney general. "On a daily basis, they defend the people of the United States against acts of terrorism, acts of violent crime, and other dangers to their safety, all while preserving our civil rights... It is a privilege to be able to work with them. This is the only thing I can say at this time.
Garland did not characterize or describe what his department sought from Trump or the "basis of the search." Anonymous sources have said that the "basis of the search" is presidential materials that have been illegally withheld from the National Archives by Trump and his representatives in defiance of negotiations and federal subpoenas. Garland did not disclose this information. Before the dramatic event that took place on Monday, the drama surrounding the retrieval of presidential documents had already included Trump's first return to the government of 15 boxes of paperwork from the White House.
Trump and his lawyers and advocates, who were the first to disclose the FBI search on Monday, argued again on Thursday that it was an unnecessary "raid." Meanwhile, some Trump allies have suggested, without evidence, that the government might have "planted" documents in order to hurt the former president politically in advance of his anticipated presidential run in 2024.
The former president made remarks on Thursday on his social media site called Truth Social, in which he seemed to imply that he and his attorneys had been prepared before Monday to cooperate with the Justice Department to hand over data "if we had it." (In point of fact, one of Trump's attorneys was present during the FBI investigation.) He said there was no prior notice, and the search appeared "out of nowhere."
The former president's response to Garland's public comments targeted political opponents, arguing that the Justice Department belongs to this category and carried out a search warrant "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 six years...." The former president went on to say that the Justice Department carried out the search warrant "drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and This completely unprecedented use of law enforcement as a political weapon is not just wrong but also very immoral... Put the materials online right now! Trump had written it.
A judge had given Trump's attorneys and the Justice Department until 3:00 p.m. today to determine if Trump agrees to unseal the government's search documents, which are the legal underpinnings of the actions that the government took at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. The documents in question are the basis for the legal actions that the government took.
Between April and August, the department switched from using subpoenas to court-ordered search warrants to locate classified presidential documents. This was done in part because, according to reports, an informant told the government that Trump was not in full compliance and had withheld sensitive national security materials at Mar-a-Lago in possible violation of the law. This caused the department to switch from using subpoenas to court-ordered search warrants.
According to The New York Times, the Justice Department reportedly felt compelled to take action because the materials in Trump's possession were related to matters of national security, possibly "special access programs." This designation is typically reserved for susceptible operations carried out by the United States of America abroad.
According to a story by The Washington Post, FBI investigators were searching Mar-a-Lago for various materials, including classified paperwork connected to nuclear weapons.
The New York Times: The election of Donald Trump as president was seen as a potential threat to national security by some members of intelligence agencies.