Aug 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

FBI removed about a dozen boxes from Mar-a-Lago, Trump lawyer says

Photo of Donald Trump clapping his hands on a stage
Former President Trump arrives onstage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Aug. 6 in Dallas. Photo: Brandon Bell via Getty Images

A lawyer for former President Trump said Tuesday that the FBI removed about a dozen boxes held at Mar-a-Lago, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in a move that appeared to mark a dramatic escalation in the investigation into his handling of presidential documents.

What she's saying: Christina Bobb, a lawyer for Trump who has hosted shows for the far-right network One America News Network (OAN), said in a podcast interview Tuesday that she arrived on the scene after the FBI began the search and alleged that law enforcement personnel initially refused to show her the search warrant.

  • The warrant, which they shared after the search, showed agents were investigating possible violations of laws regarding the handling of classified material as well as the Presidential Records Act, Bobb said.
  • The search spanned roughly 10 hours, she added.
  • Trump's legal team had engaged in discussions with the Department of Justice in the spring, Bobb said in a separate interview with the Post. At the time, his lawyers turned over several documents that could be considered presidential records after searching two to three dozen boxes of materials, she noted.
  • At another meeting in June, federal officials examined the material brought by Trump's legal team, Bobb said.

Between the lines: The FBI cannot issue a search warrant without approval from a federal judge. That means the Justice Department — which is engaged in multiple investigations into Trump and his allies — has probable cause that a crime was committed and that evidence exists at Mar-a-Lago.

The big picture: The search has angered many Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who said Monday the House would investigate the DOJ if Republicans took the majority.

Worth noting: Federal prosecutors launched a grand jury investigation into whether Trump mishandled White House records by bringing the boxes to his estate after the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) retrieved boxes containing information from Trump's time at the White House.

  • He had taken them to Mar-a-Lago instead of handing them over to NARA.

Go deeper: Presidential Records Act and Trump search explained

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