FBI agents on Monday executed a search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and home in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a statement from the former U.S. president.
Trump said in a statement released to reporters and posted on his Truth Social social media platform that his “beautiful home” was “under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“They even broke into my safe!” the statement read.
Trump did not say what the agents were looking for or if they removed any materials from Mar-a-Lago, the resort he has called his home and political headquarters since leaving the White House in 2021.
Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search, including about whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search.
Spokespeople for the FBI did not return messages seeking comment Monday evening.
The New York Times, citing unnamed sources close to the investigation, reported the FBI’s search was focused on materials Trump allegedly took with him to Florida after the end of his presidency, including classified documents. Sources also confirmed the reason for the search to the Associated Press and Reuters, among other outlets.
The U.S. Justice Department has launched an early-stage investigation into Trump’s removal of official presidential records to Mar-a-Lago, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in April.
The investigation comes after the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in February notified Congress that it had recovered about 15 boxes of White House documents from Trump’s Florida home, some of which contained classified materials.
The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee at that time announced it was expanding an investigation into Trump’s actions and asked the Archives to turn over additional information. Trump previously confirmed that he had agreed to return certain records to the Archives, calling it “an ordinary and routine process.”
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said in his statement Monday.
He claimed the event was orchestrated by “Radical Left Democrats” who did not want him to run for president again in 2024 — a campaign he has repeatedly teased but has not yet officially launched.
“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” Trump’s statement added. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.”
The White House said it had no prior knowledge of the search. The current FBI director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department.
There are multiple U.S. statutes governing classified information, including a law punishable by up to five years in prison that makes it a crime to remove such records and retain them at an unauthorized location. Another statute makes it a crime to mishandle classified records either intentionally or in a grossly negligent manner.
Though a search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected, federal officials looking to obtain one must demonstrate that they have probable cause that a crime occurred.
Trump is facing pressure from several criminal and civil investigations in multiple states, which are looking into everything from his business practices to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
The Justice Department, which is probing the widespread campaign to keep Trump in office and deny Biden’s victory, has also reportedly begun to look at Trump’s own actions during the post-election period.
His conduct in the aftermath of the election has also been a primary focus of the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.
And a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia is investigating whether Trump and his close associates sought to interfere in that state’s election, which was won by Biden.
—With files from Reuters