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During their search of the Donald Trump's Palm Beach resort this week, FBI agents recovered 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to "be only available in special government facilities," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone, were on a list of confiscated items that was reviewed by the newspaper. Also on the three-page list was information about the “President of France."
One set of documents recovered was marked, “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which, as the Wall Street Journal points out, is an abbreviation that refers to "top-secret/sensitive compartmented information."
The search warrant states that that FBI agents wanted to search “the 45 Office,” as well as “all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate.”
People familiar with the matter say the search was intended to recover classified information that Trump allegedly mishandled.
Officials were poised Friday to make public a sealed warrant explaining the unprecedented raid on Trump's estate, which triggered accusations of political persecution by the former president and his supporters.
The 76-year-old Trump supported the release of the search warrant, although he has had a copy of the document for days and could have revealed its contents himself previously.
The search on Monday was believed to be focused on classified papers Trump may have removed from the White House, with one report suggesting they included documents related to nuclear weapons.
The highly unusual move to unseal the search warrant and the receipt listing the property seized by FBI agents was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland -- the country's top law enforcement officer -- who said he had "personally approved" the dramatic raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort home.
"Release the documents now!" Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform, as he slammed the raid on his home as a "political weaponization of law enforcement."
Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department official, said Garland had "called Trump's bluff" by putting the onus on the former president to object or consent to release of the document.
With additional reporting by AFP
'Shameful and disgusting' Republicans slammed for inciting violence against law enforcement officers
Late Thursday, the president of Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association lashed out at Republicans who have been attacking the FBI and Department of Justice employees for their part in serving a warrant for classified materials at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort earlier in the week.
Since FBI agents descended on the former president's Florida home at the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, Republican Party lawmakers have been raising a fuss that has included calls to "defund the FBI" as well as calling for investigations and purging of DOJ officials if the GOP takes control of the House in November.
With that in mind, the Washington Post reports that Larry Cosme issued a statement stating the GOP lawmakers making threats about "coming for you" is far beyond the pale.
While noting a Cincinnati man attacked an FBI field office -- and subsequently died -- Thursday afternoon with the assault directly attributed to the violent rhetoric against the department due to the Mar-a-Lago investigation, Cosme stated, "The rank-and-file officers on the street and agents, they are career employees that … cherish the Constitution like the average American."
He added, "So for them to be attacked by these individuals that believe something else — or they’re believing, you know, someone’s rhetoric that’s uncalled for — to me, it’s shameful and disgusting.”
The Post report adds that Republican National Committee head Ronna Romney McDaniel is also at fault, pointing out that she inflamed conservatives with an op-ed for Fox News insisting, "Trump targeted by Biden administration, and they can do it to you, too.”
The report adds, "The FBI is not the only target of such rhetoric: Republicans this week have also been warning Americans that an army of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents is 'coming' for them, as Democrats seek to boost the tax agency’s funding and ability to pursue tax dodgers. Many in the GOP have zeroed in on the fact that certain special agents carry guns, casting them as a threat or falsely suggesting the IRS is arming tens of thousands of new employees. Treasury Department officials have said the proposed funding is meant to target high-income tax evasion."
Rep. Jamie Raskin dismisses right-wing calls for civil war as 'desperate' response to Trump's 'losing' case
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said the civil war chatter on right-wing social media was a "desperate" attempt to bail out Donald Trump from accountability.
The Maryland Democrat said the FBI search of Mar-A-Lago gave him confidence that the Department of Justice would seriously pursue a criminal investigation into the former president, and he told The Raw Story that he's unconcerned about the violent rhetoric against law enforcement in response to the move.
"To tell you the truth, I heard all of the chatter about civil war and political violence over the course of this week and it sounded desperate ... to me," Raskin said. "It reminded me of Vladimir Putin. Every time he suffers a major political defeat or military setback, he starts talking about nuclear war, and that obviously rattles people, but to me it's ultimately a sign of desperation."
"The America people are not interested in civil war, the American people are not interested in political violence," Raskin said. "That's a losing formula, so they should come up with other talking points."
The FBI raid on Trump's palatial Mar-a-Lago residence has sparked a political firestorm in an already bitterly divided country and comes as he is weighing another White House run in 2024.
Trump has condemned Monday's raid as politically motivated and a "weaponization" of the Justice Department. "Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," he said.
In a statement on his Truth Social platform on Thursday, Trump said his attorneys had been "cooperating fully" and "the government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it."
"And then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided at 6:30 in the morning," he said, adding that agents even "went through the First Lady's closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items."
Attorney General Merrick Garland criticized "unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors" following the raid.
"I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said. "Men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated patriotic public servants."
Leading Republicans have rallied around the former president and harshly denounced the Justice Department and FBI.
With additional reporting by Matt Laslo and AFP