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The FBI's raid on Donald Trump's Palm Beach resort was based on information garnered from an informant, according to an exclusive report from Newsweek.
The informant was reportedly able to identify which "classified" documents were in Trump's possession and where to find them. The FBI raid was reportedly timed to take place while Trump was away.
"FBI decision-makers in Washington and Miami thought that denying the former president a photo opportunity or a platform from which to grandstand (or to attempt to thwart the raid) would lower the profile of the event, says one of the sources, a senior Justice Department official who is a 30-year veteran of the FBI," Newsweek's report stated.
An FBI official speaking to Newsweek says the effort to keep the raid under the radar failed, calling the resulting fallout from GOP lawmakers and conservative pundits a "spectacular backfire."
"I know that there is much speculation out there that this is political persecution, but it is really the best and the worst of the bureaucracy in action," the official said. "They wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones, and yet [they] got exactly the opposite."
A second source speaking to Newsweek, a senior intelligence official who was briefed on the investigation and the operation, said the FBI was trying to avoid a "media circus."
"So even though everything made sense bureaucratically and the FBI feared that the documents might be destroyed, they also created the very firestorm they sought to avoid, in ignoring the fallout," the source said.
Trump on Monday complained that his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida was being "raided" by FBI agents in what he called an act of "prosecutorial misconduct."
"These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents," he said in a statement posted on his Truth Social network.
"It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024," Trump said.
"They even broke into my safe!"
The US Justice Department said Wednesday it had uncovered an Iranian plot to kill former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, and announced charges against a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Justice Department said 45-year-old Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, had offered to pay an individual in the United States $300,000 to kill Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations.
The Justice Department said that plan was likely set in retaliation for the US killing of top Guard commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020.
The allegation came as Iran weighs a proposed agreement in Vienna talks to revive the 2015 agreement that aims to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
For months Tehran has held up the deal, demanding that the United States remove its official designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a sponsor of terrorism.
"This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian plots to exact revenge against individuals on US soil and we will work tirelessly to expose and disrupt every one of these efforts," said US Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen.
According to the charges, Poursafi tried to arrange Bolton's murder beginning in October 2021, when he contacted online an unidentified person in the United States, first saying he wanted to commission photographs of Bolton.
That person passed the Iranian onto another contact, who Poursafi then asked to kill Bolton.
He offered $250,000, which was then negotiated up to $300,000.
"Poursafi added that he had an additional 'job,' for which he would pay $1 million," the Justice Department said.
But that second person, court documents say, was a confidential source for the US Federal Bureau of Identification.
Foreign policy 'hawk'
The ostensible assassin stalled, waiting for an initial payment, but only in late April did Poursafi send money, paying a total of $100 in cryptocurrency.
Poursafi was charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, which brings up to 10 years in prison, and with providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot, which carries a maximum 15 years sentence.
Bolton, one of the leading "hawks" of the US foreign policy establishment and a strong critic of Iran, was national security advisor in the White House of president Donald Trump from April 2018 to September 2019.
In the administration of president George Bush, he was ambassador to the United Nations from 2005-2006.
The court documents indicated Bolton was aware of the plot and cooperated with investigators, allowing photographs of himself outside his Washington office to be sent to Poursafi.
Over the months Poursafi discussed the plot with his US contact, he disclosed that it related to Tehran's desire for revenge for the US killing of Soleimani.
Soleimani was head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force and personally maintained its network of allies and proxies across the Gulf region.
He was targeted by a US drone strike just after he landed at Baghdad's airport on January 7, 2020.
Since that strike Tehran has vowed to extract revenge, and US officials have said that the country had been looking to kill one or more US officials.
Another official believed on Tehran's target list was Mike Pompeo, who was secretary of state at the time of the assassination of Soleimani, and before that director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
At the time Pompeo said Soleimani had been plotting large scale attacks on US targets like embassies.
Prosecutors can't discuss accused killer's pro-Hitler posts because it would make jurors 'highly prejudicial': Judge
Attorneys prosecuting an accused murderer will not be allowed to discuss the defendant's past social media posts praising Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on the grounds that it would unfairly prejudice jurors against him.
The Washington Post reports that jurors will not be allowed to hear about the racist social media posts made by Nicolas Giampa, who was indicted in 2019 on a double murder charge for fatally shooting his then-girlfriend’s mother, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, and stepfather, Scott Fricker.
The killing itself was not racially motivated, as prosecutors say that Giampa and the girlfriend made a "suicide pact" and discussed harming her parents if they forced her to stop seeing him.
According to the Post, Kuhn-Fricker had raised alarms with local school officials about Giampa's activity on social media that included promoting "messages praising Hitler, supporting Nazi book burnings, calling for a 'white revolution' and making derogatory comments about Jewish people and gay people."
Additionally, Giampa wrote tweets praising the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division and also disparaged the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as "a low IQ pervert and sex abuser."
Before being fatally shot by Giampa, Kuhn-Fricker had tried to break up the couple because she feared he was trying to indoctrinate her daughter in white supremacist ideology.
Nonetheless, Fairfax County Circuit Judge Brett A. Kassabian ruled last month that showing the pro-Hitler tweets to the jurors would be "highly prejudicial" and barred prosecutors from mentioning them. The prosecutors in the case decided not to appeal the ruling, writes the Post.