WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered remarks on Thursday afternoon days after the FBI conducted a search warrant at President Donald Trump's Florida home at Mar-a-Lago.
"Since I became attorney general, I have made clear that the Department of Justice will speak through its court filings and its work," Garland began. "Just now the justice Department has filed a motion in the southern district of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the FBI conducted earlier this week. That search was a premises located in Florida belonging to the former president. The department did not make any public statements on the day of the search. The former president publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right."
The motion to unseal the search warrant doesn't give any details, however.
President Donald Trump and his lawyers were given the search warrant, but he said that he wouldn't make it public. The judge who signed off on it, however, asked the Justice Department to consider it.
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"Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken," Garland also said. This is a confirmation that the DOJ had been working with Trump to obtain the documents through other means prior to the search warrant. The New York Times reported Thursday morning that they had subpoenaed the information from Trump earlier this spring.
Garland revealed that he personally signed off on the act and went on to emphatically chastise those attacking the Justice Department and the FBI implying improper behavior.
"Let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors. I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said. "The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants. Every day they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism, and other threats to their safety while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them."
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