Former President Donald Trump attacked Barack Obama on Thursday after Attorney General Merrick Garland made a statement announcing that he plans to unseal the search warrant issued against Mar-a-Lago.
Garland said that normally the department wouldn't have said anything and simply spoken through their court filings but in this case he wanted to make it clear that they made every effort to obtain the documents requested and were unable to obtain them from the former president.
Garland did not explain the reason for the search, but stressed there was "probable cause" and said he had asked a court to make the case's documents public.
"I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter," he told reporters. "The department does not take such a decision lightly."
Trump responded to the press briefing not by attacking Garland or proclaiming his innocence. Instead, Trump attacked Obama.
"I continue to ask, what happened to the 33 Million pages of documents taken to Chicago by President Obama?" Trump raged on his social media site. "The Fake News Media refuses to talk about that. They want it CANCELED!"
Trump appears to be referring to records shipped to Chicago for Obama's presidential library.
"As was reported back in late 2016, the Obama team was transferring the records to Chicago through the National Archives, which legally owns the documents once a president leaves office," the Washington Post wrote in a fact-checking article earlier this week. "Once the documents ultimately reached a warehouse in Chicago, the Obama Foundation was then due to pay the National Archives and Record Administration to digitize the documents. The lengthiness of that process aside, there isn’t the faintest hint of legal violations."
The extraordinary FBI raid this week on Trump's 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.
Leading Republicans have rallied around the former president, who was not present when the raid took place.
Trump's former vice president Mike Pence, a potential 2024 rival, expressed "deep concern" and said the raid smacked of "partisanship" by the Justice Department.
Garland criticized "unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors."
In a later post, Trump claimed he was cooperating with federal agents and said that he didn't have any of the documents that they said he had.
"My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established. The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it. They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area - DONE! Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even “safecrackers.” They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!" the statement read.
With additional reporting by AFP
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