By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate approved on Wednesday Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, the most significant expansion of the 30-member alliance since the 1990s as it responds to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Senate voted 95 to 1 to support ratification of accession documents, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority of 67 votes required to support ratification of the two countries' accession documents. "This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan U.S. commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the c...
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Former President Donald Trump and his lawyers have baselessly peddled a conspiracy theory that the FBI may have "planted" evidence during its raid on Mar-a-Lago because "nobody" was allowed to watch. But Trump's lawyer admitted on Thursday that Trump and his family watched the "whole thing" go down from New York through CCTV footage from the resort.
Trump and his attorneys, Christina Bobb and Alina Habba, immediately claimed that the FBI may have "planted" damning evidence during the Mar-a-Lago raid on Monday without any proof, citing only the fact that Bobb was prevented from observing the search as is standard in such FBI operations. Trump, Bobb and Habba in numerous statements speculated about what the FBI may have done while "nobody" was watching.
"The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago," Trump ranted on Truth Social on Tuesday. "Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting.' Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?"
Bobb acknowledged on Thursday that while surveillance cameras at Mar-a-Lago were shut off for a "very short period of time" while FBI agents spoke to Trump's legal team, the former president and his family were able to view the entire raid through surveillance video.
"I think the folks in New York — President Trump and his family — they probably had a better view than I did. Because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch," Bobb told the right-wing outlet Real America's Voice.
Bobb said that she was busy speaking with investigators during the search but the Trump family saw "the whole thing."
"So they actually have a better idea of what took place inside," Bobb said.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that FBI agents asked for "surveillance cameras to be turned off, citing officer safety."
"You're telling me they didn't?" Real America's Voice host Gina Loudon asked Bobb.
"They did. So initially they said that... need to turn off all cameras and of course, the staff complied... oh the FBI is making us turn off the cameras and then lawyers said that you don't actually don't have to turn them off," Bobb said. "So shortly after they turned them back on."
Eric Trump confirmed in an interview with the Daily Mail that staff refused to turn off the security cameras and that he was able to view video of the raid. He also claimed in the interview that the FBI "would not give her a copy of the search warrant" even though Bobb acknowledged that she received it.
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Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday called Trump's bluff, announcing that the DOJ had filed a motion to unseal the search warrant from the raid, which targeted secret documents related to nuclear weapons, according to The Washington Post. Trump on Truth Social claimed that he would encourage the "immediate release" of the document even though he could release it himself.
Garland confirmed on Thursday that Trump's lawyer received a copy of the search warrant.
"Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president's counsel, who was on site during the search," Garland said.
Bobb offered a novel defense for why Trump's team is refusing to release the warrant in an interview with NewsNation on Thursday.
"We're trying to do everything in accordance with the law," she argued.
"There's actually nothing preventing you guys from releasing it, though," anchor Leland Vittert shot back.
"Other than decorum. I mean, we're trying to work well with the Justice Department," Bobb replied amid a torrent of attacks on the DOJ from TrumpWorld.
The Republican candidate for sheriff in Franklin County, Vermont has been placed on administrative leave after video showed him kicking a handcuffed prisoner twice in the groin.
Local news station WCAX reports that the video shows Capt. John Grismore of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office trying to help his fellow officers subdue an apparently intoxicated man who had been handcuffed but who refused to stay seated while in custody.
While two of his fellow officers can be seen trying peacefully to get the man to sit down, Grismore can then be seen walking over, telling the man to sit, and then kicking him in the groin area to force him down on the chair.
This still did not deter the prisoner, however, who defiantly continued to stand.
At this point, Grismore delivered another groin kick that appeared significantly more forceful than the first.
After the video surfaced, the sheriff's office referred the case to the Franklin County State’s Attorney’s Office, which is currently investigating.
According to a separate report by the Associated Press, Grismore "was the sole candidate for the Republican nomination for Franklin County sheriff in Tuesday’s primary election" this week.
Watch video of the incident below.
Sheriff's Deputy Kicks Detained Subject www.youtube.com
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