Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke publicly about the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s personal residence in a Thursday news conference.
Garland said he “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter” and that the Justice Department has filed a motion to unseal the warrant.
The attorney general stated that the department’s move to unseal the warrant was spurred by Trump’s “public confirmation” of the search, as well as “substantial public interest” in the matter.
Garland also claimed that the FBI provided copies of the warrant and search receipt to Trump’s on-scene legal counsel. Trump attorney Lindsey Halligan has said the warrant for the raid was presented under seal during the operation.
Garland said federal law prevented him from revealing the basis of the search.
Trump’s son Eric has described 30 FBI agents arriving at his father’s Mar-a-Lago resort on Monday and conducting a comprehensive search of the property.
The raid allegedly occurred as the result of a document dispute between the former president and the National Archives.
Donald Trump has slammed the raid as a hallmark of a “banana republic,” suggesting the move was an attempt by federal officials to punish him for political purposes.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed on Wednesday that President Joe Biden was not informed beforehand that the FBI would be searching Trump’s home.
NBC News correspondent Kelly O’Donnell reported that the White House wasn’t notified of Garland’s plan to speak publicly about the raid.
As we await AG Merrick Garland and his statement, a senior WH official tells me the Biden WH was not informed this was happening:
"We have had no notice that he was giving remarks and no briefing on the content of them."
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) August 11, 2022
It’ll be up to the Southern District of Florida to decide whether or not to unseal the search warrant behind the unprecedented raid.
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