Calls for former President Donald Trump to release the Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage of the FBI raid hsve continued since the action unfolded last week.
Son Eric Trump, the Trump Organization executive vice president, has vowed in TV appearances that the footage will be released “at the right time,” but a source told CNN that Donald Trump might not have even seen it in full himself yet.
“I don’t think it’s been shared by anyone outside of the attorneys,” the source told CNN.
Allies of Trump calling for the release of the footage have suggested he might use the recordings in campaign ads for a potential 2024 presidential run, effectively showing Americans a tangible example of his claims of political persecution, according to CNN.
But it is as yet unclear what the footage would show or if it would be a significant benefit. “It’s one thing to read a bunch of numbers on an inventory list, it’s another to see law enforcement agents actually carrying a dozen-plus boxes out of President Trump’s home knowing they probably contain sensitive documents,” one source told CNN. “I don’t see how that helps him.”
For his part, Trump has claimed that as president he had authority to declassify documents. He and allies have also questioned why, if the Juatice Department was so worried about possible security risks, it took weeks for Attorney General Merrick Garland to approve the raid and days for it to be executed.
The raid itself appears to have animated support for Donald Trump, according to Eric.
Trump and his attorneys say they refused calls to turn off the security cameras during the Aug. 8 raid.
That request was made by the Justice Department’s Jay Bratt, chief of the counterintelligence and export control, CNN reported.
“If someone can persuade him this is somehow good for him and bad for his enemies, he’ll do it,” former Trump White House attorney Ty Cobb told CNN about a potential footage release. “He doesn’t have the lawyers to help him sort through these things strategically and is really thinking through them on his own.”
A source told CNN that Trump is weighing the release because it “drives the base … bananas” to see FBI agents “milling around Mar-a-Lago while President Trump was out of town.”
Trump was in New York City at the time of the raid.
“I think the folks in New York — President Trump and his family — they probably had a better view than I did,” attorney Christina Bobb told Real America’s Voice last week. “Because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch.”
Still, Cobb is uncertain about the release of the footage of the raid on Trump’s private residence, which included his bedroom, his office and the basement where boxes of documents were reportedly locked up behind a lock that was requested by the Justice Department but ultimately broken by the FBI, according to Donald Trump.
“If anything problematic happened, like it showed somebody planting evidence or something like that, then it would be really explosive,” Cobb told CNN. “That’s the main reason I doubt they will make it public, because I’m sure it doesn’t show them planting evidence” and that would possibly take one of Trump’s earlier claims about the raid out of play.
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