"The FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, people familiar with the matter said Monday." —Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo (Associated Press)
An extensive investigation is being conducted as to how numerous classified documents somehow ended up in Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.
"Trump did not elaborate on the basis for the search, but the Justice Department has been investigating the potential mishandling of classified information after the National Archives and Records Administration said it had retrieved from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of records containing classified information earlier this year. The National Archives said Trump should have turned over that material upon leaving office and referred the matter to the Justice Department." —Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo (Associated Press)
This search has complicated legal matters even more for Mr. Trump, who plans to run again in 2024.
"The search, which the FBI and Justice Department did not immediately confirm, marks a dramatic escalation in a months-long probe into how classified documents ended up in more than a dozen boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. It occurred amid a separate but intensifying investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and added to the potential legal peril for Trump as he lays the groundwork for another run." —Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo (Associated Press)
Unsurprisingly, Trump has concluded that the FBI's efforts are merely a "weaponization of the criminal justice system": in his mind, this is yet another ploy of the Democratic party to keep him from triumphing in the 2024 election...
"Familiar battle lines, forged during four years shadowed by FBI and congressional investigations, quickly took shape again Monday night. Trump and his allies sought to cast the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democratic-driven effort to keep him from winning another term in 2024 — even though the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge of it, and the current FBI director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department." —Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo (Associated Press)