Former President Donald Trump said in a social media post on Monday, August 15th, that the FBI seized his passports during an unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida last week.
“Wow! In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” Trump wrote in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social. “This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!”
An official with the Department of Justice told ABC News that Trump’s passports have been returned to his team.
When asked for comment, an FBI spokesperson told ABC News: “In executing search warrants, the FBI follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes.”
Trump’s spokesperson, Taylor Budowich, took to Twitter on Monday night to post an email allegedly sent by the Justice Department’s counterintelligence head, Jay Bratt, alerting Trump’s team that they were in possession of Trump’s passports and offering a time to collect the documents from the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C.
Multiple sources confirmed to ABC News that Trump’s residence in Palm Beach was searched by FBI agents on Aug. 8, starting at 10 a.m. local time. The former president was not there.
Sources said the operation was related to the 15 boxes of documents that Trump took when he departed the White House, some of which the National Archives has said were marked classified. In January, Trump handed over documents to the National Archives, and his attorneys said they were searching for additional records they may have.
The former president issued a statement on the night of Aug. 8, saying Mar-a-Lago “is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” He added: “They even broke into my safe!“
The raid on Mar-a-Lago is believed to be the first search by the FBI of the residence of a current or former U.S. president. Trump and other Republicans have sharply criticized the raid as a partisan attack and have demanded an explanation. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
The Yucatan Times
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