The FBI has registered this Monday Mar-a-Lago, the mansion that former US President Donald Trump owns in Palm Beach, in southeast Florida, as announced by the former president himself.
The New York Times newspaper He assures that the agents would be looking for official documents in the residence of the Republican. Documents that would include, among others, classified material that Trump would have taken from the White House instead of delivering it to the historical archive as established by law.
Trump has assured in a statement that his house was being “besieged, assaulted and occupied by a large group of FBI agents”. “Never before has something like this happened to a US president,” he said. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department have commented on the operation.
Donald Trump’s habit of destroying documents during his presidency has been documented by media such as Political and the Washington Post for years and is also now being investigated by the House of Representatives committee on the assault on Congress on January 6, 2021. Several former White House aides have said that the former president was shredding papers that, according to US law, should be be preserved in the public archives.
The former president has accused the Prosecutor’s Office of “misconduct” and has denounced “the militarization of the justice system” and the “attack by radical left-wing Democrats” who, according to him, do not want him to run for president in 2024. If prosecuted, Trump would not be able to stand for election. According to the former president, a search like the FBI can only happen in “broken” Third World countries.
The search occurred on the same day that Axios, a media outlet specializing in political information in Washington, published photographs showing the remains of various documents thrown into a toilet by Trump himself.
The images are part of Confidence Man: The making of Donald Trump and the breaking of Americathe book that New York Times political correspondent Maggie Haberman will publish. Exclusive photographs showing pieces of paper written in Trump’s handwriting at the bottom of two toilets.
Haberman’s book, which is published in the United States in October, includes statements from White House employees, who daily found piles of paper stuck in the toilet. These photos, recently obtained by the journalist, may be proof of these confidences, according to Axios.
The sources consulted by Haberman say that the photograph on the left was of a White House toilet, while the one on the right was from a trip abroad that the former president took. These feature Trump’s handwriting, written in his favorite marker, and one features the name of Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a Trump supporter and member of the House party leadership.
This exclusive comes after Trump denied in February “having destroyed or thrown papers down the toilet”. Despite journalistic and congressional investigations indicating that the former president routinely destroyed or restricted access to official presidential records during his tenure.
A Trump spokesman, Taylor Budowich, now tells Axios that the photos are part of a “desperate publicity campaign” to sell Haberman’s book, one of the journalists most insulted and attacked by Trump during his presidency in a continuous operation of harassment, especially online, against female reporters.
The sources consulted by Haberman also reported that the destruction of documents occurred several times in the presidential residence, and on at least two trips abroad. This way of “disposing” papers “was not very well known in the West Wing, but some attendees were aware of this practice,” explains Haberman at Axios. “It was just another habit in Trump’s habit of tearing up documents that were supposed to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act.”
According to this law, the destruction of documents is illegal. Additionally, the rule requires a president to immediately turn over presidential records to the national archivist as soon as he leaves office.
This is not the first time Trump has been accused of ripping up official documents. In February, the media published the discovery of several boxes with material and work information that the former president had in his house in Florida.
Among the documents were correspondence sent to him by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during the bilateral thaw, which Trump once described as love letters.” He also had a letter left for him in the Oval Office by his predecessor, Barack Obama (2009-2017).