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Republicans demand disclosure of affidavit justifying FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid – live

Republicans demand disclosure of affidavit justifying FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid - live
Calls for release of court documents come after search warrant showed Trump had 11 sets of classified documents

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Trump lawyer does not ‘believe’ that secret nuclear documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Republicans are stepping up calls for the release of an FBI affidavit justifying the seizure of documents from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

A search warrant released last week revealed that the former president had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, and that the Justice Department had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations.

Republicans are calling for the disclosure of the submissions made by the federal agency that persuaded the judge to issue the search warrant. The unsealing of such affidavits is highly unusual and would require approval from a federal judge.

“The Justice Department should ‘show that this was not just a fishing expedition, that they had due cause to go in and to do this, that they did exhaust all other means,” Republican senator Mike Rounds told NBC.

The demand comes amid reports of heightened threats against federal law enforcement personnel in the wake of the raid.

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Trump keeps trying to divert attention to Obama over ‘nuclear’ records scandal — here’s why that doesn’t add up

One of the many responses from Donald Trump to the unprecedented raid of his home is another unfounded conspiracy theory positing that Barack Obama took “millions” of documents from the White House when he left.

It’s factually untrue; the 44th president in fact has only obtained unclassified records from the National Archives (which is the legal process for doing so) for use in the development of his presidential library. No one at the National Archives or DOJ have insinuated that Mr Obama did anything remotely wrong.

Dive deep into the latest flailing attempt by Donald Trump and his team to offer alternative facts instead of addressing the issue at hand:

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Republicans push to see affidavit justifying FBI raid of Trump’s home

Republicans have sought more details on the FBI’s raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

They are seeking disclosure of the affidavit submitted by the agency that persuaded a federal judge into issuing a search warrant, arguing that it would show the raids had “due cause” and were “not just a fishing expedition”.

“I think a releasing the affidavit would help, at least that would confirm that there was justification for this raid,” Republican senator Mike Rounds told NBC.

<p>File: Mike Rounds speaking during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on 27 January 2021</p>

File: Mike Rounds speaking during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on 27 January 2021

“The Justice Department should ‘show that this was not just a fishing expedition, that they had due cause to go in and to do this, that they did exhaust all other means,” he said.

“And if they can’t do that, then we’ve got a serious problem on our hands.”

The statement comes as the search warrant released last week showed that Mr Trump had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, and that the Justice Department had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations.

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Trump’s lawyer claims all investigations into him will be dropped if he says he won’t run in 2024

An attorney on Donald Trump’s legal team claimed once again in a new interview that the Justice Department’s probe is aimed at stopping the former president from running for office in 2024, and that it would end if Mr Trump pledged to abstain from running.

There’s zero actual indication from the words or actions of the Justice Department that their investigation has anything to do with his campaigns, past or present, but the Trump team has latched onto that conspiracy, like many others, as they rage over the growing scandal which erupted on Monday.

“I’ve said it 100 times – if he’s not leading in the polls – I’ve sat across from him, every time he gets frustrated I say to him, ‘Mr President, if you would like me to resolve all your litigation, you should announce that you are not running for office, and all of this will stop,’” the former president’s attorney Alina Habba told Real America’s Voice in an interview.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:

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Trump asked Merrick Garland: ‘What can I do to reduce the heat?’ before FBI warrant was unsealed, report says

An unnamed source tells The New York Times that Donald Trump attempted to reach out to Merrick Garland personally after the FBI raided his home.

In a message sent from a Trump ally to a top DOJ official, the ex-president reportedly questioned, “What can I do to reduce the heat?”

Many have speculated about the reasoning for the message, as Donald Trump has shown little actual interest in reducing the political firestorm that he kicked off last week by excoriating the Department of Justice for the raid.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:

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ICYMI: Trump surges with 2024 primary voters

Donald Trump is surging with Republican voters after the FBI raided his home at Mar-a-Lago.

A new Morning Consult poll taken after Monday’s news broke found that as many as 10 per cent of likely primary voters may have just swung in his favour.

Read more from The Independent’s Graeme Massie:

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ICYMI: Rand Paul mocked for call to repeal Espionage Act cited in Trump FBI warrant

Kentucky Sen Rand Paul is under fire after he called for the Espionage Act, a controversial piece of legislation which has been used to punish whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, to be repealed in response to the news that Donald Trump is being investigated for potentially violating it.

Many users pointed out that it was the first time the libertarian Kentuckian had ever mentioned the legislation on Twitter — and that the Act’s past use does not justify the mishandling of important government secrets, including information about nuclear technology that the Washington Post reported was among the documents the DOJ hoped to find at Mar-a-Lago.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:

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Trump-backed candidate says he’s glad voters know he threated ex-wife with a gun

Herschel Walker, the Trump-backed candidate in the Georgia Senate race whose campaign has been upturned by a cascade of embarrassing revelations, says in a new interview that he’s glad that Democrats are running ads about him threatening his ex-wife’s life.

In a bizarre interview with a right-wing podcaster, Mr Walker asserted that the anecdote of him threatening to shoot his then-wife makes him look like a “warrior”.

Watch below:

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ICYMI: Trump demands FBI return documents to Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump is calling on the Justice Department to hand over some of the documents seized on Monday in a raid of his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence in Florida.

In a Truth Social post, the former president reacted to a Fox News report which stated on Saturday that the FBI had informed Mr Trump’s team following the raid that some of the documents they seized were protected under attorney-client privilige.

“Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged “attorney-client” material, and also “executive” privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!” wrote Mr Trump on Sunday.

Read more:

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ICYMI: Mar-a-Lago footage subpoenaed by DoJ sparks speculation Trump may still have some classified documents

A new subpoena from the Justice Department is raising the question: Is the DOJ done retrieving potentially classified material from Mar-a-Lago?

The New York Times reports that investigators from the Justice Department subpoenaed video from a 60-day period “including views from outside the storage room” where the documents in question were being kept.

“According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room,” the Times’s Maggie Haberman reported.

If true, it means that investigators could be on the lookout for further materials removed from the White House apparently without authorization.

Read more from The Independent’s Graeme Massie:

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John Bolton tears latest Trump documents defence to shreds

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of the highest-ranking ex-officials in the Trump administration who had access to documents at the highest levels of classification, said on Sunday that allies of Donald Trump who claim that the ex-president issued a “standing order” to declassify any materials removed from the White House are lying.

Mr Bolton responded to the claim, raised by Kash Patel and others, in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation.

”This is likely a lie,” he said. “I was never aware of any such order. Never heard of it. Never heard of it after I left. I have no reason to believe it exists.”

“Was this supposed order ever memorialized by the White House counsel? What about by the National Security Council? If so, where is it? And is [Trump] aware that declassifying leaves those documents open to [Freedom of Information Act] requests? It is also a huge logistical task that does not seem to have happened.”