Trump demands FBI return documents to Mar-a-Lago

Trump demands FBI return documents to Mar-a-Lago
Former president reacts to report that FBI seized priviliged documents

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.

The Justice Department has not confirmed that publicly, and has not commented on the investigation beyond a brief statement delivered to reporters by Attorney General Merrick Garland last week. The agency typically does not comment at all on ongoing investigations.

“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.

The post followed another rant from the president about the FBI raid that has captured the total attention of the US political world this past week; in his latest tirade, the former president once again faulted the DOJ and FBI for their investigation of his 2016 campaign, and suggested both political motivation for the raid and the unfounded conspiracy that FBI agents planted evidence in the boxes of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

“The whole World was watching as the FBI rummaged through the house, including the former First Lady’s closets (and clothing!), alone and unchecked. They even demanded that the security cameras be turned off (we refused), but there was no way of knowing if what they took was legitimate, or was there a ‘plant?’ This was, after all, the FBI!” wrote the ex-president.

His defenders have flailed across mainstream media this week as the defences for his alleged retention of highly-classified documents have grown increasingly nonsensical. Over the past several days, his allies have insisted that the FBI be defunded, that agents are planting evidence, and that Mr Trump had unilaterally declassified all of the documents he had retained (though they have produced zero evidence to back that up).

At the same time, others on Capitol Hill who still remain in the president’s camp but have not bought on to the call to eliminate the FBI have attempted, with little success, to explain why documents classified at the highest level (including, according to the Washington Post, some dealing with nuclear policy or capabilities) could possibly be stored at the notoriously porous Mar-a-Lago in any acceptable circumstances.

The fractures in the GOP over defending Mr Trump have generated more intra-party accusations of disloyalty levied at fellow Republicans by the former president’s allies as his most diehard supporters fume at the unwillingness of congressional Republicans to fully lean in to the baseless conspiracies and unfounded accusations that are being thrown at the FBI.