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Why did the FBI search Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago?

The former President’s Florida residence was raided as part of a Justice Department investigation into the removal of classified White House documents.

FBI searches Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

On Monday morning the FBI executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida and reportedly seized documents related to his time in the White House.

Two sources familiar with the search have confirmed that the action began at around 9am on Monday as part of an ongoing investigation into his conduct in office. Justice Department investigators have previously indicated that there is reason to think that the former President may have removed and destroyed White House records after leaving Washington last year.

This Justice Department investigation relates to presidential documents which were reportedly removed and the decision to search Trump’s Florida resort constitutes a significant escalation in the inquiry.

Trump may have ignored archiving rules

White House documents are covered by some very specific codes of practice to ensure that classified materials are properly stored and recorded. Trump has previously been flagged for violating the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which makes clear that White House documents must be preserved, but Monday’s search suggests that the investigation is intensifying.

Back in February the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) informed Congress that 15 boxes of White House documents had been found at Mar-a-Lago, contravening the rules on classified materials.

At the time the House of Representatives Oversight Committee announced that an existing investigation into Trump’s conduct would be expanded to include the new evidence, and requested that NARA provides documents relating to Trump’s time in office.

Trump had previously insisted that his team had returned records to the Archives in-keeping with what he termed “an ordinary and routine process.”

Trump rallies against circling investigations

The search of Mar-a-Lago is perhaps the most significant action taken by the Justice Department to date, but it relates to just one of numerous legal inquiries swamping the former President. As well as the investigation about missing national records, Trump is also at the centre of the Congressional investigation of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, allegations of election tampering and accusations on wire fraud.

With investigations into his conduct intensifying, Trump maintains his innocence and released a bitter statement on Monday claiming that his is the victim of “political persecution.”

He wrote: “It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”

“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before,” the statement read.