Questions are flying about why the FBI raided the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump. However, the White House, the Department of Justice, and the FBI are providing few answers. In fact, the Biden family left Washington, D.C., on a vacation, and Attorney General Merrick Garland cannot be found. John Sullivan at Just the News has been asking questions and found more information.
According to Sullivan, “Trump secretly received a grand jury subpoena for classified documents belonging to the National Archives” in June 2022, two months before the raid. Trump “voluntarily cooperated by turning over responsive evidence, surrendering security surveillance footage and allowing federal agents and a senior Justice Department lawyer to tour his private storage locker.” This information came from “a half dozen people familiar with the incident.”
Trump’s attorneys arranged the cooperation, but “Trump personally surprised the DOJ National Security Division prosecutor and three FBI agents who came to his Mar-a-Lago compound on June 3, greeting them as they came to pick up a small number of documents compliant with the subpoena,” sources told Just the News. The sources spoke “only on condition of anonymity because the visit was covered by grand jury secrecy.”
The subpoena requested any remaining documents Trump possessed with any classification markings, even if they involved photos of foreign leaders, correspondence or mementos from his presidency.
Secret Service agents were also present and facilitated the visit, officials said.
Trump signaled his full cooperation, telling the agents and prosecutor, “Look, whatever you need let us know,” according to two eyewitnesses. The federal team was surprised by the president’s invitation and asked for an immediate favor: to see the 6-foot-by 10-foot storage locker where his clothes, shoes, documents and mementoes from his presidency were stored at the compound.
Given Trump’s instruction, the president’s lawyers complied and allowed the search by the FBI before the entourage left cordially. Five days later, DOJ officials sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers asking them to secure the storage locker with more than the lock they had seen. The Secret Service installed a more robust security lock to comply.
Around the same time, the Trump Organization, which owns Mar-a-Lago, received a request for surveillance video footage covering the locker and volunteered the footage to federal authorities, sources disclosed.
The above disclosure on Wednesday brought “new questions in legal and congressional circles about the subsequent raid.” One of the questions being asked is “whether the judge who approved the warrant [knew] of the earlier cooperation.” George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley said the following to Sean Hannity at Fox News.
The more we learn, the more confusing this gets…. Did they relay this history to the magistrate? That, according to these sources, that the president had cooperated.
I mean, the idea that he was subject to a subpoena, complied with a subpoena, didn’t challenge it, voluntarily showed the storage room to the agents, followed their advice, secured it to meet their demands. All of that is hardly a basis for saying now we need to send in 40 FBI agents on a raid…. I mean, if the subpoena worked the first time, then presumably a second subpoena would work the second time if there were remaining documents.
Some people, including Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), believe that raid is Democrats’ attempt for impeachment #4, noting that the January 6 investigation is #3, plus the two formal impeachment attempts. The activity in June “came months after Trump had already returned about 15 boxes of documents, many of them classified, at the request of the National Archives.” According to government officials, “the documents were mistakenly boxed up by the General Services Administration along with Trump’s personal possessions from the White House and shipped to Mar-a-Lago.” Federal authorities were not satisfied that they had all the classified materials and arranged the June 3 visit.
There were “no other official contacts with the president’s lawyers until agents showed up unannounced on Monday and executed the search warrant.” The FBI ousted the president’s lawyers and staff and spent nine hours in the Trump home. They “collected about 12 boxes of evidence.”
Did U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart know about the cooperation from Trump? Government officials will not say whether he knew of it or not. Another question is why did the FBI wait three days after getting the warrant signed by the judge?
Another question is why Reinhart did not recuse himself from signing the warrant? “Just the News obtained a court document showing that Reinhart … recused himself from Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats in the Russia collusion scandal, citing concerns that he couldn’t be impartial.” He recused himself from that case only six weeks before he signed the current warrant.