GOP leaders blast Mar-a-Lago search
Investigators were looking for evidence that former President Donald Trump mishandled classified documents, people familiar with the situation said Monday. Trump’s son Eric Trump told Fox News that the National Archives wanted to determine whether his father had any documents at his Florida estate that he should have turned over at the end of his presidency. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the raid was deeply concerning, adding, “If this can happen to a former president of the United States, what can they do to an average American?”
What prompted the investigation? The National Archives said that in February it received 15 boxes of White House records, including classified documents, from Mar-a-Lago. The Presidential Records Act requires former presidents to turn over all of their letters, work documents, and emails to the National Archives, which asked the Justice Department to investigate. Eric Trump said the boxes were mistaken for boxes of clippings when Trump moved out of the White House on Inauguration Day. The White House said it had no prior knowledge of the search. Trump said in a statement that the investigation was a “weaponization of the justice system” and a first for a U.S. president. A former president has never faced an FBI raid, according to Thomas Schwartz, a Vanderbilt University history professor who studies presidential history.
Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s report in The Stew on Trump’s first speech in Washington since he left office.
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