The FBI is searching for official documents at the Florida residence of former US President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported Monday, citing sources close to the investigation. According to the Times - one of the newspapers most critical of Trump - these documents include, among others, classified material that Trump would have taken with him from the White House instead of handing it over to the historical archive as required by law.
Mar-a-Lago, the mansion that Trump owns in Palm Beach, in southeast Florida, was searched on Monday by FBI agents, as announced by the former president himself. "These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach is now under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents," Trump wrote in a statement.
The Republican claimed that "nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before". "These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach is now being besieged, stormed and occupied by a large group of FBI agents," the note concluded.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Trump's political ally, stressed that this is a raid on political "adversaries" and said Hunter Biden, whom Republicans accuse of corruption, is getting better treatment. "It's another escalation in the use of weapons by federal agencies against political opponents of the Regime, while people like Hunter Biden are being treated with kid gloves," DeSantis stressed.
For its part, the Times report is signed by Maggie Haberman, the same editor who has written a book in which photographs are published showing notes that Trump allegedly flushed down the toilet while he was president.
The images are part of the book Confidence Man: The making of Donald Trump and the breaking of America, and were obtained by the author from sources in the former Republican administration. One of the photographs shows a toilet inside the White House and the second one shows a toilet inside the White House and the second one shows another one of Trump's trip abroad. One of the torn notes reads the word "qualified", and another Stefanik, a possible reference to Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a Trump ally who became the party's "number three" in the lower house.
It is unclear who wrote them, but according to CNN their handwriting appears to be that of the former president. "Who knows what those papers were? Only he and presumably whoever was dealing with it," Haberman told CNN on Monday, making it clear that beyond the content that can be intuited, the most important issue concerns the preservation of official documents.
The reporter recalls that White House staff during Trump's tenure noted that the now former US president used to flush documents down the toilet. This is not the first time Trump has been accused of tearing up official documents. In February, the media published the discovery of several boxes of working material and information that the former president had in his Florida home.
The documents included correspondence sent to him by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during the bilateral thaw, which Trump once described as "love letters", as well as a missive left in the Oval Office by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Haberman had already claimed in February that Trump used to flush papers down the toilet and that White House staff said he sometimes clogged the pipes, an accusation that the former president then considered "categorically false". "You have to be pretty desperate to sell books if part of your promotional strategy is pictures of papers in a cup," Trump spokeswoman Taylor Budowich told online media Axios on Monday.
Meanwhile, a dozen or so protesters in support of the former president gathered in the evening near the Mar-a-Lago club, staked out with campaign signs from the last election.
Coordinator America: José Antonio Sierra