The FBI raided the home of former U.S. President Donald Trump Monday after it was granted a search warrant by a federal judge appointed by the former president himself.
The search was part of the Justice Department's investigation into Trump's removal of presidential records considered official government property from the White House at the end of his term in January 2021.
The department was notified this year that Trump had taken classified material after the National Archives, the agency tasked with preserving government records, revealed it had recovered 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago, some marked as classified national security information.
Much is still unknown about the search warrant, which remains under seal, or the sworn statement that an FBI agent had to present to a magistrate judge to win court approval to search a former president's home.
Hours after denouncing the FBI's raid on his Florida home as political persecution, former U.S. President Donald Trump released a campaign-style video that may be the strongest hint yet that he plans to run against President Joe Biden in 2024.
Trump's allies in the House of Representatives and the Senate said the FBI's search for documents Trump removed from the White House was meant to sideline Trump as a possible 2024 presidential contender.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scoffed at Republican claims that Attorney General Merrick Garland had politicized the FBI, pointing out that agency director Christopher Wray was appointed by Trump.
"What would you expect them to say?" Pelosi chuckled to reporters in the U.S. Capitol. "That's typical of them to try to undermine a person."
Garland has also received criticism from the left, with some Democrats calling for his department to be more aggressive in investigating Trump and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters.
Still, Trump and his allies on Tuesday wasted no time trying to stir anger and passion among his supporters, while also trying to rake in dollars off the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.
"There is no mountain we cannot climb, there is no summit we cannot reach, there is no challenge we cannot meet," Trump said in the new video, which included an extended critique of the Biden administration. "We will not bend, we will not break, we will not yield."
The ad was followed by fundraising appeals highlighting the raid.
In an email sent to supporters seen by CGTN, Trump called the raid a "lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt.
"Trump's son Eric acknowledged that the search was part of an investigation into the former president's removal of official records from the White House to his Florida estate.
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