Attorneys for former President Donald Trump have spoken out about what they experienced when FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida residence.
Christina Bobb, one of the attorneys, alleged that when she arrived at the scene she was given a copy of the warrant after some negotiation, only to find that it was partially sealed.
“When I arrived and kind of announced myself as the legal representation for President Trump. I asked to see a copy of the warrant,” she said.
“Initially they refused and said, ‘You know, we don’t have to show it to you.’ And there was a little bit of an exchange about whether it was appropriate to withhold the warrant when you’re searching the residence of the former president, who’s likely to be the Republican nominee in the next election, though they conceded and let me see it, they did not give me a copy of it right away, but they did let me see it,” she said.
“It was very, I would say, thin. And as you can tell from public records, the affidavit, the supporting documentation of what the probable cause was to obtain the warrant has been sealed,” she said.
“So we’re not allowed to see that. We have to go to court to request the judge to release that which, you know, may or may not happen. So we don’t know what the probable cause is, why they were allowed to search, but they did,” the attorney said.
“They also said that they were looking for classified documents, evidence of a crime as far as classified documents go,” she said.
“So they were looking for both classified information that they think should not have been removed from the White House as well as presidential records,” she said but said that the president could declassify documents as he wants to.
“It doesn’t really make any sense. And the same thing with any potential classified information, which I don’t believe there was any down there. We had done a search of it before and didn’t find anything noteworthy yet. I’m sure that they’re claiming that there was something terribly egregious, that a grave matter of national security. But we’ll find out,” she said.
Another of the former president’s attorneys, Lindsey Halligan, described what she witnessed at the search, CBS News reported.
Halligan alleged that for the 8 hours over which the raid took place, 30-40 FBI personnel conducted the search, and while some were in suits, many were in plain clothes. She estimated having seen 10-15 vehicles enter and leave the premises during that time.
Both attorneys were barred from going inside the complex, forced to remain outside between the ballroom and residence on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago.
According to Halligan, the FBI divided up the search into three areas: a bedroom, a storage area and an office.
“Halligan said the search warrant was sealed, and because she had not been party to this aspect of Trump’s legal portfolio until Monday, did not know what kinds of documents the FBI might be looking for nor what kinds of documents the former president keeps with him at Mar-a-Lago,” CBS said.
She said that the search “was an appalling display of abuse and power — complete overkill.” And said that “if they needed documents, they could have asked. There’s never been an issue with compliance.”