Donald Trump called for the “immediate” release of the federal warrant the FBI used to search his Florida estate earlier this week.
In messages posted on his Truth Social platform last night, Mr Trump wrote: “Release the documents now!”
The US Department of Justice has asked a court to unseal the warrant, with Attorney General Merrick Garland citing the “substantial public interest in this case”.
Mr Trump’s Truth Social post said: “Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the un-American, unjustified and unnecessary raid and burglary of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, But-a- Lago, I am going one step further by urging the immediate release of those documents, even though they were drafted by radical left-wing Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful interest in attacking me, so they have done for the last 6 years.”
Mr Garland has said he “personally approved” the warrant to search Mr Trump’s Florida residence.
In a statement made in Washington DC, he said the Justice Department “did not take the decision lightly”.
He confirmed that federal agents searched Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach on Monday to investigate whether he illegally removed records from the White House when he left office.
The Washington Post reported that federal agents were searching for documents related to nuclear weapons.
The Ministry of Justice has been under pressure since the raid to provide a public statement for the search.
Mr Garland added that the department has asked a court to make public the property receipt detailing what agents found in the estate.
Mr Trump himself announced the search in a statement on Monday, claiming agents had broken into his safe and saying it represented “dark times for our nation”.
Responding to Mr Garland’s comments, Mr Trump said on the social media platform Truth Social that his lawyers and representatives were “fully cooperating”.
He added that the government could have “whatever they wanted, if we had it” and that “very large numbers of agents” raided Mar-a-Lago.
“They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy,” he said.
After the unprecedented search, the Justice Department has faced fierce criticism, with Trump supporters and some of his fellow Republicans in Washington accusing Democrats of weaponizing the federal bureaucracy to target Mr. Trump.
The US Department of Justice is investigating the discovery of boxes of records containing classified information that were brought to Mar-a-Lago after Mr Trump’s presidency ended.
They were retrieved in January by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which then asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Mr. Trump’s handling of White House records violated federal law.
It noted that some of the boxes contained items “marked as classified national security information”.
It is not clear what law enforcement officials were looking for, but it is likely to have been additional evidence that would help with prosecutors’ case.
Analysis – Sky Correspondent David Blevins
The attorney general was under pressure to justify the execution of a search warrant at the former president’s home.
Donald Trump’s claim that the operation was politically motivated has gained momentum among his Republican allies.
But Merrick Garland had to walk a fine line between defending the decision to seek a warrant and protecting the integrity of the investigation.
The Department of Justice filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and that would put a lot more information in the public domain.
Taking personal responsibility for the decision, the attorney general issued a staunch defense of the FBI and Justice Department.
Amid criticism and even threats on social media, he said: “I will not stand by while her integrity is unfairly attacked.”
Hours earlier, a man had opened fire with a nail gun before pointing a gun at an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, but no motive has been established.
They are trying to prove that Mr. Trump or his aides intentionally broke the law.
That would mean producing evidence showing that the Trump camp was told that taking the documents was not allowed.
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