Palm Beach police have notified surrounding police departments, including the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, that it received intelligence today informing them that armed pro-Trump protesters are expected near Mar-a-Lago following last night’s FBI raid, a Florida law enforcement source has told DailyMail.com.
The Palm Beach police has notified surrounding departments in the county, requesting that all departments be on the lookout for armed motorists parking near Donald Trump‘s home in the coming hours.
Protesters often park in the parking lot of a Publix supermarket on Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach and walk to the area of the property, where street parking is not allowed.
Dozens of furious Trump supporters began to descend on Mar-a-Lago last night shortly after he revealed the FBI had raided his house as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to the Florida residence.
Pro-Trump protesters stands behind the Mar-a-Lago estate today following raid by FBI agents. The Palm Beach police has notified surrounding departments in the county, requesting that all departments be on the lookout for armed motorists parking near Donald Trump’s home.mp
Trump supporters carry flags near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach
Supporters of former president Donald Trump drive past his residence
‘They even broke into my safe!’ Trump complained of the raid
Trump, disclosing the search in a lengthy statement, claimed that agents had opened up a safe at his home and described their work as an ‘unannounced raid’ that he called ‘prosecutorial misconduct.’
He accused the FBI of a double standard, claiming the bureau ‘allowed’ Hillary Clinton to ‘acid wash’ 33,000 emails from her time as secretary of state.
Those in his camp said the raid was a clear attempt to thwart a potential 2024 presidential run.
Secret Service and local law enforcement officers stand in front of the home of former US President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago
Trump has not formally announced any campaign, but speculation that he will run again is rife. It was compounded by his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference Texas this weekend in Dallas.
Last night, his supporters held pro-Trump signs, including ones for a presumptive 2024 campaign and even one for Trump’s previous campaign, with former Vice President Mike Pence‘s name crossed out. One was publicly identifying as a member of the far-right Proud Boys.
The rowdy group arrived in a series of cars, donning Trump-themed clothing while waving Trump flags, amid a large police presence.
The raid on Trump’s home intensifies the months-long probe into how classified documents ended up in more than a dozen boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.
It occurs amid a separate grand jury investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and adds to the potential legal peril for Trump as he lays the groundwork for another run.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump were spotted outside his Mar-a-Lago home on Monday to back the ex-Commander in Chief after it was announced it had been raided by the FBI
Trump’s supporters were quick to turn out after learning he’d been raided by the FBI. His fans say it’s a double standard and a desperate attempt by the left to thwart a potential 2024 run
Trump confirmed the raid – reportedly as part of an investigation into whether the former president took classified documents with him when he left the White House – on Monday evening
Some came in their cars and were camped out in the beds of their trunks, almost entirely in a show of support for the twice-impeached Trump
Signs had slogans like: ‘Make Votes Count Again’ or ‘Keep America Great’ and ‘In Trump I Trust’
Many held pro-Trump signs, including ones for a presumptive 2024 campaign and even one for Trump’s previous campaign with former Vice President Mike Pence’s name crossed out
A reporter is heckled by anti-media and pro-Trump protesters across the waterfront from Mar-A-Lago
The FBI agents were joined by sheriff’s deputies at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago complex to contain the extraordinary scenes
Trump fans descended on Mar-a-Lago last night in a show of the support for the ex-president after the FBI raided his home
Armed Secret Service agents stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, late Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump said in a lengthy statement that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe
Authorities stand outside Mar-a-Lago, the residence of former president Donald Trump, amid reports of the FBI executing a search warrant as a part of a document investigation
At least one anti-Trump protester was spotted on the grounds with signs calling Trump names like ‘punk’ and ‘p***y’
One of the protesters was publicly identifying as a member of the far right Proud Boys and the ‘Bikers for Trump’ group
Some also held invectives against Joe Biden, with one wearing a t-shirt of the president’s face saying ‘Not my Dictator’
EXCLUSIVE: Trump could be BANNED from holding public office if he is found guilty of mishandling classified White House records – and the legal saga will be a ‘huge’ development for his 2024 hopes, legal experts warn
Federal law prohibits someone convicted of mishandling documents from holding any office in the US, legal experts have warned could be a ‘huge’ development for Trump’s hopes to run for president in 2024.
‘If Trump is convicted under this federal statute, he would be prohibited from holding any office including the office of the president,’ former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told DailyMail.com. ‘That would be huge.’
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida was raided by the FBI Monday, reportedly as part of an investigation into whether he took classified documents with him when he left presidential office.
Trump, in his dramatic announcement of the raid, did not specifically say what the federal agents were looking for, just that his home was ‘under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.’
Trump could be facing ‘significant criminal exposure’ if the FBI raid determines he destroyed government records, Rahmani, who is president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told DailyMail.com Monday night.
He said Trump would likely be charged under US Code Title 18, Section 2071 which involves concealment or destruction of US government documents.
The code states that anyone who ‘willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record’ could be fined and sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison.
The provision also states that anyone convicted of records concealment or destruction ‘shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.’
‘His lawyers told him about the law requiring that he preserve White House documents, so he was on notice and that will bolster the case and help prove intent if prosecutors charge Trump.’
Trump took 15 boxes of material with him in January 2021 after he left office.
The boxes were returned to the National Archives a year later, in January 2022, but agents on Monday were reportedly looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at his South Florida estate.
‘FBI agents, in an investigation like this, are not always going to find every missing document or even discover every instance where a paper went missing,’ Rahmani warned. ‘It’s not hard to destroy documents and in some cases investigators will never find any evidence that a document even existed.’
He added: ‘In other instances, investigators can figure out something is missing, if for example they have testimony from a government official who says he was tasked with writing up a transcript and he did that, but the document can’t be found anywhere. Then you know someone destroyed it. But figuring out who did that can be another mystery.’
Rahmani noted the raid of Trump’s home was likely carried out only by agents involved in searching for documents that should have been in the National Archives.
He said the agents investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol ‘may have nothing to do with this operation.’
‘But if evidence comes out from the raid that sheds light on Trump’s involvement in the Capitol Riot, then that will absolutely become part of the Jan. 6 investigation,’ the legal expert added.
Familiar battle lines, forged during a four-year presidency shadowed by FBI and congressional investigations, quickly took shape again Monday night.
Trump and his allies sought to cast the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democratic-driven effort to keep him from winning another term in 2024 – even though the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge of it, and the current FBI director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department.
‘These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,’ Trump wrote. ‘Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.’
‘After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,’ Trump said in his statement.
A group of Trump supporters descended on the former President’s home shortly after the announcement.
Many held pro-Trump signs, including ones for a presumptive 2024 campaign and even one for Trump’s previous campaign, with former Vice President Mike Pence ‘s name crossed out. One was publicly identifying as a member of the far right Proud Boys.
Signs had slogans like: ‘Make Votes Count Again’ or ‘Keep America Great’ and ‘In Trump I Trust.’
Some also held invectives against Joe Biden, with one wearing a t-shirt of the president’s face saying ‘Not my Dictator.’
One even stood by a reporter outside the estate with a sign that said ‘Fake News is CNN’. At least one anti-Trump protester was spotted on the grounds with signs calling Trump names like ‘punk’ and ‘p***y.’
Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search, including about whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized it.
Trump did not elaborate on the basis for the search, but the Justice Department has been investigating the potential mishandling of classified information after the National Archives and Records Administration said it had retrieved from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of records containing classified information earlier this year.
The National Archives said Trump should have turned over that material upon leaving office, and it asked the Justice Department to investigate.
There are multiple federal laws governing the handling of classified records and sensitive government documents, including statutes that make it a crime to remove such material and retain it at an unauthorized location.
Though a search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected, federal officials looking to obtain one must first demonstrate to a judge that they have probable cause that a crime occurred.
Two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the search happened earlier Monday and was related to the records probe. Agents were also looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at the estate.
Trump has previously maintained that presidential records were turned over ‘in an ordinary and routine process.’
His son Eric Trump, who was also spotted at Trump Tower on Monday, said he was the one that got the call on the raid and told his father about it.
‘I was the guy who got the call this morning and I called my father and let him know it happened, and I was involved all day,’ he told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
‘Welcome to politics in the 2020s.’
‘To have 30 FBI agents – actually more than that – descend on Mar-a-Lago, give absolutely, you know, no notice, go through the gates, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet – you know, they broke into a safe.
‘He didn’t even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break.’
Asked how the documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago, Eric Trump said the boxes were among items that got moved out of the White House during ‘six hours’ on Inauguration Day, as the Bidens prepared to move into the building.
‘My father always kept press clippings,’ Eric Trump said.
‘He had boxes, when he moved out of the White House.’
He charged President Joe Biden’s White House as the force behind the raid.
‘This didn’t come from a local FBI field office in Palm Beach, Florida.
‘You know this came from? This came from one place and one building, and that is the White House in Washington, D.C. They want to attack a guy who they view as his greatest threat, Biden’s greatest threat,’ Eric Trump said.
Biden’s White House had no heads up on the matter. Senior White House officials found out about it via Twitter, The New York Times reported.
President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York City on Monday night after he announced he FBI had raided his Florida home
Trump took 15 boxes of material with him in January 2021 after he left Washington D.C. The boxes were returned to the National Archives a year later in January 2022 but agents on Monday were looking to see if Trump had additional material; above workers move boxes out of the Trump White House on January 14, 2021
Armed Secret Service agents stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday night
Eric Trump is spotted leaving Trump Tower; he told Fox News that he was the one who got notice of the raid and told his father about it
What WERE FBI agents looking for at Mar-a-Lago?
FBI agents who raided Donald Trump‘s Florida estate have been in discussions since June with his legal team about a trove of presidential documents on the property, it emerged on Monday night, as speculation continued to swirl about what exactly they were looking for.
The raid was carried out on Monday, and confirmed by Trump himself. The White House is believed to have learnt of the raid when the rest of the world did, and was not informed in advance.
In February it emerged that Trump had taken classified documents out of the White House when he left in January 2021, and some of those were handed over to the National Archives.
Monday’s raid is thought likely to be related to the remaining boxes of documents, although it remained unclear why the FBI decided to raid the estate.
CNN reported on Monday evening that investigators were at Mar-a-Lago on June 8, meeting Trump’s lawyers to discuss the documents.
Trump was not questioned, the network reported, but stopped by and greeted the investigators and his two attorneys.
The two attorneys then took the investigators to a basement room and showed them where the documents were stored.
Five days later, Trump’s attorneys received a letter asking them to enhance the security on the store room, and a padlock was then placed on the door.
It’s unclear why the FBI then decided to raid the property.
Lara Trump told Fox News ‘look, my father-in-law, as anybody knows, who’s been around him a lot, loves to save things like newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photographs, documents that he had every authority… to take from the White House.’
She called the raid an attempt to hurt him as her father-in-law may ‘announce any day that he’s running for president in 2024.’
Trump emerged from Trump Tower in New York City shortly before 8 p.m. and waved to bystanders before being driven away in an SUV.
In his first public remarks since news of the search surfaced, Trump made no mention of it during a tele-town hall on behalf of Leora Levy, the Connecticut Republican he has endorsed in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate primary to pick a general election opponent against Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Trump gave his public backing to Levy late last week, calling her on Monday the best pick ‘to replace Connecticut’s joke of a senator.’
But in a social media post Monday night, he was much more unguarded, calling the search a ‘weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.’
Other Republicans echoed that message. GOP National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel denounced the search as ‘outrageous’ and said it was a reason for voters to turn out in November.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said in a statement on Twitter that it was ‘an escalation in the weaponization’ of U.S. government agencies.’
Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, said in a tweet that the Justice Department ‘has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization’ and said that if Republicans win control of the U.S. House, they will investigate the department.
That Trump would become entangled in a probe into the handling of classified information is all the more striking given how he tried during the 2016 presidential election to exploit an FBI investigation into his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, over whether she mishandled classified information via a private email server she used as secretary of state.
The then-FBI Director James Comey concluded that Clinton had sent and received classified information but the FBI did not recommend criminal charges because it determined that Clinton had not intended to break the law.
Trump lambasted that decision and then stepped up his criticism of the FBI as agents began investigating whether his campaign had colluded with Russia to tip the 2016 election. He fired Comey during that probe, and though he appointed Wray months later, he repeatedly criticized him, too, as president.
Thomas Schwartz, a Vanderbilt University history professor who studies and writes about the presidency, said there is no precedent for a former president facing an FBI raid – even going back to Watergate. President Richard Nixon wasn’t allowed to take tapes or other materials from the White House when he resigned in 1974, Schwartz noted, and many of his papers remained in Washington for years before being transferred to his presidential library in California.
‘This is different and it is a sign of how unique the Trump period was,’ said Schwartz, author of ‘Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography.’ ‘How his behavior was so unusual.’
The probe is hardly the only legal headache confronting Trump. A separate investigation related to efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election – which led to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol – has also been intensifying in Washington. Several former White House officials have received grand jury subpoenas.
And a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, is investigating whether Trump and his close associates sought to interfere in that state’s election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.
Workers move boxes from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building into a truck on the White House grounds on January 14, 2021, six dyas before the departure of President Donald Trump
Police stand outside an entrance to Mar-a-Lago on Monday night
Trump’s Florida home: Mar-a-Lago, where agents were reportedly investigating whether Trump took classified documents with him when he left the White House
Trump supporters gathered in front of Mar-a-Lago on Monday night
Trump posts APOCALYPTIC ad decrying America as ‘a nation in decline’ but promises a political future where ‘the best is yet to come’
Donald Trump posted to his social media platform late Monday night an eerie apocalyptic ad calling America ‘a nation in decline’ – while also promising a political future for himself where he says ‘the best is yet to come.’
The ad was posted to Truth Social, the former president’s own alternative social media platform, just hours after his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida was raided by the FBI – reportedly as part of an investigation into whether he took classified documents with him when he left the White House.
Trump’s voice narrates the video ad which opens with a jolting clap of thunder over black and white photos of America.
The eerie ad was posted late Monday night after Lara Trump appeared on Fox News‘ ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ where she blasted the FBI’s raid and said it was about weaponizing the justice system, adding that people are terrified that her father-in-law is going to run president in 2024.
The raid on Monday night comes as Trump is considering another bid for the presidency and his actions after the 2020 election, where he tried to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory, are under investigation by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
‘We are a nation that in many ways has become a joke,’ Trump said in the ad. ‘But soon we will have greatness again.’
The raid comes as Donald Trump is considering another bid for the presidency and his actions after the 2020 election, where he tried to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory, are under investigation by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
It began Monday morning and took several hours. It is highly unusual for a federal raid to take place at the residence of a former commander in chief.
‘These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,’ Trump said in a shocking statement released on Monday night.
‘After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.’
Trump, in his lengthy statement blasting the raid, called it ‘prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and conservatives in the upcoming midterm elections.
The Justice Department wouldn’t say whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search but it’s highly unlikely a raid on a former president would take place without the AG giving it the stamp of approval.
The FBI gave US Secret Service agents at Mar-a-Lago advance notice and they cooperated, letting them into the property, NBC News reported. The Secret Service agents did not take part in the investigation or search.
This meant the FBI did not have to break into the property or bust down any doors.
A search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected, but it would have to be court authorized.
Garland and his DOJ are under heavy political pressure of their own – from Democrats who want the former president indicted to Republicans who will blast any probe as election-year politics.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy warned Garland of payback. He pledged to investigate the raid if Republicans win control of the House in November, which they are expected to do.
‘Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear you calendar,’ he said in a statement on Monday night.
In his statement, Trump portrayed himself as a victim of shadowy government forces. FBI Director Christopher Wray was appointed to his position by then-President Trump.
Trump complained on Monday that ‘such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.’
‘They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States,’ he said.
Trump was not at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, when the raid took place. The former president was in New York City on Monday. He gave a thumbs up as he left Trump Tower that evening after he announced the raid.
He usually spends August at his golf club in Bedminister, N.J. Photos posted to social media show him there on Sunday, posing with a newly-engaged couple.
The raid was believed to be tied to a DOJ investigation into the boxes of records containing classified information that were taken to Mar-a-Lago.
In February, the National Archives and Records Administration asked DOJ to examine whether the former president violated federal law. There are multiple statutes governing classified information, including a law punishable by up to five years in prison that makes it a crime to remove such records and retain them at an unauthorized location.
National Archives officials recovered 15 boxes of White House materials from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in mid-January.
Among the items Trump had to return were correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Trump has described as ‘beautiful letters’ and a handwritten letter that former President Barack Obama had left behind in the Oval Office for his successor.
Some Republicans were immediately critical of the raid.
‘Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships But never before in America,’ wrote Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on Twitter.
Donald Trump was at his golf club in Bedminister, N.J., on Sunday, according to this photo of him posing with a newly engaged couple that was posted to social media
Boxes were spotted just outside the West Wing in the days leading up to former President Donald Trump’s last day in office in January 2021
People wait for a moving van as they move boxes out of the Eisenhower Executive Office building on January 14, 2021
Among the documents Trump reportedly took with him when he left the White House were correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Trump has described as ‘beautiful letters’; above the two leaders at the DMZ in June 2019
Trump also reportedly took with him the letter Barack Obama left him int the Oval Office when Obama’s presidency finished – above President Obama and President-elect Trump in the Oval Office on November 10, 2016
Trump insisted, at the time, that the transfer of boxes to the National Archives and Records Administration was done ‘openly and willingly’.
‘Following collaborative and respectful discussions, the National Archives and Records Administration openly and willingly arranged with President Trump for the transport of boxes that contained letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles,’ he wrote in the third person.
He added: ‘Some of this information will someday be displayed in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library for the public to view my Administration’s incredible accomplishments for the American People.
In response to the seizure of materials, the House Oversight and Reform Committee opened a probe into Trump’s improperly removing or destroying White House documents.
‘Removing or concealing government records is a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison,’ the congressional letter to NARA Archivist David Ferriero noted.
Trump also was known throughout his presidency to rip up pieces of paper, which is a violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The Presidential Records Act requires the White House to preserve all memos, letters, emails and papers the president touches and send them to the National Archives for safekeeping.
But Trump had the odd habit of ripping up papers when he’s done with them – what some aides call his unofficial ‘filing system.’
A group of staffers in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building were in charge of taping the records back together.
Fragments of paper collected from the Oval Office and the White House’s private residence were sent to a records management office across the street from the White House to be re-assembled with scotch tape and then sent on to the National Archives to be properly filed.
The former president also reported flushed records.
Maggie Haberman, a New York Times White House correspondent, claims in her upcoming book on the Trump presidency that Trump would give records the royal flush.
On Monday, she claimed to have obtained pictures of presidential notes stuffed into residence toilets from a former White House official who worked under the previous administration.
The images published by Axios on Monday purportedly show two sets of notes in the toilets, one of which is said to be located in a White House bathroom, and the other in an undisclosed location abroad during a foreign presidential trip – though the papers appeared to be handwritten rather than official documents.
One of the ripped up papers on top of a stack in the toilet shows what appears to be lawmakers names scrawled down in all capital letters in black sharpie.
Two names can be seen clearly on the paper – Rogers and Stefanik – although the rest of the torn-up papers are mostly illegible.
It’s likely the names are referencing Republican Representative Mike Rogers of Alabama and GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, a Trump defender.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich told Axios: ‘You have to be pretty desperate to sell books if pictures of paper in a toilet bowl is part of your promotional plan.’
‘There’s enough people willing to fabricate stories like this in order to impress the media class — a media class who is willing to run with anything, as long as it anti-Trump,’ he added.
Trump is involved in several other legal matters, including the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the January 6th insurrection.
And a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, is investigating whether Trump and his close associates sought to interfere in that state’s election, which Biden won.
Trump is also being probed by various criminal and civil investigations at the state level in New York.
Maggie Haberman, a New York Times White House correspondent who closely followed Trump during his presidency for an upcoming book, claimed to have obtained pictures of handwritten notes stuffed into the bowls. She says this image is from a White House toilet