Since ex-president Donald Trump’s residence as his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida was raided on Monday, Trump and his supporters have lobbed accusations that the FBI and Justice Department weren’t being transparent about the raid. The talking points that the FBI might have planted evidence—of what, who knows—and that Attorney General Merrick Garland should go public about what he knew about the raid have been all over Fox News and Trump’s
propaganda organ social media outlet, Truth Social, in the days since.
Ignoring that Trump and his supporters have all but abandoned their once-undying support of all things law enforcement since the Jan. 6th capitol riots, Trumpworld’s argument about transparency on its face seemed farcical. Either Trump or his representatives had been given copies of the warrant that was served, and a receipt for whatever was taken. In other words, Trump himself could have let the world know what the FBI was looking for and what they took if he really thought public knowledge was that important.
On Thursday afternoon, Garland said he’d do it himself. In a news conference—an almost unheard of event for a sitting attorney general about an ongoing investigation, Garland said he would ask a federal judge in Florida to unseal the search warrant used in the Mar-A-Lago raid as well as the receipt for the materials that were taken. It’s not exactly checkmate, since the release of the warrant won’t also reveal the affidavit filed with a judge to establish probable cause for the search, but it should effectively negate Trump’s and his minion’s complaints about a lack of transparency around the investigation itself.
Garland also said he personally approved the decision to ask for a search warrant and that he did so on the believing there was probable cause. Under normal circumstances, he said, he wouldn’t comment on such a case but Trump himself had made the warrant and raid public knowledge by confirming it on Monday to media outlets and by making public complaints about it in the days since.
Garland also refuted Trump’s suggestions that the FBI agents who carried out the raid had targeted him for political reasons.
“I will not stand by silently when their integrity is attacked,” he said in his televised remarks.
Trump’s residence was searched by the FBI Monday afternoon, with agents reportedly looking for classified documents that Trump may have had in his possession illegally since leaving the White House in January 2021.