Searching Mar-a-Lago 

The embattled former president of the United States, Donald Trump, is in the news after Monday’s search of his Mar-a-Lago estate by FBI agents. 

What has he done now? 

Well, there’s been no new allegations against him. The FBI search is reported to be primarily about Trump’s alleged retention of classified materials, especially relating to the ongoing probe into his actions before, during, and after the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. While Trump has recently been seen prospecting on a potential presidential run in the 2024 elections, some observers have suggested that the Mar-a-Lago search may not be unconnected to alleged efforts to stop his potential 2024 bid. 

What did the FBI say? 

The FBI had secured a search warrant from a federal magistrate judge after demonstrating probable cause to support their suspicion of criminal activity. Previously, 15 boxes of documents – including classified materials – had been retrieved during a previous search at the Palm Beach, Florida residence, prompting the Justice Department to refer the case to the FBI earlier this year. Trump has, however, decried the search as politically motivated, with the objective of stopping him from running for president in 2024. 

Is he seeking redress? 

That’s not clear, yet. His son, Eric, while confirming on Fox News that the search was related to document retention, dismissed any potential wrongdoing by his father. Condemning the manner of the search, Eric said his father has always had an “open-door policy”, welcoming anyone who indicated a need to search his property. “My father saves clippings and things like that. So he had boxes, right, when he moved out of the White House. And he was very collaborative”, Eric said, in reference to the previous search. 

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The Mar-a-Lago search has received condemnation from voices within the Republican party, including Representative Kevin McCarthy from California, who said that the Department of Justice “has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization”, and indicated intention to investigate Attorney General Merrick B. Garland should the Republicans take control of the House in November.