During the extremely controversial and widely-criticized FBI raid on President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate Monday night, FBI agents even went so far as to search former First Lady Melania’s wardrobe, in addition to spending hours ransacking the popular former president’s private office.
The New York Post reports that the raid saw federal agents break open President Trump’s safe and rifle through his drawers, even though the search warrant directed them to focus solely on presidential records, which President Trump has been baselessly accused of hiding since he left office. The raid on the 128-room estate and resort lasted for over 9 hours, during which time the president’s attorneys were not allowed anywhere inside the building.
The raid, carried out by over 30 plainclothes agents, started at roughly 9:00 AM and didn’t end until about 6:30 PM. The search covered the entire 3,000-square-foot mansion, and saw several break-ins by agents, including the aforementioned safe and a locked basement storage room.
An eyewitness said that multiple items were taken by the agents as the raid concluded, but there was no way to know what exactly was confiscated, since the FBI never provided an itemized list to President Trump or his attorneys.
In the months preceding the raid, President Trump’s attorneys, led by Evan Corcoran, had already been cooperating with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regarding any documents that the Archives demanded be returned to Washington, D.C. FBI agents were previously allowed to search the basement storage room back in May, with Corcoran granting them access; at one point during the search, according to a witness, Trump himself stopped by to say hello to the agents.
Mar-a-Lago, having been closed for the season, only had a skeleton crew present at the time of the raid, including groundskeepers and other custodial and maintenance staff. President Trump and his family were at one of his other main residences, the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as the raid was being carried out.
President Trump issued a statement after the raid, denouncing it as “political persecution,” “prosecutorial misconduct,” and “an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”