Attorney General Says 'personally Approved' Trump Home Search
Faizan Hashmi Published August 12, 2022 | 08:50 AM
Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Aug, 2022 ) :US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday he had "personally approved" the dramatic raid on Donald Trump's Florida home and, in a highly unusual move, was requesting the warrant justifying the search be made public.
The country's top prosecutor did not reveal the reason for the unprecedented search of the residence of a former American president, and condemned "unfounded attacks" on the FBI and the Justice Department that followed it.
"I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant," Garland told reporters. "The department does not take such a decision lightly." "The search warrant was authorized by a Federal court upon the required finding of probable cause," he said.
While noting that "ethical obligations" prevented him detailing the basis of the raid, Garland said he had asked a Florida judge to unseal the warrant because Trump had publicly confirmed the search and because of the "substantial public interest in this matter." Trump has until Friday to contest the request.
The Justice Department motion to unseal the warrant noted -- and did not dispute -- statements by Trump's representatives that the FBI was seeking presidential records and potential classified material.
Trump has condemned Monday's raid as politically motivated and a "weaponization" of the Justice Department. "Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," he said.
In a statement on his Truth Social platform on Thursday, Trump said his attorneys had been "cooperating fully" and "the government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it." "And then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided at 6:30 in the morning," he said, adding that agents even "went through the First Lady's closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items.
" Garland criticized "unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors" following the raid.
"I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said. "Men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated patriotic public servants." Leading Republicans have rallied around the former president and harshly denounced the Justice Department and FBI.
US police were engaged in a standoff Thursday with an armed man who tried to break into an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, although there was no immediate indication the event was linked to the raid on Trump's home.
The Justice Departmant typically does not confirm or deny whether it is investigating someone. Garland, a former prosecutor and judge who has a reputation as a stickler for protocol, took pains to emphasize the law was being applied fairly.
"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy," he said. "Holding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor." Since leaving office, Trump has remained the country's most divisive figure and a force in the Republican party, continuing to sow falsehoods that he actually won the 2020 vote.
Trump was impeached for a historic second time by the House after the Capitol riot -- he was charged with inciting an insurrection -- but was acquitted by the Senate.