WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday he “personally approved” the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home earlier this week and moved to have the warrant public.
“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland said.
Speaking at the Justice Department in a press conference, Garland said the Justice Department has asked to make public the property receipt, providing details about what federal agents found inside Trump’s Florida property.
Garland’s statement comes after days of silence from the department amid calls from Republican lawmakers for the FBI and Attorney General Garland to inform the American people about the raid. However, Garland stressed some of the DOJ’s work must be done out of the public view.
“We do that to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations,” he said.
Trump responded on Truth Social following Garland’s statement, claiming his attorneys were “cooperating fully” and had developed “very good relationships” with federal investigators.
“The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it,” Trump said. “Everything was fine, better than most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.’”
The New York Times was the first outlet that reported on Monday that the focus of the raid was regarding the National Archives materials that were taken from the White House when Trump left office.
Trump attacked the FBI and the Justice Department in a Truth Social post earlier in the week, saying without evidence that federal agents ‘planted’ evidence.
“Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting,’” he wrote. “Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?”
Thursday saw Garland indirectly respond, defending the Justice Department against “unfounded” attacks made by Trump and his Republican allies.
“I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” he said. “Every day they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism, and other threats to their safety while safeguarding our civil rights.”
The Justice Department has been instructed by the court to confer with the former president about its request to unseal certain warrant documents from the Mar-a-Lago search and has a 3 p.m. ET to tell the court if he opposes their release.