OPINION | This article contains opinion that reflects the author's views.
🚨 Are we doing a good job? | Send A Tip
An FBI spokesperson has admitted the agency took items that it didn’t need to take from President Donald Trump. These items were required to be returned to Trump, including his passports.
“In executing search warrants,” the spokesperson said, “the FBI follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes.”
President Donald Trump slammed FBI agents for “stealing” his passports when they raided his private home at Mar-a-Lago.
“Wow! In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” Trump said. “This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!”
On the same day, the FBI acknowledged it had had the passports. Trump received an email from the Justice Department’s National Security Division admitting to the mistake.
The email reads: “We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport.” A screenshot of the full email was posted to Twitter by Trump’s spokesman, Taylor Budowich.
As a result of this mistake and massive overreach, they immediately returned the passports belonging to Trump within 24 hours.
“I think this goes to show the level of audacity that they have,” Trump attorney Christina Bobb said.
“I think it goes to show how aggressive they were, how overreaching they were, that they were willing to go past the four corners of the warrant and take whatever they felt was appropriate or they felt that they could take,” Bobb added.
More on this story via NY Post:
An inventory of property that was taken from the resort made no mention of passports, though it did note that agents seized 27 boxes — some of which contained classified documents — two binders of photographs, and a handwritten note, among other items.
— Advertisement —
Later Monday, Trump’s spokesman, Taylor Budowich, tweeted a screenshot of an email reportedly from a member of the Justice Department’s National Security Division that acknowledged the agency took the former president’s passports.
“We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport,” the email said.
The email said the agency was “returning” Trump’s passports and that they would be ready for pickup by 2 p.m. Monday.
Trump and his allies slammed the FBI and said the raid is the latest phase of a long-running “witch hunt” that dates back to the bureau’s investigation into whether he colluded with Russia’s government during the 2016 campaign.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose 2016 Supreme Court nomination was nixed by Trump after his upset election win, said last week that he personally signed off on pursuing the search.
Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray otherwise have said little publicly to defend the raid.