Former US President Donald Trump said on his social network on Friday that the “nuclear weapons issue is a hoax,” in response to a report by the Washington Post that FBI agents searched a search of his Florida home for nuclear documents earlier this week.
It was not clear if any such documents were recovered at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, the Post said. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.
The US Justice Department on Thursday asked a judge to make public the warrant that authorized the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, after the former Republican president described it as political payback.
On Friday morning, Trump said on his social media platform Truth Social that the “nuclear weapons issue is a hoax,” comparing it to controversies involving Russia, an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, and his two impeachments. .
“The same sleazy people involved,” he said.
Trump did not offer any evidence to substantiate his “hoax” claim or his claim that he also said evidence may have been planted.
“Why wouldn’t the FBI allow inspection of areas at Mar-a-Lago with our attorney or others present?” he also told Truth Social.
The search of his home was part of an investigation into whether Trump illegally deleted White House records when he left office in January 2021, some of which the Justice Department believes are classified.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, the top US law enforcement official appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden, said at a news conference Thursday that he had personally approved the search. The Justice Department is also seeking to make public a redacted receipt for seized items.
“The department does not make that decision lightly. Whenever possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to limit the scope of any search that is conducted,” Garland said.
His decision to publicly confirm the search was highly unusual. US law enforcement officials generally don’t talk about ongoing investigations to protect people’s rights. In this case, Trump himself announced the search in a statement Monday night.
Garland said the Justice Department requested that the warrant be made public “in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
Late Thursday, Trump called for the immediate release of documents related to the search. The government has until 3 pm EDT (1900 GMT) on Friday to tell the court whether Trump’s lawyers will object to disclosing the order.
A source familiar with the matter said the FBI recovered about 10 boxes from Trump’s property during the search.
Trump was not in Florida at the time.
The unprecedented search marked a significant escalation in one of many federal and state investigations Trump has faced since his time in office and into private business, including a separate Justice Department investigation into a failed attempt by Trump allies to nullify 2020 presidential election. by submitting fake voter lists. read full story
The investigation into Trump’s deletion of records began this year, after the National Archives made a referral to the department. read full story