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Trump Calls Garland’s Bluff: Demands Attorney General Immediately Reveal Search Warrant for FBI Raid

    “Release the documents now!”

    That was former President Donald J. Trump’s message to current Attorney General Merrick Garland over unsealing the search warrant  that allegedly justified a nine-hour FBI raid at Mar-A-Lago on Monday.

    In a pair of Truth Social posts on late Thursday, 45 challenged the nation’s top lawyer to reveal to the country the purported basis for the unprecedented violation of America’s political norms. Trump’s political opponents had claimed that he had something to hide.

    “Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents,” Trump wrote, “even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years.”

    Trump blasted the raid as an “unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement” and pointed to his growing strength heading into the midterms and a possible 2024 presidential run.

    “My poll numbers are the strongest they have ever been, fundraising by the Republican Party is breaking all records, and midterm elections are fast approaching. This unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement is inappropriate and highly unethical,” he said. “The world is watching as our Country is being brought to a new low, not only on our border, crime, economy, energy, national security, and so much more, but also with respect to our sacred elections!”

    Attorney General Merrick Garland had earlier signaled his willingness to have the search warrant revealed after the judge who had signed off on the FBI warrant had approved a motion to have it unsealed.

    Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the DOJ on Wednesday to “file a Response to the Motion to Unseal” the warrant after Times-Union, an Albany, N.Y. newspaper, and conservative legal group Judicial Watch filed a motion to unseal the search warrant.

    “Upon information and belief, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the United States Attorney’s office, applied for and received a search warrant in connection with an investigation that involved the residence of Donald J. Trump in Palm Beach, Fla.,” a letter on the motion states. “On Aug. 8, 2022, a search was executed at the aforementioned residence, at 1100 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, Fla., by the FBI in plain sight of the public.”

    “In addition, Mr. Trump issued a public statement on Aug. 8, 2022, stating, in part: ‘These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. … After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”

    “The aforementioned search warrant(s) — and return documents denoting the items seized (once returned to the court) —are filed under seal with the U.S. District Court Clerk’s office,” the letter adds. “I am filing this request seeking the unsealing request of these court records.” The letter was signed by Brendan J. Lyons, Managing Editor of the Times Union.

    The New York Times confirmed on Thursday that a subpoena had been served to Donald J. Trump this spring and was a predicate to the FBI’s raid.

    “Former President Donald J. Trump received a subpoena this spring in search of documents that federal investigators believed he had failed to turn over earlier in the year, when he returned boxes of material he had improperly taken with him upon moving out of the White House, three people familiar with the matter said,” the Times reported.

    “The existence of the subpoena helps to flesh out the sequence of events that led to the search of Mr. Trump’s Florida home on Monday by F.B.I. agents seeking classified material they believed might still be there, even after efforts by the National Archives and the Justice Department to ensure that it had been returned,” the Times noted.

    “The subpoena suggests that the Justice Department tried methods short of a search warrant to account for the material before taking the politically explosive step of sending F.B.I. agents unannounced to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s home and members-only club,” the report continued.

    However, Trump attorneys argued that the subpoena only further confirmed that Donald Trump had cooperated with authorities prior to the unannounced raid.

    “The subpoena was first disclosed by John Solomon, a conservative journalist who has also been designated by Mr. Trump as one of his representatives to the National Archives,” The Times noted.

    “The existence of the subpoena is being used by allies of Mr. Trump to make a case that the former president and his team were cooperating with the Justice Department in identifying and returning the documents in question and that the search was unjustified,” the report continued.

    Trump attorney Christina Bobb argued on Twitter that the grand jury subpoena in spring preceded Donald Trump’s cooperation with authorities.

    The New York Times corroborated earlier reports here that the FBI was searching for documents that were “sensitive in nature” and were “related to national security.”

    “Two people briefed on the classified documents that investigators believe remained at Mar-a-Lago indicated that they were so sensitive in nature, and related to national security, that the Justice Department had to act,” the Times reported.

    “The subpoena factored into a visit that Jay Bratt, the Justice Department’s top counterintelligence official, made with a small group of other federal officials to Mar-a-Lago weeks later, in early June, one of the people said,” the report added.

    On Thursday night, the Washington Post reported based on its ‘sources’ that the FBI was allegedly searching for classified materials related to the United States’ nuclear weapons program.

    “Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation,” WaPo reported.

    “Experts in classified information said the unusual search underscores deep concern among government officials about the types of information they thought could be located at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and potentially in danger of falling into the wrong hands,” the Post proffered.

    “The people who described some of the material that agents were seeking spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation,” the Post continued. “They did not offer additional details about what type of information the agents were seeking, including whether it involved weapons belonging to the United States or some other nation. Nor did they say if such documents were recovered as part of the search. A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment.”

    This was the first report to assert that classified nuclear weapons documents were in the possession of the former president. If Donald Trump gets his way, all will be revealed in the near future about the basis for the FBI’s raid.

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    OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.