Trump launched fundraiser after FBI raid on his villa

Trump launched fundraiser after FBI raid on his villa

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attempted to turn reports of a search by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents at his Florida villa to his advantage on Tuesday by appealing to supporters for donations.

The unprecedented search of the former president’s home was conducted as part of a federal investigation into the legality of Trump being found to have taken some documents with him from the White House in January 2021.

Donald Trump characterized the search conducted at his Palm Beach estate as politically motivated by Joe Biden’s administration. The former president plays a key role in the Republican primary ahead of the November midterm elections, which will decide which party takes control of Congress.

“As they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories and see my dominance in all the polls, they are once again trying to stop the Republican Party and me,” Trump wrote in an email to his supporters Tuesday. – “The lawlessness, political persecution and ‘witch hunt’ must be exposed and stopped.”

The 45th U.S. president created Save America’s political action committee days after losing the 2020 election. The committee’s bank accounts have raised more than $100 million by today.

On Monday night, Trump reported the search at Mar-a-Lago, saying it was conducted by a “large group of FBI agents.” FBI headquarters in Washington and the bureau’s Miami office declined to comment.

Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons, said the search concerned boxes of documents his father brought from the White House. A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that the raid appeared to be related to the fact that Trump may have taken some classified documents from the White House.

Donald Trump remains the most powerful politician in the Republican Party, although recent polls have shown that a growing number of Republican voters support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a potential presidential candidate in 2024.

The federal Presidential Records Act requires the retention of memoranda, letters, notes, emails and other written communications related to the official duties of the president.

A search of any private home must be approved by a judge after investigative law enforcement demonstrates probable cause that the search is warranted.

That means the search was almost certainly authorized by FBI Director Christopher Wray and his boss, Attorney General Merrick Garland. A White House spokesman said Biden was not notified in advance of the search.

Republicans in Congress said the FBI search was intended to prevent Trump from running for president in 2024.

“When Republicans take back the House, we will have direct oversight of [the Justice Department], investigate the facts and leave nothing untouched,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. – Attorney General Garland, keep your papers and make a note on your calendar.”

“Political persecution is the hallmark of a ‘banana republic,’ not the United States,” Congressman Vern Buchanan tweeted, promising that Republicans would have “strict oversight” of the Justice Department’s actions next year.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis called the raid “another escalation of the use of federal agencies as weapons against political opponents of the administration.”

Democrat Andrew Cuomo, former governor of New York State, called on the Justice Department to immediately explain the reasons for the raid.

“Those reasons must be more substantive than a search for insignificant records, or this will be seen as a political tactic,” Cuomo tweeted.

Republicans could win majorities in the House and Senate after the midterm elections on November 8. They can use this advantage to launch their own investigations into the executive branch.

Trump’s reputation in his own party has suffered in recent weeks following congressional hearings on the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots. A third of Republican respondents in a Reuters/Ipsos poll last month said they think Trump should not run for president again in 2024.