Former President Donald Trump apparently reached out to Attorney General Merrick Garland last week.
According to The New York Times, Trump sent the AG a private message right before Garland gave his press conference during which he admitted that he “personally approved” the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
“The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?” noted the message from the former president, according to the Times.
Garland was 35 minutes late to his press conference.
“First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland admitted during the press conference. “Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
The Daily Wire adds:
The investigation into the former president centers around several potential criminal violations, including violations of the Espionage Act, the unlawful taking of government records, and obstruction of justice related to destroying documents.
Multiple sources told The New York Times that at least one of Trump’s lawyers signed a written statement to the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this summer that claimed that all classified material and boxes in a storage area on the property had been returned to the federal government. Agents searched the storage area and Trump’s office and residence on the property.
Federal investigators recovered at least 4 sets of top secret documents, 3 sets of secret documents, and 3 sets of confidential documents while searching the property. The signed declaration, combined with at least 11 sets of classified documents that were discovered on the property, could mean that either Trump or his legal team potentially lied to federal investigators.
Trump also reportedly watched the FBI raid via the security camera feed that the FBI wanted turned off but that his attorneys left on for obvious reasons.
Lawyer Christina Bobb said that the former president and many family members watched the FBI during “the whole” raid, meaning that they likely would have been able to see if agents planted any evidence, as Trump has suggested since the raid.
“It’s kind of funny. I think the folks in New York, President Trump and his family, probably had a better view than I did because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch,” Bobb told the streaming network Real America’s Voice, according to the New York Post.
“I was, you know, I was stuck in the parking lot there to you know, collect paper and answer questions,” she added. “But they were actually able to see the whole thing. So they actually have a better idea of what took place inside.”