Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida was raided by the FBI on Monday night, the former president revealed in an angry and lengthy statement.
The undisclosed discovery was related to White House documents sought by the National Archives, his son Eric Trump told Fox News later that night.
Federal agents ‘ransacked’ his father’s office, he said, and in his own deposition the former president accused them of breaking into his safe.
But Trump’s lawsuit with the National Archives reportedly began before he left office.
Politico reported in 2018 that aides forced the then-president to follow him to tape documents he had cut — a habit the Republican was known for when he led the Trump Organization in his previous life — for fear of running afoul of record-keeping laws. .
And late last year, Trump tried to delay the release of presidential documents from the National Archives to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks.
It’s unclear what specifically is being investigated, but it’s worth noting that there are laws on the books against the tampering and destruction of classified presidential records.
Below is a timeline of his papers piecing together reports of the former president’s legal battle with the Capitol Riots Committee, which appears to run parallel to the National Archives’ own efforts to retrieve classified pages from Trump.
The New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon that the two are not related.
Trump sued the committee Jan. 6 to withhold National Archives records
In October 2021, the former president sued a Democrat-led House panel and the National Archives to block the release of White House records linked to last year’s Capitol riots.
In a 26-page lawsuit filed in mid-October, Trump’s lawyers called the investigation a “fishing expedition.”
Lawyers have requested that the National Archives turn over any documents that may be relevant to Trump’s team for review.
Trump lost the case with two subsequent appeals later that year.
FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday morning with a search warrant.
The timeline above highlights some of former President Donald Trump’s battles with the National Archives since he left office, including an unrelated court battle with the January 6 committee.
The Supreme Court blocked Trump’s bid to block the documents, saying the National Archives would return them
Jan. 6 The committee disclosed on Jan. 19 that it had begun receiving documents from the National Archives that Trump ‘hoped to keep hidden.’
It came on the same day that the Supreme Court denied Trump’s last-ditch request to overturn his record.
Nine judges, including three appointed to the bench by the former president, voted against.
Only Clarence Thomas, whose wife, Ginny, is being investigated by the committee in an effort to push Trump’s claims of election fraud, voted for Trump.
In addition to his own documents, the tranche also included records related to former White House legal adviser Stephen Miller and former chief of staff Mark Meadows, The Guardian reported.
National Archives reveals some of Trump’s records were shredded
The records-keeping agency confirmed to The Washington Post on Jan. 31 that the documents it turned over to the committee Jan. 6 ‘include paper records that were torn up by former President Trump.’
During this, it is said that the National Archives has handed over more than seven hundred pages to the committee.
Anti-media and pro-Trump protesters line the waterfront from Mar a Lago. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by FBI agents on Monday.
They were not all taped together at the time of the committee’s acquisition.
“These were transferred to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration, along with many torn records that have not been reconstructed by the White House,” the records reportedly said.
Trump’s 15 boxes of sensitive White House documents
The following month, the National Archives revealed that Trump took 15 boxes full of White House records to his Mar-a-Lago retreat after leaving Washington, D.C., a year ago.
Archives and Records Administration officials had to retrieve the boxes last January.
It was first reported by the Washington Post on February 7.
Trump had improperly taken what he called a ‘love letter’ exchanged with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and had to return it.
It also included a letter that then-President Barack Obama wrote to Trump when he first took office.
The National Archives has asked the Justice Department to investigate Trump’s record keeping
Two days after it was revealed that Trump took 15 boxes of White House documents to Mar-a-Lago, the National Archives asked the Justice Department to investigate the former president’s handling of sensitive pages.
The records prompted President Joe Biden’s DOJ to investigate whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act, a source told CNN on February 9.
The Washington Post reported the next day that some of the files in the 15 boxes retrieved by the archives were marked ‘top secret’ – raising security concerns.
The former president was in Trump Tower in New York City when his home was raided, his son Eric Trump told Fox News that night.
Trump issued a lengthy statement claiming he was ‘under siege’ and that federal agents broke into his safe
At the time, Trump spokesman Taylor Budovich said the records retrieval process was ‘normal and routine’ but ‘weaponized by anonymous, politically motivated government sources to peddle fake news.’
The report details a months-long effort to retrieve Trump documents
It follows a June visit to Mar-a-Lago by DOJ official Jay Bratt and two others to inquire about the documents.
While the dispute between the former president and government record-keepers only gained steam earlier this year, a February 13 CNN report reveals that the National Archives knew the documents were missing in May 2021.
National Archives Counsel Gary Stern reportedly first contacted a White House official named the point-person for records-keeping matters.
Efforts to obtain the records appear to have been delayed after Stern apparently reached out to one of Trump’s other lawyers.
At the time of the February report, a person told CNN that the case was “not fully resolved” and that the National Archives was still seeking additional documents from Trump.
“Representatives of former President Trump have informed NARA that they are seeking additional presidential records related to the National Archives,” the archives said in a statement.
Among the 15 boxes Trump took were classified documents, according to the National Archives
A week later, the National Archives confirmed an earlier Washington Post report that Trump had taken top secret documents with him to Mar-a-Lago.
The agency said in a statement published on February 18 that it was ‘in communication’ with the DOJ on Trump-recovered documents that were ‘marked as classified national security information.’
In response to letters from the House Oversight Committee seeking more information on the matter, the archives disclosed the sensitive nature of the documents and added that social media and other online records from White House aides were not properly stored.
The agency said it had previously warned Trump aides about the matter.
DOJ convenes grand jury and grills Trump staff in national records probe
After months of silence, the Justice Department opened an investigation into whether Trump or others misused classified White House documents in May.
The DOJ has convened a grand jury in the investigation, the New York Times reported on May 12.
Prosecutors subpoenaed relevant documents from the National Archives, and CNN revealed that they questioned Trump aides in April and May of this year.
Merrick Garland’s top executives stay with Trump’s lawyers at Mar-a-Lago
Four top DOJ officials went to Mar-a-Lago in early June to talk to the former president’s lawyers about the documents, it was reported a day after the FBI raid.
While disclosing the visit, CNN noted how rare it is in nature.
Among the group sitting with Trump’s lawyers was DOJ Counterintelligence and Export Control Branch Chief Jay Bratt.
Trump’s team also showed government officials where Trump stored the documents.
The researchers reportedly saw some files there that were marked as classified.
At one point the former president himself reportedly stopped to say hello and ‘make small talk’ before leaving again.
Trump staffers lock documents room at Mar-a-Lago
A few days after the investigators’ visit, they reportedly sent a letter to Trump staff asking them to secure the room they observed where the documents were stored.
According to CNN, allies locked down the area.
The feds raided Mar-a-Lago on Monday morning
It was reported that the FBI operation at Mar-a-Lago took place in the early hours of Monday morning.
The former president was at Trump Tower in New York City at the time. His son Eric Trump told Fox that he informed his father of the raid.
CNN reported that the activities of federal agents were specifically focused on parts of the club where Trump has an office and residence.
The former president claimed in a statement that he was the victim of political harassment after publicly revealing the undisclosed discovery.
“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,” Trump said through his Save America PAC. .
‘I stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people, and really delivered for our country like we’ve never seen before. The establishment hated it. Now, as they see my pro-candidates winning big and me dominating all the polls, they are trying to block me and the Republican Party again. Lawlessness, political oppression and witch hunts must be exposed and stopped.’