Why did the FBI raid Trump’s Florida pad?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump.

REUTERS/Kate Munsch

The US Justice Department on Friday released part of the FBI affidavit used to search Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s sprawling estate in Florida – part of its probe into alleged mishandling of sensitive government documents. The heavily redacted legal brief – used to convince a judge to authorize the FBI search on Aug. 8 – was released after a federal judge ruled it was in the public’s interest to view the document some two weeks after FBI agents searched the former president’s estate. Authorities carried away 26 boxes of documents, which reportedly included several marked as classified and one as top secret. The episode has led to an uptick in aggressive rhetoric and some violence, particularly targeting law enforcement. It is extremely unusual for an affidavit to be made public before charges have been handed down. Trump has not been charged with a crime in this case, but the courts acquiesced to arguments that it is in the public interest – amid increased talk of a Trump bid in 2024 – to see the document that allowed the search.

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