Trump is possibly in legal jeopardy, but we don’t know yet what charges he could face, if any at all.
On Monday, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s Florida home. Trump confirmed in a statement published online that his residence was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” although Trump himself was reportedly in New York when the search warrant was executed.
Little is known about the raid — or what, if any, further steps the Justice Department might take — but even this moment is politically and historically significant. There are constitutional rules regarding what law enforcement must do to justify searching private property, and the Justice Department has institutional norms on top of those about the treatment of political figures that could influence elections. It’s unlikely the decision to search Mar-a-Lago was taken lightly.
It’s not yet clear what specifically these agents were looking for during the raid, but CNN reports a few details about it. Among other things, the search “included examining where documents were kept” in Trump’s personal residence and office, and “boxes of items were taken.” Currently, the Justice Department is conducting two known investigations into Trump: one on his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the ensuing January 6 attack on the US Capitol, and the other regarding Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.
According to the New York Times, the search focused on material Trump brought from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after he left office — material that included classified documents and other documents subject to the Presidential Records Act, which requires official presidential documents to be turned over to the National Archives at the end of a presidency. Trump’s son Eric told Fox News something similar on Monday night.