Following the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago last week, President Trump’s legal team dismantled the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) media spin that claimed it did not have Donald Trump’s passports.
On Monday, former Pres. Trump took to his social media site TruthSocial to claim that the FBI “stole” his passports during last week’s raid.
“During the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three passports (one was expired), and everything else. This is a level of assault to a political opponent that has never occurred in our nation before. Third World!” he added.
The FBI’s property receipt of the 28 inventory items taken by federal agents contains no independent itemization of the passports.
AG Merrick Garland approved a warrant that Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart signed; however, it did not mention anything about the government being able to take Trump’s passport. Generally, even if it’s only for a short time, the government needs an additional court order to confiscate someone’s passport.
CBS News Norah O’Donnell reported that a Department of Justice official stated the ex-president’s passports were not in their custody, one of which was likely a diplomatic passport.
On Monday, O’Donnell reported that a DOJ official said the FBI does not have Trump’s passports. This is in contrast to what Trump had accused – that the FBI stole his three passports when they searched his Mar-a-Lago home.
Not long after Norah’s initial post, the communications director for the former president, Taylor Budowich, shared an email from Jay Bratt. Bratt is the leading counterintelligence official in the DOJ division of national security, and his email confirmed that three passports were seized during a raid and would be promptly returned to the former president.
“We’ve discovered that three of Pres. Trump’s passports were among the items seized, two of which had expired and one of which was his active diplomatic passport. We’re returning them, and they’ll be ready for pickup at the WFO at 2 p.m. today,” according to an email sent to Trump’s attorneys.
Norah O’Donnell corrected her first statement after she learned more information.
Following the government’s search of his home, Donald Trump warned about the “large rage” in the country.
“There has never been a time like this when law enforcement was used to break into the home of a former president of the U.S., and there is tremendous outrage in the country—at a level that has not ever been seen before, other than during extremely perilous situations,” Trump said.