Several sources who, on condition of anonymity, told The Washington Post that the FBI’s searches of the Mar-a-Lago mansion on Monday were motivated by the suspicion that the former US president had in his possession related documents. with nuclear weapons, not knowing if they are part of the American arsenal or of another country.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday that he “personally approved” the search of Donald Trump’s mansion and condemned the “baseless attacks” on the FBI following this unprecedented action against a former president. North American.
Garland, who heads the Justice Department, did not explain the reason for the operation, but stressed that there is a “probable case” and that she asked a court to make the case documents public, given its “clear and powerful public interest”.
“I personally approved the decision to apply for a search and seizure order in this case,” he told reporters. “The Department [de Justiça] does not take such a decision lightly,” he added. Trump reacted to these statements, saying he did not object to the disclosure of these documents, but rather “encouraging their immediate publication.”
This week’s FBI searches of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida home have set off a political storm in an already divided country and come as Trump is considering a new bid for the White House.
Trump also condemned the FBI operation, saying it was politically motivated and represented the “use” of the Department of Justice “as a weapon”. “Nothing like this has ever occurred to a President of the United States,” he declared.
Big names in the Republican Party offered support to the former president, who was not at the mansion when the operation took place. Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence, a possible adversary in 2024, expressed his “deep concern” and said the operation appeared to be motivated by “partisanship”.
Garland, in turn, criticized the “baseless attacks on the professionalism of FBI and Department of Justice agents and prosecutors”, respectively.
Since leaving office, Trump has maintained great influence over the Republican Party and continues to say, without providing evidence, that he won the 2020 presidential election. His opposition to the FBI’s action prompted death threats to federal agents from his followers. associated with the extreme right.
US police on Thursday faced a gunman who tried to enter FBI offices in Cincinnati, in the north of the country, but so far there is no indication that the two events are related.
“Following the activation of the alarm and the response of armed FBI special agents, the individual fled,” the FBI said in a statement. The local press assures that the man fired a nail gun and was wielding an AR-15 shotgun before fleeing in a car. Police chased the car, a police spokesman said. “As soon as the vehicle stopped, there was a shootout between the agents and the suspect,” he said.
Just two days after the raid, Trump, 76, was interrogated for four hours at the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who investigates the Trump Organizations’ business practices.
The American press claims that Trump invoked his right not to answer questions more than 400 times during his testimony about alleged fraud in his family’s real estate business.
The New York attorney general suspects that the Trump Organization overestimated the value of real estate properties when applying for bank loans, while underestimating the values of those same properties to the tax authorities to pay less tax.
Trump said he “had no option” other than invoking the Fifth Amendment, which allows him to remain silent during interrogation.
“I refused to answer the questions due to the rights and prerogatives granted to all citizens by the Constitution of the United States”, informed the former president in a statement published on his social network, Truth Social.
In addition, the former president has another open front in court for his efforts to nullify the election results and for the invasion of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, by his supporters.
More than 850 people were detained for this attack on Congress, which began after a speech by Trump to his supporters near the White House, in which he lied that the elections had been “stolen”.
The House of Representatives accused him of being responsible for the disturbances on Capitol Hill, considering that Trump incited his supporters to carry out an insurrection, and approved his “impeachment”, but was later acquitted by the Senate.
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