Former President Donald Trump denounced the FBI search of his Florida home as a “hoax” on Friday without disputing that he had top secret nuclear documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago.
Comparing the classified information probe to other high-profile investigations, Trump pointed the finger at “sleazy” federal prosecutors for engineering the search for highly classified documents that he took from the White House when leaving office.
“Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more,” Trump said in a post on his social media site. “Same sleazy people involved.”
Trump suggested that the FBI might have planted incriminating documents, without offering any evidence.
The ex-president, who has been teasing another run for the White House in 2024, moaned that G-men refused to let his lawyers observe their search and instead forced them to cool their heels outside in the muggy Florida summer heat.
“Why wouldn’t the FBI allow the inspection of areas at Mar-a-Lago with our lawyers, or others, present? Made them wait outside in the heat, wouldn’t let them get even close,” he said. “Planting information anyone?”
Trump had said he would not object to a government motion to unseal the search warrant and demanded the immediate release of the sealed documents even though he has been free to do so since the Monday search.
“Release the Documents Now!” Trump posted, after bragging about his dominance in polls of Republican voters.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland broke his traditional silence about the ongoing investigation on Thursday.
He delivered a brusque statement calling for the documents to be unsealed and that the probe was handled strictly by the book.
Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhold ordered prosecutors to seek a formal agreement with Trump’s lawyers by Friday afternoon.
Regardless of any agreement, Reinhold may rule to immediately unseal the documents, keep them sealed or ask both sides to present briefs before deciding.
Trump improperly took boxes of classified documents and presidential records to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House on Jan. 20, 2021.
After the National Archives asked him to return documents, Trump allowed the feds to take back some of the boxes last winter, but according to the DOJ, Trump kept other documents, including some classified materials.
Federal prosecutors obtained a subpoena for the return of the remaining documents and met with Trump’s lawyers in June to facilitate their return.
Trump, however, gave back some but not all of the remaining documents. Prosecutors later found out that some of the high-classified documents that he refused to give up included some involving nuclear weapons, the Washington Post first reported.
Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge to approve a search warrant of Mar-a-Lago, which he approved last Friday.
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