FBI Raids Trump’s Mar-a-Lago for Stolen Documents

On August 8, 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. The reason for this warranted search was because Trump took classified documents after he left office. Trump denies that taking classified documents was wrong because he “declassified” them, even though there was no process of this happening in a courtroom or in another legal process. With that being said, Trump turned over previous documents when asked, and cooperated with the FBI. In regards to returning documents when asked, Trump is quoted saying, “There is no reason that they can [indict], other than if they’re just sick and deranged, which is always possible, because I did absolutely… nothing wrong” (Times).

The significance of this story lies with the possible impacts on American security. By doing this, Trump has violated the Presidential Records Act of 1978, along with jeopardizing our government’s secrets. Trump originally returned classified documents that he had to the National Archives and the DOJ over a year ago, but the FBI found a reason to get a warrant to raid his home. Protected by the 4th amendment, the FBI carried out this warrant and seized more than 11,000 documents in 33 boxes. Along with these documents, there were 48 empty folders marked classified. These empty folders are what impacts America.

The FBI has not secured these documents, although it is alleged that these documents could be the ones Trump originally returned to the DOJ. This puts our government in jeopardy, and begs the question; what security do we have?

It is alleged that the FBI also took some of Trump’s personal documents, which were transactions between himself and his advisors. These documents were not covered in the same designation as the top secret documents, and therefore were wrongfully taken. Trump’s conversations with his advisors are protected by the executive privilege, which “is the power of the President and other officials in the executive branch to withhold certain forms of confidential communication from the courts and legislative branch” (Cornell Law). It is also alleged that this is a political attempt to make Trump look bad, especially with midterm elections on the horizon and the increasing whispers that Trump will run again.

This is a dynamic situation. The coming months will possibly reveal any implications of these actions.