Ex-WH Chief of Staff Says 'Someone Very Close to Trump' Could Have Tipped Off FBI to Raid Mar-a-Lago
16:11 GMT 11.08.2022 (Updated: 17:06 GMT 11.08.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A source familiar with the papers stored at former US President Donald Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago tipped off federal investigators to the possibility that classified documents may be stored there, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told CNN that if someone inside Donald Trump's circle tipped off the FBI to raid his Mar-a-Lago residence, "it would be someone very close [to] the [former] president."
"I didn’t even know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago, and I was the chief of staff for 15 months. This would be someone who was handling things on day to day, who knew who documents were. So it would be somebody very close [to the] president," Mulvaney said, speculating that "there's probably six to eight people who had that kind of information."
At the same time, he stopped short of making any guesses as to who those people might be.
“I don’t know the people on the inside circle these days, so I can’t give any names of folks who come to mind, but your instinct, I think, is a good one. If you know where the safe is and you know the documents are in 10 boxes in the basement, you are pretty close to the president.”
He responded to a WSJ report, which suggested that an informant had provided the FBI with information that led to the raid of the former president's residence.
FBI agents on June 3 visited Mar-a-Lago to discuss boxes of government records stored in a room in the residence’s basement, several days after which they sent a note requesting a stronger lock on the storage room, the report said late on Wednesday.
Weeks later, a source familiar with the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago told investigators that more classified material may be found at the residence, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
The National Archives earlier in the year retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Trump, according to the report. When FBI investigators raided Mar-a-Lago on Monday, agents left with more boxes, the report said.
Trump has condemned the raid, arguing that the US justice system is being weaponized against him. Trump’s lawyers were also not allowed to observe the search of his residence while it was undertaken, the former president said on Wednesday.
The former president also mentioned that the FBI "broke into my safe," though he did not provide further details on what it did or did not contain.
The warrant for the raid that would disclose the reason behind the search has yet to be made public. However, a US federal judge on Wednesday ordered that the government file a response by August 15 to a motion by legal activism group Judicial Watch to unseal the warrant.
The FBI search for documents at Trump's home was part of an ongoing probe into the former president's handling of classified White House records after he left office in January of 2021, as the bureau believes he may have taken some sensitive documents with him when he left the White House.
A number of prominent Republicans have condemned the raid, while Trump supporters gathered outside of Mar-a-Lago to protest in the wake of the search.