- Eric Trump recounted the Monday raid of his father’s Mar-a-Lago residence in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
- He said that they kicked Donald Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb off the property and made her wait at the end of a driveway during the raid
- Also said that FBI agents refused to hand over a copy of the search warrant during the operation
- The former president’s son said contrary to FBI direction, they refused to turn off security cameras at the Palm Beach estate
PUBLISHED: 00:11 AEST, 11 August 2022 | UPDATED: 07:43 AEST, 11 August 2022
Eric Trump revealed FBI agents refused to hand over the search warrant for their raid on Mar-a-Lago and kicked an attorney off the property in a new, incisive account of the Monday operation at the Florida estate.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, the former president’s son said the 30 agents who arrived at the property asked staff to turn security cameras off – but they refused.
He also said that the attorney was forced to stand at the end of the Mar-a-Lago driveway while the team searched inside – and allegedly used safe crackers to break into his father’s safe.
The latest explosive account comes with the Department of Justice facing mounting pressure to explain what grounds they had for the search.
Eric said that his father’s lawyer Christina Bobb was forced to stand at the end of the Mar-a-Lago driveway throughout the raid.
‘There’s 30 agents there,’ he recalled of the Monday search in a phone call with DailyMail.com. ‘They told our lawyer… you have to leave the property right now. Turn off all security cameras.’
‘They would not give her the search warrant,’ he claimed. ‘So they showed it to her from about 10 feet away. They would not give her a copy of the search warrant.’
Eric Trump recounted the events of the Monday raid of Mar-a-Lago in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
Eric said lawyer Christina Bobb was forced to wait at the end of a driveway during the search. Pictured: Armed Secret Service agents stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, late Monday, August 8 in Palm Beach, Florida
Christina Bobb says FBI ‘initially refused’ to show warrant for raid.
ric said he would be ‘thrilled’ to find out if there was a valid search warrant.
The FBI declined to comment to DailyMail.com on the raid and Eric’s claim no search warrant was handed over to Trump’s legal team.
Bobb also told Real America News on Tuesday that she was able to see the warrant, but claimed that it was partly sealed, making it impossible for her to see what the probable cause was that compelled a judge to approve the raid. She also did not suggest she had received a physical copy.
‘When I arrived and kind of announced myself as the legal representation for President Trump. I asked to see a copy of the warrant,’ the Trump lawyer detailed of the events the day prior.
‘Initially they refused and said, ‘You know, we don’t have to show it to you.’ And there was a little bit of an exchange about whether it was appropriate to withhold the warrant when you’re searching the residence of the former president, who’s likely to be the Republican nominee in the next election, though they conceded and let me see it, they did not give me a copy of it right away, but they did let me see it,’ added Bobb, who once was a host on far-right One America News Network.
‘Biden KNEW… just like he knew all about Hunter’s ‘deals”: Trump claims president was aware of Mar-a-Lago raid and calls it a coordinated attack by ‘Radical Left Democrat AGs’ – as pressure piles on DOJ to react
‘Biden knew all about this, just like he knew all about Hunter’s ‘deals,” the ex-president posted to his Truth Social website.
Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings have attracted controversy, though the president has denied being involved in them.
Trump also pushed that the Mar-a-Lago raid was a continuation of politically motivated investigations against him.
‘A horrible thing that took place yesterday at Mar-a-Lago,’ he wrote. ‘We are no better than a third world country, a banana republic.’
‘It is a continuation of Russia, Russia, Russia, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax # 2, the no collusion Mueller Report, and more,’ he continued.
‘To make matters worse it is all, in my opinion, a coordinated attack with Radical Left Democrat state & local D.A.’s & A.G.’s,’ the former president added.
On Monday, Trump confirmed that FBI agents had raided Mar-a-Lago, after media reports said agents were spotted leaving the ex-president’s Florida home and private club.
It marks the first time in U.S. history the home of a former president has been raided.
A number of public officials have called for an explanation.
‘The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday,’ said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday night. ‘Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately.’
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed President Joe Biden knew about the FBI ‘s raid of Mar-a-Lago in advance, something the White House has denied
‘Biden knew all about this, just like he knew all about Hunter’s ‘deals,” the ex-president posted to his Truth Social website
Hunter Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) pose for a photo in 2016. Trump claimed that the president knew about the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago in advance, just like he knew about Hunter’s ‘deals.’ Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals have attracted controversy
McConnell, who had a falling out with Trump over the ex-president’s false election fraud claims, had previously not commented on the raid. McConnell waited until just over 24 hours to respond.
Trump confirmed the raid in a statement Monday evening, saying the move represented ‘dark times for our Nation,’ pushing that the Biden administration was going after him as a political target.
Trump is mulling a 2024 presidential run.
A number of media outlets reported that the raid stemmed from an investigation into Trump removing classified documents from the White House and not the Department of Justice’s current probe into January 6, which is also partially focused on Trump.
The House select committee on January 6 is also investigating the January 6 Capitol attack and Trump’s action surrounding it.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night that the FBI hauled away 10 boxes of documents during the raid, after the National Archives retrieved more than a dozen boxes of documents from the Florida resort earlier this year.
Additionally, the ex-president is facing potential legal problems in Georgia and New York.
In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating the scheme to run over the state’s 2020 presidential election result.
And in New York, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is looking into whether Trump’s companies misrepresented the value of properties for loan and tax purposes.
Eric Trump departs Trump Tower the day after his father, former President Donald Trump, said FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago home. Several news outlets reported that the raid had to do with the removal of classified material from the White House
Additionally in New York, Letitia James, the New York state attorney general, is conducting a civil investigation into whether Trump’s company inflated real estate values.
In a campaign-style video Tuesday morning, Trump insisted that ‘we are a nation that has weaponized its law enforcement against the opposing political party, like never before.’
‘What took place yesterday, and long before, was an unprecedented infringement of the rights of every American citizen,’ he said in a third Truth Social post Tuesday night.
‘Scam after Scam, year after year, it is all the Radical Left Democrats really know, it is their lifeblood – they have no shame. Our Country is paying a very big price!!!’ he added.
The White House, however, has insisted its hands are clean.
During Tuesday’s press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden ‘was not briefed’ ahead of the Monday raid.
The president, she said, ‘was not aware of it.’
‘No one at the White House was given a heads up,’ Jean-Pierre said.
A number of Trump allies have called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to speak publicly about the raid.
So far he hasn’t commented.
The Justice Department also wouldn’t comment when asked if Garland personally authorized the search.
‘It was very, I would say, thin,’ she said of the document.
‘And as you can tell from public records, the affidavit, the supporting documentation of what the probable cause was to obtain the warrant has been sealed.’
Eric insisted to DailyMail.com that the raid was approved by President Biden, saying Wednesday: ‘It’s all a coordinated attack with the FBI.
‘Do you think that the FBI director is going to raid the former president’s house, especially a house as you know, kind of world renowned as Mar Lago is in a place as public as Mar Lago is without getting the approval of President [Biden]?’ Eric questioned.
By not turning off the security cameras, Eric said they saw the FBI raiding areas of the property that they ‘shouldn’t have been.’
Donald Trump lamented Wednesday that the FBI blocked his lawyers from the property during the raid at his Palm Beach, Florida residence and suggested that agents may have ‘planted’ evidence.
The fallout from the raid comes as Trump confirmed on his alternative social media site Tuesday evening that he will be deposed Wednesday in questioning part of the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into his family’s real estate business.
The New York probe is just one of many the former president is facing, including the one that led to the raid on Monday involving the reported removal of official documents from the White House when he left office last year.
‘The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago,’ Trump posted to his Truth Social page on Wednesday morning.
‘Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting,” he continued while placing doubt that the raid was conducted properly.
Trump, 76, questioned: ‘Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out? Obama and Clinton were never ‘raided,’ despite big disputes!’
Christina Bobb, a Trump lawyer, told Real America’s Voice on Tuesday that the raid was a ‘weird flex’ and repeated Trump’s suspicions that the RBI might have planted something during the search.
‘No, there is no security that something wasn’t planted,’ the 37-year-old lawyer said. ‘I’m not saying that’s what they did.’
‘This was a completely unnecessary power flex. It was a weird flex,’ Bobb added. ‘It’s quite honestly sad to see what they have done to our country.’
Even though Palm Beach reached a sweltering 91 degrees with high humidity on Monday, Trump’s lawyers were left outside near a parking lot and were not allowed inside the air conditioned building where the raid was happening.
The former president was spotted arriving back at his Manhattan residence in Trump Tower on Tuesday night.
The raid on his Florida home the previous day saw investigators ransack his office for several hours.
Trump continued to vent his fury on Tuesday at the raid – which is believed to have been carried out to retrieve documents the former president took from the White House when he left.
By law, all presidential correspondence and documentation must be handed over to the National Archives, and since February it has been clear that Trump did not comply. Some documents were returned to the National Archives at the beginning of this year, but apparently not all.
FBI agents were inside the 128-room Florida estate for nine hours on Monday, with 30 agents roaming through the entire 3,000-square-foot private quarters.
The investigators searched the master bedroom, known as the Versailles Room, which Melania Trump renovated two years ago.
They rummaged through the former first lady’s wardrobe and searched through clothing, according to The New York Post.
The agents also searched a separate office and safe, and a locked basement storage room in which 15 cardboard boxes of material from the White House were stored, the paper said.
The Justice Department has not commented on the raid, which analysts said would have needed to be approved at the highest level.
Sources told the Post that Trump’s attorneys, led by Evan Corcoran, were ‘cooperating fully’ with federal authorities to arrange the return of the documents, with the process beginning in May 2021 when it was noticed that some records were missing.
In January 2022, some of the documents were returned, and in February this year the news became public.
In early June, four top DOJ officials traveled to Mar-a-Lago to speak with the former president’s attorneys about the documents.
The DOJ’s counterintelligence and export control section chief Jay Bratt was reportedly among the group who sat down with Trump’s lawyers.
Trump’s team showed the government officials where Trump was storing documents – in a basement room. Investigators reportedly observed that some of the files there were marked as classified.
At one point the former president himself reportedly stopped in to say hello and ‘make small talk’ before leaving again, CNN reported.
Days after the investigators’ visit, they reportedly sent a letter to Trump’s staff asking them to secure the room where they observed the documents being stored.
Aides then padlocked the area, according to CNN.
It is unclear what transpired between June and this week to make the FBI decide to forcibly claim the documents.
But a former FBI agent told DailyMail.com that Monday’s raid was likely sparked by new information from an ‘informant’ and a breakdown in cooperation between the agency and former president.
Retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Tabman, who served the agency for 24 years, said a raid of this level of sensitivity would need to be approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
‘I think somebody gave them information indicating that these documents are there,’ Tabman said, adding two hypothetical ‘insider’ revelations: ‘You have not been told the truth about their existence. You’re not getting them unless you come get them.’
‘I think there was inside information – call it an informant if you want,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘I believe either someone told them something or some other information was stumbled upon, which was kind of conclusive in their minds that they had to go now to get that or they’re not getting it.’
Tabman claimed while there was cooperation between Trump and the FBI at one point, the agency may have gotten a sense that the former president and his team were ‘telling you what they want to tell you with limited information.’
FBI protocol, according to Tabman, is to move forward with seizing information once they feel that ‘voluntarily’ obtaining it is no longer viable.
‘You know, everything could disappear,’ Tabman said. ‘You got evidence that you need to get before it disappears or it moves and you can’t see it anymore.’
In order to obtain the warrant for a raid, the FBI would need to prove probable cause and conduct the search in a timely manner. Agents can’t just ‘poke around’ someone’s home in a case like this, Tabman said.
He also claimed the FBI could have gotten the sense that Trump was just no longer being ‘fully cooperative’ with the investigation – leading them to see the raid approval.
Tabman said that while it doesn’t appear any protocols were broken in conducting the raid, it’s still an ‘unprecedented’ move in the sense that the FBI has never raided a former president’s home before.
‘I can’t think of this having happened to a former president,’ Tabman noted.
‘I don’t see any protocols that were broken in any way,’ the retired FBI special agent added. ‘They must have obviously had probable cause.’
The ex-president was at Trump Tower in New York City when the FBI raided his Florida estate. Eric Trump told Fox News he informed his father of the raid.
Trump and his allies quickly sought to cast the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democratic-driven effort to keep him from winning another term in 2024 – though the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge and current FBI Director Christopher Wray was appointed by Trump five years ago.
Eric lamented that the FBI searched areas of the property that they ‘shouldn’t have been’, and the new york Post said they through former first lady Melania Trump’s wardrobe. Melania was most recently seen on July 20 at the Manhattan funeral of Donald’s first wife Ivana
The above timeline highlights just some of former President Donald Trump’s battles with the National Archives since leaving office, including an unrelated court fight with the January 6 committee
Trump, disclosing the search in a lengthy statement late Monday, asserted that agents had opened a safe at his home, and he described their work as an ‘unannounced raid’ that he likened to ‘prosecutorial misconduct.’
‘These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,’ Trump said through his Save America PAC,’ he said.
‘I stood up to America’s bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people, and truly delivered for our Country, like we have never seen before.
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He said that Bobb was confused why a lawyer for the person’s home being raided by the FBI was not able to see or obtain a copy of the search warrant.