On Thursday afternoon, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland made a quick, last-minute statement regarding the FBI search warrant that was carried out on Monday at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
He was unable to go into great detail about the inquiry, but he did make some significant observations.
First, according to Garland, the FBI and Department of Justice did not intend to make public their search of Mar-a-Lago out of respect for Trump’s right to private, but after the former president did so, it was obvious that the DOJ needed to comment on the news that was taking over headlines.
Garland informed Americans that the DOJ had just submitted a motion in a Florida court to unseal the search warrant and property receipt so that the public could see the bare bones of their search in an effort to be transparent.
Trump apparently has the authority to make such materials public without seeking permission from the court, but has yet to do so.
Though Garland did not explicitly mention it in his speech, it is widely thought that the FBI’s investigation was aimed at finding sensitive records that Trump is said to have neglected to give over to the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of his presidency.
Additionally, the attorney general stated that he personally approved the decision to get a search warrant, adding that it was not one that was made lightly and was seen as a necessary last resort in their investigation.
Trump may be subject to an investigation if there is reason to believe that a crime was committed, according to Garland, who made it plain that all Americans have the right to the presumption of innocence as well as the “even-handed administration of the law” and the “due process of the law.”
Garland defended his agents at the platform, calling them “committed, patriotic servants” who are currently the target of “unfounded insults” from Trump supporters.
President Joe Biden was further distanced from the inner workings of the Department of Justice when Reuters reported that the White House was not informed in advance of Garland’s last-minute press conference.
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Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, attempted to demonstrate the DOJ’s impartiality on Tuesday by asserting that Biden’s team was only made aware of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant through news reports.
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