Months before the Aug. 8 raid of Mar-a-Lago, FBI agents visited former President Donald Trump’s club and home to retrieve documents with classification markings.
A recent motion filed on behalf of the former president in response to the raid revealed as much. Arguing that the materials seized were covered by executive privilege, the motion demanded federal investigators stop analyzing the materials until a “special master” can be appointed to look into them.
According to the motion, after retrieving said documents on June 3, one FBI agent present made an odd exclamation to Trump’s team: “Now it all makes sense,” the agent said, according to the legal motion.
Trump’s motion laid out a series of events leading up to the FBI raid dating back to Jan. 20, 2021, the day Trump and his family moved out of the White House and back to their home at Mar-a-Lago.
After Trump and his staff conducted the move “on a condensed timeframe,” employees at the National Archives inquired with concerns that the former president may have inadvertently transferred classified documents with him. In January, Trump then contacted the Archives, asking movers from the agency to pick up 15 boxes of documents.
The former president later determined a search of his estate may be necessary to find additional documents and chose to invite DOJ Security Division Chief Jay Bratt into his home to retrieve the documents. Accompanying Bratt were three FBI agents.
“Whatever you need, just let us know,” former President Trump told the agents prior to the search, the motion said.
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After Trump handed over some documents Bratt had requested, the DOJ official asked for and was given permission to search a storage room.
It was then that one of the FBI agents made an odd statement.
“Thank you. You did not need to show us the storage room, but we appreciate it. Now it all makes sense,” the agent said.
Bratt later asked Trump to secure the storage room, prompting Trump to direct his staff to do so.
Two months later, on Aug. 8, FBI agents arrived at Mar-a-Lago to conduct their unannounced raid.
Thanks to documents obtained by Just the News, we now have some insight into what the other side — officials from within the federal government — was planning during roughly the same time period.
According to Just the News, several government agencies began discussing Trump’s potential possession of classified documents after he returned the 15 boxes of records in January.
These discussions, dating back to April, were had between then-White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su, the FBI, the DOJ and the National Archives.
Su named President Biden himself in a document sent in May, explaining how Biden was not opposed to waiving Trump’s rights to executive privilege, a decision which “opened the door for DOJ to” force Trump to hand over any and all classified materials in his possession.
A May 10 letter obtained by Just the News written by National Archivist Debra Steidel Wall and addressed to Trump’s lawyers, confirmed Biden’s involvement.
“On April 11, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office — affirming a request from the Department of Justice supported by an FBI letterhead memorandum — formally transmitted a request that NARA provide the FBI access to the 15 boxes for its review within seven days, with the possibility that the FBI might request copies of specific documents following its review of the boxes,” Wall wrote in the letter, which was addressed to Trump defense attorney Evan Corcoran.
“The Counsel to the President has informed me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers to my determination, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, regarding whether or not I should uphold the former President’s purported ‘protective assertion of executive privilege.”
“… I have therefore decided not to honor the former President’s ‘protective’ claim of privilege.”
According to these documents, if not for Joe Biden’s decision to waive Trump’s executive privilege, the raid on Mar-a-Lago might have never happened.