Chris Lange, FISM News
Former President Trump has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to appoint a watchdog to review documents seized from his Florida home on Aug. 8 in an unprecedented FBI raid.
In the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Trump accuses the federal government of violating his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. He is also asking the judge to direct the DOJ to provide him with a more detailed inventory of property seized in the August 8 raid and to return items that weren’t within the scope of the search warrant.
The Mar-a-Lago raid was part of a criminal investigation into the alleged unlawful removal of White House records by Trump when he left office in January 2021.
“We have just filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida strongly asserting my rights, including under the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution, regarding the unnecessary, unwarranted, and unAmerican Break-In by dozens of FBI agents, and others, of my home, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump announced on his Truth Social account late Monday.
The suit, which refers to the Mar-a-Lago raid as a “shockingly aggressive move,” argues that agents “seized documents, privileged and/or potentially privileged materials, and other items – including photos, handwritten notes, and even President Trump’s passports – that were outside the lawful reach of an already overbroad warrant.”
The Justice Department told Trump’s counsel that “privileged and/or potentially privileged documents” were included among the items seized in the morning raid, according to the court filing. Trump’s lawyers further assert that the government has “refused to provide any information regarding the nature of these documents” and that the FBI had no just cause to raid Mar-a-Lago since the former president was cooperating with the authorities regarding the documents at issue.
“President Trump, like all citizens, is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Property seized in violation of his Constitutional rights must be returned forthwith,” the suit continues.
The suit also suggests that the raid was politically motivated, asserting that Trump “is the clear frontrunner” in a potential 2024 presidential bid, “should he decide to run.”
“Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice,” Trump’s counsel argued.
Trump released a written statement on Truth Social after the complaint was filed.
“This Mar-a-Lago Break-In, Search, and Seizure was illegal and unconstitutional,” he wrote, adding that he and his legal team “are taking all actions necessary to get the documents back, which we would have given to them without the necessity of the despicable raid of my home, so that I can give them to the National Archives until they are required for the future Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.”
DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley reacted to the suit in a statement obtained by NBC.
“The Aug. 8 search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” he said. “The Department is aware of this evening’s motion. The United States will file its response in court.”