The FBI and Department of Justice declined to comment, although the department is known to be investigating the possible mishandling of government secrets after the National Archives retrieved White House records from Mar-a-Lago.
“After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” the statement said, but Trump did not expand on how or what he has been cooperating with government agencies about.
While there is no indication that prosecutors are on the verge of charging Trump, or that he will ultimately be charged, the search marks a significant step. In order to get a warrant, investigators would have had to demonstrate to a judge that there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed and that evidence of the crime was at Mar-a-Lago.
A search of a former president’s home would likely need to be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department. A department spokeswoman declined to comment whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had signed off on the Mar-a-Lago search.