Former President Donald Trump blasted a federal judge, the Justice Department and the FBI on Friday for the search of his Florida estate after a key document that the former president had previously called for in the “interest of TRANSPARENCY” was released.
Trump criticized U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who released the affidavit, for authorizing the search of Mar-a-Lago in the first place, suggesting that the judge should have recused himself from the case for his “animosity and hatred” toward the former president, while adding that the “heavily redacted” affidavit was a “a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ.”
The comments came just after a redacted version of the affidavit filed to the judge to authorize the search was released to the public at the request of a number of news organizations, despite the Justice Department’s objections.
The search of Trump’s home has, since he announced it weeks ago, garnered massive interest among the public, in part prompting the Justice Department to release some other documents, including the search warrant itself – an unusual move for the agency that normally remains quiet amid ongoing investigations.
Despite announcing the search of Mar-a-Lago to the public, Trump has repeatedly called it a politically motivated “witch hunt” by the Biden administration, while offering a handful of different justifications for his possession of documents after he left office.
“I did nothing wrong,” Trump said on “The Great America Show” podcast released Friday. “We were essentially attacked … right before the midterms.”
The heavily redacted version of the affidavit cited ongoing concerns in the court records about the possibility of obstruction of justice and that more sensitive documents are being withheld. And while much of the document, which was expected to reveal more details about the circumstances of the investigation – including why law enforcement sought a search warrant for Trump’s Florida home and the evidence that gave them probable cause to do so – was blacked out, it nevertheless revealed the high stakes of the criminal investigation.
Ahead of the affidavit’s release on Friday, Trump wrote on his social media platform that “the political Hacks and Thugs had no right under the Presidential Records Act to storm Mar-a-Lago and steal everything in sight,” reiterating previous claims made against the Justice Department and FBI.
“We are right now living in a Lawless Country, that just so happens to be, also, a Failing Nation,” the former president wrote.