Attorney General Merrick Garland Says He Approved Mar-a-Lago Search In Press Conference
Garland also noted that the Justice Department has asked a federal judge to unseal the search warrant that was executed by the FBI to search the property, following Republican outrage over the first search of a former President’s home. It will list the items taken from the home as well as expand on the crimes Trump allegedly committed. Garland noted that he sought to make the warrant public “in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of Justice Department and of our democracy,” Garland added. “Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor under my watch. That is precisely what the Justice Department is doing.”
Merrick Garland says the DOJ has filed a motion to unseal the warrant for the Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/pxYceebw3e
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 11, 2022
Garland, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, also addressed critics who have argued that the FBI’s search was politically motivated.
“The department does not take such a decision lightly,” he said. “Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
He went on to challenge the “recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors,” adding “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked.”
The search was a part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the suspected movement of classified White House documents by Trump to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency.
The National Archives called on the Justice Department back in February to open a probe into the matter after finding that 15 boxes of missing documents were taken to Palm Beach.
The movement of the records violates the Presidential Records Act, which requires presidents to preserve memos, letters, emails and any papers that they touched to be turned in at the end of their term.