Federal agents were able to establish probable cause for the warrant since former President Trump and his lawyers had already turned over some classified documents sought by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Agents suspected Trump of unlawfully storing other classified documents from his presidency at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Washington, D.C., which is the main subject behind the FBI and Justice Department investigation.
During the Monday raid, FBI agents worked in ‘taint’ teams to gather and separate the alleged classified materials to ensure that none of them were privileged correspondence between Trump and his lawyers, which would be off limits to investigators and prosecutors.
According to some legal analysts, one perplexing aspect of the Mar-a-Lago search, is whether the alleged crime appeared to match the unprecedented tactic of an FBI search of a former president’s residence.
Lindsey Halligan, Trump’s lawyer, received a phone call around 10 a.m. The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday. She was the second Trump lawyer to arrive at the scene, shortly after the search began at 11 a.m.
Christina Bobb, his other lawyer, was already there. For the next eight hours, Halligan estimated that 30-40 FBI agents would be searching. Approximately 10-15 FBI vehicles entered and exited the property, according to Halligan.
Halligan claims she and Bobb were barred from entering the complex & were forced to remain outside, between the ballroom and the residence, on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago.
According to Halligan, the FBI divided the search into three areas: a bedroom, a storage area & an office. Halligan claims to have spoken with Trump, who was taken aback by the FBI probe. Trump stated that he believed he had followed the instructions of the investigators. The search teams completed their work around 6:30 p.m.
The warrant “refers to the Presidential Records Act and potential legal violations regarding the handling of classified information,” according to Christina Bobb.
The warrant, however, has not yet been made public.