Donald Trump Mar-a-lago raid: What FBI needed to execute search warrant
- The FBI raided Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence
- Trump accused agents of breaking into his safe
- The FBI obtained a search warrant for the location
Former US President Donald Trump said in a lengthy statement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had raided his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. He also accused agents of breaking into his safe.
While Trump has called it a raid, many have pointed out that the agents were just executing a warrant, and MSNBC spoke to former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliguzzi, who detailed what the bureau would need to have on Trump to get a search warrant.
Firstly, getting a search warrant requires a lot of people to sign off on it. A Twitter user posted images of a different warrant to show the number of signatories involved.
Figliguzzi added that both the agents conducting the raid and the judge signing off on it are aware of the scale and implications of searching the former president's home. As per the ex-FBI man, a search of such magnitude has to be decided at the highest levels of the bureau, the Department of Justice - which sends the FBI and is likely to have crossed the United States Attorney General's desk as well.
Once cleared, it goes to a US magistrate. Before the judge signs off on it, they have to be convinced that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed and there's enough supporting the fact that the location of the search bears evidence of the crime.
As per Figliguzzi, this is where things get interesting since there might be a source and an entire conversation takes place informing the magistrate of finer details, which eventually sets the parameters of the search. For example, if there's only enough evidence to allow a search warrant for a vehicle on the property, the agents can't search the rest of the property, even if there's something incriminating there.