Why it doesn't matter that the Mar-a-Lago raid was 'unannounced'
- Mar-a-Lago was searched by FBI agents while Donald Trump was not at the residence
- The FBI likely obtained permits from the Justice Department to search Mar-a-Lago
- It is part of a larger investigation whether Trump took classified documents when he left office
A search conducted by the FBI at the home of a former president looking for evidence of a crime is highly unusual and is likely to require approval from the highest levels of the Justice Department.
Also Read: Mar-a-lago security details
While the raid may have been conducted by the FBI, Trump's outrage over the "unannounced raid" holds little meaning. It is more than probable that the FBI has obtained numerous search warrants to conduct its search of Mar-a-Lago, and for a couple of reasons. Primarily, searching any residence or home requires a warrant obtained from a court magistrate or a judge. In order to even approach a judge, law enforcement agencies are required to have substantial evidence or proof of belief that what they're looking for is in that place or they run the risk of invading someone's privacy.
Secondly, the "unannounced raid" was likely conducted as a surprise in order to ensure that any evidence that was/is at Mar-a-Lago wasn't shifted or destroyed. It is also possible that FBI obtained a sneak and search warrant which means that they have a judge's permission to enter a private property without informing the occupants or owners.
According to the Presidential Records Act, all kinds of written communications related to the president's official duties must be preserved. However, Trump might not have done so. The raid conducted by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago is part of a longer running inquiry into whether the former US President had taken classified documents to his private golf-club instead of sending it to the National Archives, as is protocol.
In his statement, Trump claimed that the raid was not "necessary or appropriate." Predictably, Republican lawmakers and political candidates took to Twitter to announce their displeasure over the "political persecution" of their unofficial leader.