Former United States (US) President Donald Trump said on Monday, 8 August, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was carrying out a search in his Mar-a-Lago property, and that the FBI agents had broken open his safe.
Slamming the incident as "assault", he said that such incidents only take place in third-world countries.
"These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” the 76-year-old former president said in a statement.
The US Justice Department has been investigating whether Trump took classified files to his residence in Florida after leaving the White House following his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.
'What's the Difference Between These Raids & Watergate?' Trump Asks
Trump further added that there was no difference between the searches carried out in his home and the Watergate scandal in 1972.
"They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where the operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States," Trump said.
Speculations are rife that Trump may announce his 2024 US presidential bid soon. Slamming the raids as a "weaponisation" of the justice system, Trump alleged that the raids were carried out at the behest of those who don't want him to run for president again.
"It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponisation of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections," he added.
Further, Trump said that the US had become "corrupt at a level not seen before" and that the raids signified "political targeting at the highest level."
"I will continue to fight for the Great American People!" he said.
The Republican politician is also under investigation for allegedly "inciting violence" during the US Capitol Hill riot on 6 January 2021, and spreading a "web of lies" regarding alleged voter fraud during the election.
The raid comes after a few investigators made a rare visit to the property in June to seek more information about potentially classified material that the former president may have brought to his estate.
Several Republicans Declare Support for Trump
Many Republican leaders declared their support for the former president. The Justice Department and the FBI, however, declined to comment on the raid.
Republican politician Ted Cruz called the raids "corrupt" and an "abuse of power."
"The FBI raiding Donald Trump is unprecedented. It is corrupt and an abuse of power. What Nixon tried to do, Biden has now implemented: The Biden Admin has fully weaponized DOJ & FBI to target their political enemies," he said in a tweet.
On the other hand, Rick Scott, Republican Senator from Florida, said, "The FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago is incredibly concerning, especially given the Biden admin’s history of going after parents & other political opponents. This is 3rd World country stuff."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, claimed that the Justice Department had reached an "intolerable state of weaponised politicisation."
"When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned," he added.
Meanwhile, Democrats supported the raid.
Chair of the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating Trump's handling of documents, called on the Justice Department to "fully investigate" the charges against the former president.